WaPo finds new way to whitewash Palestinian terrorists

Leo Rennert
By now, we're well acquainted with the fact that mainstream media will go to great lengths to whitewash Palestinian terrorists.  However abhorrent their murderous attacks on civilians, the "T"-for terrorism word is to be avoided at all costs.

In its place, are such euphemisms as Palestinian "militants" -- a perennial favorite of the Washington Post and the New York Times - or "fighters," or "gunmen" -- anything but what they really are, i.e. "terrorists."

All such euphemisms, of course, fail to convey the real agenda and modus operandi of terrorists, which is to stage premeditated killings against civilians in pursuit of a political objectives.   If the media still accepted basic values of civilized society, they would realize that terrorism deservedly and accurately has a pejorative connotation.  Terrorists are bad people.  Militants, fighters, gunmen, not necessarily so -- not by a long shot.  In some contexts, they actually could be the good guys.

By cleansing Palestinian terrorism, mainstream media effectively abet heinous crimes.  Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorists know when they stage their murderous raids against civilians that their reputation - their image -- will not be besmirched by the Times or the Post.

Now comes a Washington Post headline writer who evidently feels that "militant" is no longer a sufficiently terrorism-expurgating word when Israelis are the targets.  In the Dec. 9 edition, the paper runs three short paragraphs of an Associated Press wire story about an Israeli missile strike that killed two Palestinian terrorists in their automobile in Gaza City.

The AP reports that a Palestinian health official, not just the Israeli military, identified the two Palestinians as "militants."  (The AP, like most of its clients, refuses to recognize that Israel is under attack by terrorists).  The AP piece then quotes Israeli sources as stating that the two "militants" were planning to infiltrate Israel and that one of them was involved in a suicide bombing that killed three Israeli civilians in Eilat five years ago.

So now comes the semantic piece the resistance served up by the Washington Post to its print edition readers -- the headline of this news item, which reads:  "Israeli missile strike kills alleged militants." (Instead of ''alleged militants'' - the headline in the print edition - the website calls them ''suspected militants''  It also features a much longer AP piece than the one in the print edition.)

Really, I'm not making this up.  "Alleged militants."  A couple of Palestinian terrorists -- identified by the Palestinian side as such -- are transformed by a squeamish, politically correct, pro-terrorism-biased Post into "alleged militants."

"Militants" is no longer sufficient to sanitize Palestinian terrorists.  This venerable euphemism won't do anymore.  It needs a supplemental euphemism - "alleged" - a euphemism on top of a euphemism to qualify for the Post's ever so gentle and apologetic treatment of Palestinian terrorists.

With terrorists elsewhere on the globe, the Post somehow is less reluctant to identify them as such.  I can't ever remember the Post calling Osama Bin Laden an "alleged militant."  Hunting Israelis apparently is a lesser offense - if it's one at all.

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers

By now, we're well acquainted with the fact that mainstream media will go to great lengths to whitewash Palestinian terrorists.  However abhorrent their murderous attacks on civilians, the "T"-for terrorism word is to be avoided at all costs.

In its place, are such euphemisms as Palestinian "militants" -- a perennial favorite of the Washington Post and the New York Times - or "fighters," or "gunmen" -- anything but what they really are, i.e. "terrorists."

All such euphemisms, of course, fail to convey the real agenda and modus operandi of terrorists, which is to stage premeditated killings against civilians in pursuit of a political objectives.   If the media still accepted basic values of civilized society, they would realize that terrorism deservedly and accurately has a pejorative connotation.  Terrorists are bad people.  Militants, fighters, gunmen, not necessarily so -- not by a long shot.  In some contexts, they actually could be the good guys.

By cleansing Palestinian terrorism, mainstream media effectively abet heinous crimes.  Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorists know when they stage their murderous raids against civilians that their reputation - their image -- will not be besmirched by the Times or the Post.

Now comes a Washington Post headline writer who evidently feels that "militant" is no longer a sufficiently terrorism-expurgating word when Israelis are the targets.  In the Dec. 9 edition, the paper runs three short paragraphs of an Associated Press wire story about an Israeli missile strike that killed two Palestinian terrorists in their automobile in Gaza City.

The AP reports that a Palestinian health official, not just the Israeli military, identified the two Palestinians as "militants."  (The AP, like most of its clients, refuses to recognize that Israel is under attack by terrorists).  The AP piece then quotes Israeli sources as stating that the two "militants" were planning to infiltrate Israel and that one of them was involved in a suicide bombing that killed three Israeli civilians in Eilat five years ago.

So now comes the semantic piece the resistance served up by the Washington Post to its print edition readers -- the headline of this news item, which reads:  "Israeli missile strike kills alleged militants." (Instead of ''alleged militants'' - the headline in the print edition - the website calls them ''suspected militants''  It also features a much longer AP piece than the one in the print edition.)

Really, I'm not making this up.  "Alleged militants."  A couple of Palestinian terrorists -- identified by the Palestinian side as such -- are transformed by a squeamish, politically correct, pro-terrorism-biased Post into "alleged militants."

"Militants" is no longer sufficient to sanitize Palestinian terrorists.  This venerable euphemism won't do anymore.  It needs a supplemental euphemism - "alleged" - a euphemism on top of a euphemism to qualify for the Post's ever so gentle and apologetic treatment of Palestinian terrorists.

With terrorists elsewhere on the globe, the Post somehow is less reluctant to identify them as such.  I can't ever remember the Post calling Osama Bin Laden an "alleged militant."  Hunting Israelis apparently is a lesser offense - if it's one at all.

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers