Why do Palestinian children become human bombs, willingly strapping on suicide belts and slipping into Israel to kill as many Jews as possible? That's the key question which the New York Times has once again failed to answer, this time in an otherwise informative story by Greg Myre ("Israel Says Children Enlist Children as Suicide Bombers", June 13, 2004).
CNN once again obscured the reason for Palestinian terrorism by not even once mentioning the sustained campaign of hatred and incitement against Jews and Israelis that has been a staple of Palestinian newspapers, radio, television, mosques, classrooms and summer camps. Instead of exploring for viewers the horrifically effective Palestinian brainwashing campaign that has convinced so many Palestinians to kill and be killed, CNN in effect blamed Israel for the suicide bombings.
Reporting the October 15, 2003 bombing in the Gaza Strip with little or no reference to this history falsely implies that the bombing represents something new in Palestinian attitudes. Terrorism against Americans is the inevitable result of years of anti-American incitement in the Palestinian media and mosques.
Bill Maxwell writes of his concern for the young victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Based on a recent U.N. report on the Rights of the Child, he faults Israel for children suffering under the Palestinian Authority. Both the report and Maxwell misplace blame and ignore the unlawful child abuse perpetrated by the Palestinian Authority's relentless campaign of incitement that is a root cause of the continuing strife in the Middle East.
In their navigating the complex lexicon of Middle East terminology --some of it loaded, some non-leading and neutral -- journalists may easily run into verbal landmines