Wash. Post sees only Israeli lawless conduct, mum on Palestinian terrorism

In its July 6 edition, the Washington Post devotes a five-column spread to an article and pictures about a rise of vandalism by Jewish extremists against Palestinians in the West Bank.  The attacks, with their "price tag" revenge labels, consist of slashing tires, spray-painting mosques, chopping down olive trees, burning Korans, and other such lawless acts ("Israel grapples with 'price tag' attacks -- Vandalism in Arab town part of growing trend that has set off a debate" by William Booth and Ruth Eglash).

Booth and Eglash report that the attacks, which also included graffiti on Christian churches, are a growing phenomenon -- from a handful in 2008 to 23 so far this year.

The Post spares no details and gives readers a comprehensive view of spreading vandalism by Israeli extremists against Palestinian targets.  As a standalone piece, it does a thorough job.  The article runs for 26 paragraphs.

There's one big problem about the Post's coverage: there is no comparable exhaustive report on ongoing terror attacks by Palestinian extremists against Israelis.  This is also a most disquieting phenomenon, but one that doesn't rate equal attention by Post editors and correspondents.

How big  is this continuing phenomenon against Israelis?  Much bigger than anti-Palestinian vandalism.  Compared with 23 "price tag" attacks in the last six months, Israeli authorities report that in June alone, there were 103 terror attacks against Israelis in Jerusalem, in the West Bank, and from Gaza.  Most of these attacks involved firebombs, but Israel also sustained 3 rocket attacks from Gaza and several incidents of small-arms shooting.  Yet the Post hides all this from its readers.

In their article, Booth and Eglash sketch extensive up-close-and-personal impacts on Palestinians from "price tag" attacks.  They lead off with Ibrahim Hamza, a resident of a village near Jerusalem, waking up to find that tires had been slashed on 28 vehicles on his street.  There are interviews with other impacted Palestinians and with Israeli officials.  A complete package.

What is glaringly lacking is a total absence in the Post of any similarly comprehensive coverage of continuing Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis.  They just don't appear on the Post's one-sided journalistic radar.

Booth and Eglash put considerable emphasis on Palestinian complaints that, while Israeli officials have denounced "price tag" attacks by Jewish extremists, there have been virtually no arrests.

If the Post were even-handed, readers would be advised that on the Palestinian side, there isn't even any official denunciation of terror attacks against Israelis.

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