Some important Arab-Israeli news did not appear in the
Washington Post at the end of October and beginning of November. For
1) The Post did not report the brutal murders of
two Palestinians by other Palestinians for the alleged crime of being Israeli
On October 24, New York Times Jerusalem
correspondent Greg Myre opened a story headlined Palestinian Group
Executes 2 Suspected of Helping Israel this way:
gunmen carried out execution-style killings yesterday of two Palestinians
suspected of being informants for Israel and placed their bodies in the central
square of the Tulkarm refugee camp in the West Bank. Palestinian militants have
killed dozens of suspected informers or collaborators during the past three
years of fighting. Such attacks often draw little attention, but the gunmen
responsible for this shooting sought to publicize their deed both beforehand
The Baltimore Sun, using the New York Times
News Service, also published Myres story the same day under the headline
Two Palestinian informants killed by militants; Gunmen display bodies of
men who helped Israel.
2) The Washington Post did not cover news of
increasing cooperation between two terrorist organizations, Hamas and Islamic
On October 30, the Washington Times published, as
front page news, an Associated Press story from Jerusalem by Ramit
Plushnick-Masti, headlined Hamas joins forces with Islamic Jihad; Groups
form anti-Israel alliance. Other dailies, including the Richmond
Times-Dispatch, also published the AP report that day. Terrorist
cooperation, according to AP, was brought about in part by Israels
increasing military pressure which put their operatives on the run
.... The wire service also noted Israeli fears of growing involvement by
the Lebanese Hezbollah, backed by Syria and Iran, with Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
3) The Washington Post did not report Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's official trip to Russia.
The Washington Post did not mention Sharons
trip in its November 3 edition, nor did it publish preview or follow-up stories
November 2 or 4, respectively.
On November 3 the Washington Times carried a Reuters
News Agency story headlined Israel: Sharon visits Putin to seek
cooperation; Wants to stop peace plan vote in U.N. The article,
illustrated by a photograph, covered Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharons
arrival in Moscow the day before.
4) The Washington Post omitted a key statistic.
Also on November 3, the Washington Post ran a
two-paragraph news brief reporting that 6,200 Palestinian Arabs used
newly-restored work permits. The Post brief did not mention the total of 15,000
permits reissued by Israel as a confidence builder, only the number
used on the first day of availability. Not until November 8, in a story by Post
Jerusalem correspondent John Ward Anderson about fighting in the Gaza Strip,
was the larger figure noted. No indication was given that this news was five
However, on November 3 the Washington Times
published a 12-paragraph wire story headlined Israel: Palestinians return
to jobs; Travel restrictions are eased. The article noted that the Jewish
state had restored 15,000 permits for Palestinian Arabs to work inside Israel,
despite continuing terrorism. The story also reported Sharons readiness
to renew talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Credit when due: The Washington Post published a
balanced about a Gaza Strip settlement.
On November 1, in a feature headlined In Gaza, Citadel
to Some, Island to Others; Attack at Isolated Settlement Reopens Debate Over
Withdrawal Among Israelis, the Post referred to Palestinian
terrorists. Andersons lead sentence in a extensive report on Netzarim
mentions terrorists [who] had infiltrated this small Jewish settlement
.... Terrorists, not militants, activists or gunmen, in contrast with
typical Post usage.
Andersons story includes a balanced variety of
Israeli sources and is illustrated by two photographs and two maps. If
anything, it lacks Palestinian Arab comment.