It’s all up in flames—-our reconciliation with the world, with the church, with the Palestinians. Yossi Klein Halevi writes in The Los Angeles Times (April 8) that all the dialogue and advancements are “threatened by a one-sided Christian approach to the Middle East conflict.” Despite the “outrageous invasion of the Church of the Nativity by several hundred Palestinian gunmen and wanted terrorists… it is Israel, rather than Yasser Arafat’s regime, that Christians choose to blame.” And, Halevi wonders, where “was the Christian outrage over the massacre of 26 Jews at a Passover Seder?”
In the online Wall Street Journal (April 3), James Taranto recalls hearing so much after 9-11 about the need to respect Muslim sensitivities, but, “When will Muslims start respecting other people’s religions,” such as no mass murders at seders?
In Newsday (April 5), Jimmy Breslin blames the Jews for the “outrage of church doors in Bethlehem blocked by a tank. The pope’s people are being humiliated and threatened.” The man “blocking the church … is Ariel Sharon [who] sends young men out to die.” Neither side “knows or cares the first thing about this church and what it stands for all over the world…. and some slob pulls a tank in front of the place and the inside is filled with Arabs holding guns.”
The reconciliation with Palestinians was nowhere more promoted than at Seeds of Peace, the frequently cited summer camp in Maine that brings together Jews and Moslems. Now, one Jew from Seeds of Peace, Adam Shapiro, is living in Ramallah with his bride-to-be Huwaeida Arraf. At a time when Jews are being killed, Shapiro ran to Arafat’s side. Andrea Peyser, in The New York Post (April 2) calls Shapiro, the “Jewish Taliban.”
Shapiro, a frequent op-ed contributor to the Jordan Times and other Arab dailies, compares Israeli soldiers to “Nazis.” He told Peyser, “I’m here to work as a human shield for the Palestinian people.”
Zev Chafets, in the Daily News last week, writes of Shapiro, “The similarities to John Walker Lindh are inescapable.” Yet, in TownHall.com (April 9), syndicated columnist Debbie Schlussel says Shapiro “is the American media’s latest media darling… portrayed as an idealistic, nice guy.”
The New York Times, Associated Press, and The Detroit News respectively describe Shapiro as “humanitarian,” “volunteer worker,” and “peacekeeper.”
In an editorial, The New York Times (April 4) describes Shapiro’s “peaceful action.”
But, Schlussel points out, Shapiro often wrote in the defense of terrorism and even the Taliban, making, she said, “these respected news operations seem like incompetent nitwit news gatherers, at best.” The Guerrilla News Network picked Shapiro as its “Guerrilla of the Week.” Schlussel adds, Shapiro “was a counselor at Seeds of Peace, a camp in Maine for Arab and Jewish youth that emphasizes tolerance. That’s why the camp is a joke.”
The Nazis compared Jews to ugly vermin. Now, Craig Whitlock of The Washington Post (April 5) writes of a young Jew paralyzed by an Arab bomb, not so much by the power of the explosion but by “the screws and nails soaked in rat poison that did the most damage, penetrating his skull and legs and rendering him immobile and mute.”
There are no peace activists flocking to seders and poison nails, but The New York Times (March 29) reports that 600 peace activists arrived in Ramallah to offer themselves as human shields for Palestinians.
James Taranto, in The Wall Street Journal online (April 4), says Israel has quite “the Fifth Column” of traitors. For example, Israel Shamir writes in the Saudi Arab News (April 4), “Sharon surpassed Hitler: The German dictator carefully avoided giving the orders to kill Jews; the Jewish ruler unabashedly called to kill the Goyim on the TV in prime time. While many Germans were disgusted by the Nazis and crossed the lines, and served in the Allied armies against the Third Reich, the Jews still hesitate to break the bond of false loyalty to their Third Malkuth.” He suggests that Jewish peace activists “join the Palestinian fighters on the barricades of Gaza and Tulkarem.”
He uses the word “Goyim,” which brings us to that other great Jewish reconciliation — with the post-Nazi world. What does the world say, now that Jews have stopped dying thanks to the military option that hundreds of columnists predicted could never work? Reuters (April 3) says Israel’s offensive “has alarmed the world.”
Also, “the world,” or more specifically, the Nobel Peace Prize committee as quoted in a Norwegian newspaper and the BBC (April 5), wishes it could take back the Nobel Peace Prize given to Shimon Peres in 1994, because he is complicitous with Israel’s human rights abuses that are “grotesque and unbelievable.” No such regrets over Arafat’s peace prize.
Michael Kelly, in The Washington Post (April 5), notes that between the day the Oslo Accords were signed and the day the Nobels were given to Peres and Arafat (and Yitzhak Rabin), Palestinian terrorists killed 90 Israelis, but Oslo was signed anyway. In the five years after Oslo, Palestinians killed more Israelis than in 15 years preceding Oslo. Says Jeff Jacoby in The Boston Globe (April 4): “Israel is at war today because… it craved peace at any price, craved it so madly that it was willing to overlook even the murder of its own sons and daughters.”
ABC News has re-upped Nightline for two more years, but its coverage of this war has been less than stellar. On April 1, one of Nightline’s producers, Leroy Sievers, sent out this e-mail to a Nightline mailing list that exposes his view of terrorism: “Let’s face it, suicide bombings are the definition of terrorism,” writes the Nightline producer, but “to some extent, history’s view depends on who wins in the end. Many of those who went on to be leaders of Israel were members of what were called ‘terrorist gangs’ before Israel gained its independence. They, too, were responsible for bombings. But years later, that is rarely remembered.”
In fact, it’s always “remembered,” even if it isn’t true. In Israel’s war for independence, there were no suicide bombers or attacks targeting civilians.
According to CAMERA, the media watchdog organization, Nightline guest host Chris Bury did a six-minute interview after the seder massacre with a Saudi who said the massacre was not any different “from Israeli counterattacks that have occurred in the past year or year and a half.”
Says CAMERA, Nightline’s host “simply accepted this shameless rewriting of history and moved on to his next softball question.”
Nightline reporter Dan Harris closed his coverage of the seder massacre, saying: “Passover celebrates the Jews’ liberation from bondage in ancient Egypt. This family says the only way for peace now is for the Israelis to release the Palestinians from their grip.”
Israel is “monumentally dumb” for firing stun grenades and rubber bullets at journalists, says Howard Kurtz, media columnist for the Washington Post (April 8). “Israel usually draws sympathetic coverage in the West,” he writes, “although its heavy-handed tactics have prompted more criticism lately.”
But the Jerusalem Post (April 1) says not all journalists are just doing their job. Some are peace activists, assisting Palestinians. In one instance, “The journalists forced their way past tanks and soldiers, into [Arafat’s] headquarters.” When they came out, there were double the number that had entered, and included among the exiting “journalists” were many suspected terrorist fugitives.