Ben Ehrenreich And The NY Times Paint False Picture Of Terror And Violence Advocates

Last night, I posted how I was mentioned in a NY Times article, albeit referred to simply (and derogatorily) as a “right-wing blogger”.

The article dealt with the inhabitants of the village of Nabi Saleh – home of Shirley Temper – and constitutes a real hatchet job on Israel.

The Roths – who lost their 15-year-old daughter Malki in the Sbarro suicide bombing of 2001 – have posted a powerful critique of this NY times hit piece.

ny coverFriends have pointed us to this week’s NYT Magazine cover story, published today. It’s devoted to a Palestinian Arab village set in the hills a few kilometers north of where we live in Jerusalem. It’s a place the author calls “spirited”, where “on warm summer evenings, life… could feel almost idyllic. Everyone knows everyone.” He says “a pilgrimage”to this magical place “has achieved a measure of cachet among young European activists, the way a stint with the Zapatistas did in Mexico in the 1990s”.
Who would not be captivated? But there is much wrong with the picture he conjures up. We know this because for years we have been tracking the media’s romance with the community called Nabi Saleh. I am furious with anger as I sit here writing about what the article says, and what it carefully avoids saying.
The Wikipedia entry for Nabi Saleh describes the village of some 550 people in gentle terms. Centred on an old religious shrine to the prophet Shelah whom we encounter in Genesis as the son of Judah and grandson of the patriarch Jacob, it was a hamlet of a mere five houses in the late nineteenth century when the Turks ruled the area. It grew slowly under the Jordanian military occupation that started in 1948; then declined when Israel took control of the West Bank in 1967, and flourished and multiplied in the past two decades. Today, it’s the scene of weekly protest demonstrations and, to judge from Wikipedia’s English-language version, a place where things are done to passive inhabitants and for no apparent reason.
Interestingly, if you go to the Arabic-language version of Wikipedia, it puts the emphasis elsewhere, describing Nabi Saleh as a place of “popular resistance” that took a prominent role from the outset in two Intifadas, providing “hundreds of prisoners” and 17 so-called “martyrs on the altar of freedom”. The most prominent of the prisoners (Wikipedia’s description) is a woman called Ahlam whose surname is shared with almost every other inhabitant of the village: Tamimi.
But it’s Bassem Tamimi who is the focus of the article. He says the Intifada launched by Yasser Arafat in 2000 was “the big mistake… Politically, we went backward”. The writer helps us understand what kind of backward he means:

“Much of the international good will gained over the previous decade was squandered. Taking up arms wasn’t, for Bassem, a moral error so much as a strategic one. He and everyone else I spoke with in the village insisted they had the right to armed resistance; they just don’t think it works. “

Or to say it another way: they are entitled to kill the Israelis and have done so again and again, but it’s not effective. A different kind of warfare therefore needs to be adopted.
Half-way through the essay, he introduces readers to a figure who embodies that “big mistake”:

In 1993, Bassem told me, his cousin Said Tamimi killed a settler near Ramallah. Eight years later, another villager, Ahlam Tamimi escorted a bomber to a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem. Fifteen people were killed, eight of them minors. Ahlam, who now lives in exile in Jordan, and Said, who is in prison in Israel, remain much-loved in Nabi Saleh.

That’s all he writes about Ahlam Tamimi but we can tell you more. She is a Jordanian who was 21 years old and the news-reader on official Palestinian television when she signed on with Hamas to become a terrorist. She engineered, planned and helped execute a massacre in the center of Jerusalem on a hot summer afternoon in 2001. She chose the target, a restaurant filled with Jewish children. And she brought the bomb. The outcome (15 killed, a sixteenth still in a vegetative state today, 130 injured) was so uplifting to her that she has gone on camera again and again to say, smiling into the camera lens, how proud she is of what she did. She is entirely free of regret. A convicted felon and a mass-murderer convicted on multiple homicide charges, she has never denied the role she embraced and justifies it fully.
Yet all the NY Times says about Nabi Saleh’s favourite one-time resident is that she was an escort “who now lives in exile in Jordan”. Period. This is no oversight. The editors at the New York Times showcased this psychopath once before, six years ago. Then, as now, we  felt someone needed to push back, and we posted two blog articles: “7-Aug-07: Hot House: Cold Truths” and “28-Jun-07: About sweet-faced young women”, and got some attention. But it was clear to us that those who thought they perceived greatness of spirit in her continued to do so.

One of the lives she snuffed out was that of our precious daughter Malki who was fifteen years old. Malki was the kind of young woman whose life and achievements ought to have entitled her to at least a fraction of the media coverage bestowed by the NYT editors and others on the murderer. But those editors, as well as the author of today’s Magazine piece, are evidently less affected by the innocent lives of the victims, lived and lost, than by the hypnotic power of symbolism.

About the lethal rock-hurling attacks directed at Israelis, Bassem Tamimi says

he didn’t worry over whether stone-throwing counted as violence. The question annoyed him… If the loincloth functioned as the sign of Gandhi’s resistance, of India’s nakedness in front of British colonial might, Bassem said, “Our sign is the stone.” The weekly clashes with the I.D.F. were hence in part symbolic. The stones were not just flinty yellow rocks, but symbols of defiance… The message they carried, he said, was “We don’t accept you.”

Stone-throwing as a symbol? People have been killed and (as recently as this past Thursday) critically injured by the rocks (and cement blocks and boulders) of the ‘stone’ throwers. Perhaps “we don’t accept you” is what people living far from the scene imagine goes through the minds of baby-killers and restaurant bombers. But living where we do, innocent-sounding turns of phrase like that leave us dumbfounded.

Ahlam Tamimi’s post-massacre trajectory has been like something out of Hollywood – or perhaps the NYT Magazine. On conviction in October 2003, she was sentenced to 16 life terms in prison. The presiding judge, having heard her proudly claim credit for the killings and maimings, added for the record the view of the judicial panel that she “not be eligible for pardon by the military commander, nor to early parole by any other means”. He and his fellow judges (and my wife and I as well) were ignored when eight years later, almost to the day, she walked free as one of the 1,027 murderers and assorted other terrorists unjustly freed – not pardoned – as part of Israel’s agreement to the extortionate terms of the Gilad Shalit transaction.

She flew to Jordan the same day, was married there on live television to another freed and unpardoned murderer (a cousin, a Tamimi from Nabi Saleh), addressed rallies in various Middle East capitals, and became a media hero as the presenter of a weekly Hamas satellite television program. This is devoted to the interests of imprisoned Palestinian Arab terrorists, and broadcast from Amman to all corners of the Arabic-speaking world. Latest reports say she is preparing for the arrival of a baby. How the twists and turns of this life have impacted on her victims has never, as far as we know, been explored by any branch of the media, presumably for reasons of lack of interest. But within the Arab world, she is a celebrity.

Bassem Tamimi receives a salary from the foreign-aid-funded Palestinian Authority. But, like many thousands of other Palestinian Arabs on the massively-bloated PA payroll, he admits to the NYT Magazine that he almost never has to report to his office or do any work (while blaming this on the Israelis). The article might have pointed out, but did not, that massive servings of no-strings-attached funds paid by European governments to the terrorism-friendly PA are the reason men like Bassem Tamimi have the time and energy it takes to become a star of the New York Times and a source of videos, interviews and opinions.

His own photogenic daughter has achieved fame and influence and even been awarded a prize by one of the Middle East’s more Israel-phobic political figures for playing her part. Photos of her sticking a fist in the face of IDF servicemen in Nabi Saleh, the personification of an innocent sort of juvenile courage, are everywhere. (The NYT article mentions that she has been dubbed “Shirley Temper” in some quarters; you can see why in this video clip.) In reality, those images of defiance were captured by a horde of press agency photographers arranged by her parents. They followed the girl around as she walked up to one Israeli officer after another, hoping to provoke a camera-worthy (meaning violent) response. It never came, though not for lack of effort.

She has been used in this way again and again by her parents and community; there is no shortage of collaborators among the paparazzi. Any connection between this contrived set-piece and reality is entirely accidental.

Read the entire thing.

I will add the following: As I posted recently with regards to a Ha’aretz puff piece on Bassem Tamimi, his Tamimi Press Facebook page clearly indicates he is fighting for a one-state solution – a palestinian state – and supports terrorism and the terrorists who perpetrate heinous killings in support of this very goal.

Case in point: Right below where Tamimi proudly posted a link to the NY times article on his Facebook page is a link to an obituary of recently deceased Hamashole and terrorist matriarch Umm Nidal.

tamimi fb


The question is what kind of journalist is Ben Ehrenreich…dishonest or sloppy?

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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  • Aryeh

    The name of the author of the NYT article is Ehrenreich, a German one. Tells much. Germans are not lesser scum than Arabs or British.

    • juvanya

      His first name is Ben. He sounds like the son of Jews. Another lost soul.

      • Sunshine

        A Judenrat.

      • Art Deco

        His mother is Barbara Ehrenreich, the leftoid journalist. The maternal grandfather was a plant manager for an industrial concern and the mother’s family had several generations in Montana, so, highly unlikely to have been Jewish. According to some accounts, the maternal uncle is also named ‘Benjamin’, not an unusual name among gentiles in the States. His father, John Ehrenreich was also a leftoid opinion journalist back in the day. My guess would be that “Ehrenreich” is German, not Jewish. Very unfair insult to Germans, I might add, especially ethnic Germans in the United States. Ethnic Germans in this country are usually descended from mid-19th century immigrants and have no connection to the pathologies of subsequent German politics. A minority are colonial era migrants and commonly anabaptist (and referred to, confusingly, as “Pennsylvania Dutch”). Not sure what you have against Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren, but they are unlikely ever to do any sort of injury to Jews or anyone else – they are pacifists.

        • dcdoc

          What recommended Ehrenreich to the NYT? Whatever it was, it seems not to have hurt that in a 2009 piece published by the LA Times Ehrenreich argued that Israel was not a legitimate state, shared much in common with South Africa’s apartheid regime, etc. No hint of bias against the Jewish state on the part of the author or the NYT in that, is there?

          In that unabashedly anti-Israel, if not frankly antisemitic LA Times piece, Ehrenreich alluded to his Marxist Jewish grandparents. That no doubt was meant to establish his personal bona fides, even if he couldn’t employ the familiar “As a Jew…” opening gambit. So if those where his paternal grandparents, then he escaped the “taint” of being Jewish, but if they were his maternal grandparents, then unfortunately for him, and still more unfortunately for the rest of us, it might be asserted that he is Halachically Jewish.

          • Art Deco

            My guess would be that he was referring to paternal grandparents if he was not pulling yarn, and I would not put it past him in these circumstances to pull yarn to acquire a certain immunity from attack. (There is no question that the maternal grandfather was a corporation executive in Montana).

            His mother was at one time a biochemistry professor at the State University College at Old Westbury in New York. She has never been very clear as to why she abandoned her academic career in 1971, but it is a reasonable wager given the characteristics of the academic job market at the time that she resigned in order to avoid dismissal for misconduct or was an instructor of uncommon incompetence. She and her husband worked as free-lance journalists for a number of years until she founded Mother Jones in 1976 (with what sort of donations I do not know).

            Although his mother is a sectary whose views have little or no expression among elected officials, she nevertheless has had entree into common-and-garden journalistic outlets for some time.

            What is the function of intellectuals, but to tell us that things are not as ordinary people see them (keeping in mind that ‘intelligence’, ‘articulateness’, and ‘intellectuality’ are not the same thing). So, he makes cock-eyed comparisons between Israel and Daniel Malan’s South Africa and sketches these sympathetic (but completely tendentious) portraits of purveyors of the ugliest Arab particularism. It would never occur to an ordinary newspaper reader that this was reasonable, just as it would never occur to someone wandering through an art gallery that Jackson Pollack’s work counted as art. People who conceive of themselves as ‘special’ admire Arab fascism.

            • dcdoc

              Have a look at the LA Times piece,0,6684861.story and tell me whether he didn’t go further than just alluding to those allegedly Jewish grandparents of his.

              and Marxist Jews — my grandparents among them
              To be Jewish, I was raised to believe, meant understanding oneself as a member of a tribe that over and over had been cast out, mistreated, slaughtered. Millenniums of oppression that preceded it did not entitle us to a homeland or a right to self-defense that superseded anyone else’s. If they offered us/b> anything exceptional, it was…

              How is that allusion to Jewish grandparents and repeated use of “us” to be understood? Is it something other than a claim by Ehrenreich to be Jewish himself, and thus speaking “as a Jew”?

              From what you have reported about his mother’s background, it seems safe to conclude that she was not the source of any Jewishness. But the business about her abandoning a just beginning career in biochemistry back in 1971 to go with Mother Jones, couldn’t be any more irrelevant and speculative here.

              Is it on account of his father that Ehrenreich imagines himself to be “qualified” to speak “as a Jew”? Is that consistent with a Reform notion of Judaism going with either the matrilineal or patrilineal side in the absence of some affirmation of faith by the individual? Or is eating a bagel at some time sufficient affirmation?

              I still would like to know what the “us” stuff is about, since I do think it significant to the bias and trustworthiness issues, even if a bit “collateral.”

              [And I don’t know who you regard as “an ordinary newspaper,” but I think you are wrong if you imagine that there aren’t a great many susceptible to what Ehrenreich, with the considerable help of the NYT, is peddling.]

              • Art Deco

                An acquaintance of mine from my youth was once active in an organization called the “Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization”. The institutional purpose of that crew was legal harassment of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (because the Hibernians would not accede to a soi-disant ‘gay’ contingent in the St. Patrick’s Day parade). I knew this man’s family back in the day, and they were not the least bit ethnic and had no Catholic affiliation at all. His father’s surname is German and his mother’s maiden name English. One of his father’s grandfathers had been Irish, and that is all he needed to don this identity of convenience.

                I would exceedingly surprised to discover that Ben Ehrenreich, on careful cross-examination, revealed any loyalty to any nexus outside his own immediate household other than the trans-national progressiste set. There is no reason to take the Jew stuff seriously. It is a pose.

                • Norman B.

                  To keep this simple, Ehrenreich is a Jew by genetics only. He is also on the wrong side of history, unable to get over that he lost the Cold War.

                • dcdoc

                  You are absolutely, 110% dead on with your comment. And your St. Patrick’s Day parade story both apt and amusing.

                  If I had to distinguish the gay guy who discovered his Irish identity in order to protest the Hibernians’ refusal to allow in a gay contingent marching as gays from Ehrenreich who noted his “Jewish” antecedents so as to speak “AAJ” and deny Israel’s legitimacy, I would compare the former to a thrombosed hemorrhoid, an unpleasant but not likely to prove fatal condition, the latter to an aggressive malignancy.

                  And while calling him out as the loathsome creature that he is, let’s not fail to give the NYT’s “credit” for having chosen the likes of him for this assignment. What should be said of the NYT’s hostility toward the Jewish state and the lengths it will go to in its campaign against it?

        • BethesdaDog

          Yes, at most, I think, his father might have been Jewish, and a leftist one, at that. I don’t think his mother, Barbara, was Jewish, even by ancestry. I looked at her family names, and they don’t suggest a Jewish background. She grew up in Montana, her father was a coal miner, and Barbara Ehrenreich described herself as a “fourth generation atheist.” His sister is Roas Brooks, left wing Georgetown law professor, and another Israel-hater, as I remember. I would not expect anything fair to Israel from this family. They are hardcore leftists and anti-Israel.

          I don’t even think he is halachically Jewish, since I don’t think his mother has any Jewish ancestry at all. I wonder if he or his radical sister Rosa have any Jewish identity at all. Her husband’s name does not suggest she looked to marry a Jew. At most, I suspect, both siblings just know that they have some Jewish ancestry, somewhere back there, and have no Jewish identity or feeling for the Jewish people.

          • dcdoc

            Halachically Jewish? How can there be any possibility of it given the facts you have recited about Barbara Ehrenreich’s roots? He (Ben) ain’t, they (parents and offspring) aren’t, though if he (Ben) chose to identify as a Jew other than in the Leftie “AAJ” way that he is trying to delegitimize Israel, maybe the Reform Movement would be willing to count him one from the Marxist (their version of Judaism) grandparents through the father. (Does the Reform Movement view as Jews those whose only connection is through a Jewish father and they don’t identify in any way as Jews?)

            Forget whether a rabbi would treat him as a Jew in different circumstances and let’s ask whether for practical purposes he should be seen as a Jew “functionally.” For example, would Israel let him in under the Law of Return?

            Georgetown is more than 20 years in the past for me and I don’t know more than one or two who have joined the faculty since then. I see from the GULC website that the sister, Rosa Brooks, is a full professor there and concentrates on Human Rights and International Law. I don’t see anything in her list of publications that points to Israel, but not hard to imagine that she has had things to say about Israel in the context of “human rights” and International Law. Do you know it to be the case that she is a Left-winger and Israel-hater?

            But the son/brother, Ben, is the one of interest given his efforts to delegitimize Israel and the opportunities that the LA Times and the NYT have afforded him argue his point of view.

    • Art Deco

      Most Swiss are Germanophone. You got an issue with them too?

  • Herb Glatter

    a Google search on Ben Ehrenreich discloses:
    /3/15/09 in LA Times: “Zionism is the problem”,0,6684861.story
    “The Water Libel” 01/20/12 JPost:
    The New York Times is in overdrive vilifying the Jewish state, first of all it’s good for their readership, and second it’s harm free – Jews are not going to behead them.

  • Nachum

    Aryeh, dollars to donuts he’s Jewish. His editor certainly is.

    • Aryeh

      I doubt that Ehrenreich is a Jewish surname. His editor may be Jewish, but I don’t really care. The author is this Nazi jerry. Another reason why Germany should have been nuked.

  • Arnold Roth

    Dave, thank you for referring to the blog that my wife and I posted today in the wake of the shabby NY Times article romanticizing what goes on in Nabi Saleh.

    That link you mentioned of Bassem Tamimi’s goes to the obituary page honoring Maryam Farhut, one of the emblematic figures of Palestinian Arab society. About 10 years ago, I was being interviewed live in Jerusalem by a US television reporter who then cut our segment short so he could cross over to a report by one of his colleagues on Farhut. My jaw literally fell to my chest as (with the reporter) I watched the woman dancing with one of her sons, wedding-style, just before he left, heavily armed, in order to attack the yeshiva at Atzmona in Gush Katif. I have been unable to get that image out of my mind after all these years.

    Through the years, she along with her values and actions became the subject of adulation on the part of public figures in Palestinian Arab society. She was elected to the Palestinian parliament in 2006.

    Farhut was probably mentally ill, but what do you say to people like Bassem Tamimi who placed her on a pedestal? And to the 4,000 who attended her funeral? And to the journalists who know all of this and yet are struck dumb?

    Farhut personifies something utterly pathological. Yet she is invoked over and again as a role model. Palestinian Arab society as well as the journalists who cover it with kid gloves deserve to be condemned for their silence and acquiescence. Same for the NYT editors.

    • Aussie Dave

      My pleasure, Arnold. Your post was powerful..and spot-on.

  • juvanya

    If it means anything, I had a professor once who worked for Amnesty and said the young rock throwers are examples of child soldiers.

  • E Pluribus Beagle

    If they want to murder Jews it should start in the US with Ben Ehrenreich. On that I agree with the people he endorses. Can someone print up Ben’s address and private info and pass it along to whichever terrorist groups have someone in the US nearby?

    • cba

      That’s disgusting.

      • E Pluribus Beagle

        Live by the terrorist die by the terrorist, I say. The far left is always very fast to demand that Republicans, for instance, send their own families off to fight wars the left finds odious. Fair enough. Let Ben’s battle with the Jews start with him.

  • Travis

    The New York Times – the paper of record that deliberately downplayed the Jewish aspect of the Holocaust. I have not purchased it since early 2004 when I was apartment searching.

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  • Art Deco

    Would agree with you all having looked at the article that it was rancid, and had the common features of the sort of journalism on the near east by lefty tools. There are four questions assiduously avoided: what do the subjects of your piece have to trade, what are they willing to trade in order to obtain improvements in their situation, what structural features will they incorporate into any agreement to ensure it is adhered to by the parties, and what is their vision of the territory’s future once everything is sorted out. One suspects it would be very injurious to Mr. Ehrenreich’s self-image to acknowledge the implications of all this – that he is an advocate for the murder and expulsion of Israel’s Jewish population, so these questions are simply avoided.

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  • Gil Yashar

    What is interesting is that Ahed Tamimi (Shirley Temper) received an award in Turkey for courage when in reality her provoking Israeli soldiers was anything but courage. The Israeli army is a professional army of a democratic country which tries its utmost to avoid civilian casualties and confrontation with children. For that reason Ahed had little fear of IDF retaliation. For that reason you would never see a similar photograph of a “brave Sunni Muslim child” taunting a Syrian Alawite soldier or a “brave Kurdish child” taunting a Turkish soldier since any child who would dare would in the end be killed if lucky, tortured and killed if not lucky.

  • Ed Frias

    The Left’s Support for Palestinian Terror
    J.D. Cassidy
    February 24, 2003

    Among the myriad of anti-American causes that have spilled into the leftwing cesspool known as the “peace movement,” support for the bloodthirsty Palestinians is perhaps the most disgusting. To the left-wing America-haters who constitute the new “anti-war” movement, being “pro-Palestine” somehow translates into being “anti-war.” Never mind the fact that the Muslim radicals who attacked America on 9-11 used Palestinian suicide bombings in Israel as a model for their sinister plot.
    The American left views Palestinian radicals as “freedom fighters,” therefore liberating “Palestine” has become one of the central battles of the new “anti-war” movement.

    To ensure that fledgling radicals know which position to take in regard to the Arab-Israeli war, the website of the Workers World Party (WWP)- the Stalinist cult that bankrolls the current “peace” movement- lays out plainly how all good lefties should view Israel. The website contains hundreds of articles filled with anti-Jew vitriol, and loathsome denunciations of the “Imperialist” Jewish state. Another radical organization that is active in the “peace” movement actually arranges for leftwing malcontents to travel from America to Israel. There, the radical Jew-haters carry out plots to sabotage the Israeli Army’s peacekeeping efforts. The group’s website boasts photographs of the left-wing thugs whom it sponsors engaged in physical confrontations with Israeli soldiers. This dangerous organization, called “The International Solidarity Movement,” has chapters in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Michigan, Washington and Sweden.

    The movement to “liberate Palestine” is a movement that defines itself by its hatred of Jews and a violent desire to spill their blood. The American and international left, however, chooses to ignore this cold fact. It instead throws its weight behind the Palestinian “liberation movement” because it believes that the Palestinians are “oppressed” by the Israelis, whom the left considers agents of “Western Imperialism.”

    The left believes that the warfare in Israel is a “cycle of violence,” rather than an offensive terrorist war against Israeli civilians. It believes that Israeli soldiers are to blame for the ongoing warfare- that when the Israeli military moves into a Palestinian village to root out terrorists, it is not attempting to stop future terrorist attacks but is instead taking “revenge” on out-gunned Palestinians. The left has been on the wrong side of every important issue in history. Its position on the Arab-Israeli war is no exception.

    The best way to understand what it means to be “pro-Palestine” is to look at the agenda of the Arab organizations that are working for “Palestinian liberation.” Since its inception, the PLO has taken part in hundreds of terrorist attacks against Israelis. In recent years, Arafat has paid lip service to a Palestinian desire for peace, but the PLO’s ambition to drive the Jews into the sea continues.

    Consider, for example, a statement that Arafat made in the aftermath of a recent suicide attack in which 29 Israeli civilians were slaughtered at a Passover celebration. Referring to this attack, the bloodthirsty Arafat prayed: “Oh God, give me martyrdom like this. We are all potential martyrs, the whole Palestinian people.” In a speech in Sweden in January 1996, the Palestinian leader declared: “You understand that we plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian State. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion; Jews will not want to live among us Arabs!”
    In September 2002, Arafat stated “By Allah I swear that the Palestinian people are prepared to sacrifice the last boy and the last girl so that the Palestinian flag will be flown over the walls, the churches, and the mosques of Jerusalem.”

    Arafat’s statements are right in line with the attitude towards Jewry that prevails among Arab leaders and officials. In a letter to President Bush and the United States Congress, a member of the Consultative Council of Saudi Arabia, named Amhed al-Tuwaijri, actually had the gall to openly defend suicide bombings. In the letter, dated April 16, 2002, the Saudi official writes: “When young men and women offered their souls for the sake of freedom and independence and in defense of their religion, dignity, self and family, the United States could not find anything to describe these great sacrifices except to say they are terrorist, criminal actions.” I suppose it should not be surprising that a Saudi official would make such a horrific statement. Saudi Arabia, after all, is a nation that recently held a telethon, during which one hundred million dollars was raised for Palestinian suicide bombers.

    Support and encouragement for suicide attacks against innocent Israelis is also commonplace among Palestinian clergy. On April 12, 2002, in a televised sermon that was delivered from a mosque in Gaza City, an Imam of the Palestinian Authority unleashed the following message to his Arab disciples: “Anyone who does not attain martyrdom in these days should wake in the middle of the night and say: ‘My God, why have you deprived me of martyrdom for your sake? For the martyr lives next to Allah.'” He then continued:

    “Oh Allah, accept our martyrs in the highest heaven.”

    “Oh Allah, show the Jews a black day.”

    “Oh Allah, annihilate the Jews and their supporters.”

    “Oh Allah, raise the flag of Jihad across the land.”

    Not only do Arabs encounter suicidal messages in their mosques, but Palestinian children are actually bred, through schooling, to rejoice in the slaughter of innocent Jews. Consider the following line excerpted from a Palestinian schoolbook, “I will take my soul into my hands and hurl it into the abyss of death.” Or this line, taken from another textbook: “Beware of the Jews, for they are treacherous and disloyal.” Or this line from the PLO teachers guide, which is placed under the heading “important values” that should be instilled in Palestinian youth: “Wrath to the alien thief [Israel] who obliterated the Homeland and dispersed its people.”

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Palestinian liberation movement is about killing Jews. There is no effective voice of moderation among the Palestinian leadership or clergy. There is nobody in the Palestinian community who is effectively promoting a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli war. To the terrorist organizations that are leading the movement to “liberate Palestine,” the possibility of living side by side with Jews is unthinkable. In their minds, the Jews are infidels who deserve to be driven from the Middle East through a bloody Jihad.

    To put this all into perspective it is necessary to look at the historical roots of the Palestinians’ war against Israel. Prior to the First World War, what is today called Israel was part of the Ottoman Empire and was known as Palestine- though it was not considered the “nation” of Palestine. Nor were the Arabs who lived there considered “Palestinians.” They were considered- and they considered themselves-“Arabs.” In the aftermath of WWI, the Ottoman Empire, which had allied with Germany, was divided up among the British and French victors. The area then known as Palestine came under British rule. During this period, the area known as Palestine experienced an influx of European Jews.

    In the wake of the holocaust, a movement for a Jewish nation-state garnered support from the United Nations. Throughout the 1930s, as the rise of Hitler catalyzed intensive Jewish immigration to the area of Palestine, tensions between Jews and Arabs escalated and two attempts by the British, in 1937 and in 1939, to divide the land between Arabs and Jews were rejected. The Arabs rejected the first attempt, and the Jews rejected the second attempt, which would have restricted the rights of Jews to immigrate and own land.

    At the close of World War II, an acceleration of fighting between Jews and Arabs in this area prompted Britain’s decision to turn the problem over to the United Nations, which supported the creation of a Jewish state. On May 14, 1948, Britain officially withdrew from the area and Israel was declared a nation. On this very day, five neighboring Arab countries- Egypt, Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, Iraq and Syria attacked Israel. Amazingly, the outnumbered Jewish nation was able to beat back its Arab foes and a peace treaty was signed in 1949. When the war ended, Egypt was in control of the Gaza Strip and Trans-Jordan had annexed the West Bank (these territories were later won by Israel in the 1967 war).

    The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed in 1964. From the outset, the PLO stated that its ultimate goal is to drive the Jews into the sea. The destruction of the state of Israel was actually laid out plainly in the PLO Charter until PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat ordered it removed in 1993. Arafat, however, still wears the official sign of the PLO – a map of the future state of Palestine – on the sleeve of his military uniform. This map shows Palestine encompassing the entire land of Israel. This is the goal of the PLO: to destroy Israel and replace it with an Arab nation called “Palestine.” Among the leadership of the Palestinian liberation movement Yasser Arafat is actually a moderate voice. This is a man who funds terrorism and publicly encourages (in Arabic) his followers to carry out suicide attacks against innocent, defenseless Israeli men, women and children. Arafat is a man who walked away from peace talks in 2000 after then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered to give the Palestinians 99% of the land that they demanded. Arafat did not accept Israel’s concession for one reason: in Arafat’s words, “Peace for us means the destruction of Israel.”

    Until terrorist groups like Hezbollah, Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade are brought to heel; until the PLO ceases funding and encouraging terrorism; until there is a deep change in the cultural attitudes of Palestinians, the Arab war against Israeli will persist. Innocent Israeli civilians will continue to be blown to pieces by Jew-hating Muslim radicals; children will continue to be incinerated in their school buses; babies will continue to die in their strollers on city sidewalks; old men and women will continue to be slaughtered by madmen in street-side cafes. These are the realities of the Palestinian “liberation movement.” The next time that a Western “peace” demonstrator feels compelled to pick up a Palestinian flag and wave it in the air, he should take a look at the news photos of Jewish bodies strewn across Israeli streets and think about what he is actually supporting.

  • Ed Frias

    In WW2, the Times covered up the genocide the Nazis were committing against the Jews.
    The Times barely reported about it.
    When it came to the Babi Yar massacre in 1941 in Ukraine, the NY Times wrote that 30,000 Russians and Ukrainians were killed.
    The Times didn’t even mention that all the victims in Babi Yar were Jews.
    The NY Times opposed the U.S recognizing Israel in 48.
    The NY Times opposed Israel bombing Iraq’s nuclear facility in 81.
    Last November, Roger Cohen of the Times basically comes out and says Israel should do nothing while Hamas fires hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians.
    Ari Lieberman totally destroys the lies of Roger Cohen.

  • Reuven

    The Old Grey Lady has gone from simple Israel-bashing to outright support for terrorism and the annhilation of Israel. It is a sahameless, anti-semitic rag. I’ve been boycotting it and only reading it in libraries. why should I give the vicious nazi-like Times my money?

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