City officials in ancient Bethlehem geared up Thursday to welcome Christians to the birth site of the founder of the faith – but hate was there way ahead of them.
Nearly every international journalist arriving in the Palestinian Authority-controlled biblical city for Christmas Eve has written newly twisted descriptions of the violence that has sent rivers of blood flowing in the streets of Israel and the roads of Judea and Samaria. One of the silliest is also as damaging as it is subtle, in that its writing style is held to a passive voice. And since the journalist works for a wire service, the article is flashed around the world to a readership of millions.
The Associated Press article penned by Daniella Cheslow was posted on the Yahoo! news website Thursday evening, and bore numerous references to Israelis killing Arabs, with the implication that the deaths were unwarranted, beginning with the headline, “Christians in Bethlehem mark Christmas amid violence.”
Example: “an outburst of Israeli-Palestinian violence dampened the typically festive mood” – as if Israelis deliberately went out hunting Arabs, rather than the other way around.
Example: “Before the celebrations began, Israeli authorities said three Palestinians involved in attacks against Israelis were killed in violence across the West Bank. Another Palestinian was killed in clashes with Israeli troops, a Palestinian hospital official said.” The aforementioned “Palestinians” were not just “involved” parties in those killings; three were the actual murderers and a fourth was directly attacking; all were killed in self-defense. The spurious passivity in which the paragraph is written appears to be a deliberate attempt to mask the mindless hatred that has been whipped up among so many of the Arab youths by their leadership.
Example: “Bethlehem has been a focal point for clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters during the three month-long wave of violence that has gripped the region. While the annual festivities in the city’s Manger Square were set to go on, other celebrations in the city were cancelled or toned down because of the violence.”
Hardly. First of all, the so-called “Palestinian protesters” have been attackers, hurling rocks, boulders, and firebombs (Molotov cocktails) at Israeli soldiers guarding the entrance to Rachel’s Tomb, the gravesite of the biblical matriarch Rachel, which under the Oslo Accords is to remain accessible to Israelis and Jews regardless of who controls the territory.
But in terms of which area has been the focal point of terror, the holy city of Jerusalem claims that dubious honor due to the countless efforts by Arab agitators both in and out of the mosques to ignite riots in the city’s Arab neighborhoods.
As for celebrations ‘cancelled or toned down’ in Bethlehem because of violence: it is very convenient to lay the blame at Israel’s doorstep, but the excuse does not wash well, given the facts. If Arab residents of Bethlehem insist on rioting and attacking Israelis one cannot expect people to feel safe on the street. Tourists don’t want to come to a place that is scary, though a few hardy souls might come to prove their loyalty. One such British citizen went to Beit Sahour — but he quickly regretted that decision.
Still, blaming Israel is always the mainstream media’s first fallback position. Nice try. Better to look at reality: celebrations are indeed ‘cancelled or toned down’ because tourism is down, due to the violence. Tourists don’t like violence.
“We’re in Bethlehem celebrating Christmas … This is the birthplace of the king of peace so what we want is peace,” Rula Ma’ayah, Palestinian Authority Tourism Minister told the Associated Press on Thursday. Yes. “This is a ‘peaceful’ uprising,” Ma’ayah’s boss, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas said on November 16.
Actually, the Palestinian Authority government pays high monthly stipends to convicted terrorists incarcerated in Israeli prisons after they murder Israelis. The more victims wounded and murdered in an attack, the higher the salary. An entire department is devoted to the care and support of convicted Arab terrorists in the PA government, in fact. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself.
“Since mid-September, Palestinian attacks have killed 20 Israelis, while Israeli fire has killed 124 Palestinians, among them 85 said by Israel to be attackers. The rest were killed in clashes with Israeli forces,” wrote Cheslow.
Again, a very slick way of depersonalizing the murderous attacks on Israelis by Arab terrorists, by assigning the blame to “Palestinian attacks.” We won’t talk about the actual Arab killers who are dirtying their hands with the sharp knives that are cutting into the human flesh of their victims, mind you. Let’s not talk about that.
Well, it was actually Arabs from the Palestinian Authority who deliberately murdered those 20 Israelis. Frankly, had other Israelis not been as vigilant and as well-armed as they were, there could have been many, many more dead. Funny how Ms. Cheslow neglected to write about the hundreds of wounded.
According to the Israel Security Agency, in the past three months there have been more than 120 stabbings, 75 grenade and petrol bomb attacks, 46 shootings and 30 vehicular terror attacks, to be precise. Arab terrorists have murdered 21 people and wounded 272 others in the past three months.
While we’re on the subject, it is even more interesting that these statistics are rarely — if ever — mentioned on any site other than JewishPress.com or that of the State of Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Isn’t it odd that so many mainstream news agencies who pride themselves on quality news coverage never manage to find both sides of the story when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict?
Hana Levi Julian