Washington Post's 'militant' mentality suckers it in

Leo Rennert
Here's a royal screw-up by the Washington Post that deserves a place in a Journalism 101 course:

In its Tuesday, Aug. 23, edition, the Post runs an article by Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg, headlined:  "Israel, militants in Gaza hold fire -- Egyptian-brokered truce takes effect after five days of fighting" page A6).

Greenberg, in similar fashion, informs Post readers in his lead paragraph that the cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian ''militants" in the Gaza Strip  "took hold Monday."

Just one little problem.  The cease-fire didn't take effect on Monday, as the headline proclaims.  The truce didn't take hold on Monday, as Greenberg reports.

While Greenberg was writing his phony dispatch, the AP reported that rockets and mortar shells kept hitting Israel on Monday despite the unofficial truce.

At the same time, Yedioth Ahronot, Israel's largest circulation paper, reported that Gaza groups had broken the supposed cease-fire not once, not twice, but three times.

So how could Greenberg go so grievously astray and declare that a ceasefire took hold when rockets continued to fall on Israel?

Here's a clue: Look at the headline's report that Gaza "militants" were maintaining a cease-fire.  And at Greenberg's lead similarly referring to Palestinian "militants" keeping a truce.

If Greenberg were to have come clean in the first place that these rocket-firing groups in Gaza are not "militants" but in reality "terrorists" seeking to kill Israeli civilians in pursuit of their agenda to exterminate the Jewish state, he might not have swallowed so easily the Hamas line that a cease-fire was taking hold.  After all, "militants" can still maintain a modicum of morality and credibility -- but terrorists never.  Terrorists are a totally amoral lot, prone to lying whenever it suits their purposes.

During the second intifada, Yasser Arafat often proclaimed a cease-fire, especially after a particularly bloody terror attack against Israel so as to lull the Israelis into holding their retaliatory fire.  As soon as it suited him, he resumed his Palestinian terror war.

Yet, in the teeth of all this cautionary history, Goldberg and the Post remain totally invested in sanitizing Palestinian terror groups, and reflexively and profusely using "militant" to shield them from opprobrium.  With this kind of obliging mindset, it doesn't take much to avert one's eyes from the actual reality of terrorists breaking a truce and to depict them instead as believable "militants" whose word can be trusted. 

Gullibility thy name is the Washington Post.

Here's a royal screw-up by the Washington Post that deserves a place in a Journalism 101 course:

In its Tuesday, Aug. 23, edition, the Post runs an article by Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg, headlined:  "Israel, militants in Gaza hold fire -- Egyptian-brokered truce takes effect after five days of fighting" page A6).

Greenberg, in similar fashion, informs Post readers in his lead paragraph that the cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian ''militants" in the Gaza Strip  "took hold Monday."

Just one little problem.  The cease-fire didn't take effect on Monday, as the headline proclaims.  The truce didn't take hold on Monday, as Greenberg reports.

While Greenberg was writing his phony dispatch, the AP reported that rockets and mortar shells kept hitting Israel on Monday despite the unofficial truce.

At the same time, Yedioth Ahronot, Israel's largest circulation paper, reported that Gaza groups had broken the supposed cease-fire not once, not twice, but three times.

So how could Greenberg go so grievously astray and declare that a ceasefire took hold when rockets continued to fall on Israel?

Here's a clue: Look at the headline's report that Gaza "militants" were maintaining a cease-fire.  And at Greenberg's lead similarly referring to Palestinian "militants" keeping a truce.

If Greenberg were to have come clean in the first place that these rocket-firing groups in Gaza are not "militants" but in reality "terrorists" seeking to kill Israeli civilians in pursuit of their agenda to exterminate the Jewish state, he might not have swallowed so easily the Hamas line that a cease-fire was taking hold.  After all, "militants" can still maintain a modicum of morality and credibility -- but terrorists never.  Terrorists are a totally amoral lot, prone to lying whenever it suits their purposes.

During the second intifada, Yasser Arafat often proclaimed a cease-fire, especially after a particularly bloody terror attack against Israel so as to lull the Israelis into holding their retaliatory fire.  As soon as it suited him, he resumed his Palestinian terror war.

Yet, in the teeth of all this cautionary history, Goldberg and the Post remain totally invested in sanitizing Palestinian terror groups, and reflexively and profusely using "militant" to shield them from opprobrium.  With this kind of obliging mindset, it doesn't take much to avert one's eyes from the actual reality of terrorists breaking a truce and to depict them instead as believable "militants" whose word can be trusted. 

Gullibility thy name is the Washington Post.