More NYT Middle East bias

Leo Rennert
Having turned a blind eye for years to vicious anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement and indoctrination in Palestinian Authority mosques, schools and media under Mahmoud Abbas's control, the New York Times finally publishes an article about PA glorification of some of the bloodiest terrorist kingpins in Palestinian history.  ("In the Middle East, Conflict Over Land Now Includes the Names on Street Signs" April 14, page A4).

The article, by Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner, mentions that a main road in Ramallah near the office of Prime Minister Fayyad has been named Yahya Ayyash Street after the most cunning of Hamas bomb makers, known as the Engineer, whose work led to the deaths of scores of Israelis on buses and crowded city streets.

The article also points out the naming of a square in El Bireh after Dalal Mughrabi, who led a terrorist attack in 1978 in which 37 Israelis were killed -- the worst terrorist attack in Israeli history.

And it notes -- belatedly -- that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu denounced such "shocking incitement" by Abbas and the PA, echoed by a State Department statement that "glorification of terrorists" harmed peace efforts and had to stop.

But Bronner doesn't leave it at that.  He gives equal prominence to rejoinders by the PA that Israel has named many streets and institutions after men who "committed crimes against Palestinians" -- among those it considered beyond the pale is former Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for concluding a peace agreement with Anwar Sadat of Egypt.

Here is how Bronner plays the equivalence game between Palestinian terrorism and supposed Israeli terrorism:

"As the Palestinian government statement put it, 'Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who was responsible for the murder of innocent Palestinians in 1948 and is infamous for his role in the Deir Yassin massacre, has museums, streets and many public spaces across Israel named after him.  Most were done through government funding.'"

So there you have it: Glorification of terrorists is a game played by both sides, according to Bronner, who readily accepts Palestinian claims of a 1948 "massacre" in Deir Yassin -- without informing Times readers that there is a wealth of evidence that this is a myth propagated by Palestinian fabulists and bears no resemblance to what actually happened at Deir Yassin.

Deir Yassin was an Arab village on a hilltop on the outskirts of Jerusalem, located across from the Jewish suburb of Beit Hakerem.  Even before Israel's founding on May 14, 1948, Arab gunmen at Deir Yasin began firing at Beit Hakerem.

A detachment of fighters of Begin's Irgun responded on April 9, 1948, with a counter-attack after having warned civilians to leave Deir Yassin immediately and get out of the way of fire.

Yehuda Lapidot, who commanded the Irgun unit, categorically denied Palestinian claims of mass executions of civilians and rapes of Deir Yassin women.  As quoted in a newly published book, "The Prime Ministers -- An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership" by Yehuda Avner, here is Lapidot's account:

"Our men were ordered to avoid bloodshed as much as possible.  We had a loudspeaker mounted on an armored truck which was to drive ahead to warn the villagers, to give them a chance either to flee or surrender.


"The announcement said:  'You are being attacked by superior forces.  The exit of Deir Yassin leading to Ein Karem is open!  Run immediately!  Don't hesitate!

"We thought the Arabs would surrender.  But having been alerted by our truck announcement they opened up with everything they had. We were pinned down.  They were better armed than we were.  They fought from house to house.

"Each house had to be taken individually.  There was nothing to do but to toss grenades and spay gunfire.  It took two hours of horrific fighting to capture the mukhtar's house and raise the flag.

"No, ABSOLUTELY NO:  There was no deliberate massacre at Deir Yassin.  The dazed and shaken Arabs driven through Jerusalem on trucks that Friday afternoon were not being taken away to be shot.  That was a pernicious lie spread by the anti-Irgunists.  They were taken to the Arab side of town and released."

Bronner, however, has little use for historical accuracy.  Putting Menachem Begin in the same terrorist orbit as Dalal Mughrabi is just par for the course for a reporter who gives equal weight to each side's "narrative" -- whether real or fictional.

So he totally ignores Arab/Palestinian propensities to invent "massacres" as political ammunition against Israel.  During the latest intifada, for example, there was the infamous "Jenin Massacre" in which scores, perhaps hundreds, of Palestinian residents of the West Bank town were supposedly mowed down deliberately by Israeli forces.  The facts, however, were otherwise -- as even the United Nations acknowledged.  Israeli soldiers, seeking to clean out terrorist cells in Jenin, had to fight their way from house to house and sustained significant casualties precisely because they were under orders to spare civilians.  Still, for days, the media trumpeted a "Jenin Massacre" -- a claim that turned out to be a total fake.

A similar myth has been under way about the "martyrdom" of Mohammed Al-Doura, a little boy presumably killed by IDF fire in the early days of the second intifada.  The myth was spread by a selectively edited French TV tape.  Al-Doura became the poster boy for Palestinian victimhood.  Except that the myth has in ensuing years been widely discredited by a growing number of researchers with forensic evidence that given the boy's position and the IDF position during a cross-fire he couldn't have been hit by IDF fire.

Deir Yassin, however, continues to serve Palestinian propaganda and, as Bronner's article attests, still gets picked up by the New York Times in a totally uncritical fashion.

As Avner, a senior aide to Prime Ministers Eshkol, Meir, Rabin, Begin and Peres, concludes:  "The misrepresentation of Deir Yassin lives on.  Like Scheherazade narrating one of her never-ending tales of the Arabian Nights, Arab storytellers continue to weave their grisly fiction, resurrecting the ghosts of Deir Yassin from generation to generation."

As confirmed and enabled by Ethan Bronner and the New York Times.
Having turned a blind eye for years to vicious anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement and indoctrination in Palestinian Authority mosques, schools and media under Mahmoud Abbas's control, the New York Times finally publishes an article about PA glorification of some of the bloodiest terrorist kingpins in Palestinian history.  ("In the Middle East, Conflict Over Land Now Includes the Names on Street Signs" April 14, page A4).

The article, by Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner, mentions that a main road in Ramallah near the office of Prime Minister Fayyad has been named Yahya Ayyash Street after the most cunning of Hamas bomb makers, known as the Engineer, whose work led to the deaths of scores of Israelis on buses and crowded city streets.

The article also points out the naming of a square in El Bireh after Dalal Mughrabi, who led a terrorist attack in 1978 in which 37 Israelis were killed -- the worst terrorist attack in Israeli history.

And it notes -- belatedly -- that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu denounced such "shocking incitement" by Abbas and the PA, echoed by a State Department statement that "glorification of terrorists" harmed peace efforts and had to stop.

But Bronner doesn't leave it at that.  He gives equal prominence to rejoinders by the PA that Israel has named many streets and institutions after men who "committed crimes against Palestinians" -- among those it considered beyond the pale is former Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for concluding a peace agreement with Anwar Sadat of Egypt.

Here is how Bronner plays the equivalence game between Palestinian terrorism and supposed Israeli terrorism:

"As the Palestinian government statement put it, 'Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who was responsible for the murder of innocent Palestinians in 1948 and is infamous for his role in the Deir Yassin massacre, has museums, streets and many public spaces across Israel named after him.  Most were done through government funding.'"

So there you have it: Glorification of terrorists is a game played by both sides, according to Bronner, who readily accepts Palestinian claims of a 1948 "massacre" in Deir Yassin -- without informing Times readers that there is a wealth of evidence that this is a myth propagated by Palestinian fabulists and bears no resemblance to what actually happened at Deir Yassin.

Deir Yassin was an Arab village on a hilltop on the outskirts of Jerusalem, located across from the Jewish suburb of Beit Hakerem.  Even before Israel's founding on May 14, 1948, Arab gunmen at Deir Yasin began firing at Beit Hakerem.

A detachment of fighters of Begin's Irgun responded on April 9, 1948, with a counter-attack after having warned civilians to leave Deir Yassin immediately and get out of the way of fire.

Yehuda Lapidot, who commanded the Irgun unit, categorically denied Palestinian claims of mass executions of civilians and rapes of Deir Yassin women.  As quoted in a newly published book, "The Prime Ministers -- An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership" by Yehuda Avner, here is Lapidot's account:

"Our men were ordered to avoid bloodshed as much as possible.  We had a loudspeaker mounted on an armored truck which was to drive ahead to warn the villagers, to give them a chance either to flee or surrender.


"The announcement said:  'You are being attacked by superior forces.  The exit of Deir Yassin leading to Ein Karem is open!  Run immediately!  Don't hesitate!

"We thought the Arabs would surrender.  But having been alerted by our truck announcement they opened up with everything they had. We were pinned down.  They were better armed than we were.  They fought from house to house.

"Each house had to be taken individually.  There was nothing to do but to toss grenades and spay gunfire.  It took two hours of horrific fighting to capture the mukhtar's house and raise the flag.

"No, ABSOLUTELY NO:  There was no deliberate massacre at Deir Yassin.  The dazed and shaken Arabs driven through Jerusalem on trucks that Friday afternoon were not being taken away to be shot.  That was a pernicious lie spread by the anti-Irgunists.  They were taken to the Arab side of town and released."

Bronner, however, has little use for historical accuracy.  Putting Menachem Begin in the same terrorist orbit as Dalal Mughrabi is just par for the course for a reporter who gives equal weight to each side's "narrative" -- whether real or fictional.

So he totally ignores Arab/Palestinian propensities to invent "massacres" as political ammunition against Israel.  During the latest intifada, for example, there was the infamous "Jenin Massacre" in which scores, perhaps hundreds, of Palestinian residents of the West Bank town were supposedly mowed down deliberately by Israeli forces.  The facts, however, were otherwise -- as even the United Nations acknowledged.  Israeli soldiers, seeking to clean out terrorist cells in Jenin, had to fight their way from house to house and sustained significant casualties precisely because they were under orders to spare civilians.  Still, for days, the media trumpeted a "Jenin Massacre" -- a claim that turned out to be a total fake.

A similar myth has been under way about the "martyrdom" of Mohammed Al-Doura, a little boy presumably killed by IDF fire in the early days of the second intifada.  The myth was spread by a selectively edited French TV tape.  Al-Doura became the poster boy for Palestinian victimhood.  Except that the myth has in ensuing years been widely discredited by a growing number of researchers with forensic evidence that given the boy's position and the IDF position during a cross-fire he couldn't have been hit by IDF fire.

Deir Yassin, however, continues to serve Palestinian propaganda and, as Bronner's article attests, still gets picked up by the New York Times in a totally uncritical fashion.

As Avner, a senior aide to Prime Ministers Eshkol, Meir, Rabin, Begin and Peres, concludes:  "The misrepresentation of Deir Yassin lives on.  Like Scheherazade narrating one of her never-ending tales of the Arabian Nights, Arab storytellers continue to weave their grisly fiction, resurrecting the ghosts of Deir Yassin from generation to generation."

As confirmed and enabled by Ethan Bronner and the New York Times.