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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Yasir Arafat’

Yanks Just Better Than Brits

Wednesday, February 13th, 2002

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 jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Three Stooges Named Jennings, Gumbel And Hamill

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2002

“Peter Jennings, Palestinian sympathizer first, journalist second?” is how the conservative Media Research Center (MRC) put it in its CyberAlert of Dec. 4. “Israel,” the alert went on, “was the victim of a murderous terrorist attack by a terrorist group, Hamas, which claimed credit. “But on Monday night Jennings wanted to know if the Bush administration wished to ‘restrain the Israelis.’ Jennings also tried to absolve Yasir Arafat of responsibility as he referred to Hamas simply as an ‘organization.’ He asserted: ‘There’s some question as to whether Mr. Arafat can really control organizations like Hamas.’ ”

MRC’s apt analogy and sharp rejoinder to Jennings: “Imagine wondering on September 13 how to ‘restrain’ the Bush administration’s reaction to an ‘organization’ which completed suicide bombings two days before.”

MRC also reported on the attempted exoneration of Arafat by Bryant Gumbel, surely one of the more pompous and self-inflated windbags in a profession teeming with pompous, self-inflated windbags.

On the Dec. 3 edition of his CBS “Early Show,” Gumbel was chatting with former Senator George Mitchell. “You saw the tape, Secretary Powell chiding Yasir Arafat for not restraining those terrorist forces that he says are under his command,” said Gumbel. “Do you think it is within his capacity to restrain those forces, to restrain Hamas and Islamic Jihad?”

Gumbel followed that up with, “Should this administration be taking the same efforts to restrain Sharon, should they be acting much more even-handed than they’ve been?”

Finally, Gumbel exposed his underlying animus - as well as a terribly unsophisticated grasp of Mideast realities - by asking: “Is it realistic, Senator, to think that the Palestinians, whoever is in charge, would ever reach some kind of agreement with Ariel Sharon, a man who has done so much to oppose peace efforts in the Middle East?”

And then there’s the columnist Pete Hamill, who rarely writes about the Middle East. Unfortunately, when he does he turns out the kind of utterly predictable left-wing boilerplate published by the New York Daily News this past Monday.

Less than 24 hours after the worst-ever weekend of terrorism suffered by Israelis, here’s how Hamill began his column: “The killing goes on and on. In the morning, schoolboys throw stones at an Israeli tank in the West Bank village of Wad Burgin, near Jenin. An 11-year-old named Muhammad Salah is shot dead. On the other side of Jenin, an 18-year-old named Rami As’oos tries to move around an Israeli roadblock. He is shot dead.”

Only after establishing – by way of five completely misleading sentences, each lacking the slightest trace of context and nuance - that Israeli soldiers are a bunch of child-killers, did Hamill turn his attention to the bombings in Jerusalem and Haifa later that weekend. What followed were several gripping paragraphs (no one ever questioned Hamill’s prose skills), amounting in the end to nothing more than a well-written exercise in moral equivalency.

Ultimate blame for the violence - here’s a huge surprise – Hamill placed on Ariel Sharon: “Since his little stroll on the Temple Mount 14 months ago,” he drolly wrote, “many hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians have died in the deadly intifada.”

Hamill may be plain ignorant of the ample evidence that a Palestinian uprising was in the works from the day Yasir Arafat threw out his chips at Camp David, but perhaps something more than mere ignorance is at play here.

In a column he wrote back during the Lebanon war, Hamill quoted a conveniently anonymous “Israeli friend” who, speaking of Israeli troops, supposedly said, “Forgive me, but all I can think of is the Nazis.”

Ancient history? Perhaps. But a red flag should go up whenever a journalist resorts to anonymous sources, not just because such sources are difficult if not impossible to verify, but even more so because they have this annoying tendency to reflect and buttress a journalist’s own biases and predispositions.

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

The President And A Palestinian State: In Any Event,The Timing Was Wrong

Friday, November 16th, 2001

In principle, we disagree with the notion of U.S. public support for a Palestinian state. The record is clear that, whatever Yasir Arafat and his crowd may claim to the Bush Administration, the Palestinians have no present intention of living as a peaceful neighbor with Israel.

Indeed, the continuing demonizing, anti-Israel incitements and continuing violence can in no way be deemed consistent with a vision of an harmonious future. Plainly, it will take a generation or more to allow the venom to dissipate. And the bellwether of necessary change will be when an agreement will be freely arrived at around the negotiating table.

The establishment of a Palestinian state must be the product of a desire for normalcy and not artificial pressure. So President Bush's and British Prime Minister Blair's joint trial balloon of recent days is most unfortunate. It is all the more so, because it comes at a time when it will inevitably be looked upon by the Palestinians as part of an urgent effort to induce the Palestinian Authority to stanch the violence and to forge a coalition of opportunistic Arab states against international terror.

At his recent press conference last Thursday, President Bush said:

I have met with Prime Minister Sharon, and I have assured him every time we've met that he has no better friend than the United States of America.

I also stated the other day that if we ever get into the Mitchell process, where we can start discussing a political solution in the Middle East, that I believe there ought to be a Palestinian state, the boundaries of which will be negotiated by the parties so long as the Palestinian state recognizes the right of Israel to exist and will treat Israel with respect and will be peaceful on her borders….

So the President set out conditions for his support for a Palestinian state ? he would require a cessation of hostilities and negotiated borders. But why say that now? The inevitable signal is that post-World Trade Center/Pentagon, coalition politics are driving American foreign policy. Or, as Joseph Farah recently wrote,

The message is loud and clear: Keep up the violence, intensify it, keep raising the stakes, make the U.S. pay a price, and your demands will be met ? eventually.

A Picture For Our Time

Friday, September 28th, 2001

The picture in Monday's edition of The New York Times of Yasir Arafat holding a gun should be an eye opener, if one were still needed, as to what Yasir Arafat is all about. The Times reported the story of Israeli retaliation raids this past Sunday after Palestinians shot at a car traveling on the Modiin road, killing three members of one family and wounding two little girls:

…Mr. Arafat inspected the rubble that used to be a police building in Gaza. A co-winner of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize, with the Israelis Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, he conducted his tour in his familiar military uniform, this time carrying a small submachine gun.

What real head of state in memory has appeared in public brandishing a weapon? It speaks volumes. There should be no lingering doubt as to whether Arafat is committed to the settling of differences around the conference table.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/a-picture-for-our-time/2001/09/28/

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