A July 11th article, “Evil Across Our Planet,” in the British newspaper, the Sun, about “Islamic terrorism” purported to highlight “some of the worst atrocities” across the planet. The caption to the accompanying graphic stated: “World of hate … map shows terror attacks by Islamic extremists since 1993.” Curiously, the list contained several attacks that killed none, one or just a few people, yet failed to list a single Islamist terror attack in Israel, many of which have killed more than 20 people, such as the bombings at the Dolphinarium nightclub in Tel Aviv (21 killed, mostly teenagers, June 1, 2001), the Netanya Park Hotel Passover seder (30 killed, March 27, 2002), the Central Bus station at Tel Aviv (23 killed, Jan. 5, 2003) and numerous bus bombings, such the #2 Egged bus in Jerusalem (23 killed, Aug. 19, 2003), to name just a few of the major terror attacks.
It is also noteworthy that the Sun headline in the July 11 article used the word “evil,” and the caption included the word “hate.” Surely terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians are also evil and part of the “world of hate.” Hamas and Islamic Jihad are Islamist terror organizations and it is extremely odd that the Sun wouldn’t include on their list a single one of the attacks in Israel perpetrated by Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Another striking omission is the heinous murder of over 170 schoolchildren by Islamist terrorists in Beslan (Sept. 1-3, 2003). Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism and it is never acceptable, no matter where it is committed.
(Note: The Sun article uses the term “Islamic terrorism,” but a more accurate term would be “Islamist terrorism” because “Islamist”denotes an extreme interpretation of Islam.)
Many journalists in the British media routinely avoid the use of the word “terrorist” when describing murderers of Israelis in Israel, but when it comes to the murder of British citizens, there appears to be much less reluctance to use the word “terrorist.” The Sun, however, is one of the few newspapers that has often used the word “terrorist” in connection to Palestinian bombers and has published editorials supporting Israel’s military actions against Palestinian terrorists and their infrastructure. The Sun has been consistent in their terror-terminology language, unlike so many other media outlets that are currently guilty of using a double standard in the language regarding bombers in Israel versus London. In light of this, the Sun‘s “Evil Across Our Planet” article’s omission of any attack in Israel is all the more perplexing.
We sent out an alert to CAMERA’s email team about the omission, and were pleased to see shortly thereafter a new note appear on the Sun web article. At the top of the list of terror attacks is a new note:
We have not included the unforgivable Palestinian terror attacks and suicide bombings in Israel due to their sheer number.
This sentence was not there when the CAMERA alert was written at one o’clock a.m. (CST) on July 11th. We commend and welcome this important note. However, the list was not an exhaustive list of all Islamist terror attacks worldwide. It purported to highlight some of the most atrocious. Surely the Sun could have included at least one of the major terror attacks in Israel, such as the bombing of the Passover seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya.
* Keep a record of the language your local paper is using to describe the bombers and attack in London. Note what kind of articles they are publishing (e.g. about incitement in the London mosques? About extremist imams in London?). Then do a search in their archives to see how they reported on the large terror attacks in Israel (noted above). Is there a double standard? If so, call your local editor and politely point out and discuss the unacceptable double standard.
* If you notice other media outlets using terror terminology to describe the bombers in London, when they have long refused to use such language for bombers in Israel, contact them.