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Sea Change in Palestinian Opinion? By: HonestReporting.com
HonestReporting.com | Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Five Israelis were murdered and dozens injured when a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to a Tel Aviv nightclub on Friday night (Feb. 25). Syria-based Islamic Jihad admitted responsibility for the terrorist attack.

Then on Monday (Feb. 28) in the West Bank, Palestinian terrorists opened fire on two Israelis, and the IDF found a car bomb packed with half a ton of explosives \ the largest bomb produced by Palestinian terrorists in the past four years.


Islamic Jihad
holds a press conference

As this wanton violence threatened the de-facto ceasefire agreement between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the media posed an important question that cuts to the heart of future peace chances: 'What do most Palestinians think about this ongoing terrorist violence from their midst?' Here were two typical reports:

œ  Associated Press (Feb. 27): In an article entitled 'Palestinians Angry Over Tel Aviv Attack', AP's Mohammad Ballas reported a veritable sea change in Palestinian attitudes toward terrorism:

Palestinians expressed anger Saturday at an overnight suicide bombing in Tel Aviv... a departure from former times when they welcomed attacks on their Israeli foes... In contrast to the dozens of previous suicide bombings, no celebrations were held in the West Bank on Saturday and militant groups didn't hang the customary posters of congratulations at the bomber's home.

AP also quoted a claim by Mahmoud Abbas that 'all Palestinian factions, including the prisoners, were outraged by this operation.'

œ Financial Times (Feb. 28): An article entitled 'Palestinian Militants Denounce Tel Aviv Bombing' includes this quote from an 'Islamic Jihad spokesman':

It's the first time I've been distressed to hear about a suicide bombing in Israel... It came at a time when we had a consensus to preserve quiet to allow the Palestinian Authority to pursue a political breakthrough with Israel.

This sober, remorseful response may have characterized a portion of Palestinian reaction. But its accuracy as a blanket assessment of Palestinian opinion was brought into question by a large, open rally held on Monday (Feb. 28) in Hebron \ to almost complete media silence. At the rally, Islamic Jihad leaders called out, 'Our beloved Jihad blew up Tel Aviv!', and 'No peace with Israelis!'


Monday's rally in Hebron

Though media outlets were quick to report the official Palestinian denunciations of Friday's terror attack, this chilling Islamic Jihad rally received almost no coverage. [Associated Press did mention the rally \ but buried it deep down in an article that dealt with another topic altogether.]

The media can facilitate genuine peace taking hold by reporting the full reality on the ground.

Did your local media outlet report Palestinian denunciations of Friday's terror attack, but fail to report the ongoing jihadi incitement and support for terror, held in Hebron? If not, write your local editor demanding full and accurate coverage.


For the second time in two weeks, BBC has issued an official apology for irresponsible coverage of the Mideast conflict.

In the wake of Friday's Tel Aviv bombing, BBC One TV produced a segment called 'A Family in Mourning', which showed extensive footage of the parents of the Palestinian terrorist, but no pictures at all of the mourning families of the terrorist's victims!

After a wave of protest, BBC issued this 'correction', which comes right on the heels of a BBC apology for a recent radio spot accusing the IDF of ordering soldiers to 'shoot unarmed [Palestinian] schoolchildren.' [See Feb. 16 HonestReporting communique.]

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.

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