In the Week in Review section of Sunday's (Dec 8) New York
Times, a deceptive, opinion-laden adjective was included in a news-brief written by reporter Michael Wines:
After 26 months of Palestinian suicide bombings and pitiless
Israeli retaliation, is there light at the end of the tunnel? ...
Pitiless is a word for those who blow up Israeli toddlers,
school children and grandmothers going about their daily lives. Why is it
applied to Israelis who are acting in self-defense against the savagery
directed against them?
Nor is it true that the Israeli response to the terrorism has been
pitiless. In fact, the military has, at risk to the lives of its
own soldiers, tried to minimize civilian injury while targeting terrorists.
The cumulative effect of such false terminology is the insidious blackening
of Israel's character.
Please urge the Times to refrain from using such unfair and prejudicial
descriptions of Israel's self-defense measures.
Another example of one word subtly but powerfully casting doubt upon
Israel's integrity is Michael Wine's use of the word contended. In
an otherwise informative and fair article (Dec 10, Israelis Kill A
Palestinian And Arrest 25 Others) Michael Wines wrote:
The arms-smuggling affair caused an
uproar last winter after Israel contended that the financing of the shipment,
50 tons of Iranian-made rifles, explosives and short-range rockets, could be
traced to the Palestinian Authority.
The uproar wasn't caused by Israel's CONTENTION, but by the FACT of the PA's
arms-smuggling, which the American government, like the Israelis, saw as
contrary to a serious commitment to peace. Wine's use of the word
contended deceptively cast the proven PA involvement as merely a
questionable Israeli allegation.
[In the alert, action items and contact information were listed here.]
The excerpts appear below.
Excerpt from New York Times Week In Review
December 8, 2002
Dec. 1- 7
MIXED SIGNALS IN MIDEAST
After 26 months of Palestinian suicide bombings and pitiless Israeli
retaliation, is there light at the end of the tunnel? Ariel Sharon, Israel's
prime minister, said that the so-called road map to Palestinian statehood was
¡reasonable, realistic and, I believe, attainable, with some
changes. Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the chairman of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, talked to Palestinian leaders in Tel Aviv and said that he
saw a new yearning for peace among Arabs as well. But officially, Palestinians
rejected Mr. Sharon's statement as nothing new. And a Palestinian branch of Al
Qaeda posted a message on a Web site announcing its formation. Its involvement
could plunge the search for peace back into darkness. [emphasis added]
Excerpt from New York Times
Dec 11, 2002
Israelis Kill A Palestinian And Arrest 25 Others
In the West Bank, the Palestinian
Authority's high court drew a sharp rebuke from Israel after it ordered the
release from jail of Fuad Shubaki, a former finance officer for the authority
who was accused in January of trying to smuggle a boatload of arms into
The arms-smuggling affair caused an uproar last
winter after Israel contended that the financing of the shipment, 50
tons of Iranian-made rifles, explosives and short-range rockets, could be
traced to the Palestinian Authority. Mr. Shubaki was jailed in a
British-supervised cell in Jericho last summer as part of a deal that ended
Israel's siege of Mr. Arafat's headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.