America’s pundits and editorialists have for the most part been supportive of Israel’s side of the story in the capture of the weapons-laden Katrine-A. Several examples of that support are offered below (the Monitor thanks Zionist Organization of America National President Morton Klein for the compilation), but first, a splash of frigid water from Reuters correspondent Jon Immanuel.
Immanuel, perfectly representative of the brutishly anti-Israel British media, began his Jan. 9 dispatch from Jerusalem on a cynical note and went steadily downhill from there.
“Israel,” wrote Immanuel, “thought it had a blockbuster on its hands in the tale of a commando raid to seize a boat full of arms in the Red Sea. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon even gave it a title worthy of Hollywood: ‘The Ship of Terror.’
“Yasir Arafat, Israel’s ostensible partner in the search for peace, was cast as the criminal mastermind and paymaster of a crew linked to his Palestinian Authority. But to the directors’ dismay, critics poked holes in the plot, and the State Department said the jury was still out.”
Mixed metaphors aside, note the glee with which Immanuel attempts to puncture what he prematurely believes to be some sort of swashbuckling fantasy/charade on the part of the Israeli government.
And why does our trusty correspondent show such little regard for the Israeli account? Observe how the facade of jaded journalist instantly gives way to that of credulous courtier when Immanuel turns his attention from Ariel Sharon to Yasir Arafat:
“Arafat and his Palestinian Authority,” he wrote, now switching prose style from cheeky to straightforward, “denied any involvement in what Israel said was an attempt to smuggle 50 tons of Iranian-supplied arms, including Katyusha rockets, to Palestinian-controlled areas of the Gaza Strip.”
Fortunately for those of us on this side of the Atlantic, our newspapers featured coverage and commentary on a decidedly more realistic plane, notably:
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer: “What does it take for the world to acknowledge the obvious truth that Yasir Arafat has no intention of making real peace? How much incontrovertible evidence is required before one admits that the Oslo ‘peace’ was a fraud and a deception? … Any truce Gen. Anthony Zinni gets him to sign will have the same durability as the dozens of truces Arafat signed while destroying Lebanon in the 1970’s. If we want peace, Arafat and the Palestinian Authority have to go. They must be de-legitimized, de-recognized, de-funded by the United States. And by Europe. And if that does not bring them down, Israel should be allowed to go in and do the job itself.”
Syndicated columnist William Rusher: “In the wake of September 11, President Bush rightly declared that the United States was at war – not only with Osama bin Laden, his followers, and any nations that might harbor them, but with all ‘terrorist’ organizations of similarly worldwide scope… The Palestinian terrorists [are] exact moral equivalent of Osama bin Laden and his followers.”
New York Times op-ed columnist William Safire: “The clear purpose of the … Iranian arms was to help Yasir Arafat’s coalition of terror win Iran’s undeclared war on Israel. While the U.S. and Israel have for a decade been deluding themselves with a ‘peace process,’ Iran and its Palestinian proxies have been gaining ground in their war process.”
Syndicated columnist Michael Kelly: “The evidence is close to overwhelming that the Katrine-A mission [the ship carrying 80 tons of weapons] was financed and organized at the highest levels of the Palestinian Authority, most likely sanctioned by Arafat himself – and that Arafat allowed the mission to proceed after he called for cessation of all armed actions against Israel on Dec.16.”
Syndicated columnist Don Feder: “By sending Presidential mediator Anthony Zinni back to the Middle East, our State Department rewarded and became an accomplice in Yasir Arafat’s latest charade… Other than token gestures, there has bene nothing remotely resembling a -crackdown’ [on terrorists] from the Palestinian Authority. .. The Palestinian Authority’s Force 17 and Mr. Arafat’s personal Tanzim militia have worked hand-in-bloody-glove with Hamas and Jihad in planning and executing atrocities. If Mr. Arafat were sincere about fighting terrorism, he would have to arrest himself.”
Jason Maoz can be reached at email@example.com