Wash. Post hammers settlements, ignores PA glorification of terrorist killers

Leo Rennert
In its July 23 edition, the Washington Post runs a dispatch by Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg that is sharply critical of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and also of a new controversial Israeli law that makes Israeli individuals or groups liable to monetary penalties if they urge boycotts of products from these settlements ("West Bank settlements land in middle of anti-boycott fight -- Law to protect disputed Israeli territories goes up against free speech" page A7).

Greenberg focuses on a Jewish winery in the West Bank that has garnered top prizes in local and international competitions.  The new law would enable the winery to strike back at boycotts launched from within Israel by suing for monetary damages.  Greenberg not only sees this as an infringement of free speech, but as a news pag to hammer away at settlements in general as major obstacles to a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Here's how he puts it:

"The controversy (over the anti-boycott law) is the latest in a long-running debate over the settlement enterprise, which opponents say is a stumbling block to a two-state solution to the confflict with the Palestinians."

By itself, Greenberg's article seems at first blush a fairly routine enterprise piece about how a winery in a settlement might gain from the new anti-boycott law.  But that's just the problem with Greenberg's coverage.  It doesn't stand alone.  Once a week -- you can almost set your calendar by it -- Greenberg files a pejorative, piece about Israel -- while totally ignoring far greater Palestinian obstacles to peace.  It's in this context that Greenberg evinces the stark one-sidedness of Washington Post coverage of the conflict -- putting all the blame on Israel, while letting Palestinian leaders, even so-called "moderates," off the hook.

Here's but one example of the glaring absence of any Greenberg articles about Palestinian obstacles on the road toward a peace agreement::

The Palestinian Authority set up a summer camp for children under the direct sponsorship of PA Prime Minister Fayyad -- extolled by Greenberg and the Post as a stalwart statesman and trustworthy peace partner.  Fayyad personally showed up at the camp and participated in the closing ceremonies, which he also sponsored.

The campers were divided in three groups, each named after a notorious Palestinian terrorist murderer.

One group was named after Dalal Mughrabi, who in 1978 led the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history, in which 37 civilians were killed, 12 of them children. (Mahmoud Abbas similarly misses no opportunity to glorify her as a role model for young Palestinians)

Another group was named after Salah Khalef, the head of the Black September group, who planned many terror attacks, including the murder of two American diplomats, as well as the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

Still another group was named after Abu Ali Mustafa, general secretary of the terror organization Popular Front for the LIberation of Palestine, who planned numerous terror attacks against Israeli civilians.

One could easily make the point that persistent indoctrination of children in the culture of terrorism by the most "moderate" of all Palestinian leaders -- along with other such examples of vicious anti-Israel incitement in PA media, textbooks and mosques -- is a mite bigger of a "stumbling block" to the peace process than a Jewish winery near Ramallah.

Yet, Greenberg and the Post won't touch such Palestinian obstacles to peace with a ten-foot--pole.

Only Israel gets the Greenberg treatment.

In its July 23 edition, the Washington Post runs a dispatch by Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg that is sharply critical of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and also of a new controversial Israeli law that makes Israeli individuals or groups liable to monetary penalties if they urge boycotts of products from these settlements ("West Bank settlements land in middle of anti-boycott fight -- Law to protect disputed Israeli territories goes up against free speech" page A7).

Greenberg focuses on a Jewish winery in the West Bank that has garnered top prizes in local and international competitions.  The new law would enable the winery to strike back at boycotts launched from within Israel by suing for monetary damages.  Greenberg not only sees this as an infringement of free speech, but as a news pag to hammer away at settlements in general as major obstacles to a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Here's how he puts it:

"The controversy (over the anti-boycott law) is the latest in a long-running debate over the settlement enterprise, which opponents say is a stumbling block to a two-state solution to the confflict with the Palestinians."

By itself, Greenberg's article seems at first blush a fairly routine enterprise piece about how a winery in a settlement might gain from the new anti-boycott law.  But that's just the problem with Greenberg's coverage.  It doesn't stand alone.  Once a week -- you can almost set your calendar by it -- Greenberg files a pejorative, piece about Israel -- while totally ignoring far greater Palestinian obstacles to peace.  It's in this context that Greenberg evinces the stark one-sidedness of Washington Post coverage of the conflict -- putting all the blame on Israel, while letting Palestinian leaders, even so-called "moderates," off the hook.

Here's but one example of the glaring absence of any Greenberg articles about Palestinian obstacles on the road toward a peace agreement::

The Palestinian Authority set up a summer camp for children under the direct sponsorship of PA Prime Minister Fayyad -- extolled by Greenberg and the Post as a stalwart statesman and trustworthy peace partner.  Fayyad personally showed up at the camp and participated in the closing ceremonies, which he also sponsored.

The campers were divided in three groups, each named after a notorious Palestinian terrorist murderer.

One group was named after Dalal Mughrabi, who in 1978 led the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history, in which 37 civilians were killed, 12 of them children. (Mahmoud Abbas similarly misses no opportunity to glorify her as a role model for young Palestinians)

Another group was named after Salah Khalef, the head of the Black September group, who planned many terror attacks, including the murder of two American diplomats, as well as the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

Still another group was named after Abu Ali Mustafa, general secretary of the terror organization Popular Front for the LIberation of Palestine, who planned numerous terror attacks against Israeli civilians.

One could easily make the point that persistent indoctrination of children in the culture of terrorism by the most "moderate" of all Palestinian leaders -- along with other such examples of vicious anti-Israel incitement in PA media, textbooks and mosques -- is a mite bigger of a "stumbling block" to the peace process than a Jewish winery near Ramallah.

Yet, Greenberg and the Post won't touch such Palestinian obstacles to peace with a ten-foot--pole.

Only Israel gets the Greenberg treatment.