Media Justify Synagogue Attack

When news broke that Palestinian terrorists went on a killing spree in a Jerusalem synagogue, killing four rabbis, Secretary of State John Kerry said the victims “were hacheted, hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror” (“Netanyahu accuses Palestinian leaders of inciting violence,” Washington Post, page A10).

And indeed, Kerry got it right.  It was “pure terror.”  But this didn’t keep the usual anti-Israel suspects from finding all kinds of excuses, rationalizations, and justifications for this horrifically bloody outrage.  In their coverage, they were determined to make Israel at least partly responsible for the blood spilled in the Holy City.

Jodi Rudoren, the Jerusalem bureau chief of the New York Times, flatly told her readers that “Jewish vandalism against mosques is a regular occurrence.”  Never mind that this is a huge leap away from reality; Rudoren was intent on saddling Israel with a co-equal role in the carnage (“News Analysis – A City’s ‘War of Neighbors’ in Which the Differences Are Not Negotiable,” page A8”).

Rudoren also brought into her picture Ghassan Khatib, vice president of Birzeit University in the West Bank, to tell the world that “Israel is to be blamed more than the Palestinian side in this particular situation,” what with all “that poverty, unemployment, addiction and many other socioeconomic plagues” in East Jerusalem.  In case you have trouble making such a connection to the murder of four rabbis, Khatib obliged by stating that “to give one stark example – 40 percent of Palestinian students in Jerusalem drop out of high school.”

As far as Rudoren is concerned, she is not about to embrace Kerry’s formulation that this was an act of “pure terror” brought into a synagogue by Palestinian killers.

Besides saddling Israel with a big dose of guilt, she also goes to great pains to absolve Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas from any guilt.

“The Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Yoram Cohen, the chief of the Israeli domestic security agency Shin Bet, as saying Abbas has not been inciting terror attacks,” she writes.  Never mind that Abbas has been leading a vicious incitement campaign, fomenting Palestinian violence on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.

Whether it’s the Times or the Post, both papers insist that the synagogue massacre was but the latest episode in a “cycle of violence.”  Their mantra is that if there is to be any blame, it belongs equally to both parties.

Witness for example the Times’ front-page article (“Israel Shaken by 5 Deaths in Synagogue Assault”), which informs readers that the synagogue attack “brought to 11 the number of Israelis – including a baby, a soldier and a border police officer – killed in the past month.”

In the same period, the Times immediately adds, “Israeli security forces killed a Palestinian citizen of Israel who had approached their car with a knife setting off days of rioting; shot dead two drivers who plowed their cars into pedestrians in Jerusalem; and killed a suspect in an attempted assassination of an agitator for Jewish prayer at the holy site that Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims the Noble Sanctuary.”

The Times simplifies all this into a score of the dead – 11 Israelis killed versus 6 Palestinians killed.

In other words, the Times would have its readers swallow complete equivalence between Palestinians engaged in offensive killing sprees and Israeli defensive counterterrorism measures.

“Pure” Palestinian terror is nonexistent in our liberal media. 

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers.

When news broke that Palestinian terrorists went on a killing spree in a Jerusalem synagogue, killing four rabbis, Secretary of State John Kerry said the victims “were hacheted, hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror” (“Netanyahu accuses Palestinian leaders of inciting violence,” Washington Post, page A10).

And indeed, Kerry got it right.  It was “pure terror.”  But this didn’t keep the usual anti-Israel suspects from finding all kinds of excuses, rationalizations, and justifications for this horrifically bloody outrage.  In their coverage, they were determined to make Israel at least partly responsible for the blood spilled in the Holy City.

Jodi Rudoren, the Jerusalem bureau chief of the New York Times, flatly told her readers that “Jewish vandalism against mosques is a regular occurrence.”  Never mind that this is a huge leap away from reality; Rudoren was intent on saddling Israel with a co-equal role in the carnage (“News Analysis – A City’s ‘War of Neighbors’ in Which the Differences Are Not Negotiable,” page A8”).

Rudoren also brought into her picture Ghassan Khatib, vice president of Birzeit University in the West Bank, to tell the world that “Israel is to be blamed more than the Palestinian side in this particular situation,” what with all “that poverty, unemployment, addiction and many other socioeconomic plagues” in East Jerusalem.  In case you have trouble making such a connection to the murder of four rabbis, Khatib obliged by stating that “to give one stark example – 40 percent of Palestinian students in Jerusalem drop out of high school.”

As far as Rudoren is concerned, she is not about to embrace Kerry’s formulation that this was an act of “pure terror” brought into a synagogue by Palestinian killers.

Besides saddling Israel with a big dose of guilt, she also goes to great pains to absolve Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas from any guilt.

“The Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Yoram Cohen, the chief of the Israeli domestic security agency Shin Bet, as saying Abbas has not been inciting terror attacks,” she writes.  Never mind that Abbas has been leading a vicious incitement campaign, fomenting Palestinian violence on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.

Whether it’s the Times or the Post, both papers insist that the synagogue massacre was but the latest episode in a “cycle of violence.”  Their mantra is that if there is to be any blame, it belongs equally to both parties.

Witness for example the Times’ front-page article (“Israel Shaken by 5 Deaths in Synagogue Assault”), which informs readers that the synagogue attack “brought to 11 the number of Israelis – including a baby, a soldier and a border police officer – killed in the past month.”

In the same period, the Times immediately adds, “Israeli security forces killed a Palestinian citizen of Israel who had approached their car with a knife setting off days of rioting; shot dead two drivers who plowed their cars into pedestrians in Jerusalem; and killed a suspect in an attempted assassination of an agitator for Jewish prayer at the holy site that Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims the Noble Sanctuary.”

The Times simplifies all this into a score of the dead – 11 Israelis killed versus 6 Palestinians killed.

In other words, the Times would have its readers swallow complete equivalence between Palestinians engaged in offensive killing sprees and Israeli defensive counterterrorism measures.

“Pure” Palestinian terror is nonexistent in our liberal media. 

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers.