A Terrorist Enabler's Deception
By: Bruce Ticker
Arutz Sheva | Monday, August 18, 2003
In the film Bugsy, Warren Beatty’s Bugsy Siegel murders or humiliates anyone who steals from him. Imagine that! A famous gangster who feels betrayed whenever he is a victim of theft.
Danielle Sara Frank claimed to be a victim of journalistic deception when she complained that Daniel Brook, a reporter for the Philadelphia City Paper, misrepresented himself in contacting her by e-mail about her ventures with Palestinians in Israel’s West Bank.
Frank has experience with deception. She neglected to tell the people at Birthright Israel, who flew her to Tel Aviv for a free 10-day trip to Israel, that she planned to volunteer with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement. Nothing wrong with being pro-Palestinian. I’m pro-Palestinian. I’m pro-anyone who seeks to lead a normal life without bothering other people.
Those “peace activists” from the ISM do bother people. They bother Israeli troops when they attempt to carry out their orders. They have disrupted numerous military activities by blocking roads, sneaking food to besieged terrorists and attempting to tear down the security fence going up between Israel proper and the West Bank.
The question is not whether some of Israel’s military actions might be inappropriate, but how to respond to such situations. By injecting themselves into the middle of military activities, ISM members - many of whom are recruited from the United States and Europe - are inflaming an already volatile situation, which could lead to deaths and injuries. Would they cross a police line back at home?
There are political means to deal with their concerns about Israeli policies, but those associated with ISM have not bothered trying said political means.
When Danielle Frank arrived in Israel, Brook reported in the Aug. 7 issue, a tour leader asked the 22-year-old Jewish woman from a Philadelphia suburb why she was participating in the Birthright trip, one-third of which was paid for by the Israeli government.
Frank told Brook in an e-mail from the West Bank, “I said that I came because I didn’t like what I saw on TV about Israel and wanted to see things for myself.”
She wrote to the reporter that this “was a calculated answer that was somewhat cryptic because if you ask anyone who is… pro-Israeli, they’ll tell you that all of the news is biased against Israel, but any activist working for Palestine in the U.S. will tell you that the American media is decidedly pro-Israel.”
Frank was probably coached by ISM to dream up a story to tell officials who might ask her why she was traveling to Israel. ISM has all kinds of suggestions for deception on its Web site. If these ISM members are involved in a just cause, why must they lie about their intentions? If they lie when they arrive in Israel, how can they be trusted to tell the truth about their activities in the territories?
Israel should deport anyone it finds who lies to authorized government representatives about their intentions. They can’t be trusted.
Likewise, I hope that Birthright attempts to retrieve from Frank the estimated $2,000 it spent on her.
In a letter published in the Aug. 14 City Paper, a Philadelphia weekly, Frank has the audacity to accuse Brook of misrepresenting himself. She admits in the letter that she tried to condition the terms of her interview, which is a sure way of telegraphing that she has something to hide. “I told him that I was willing to do an interview about my activities in Palestine and participation with the International Solidarity Movement on the condition that Birthright is not to be discussed,” she wrote.
“This was for multiple reasons but most importantly because the premise under which I was willing to be interviewed was to bring light to the Palestinian struggle and to provide a firsthand account of the illegal occupation of Palestine to the international media.
“Brook responded by writing, ‘I agree not to ask you about Birthright but Birthright will have to be mentioned in the story’ solely because ‘it’s part of the chronology of your story.’”
Reading between the lines, Brook probably felt like writing, “Screw you.”
Her letter continues, “It is clear through Brook’s angle that he intentionally misrepresented his agenda. There is an obvious difference between mentioning Birthright as part of a larger, more holistic story and running a feature on Birthright.
“Besides being ethically questionable journalism, it is also lazy, irresponsible and irrelevant. Who cares if I went to Palestine via Birthright?”
Since she asks, probably every person who contributes money to Birthright or supports it in some way would care “if I went to Palestine via Birthright.” Birthright didn’t spend money on her so she could help a group that is considered to be anti-Israel.
Her gripe about the reporter’s sense of ethics says this about her: She has chutzpah.
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