In the mystical heights, news is surely different than it is on earth. In the earthly realm it is of no media interest that 11-year-old Taliah Gilmore will soon be bat mitzvah. In the other realm, it is surely known that she was only 18 months old in October 2000 when, on a Jerusalem day, the Martyrs of the Al-Aksa Intifada pumped bullets into her dad’s head, the 25-year-old Esh-Kadosh (whose name means the Holy Fire).
Three months later, Binyamin Kahane, 34, and his wife, Talia, 31, dropped off their son, Meir, 9, at his school in Beit-El. Talia was the daughter of a shepherd. Young Meir was named after Binyamin’s father, the militant right-winger Rabbi Meir Kahane who was assassinated by an Islamic man in 1990. After saying goodbye to young Meir, the same gang that killed Esh-Kadosh ambushed the Kahanes’ car, spraying it with bullets. Binyamin, at the wheel, lost control of his van and it overturned, with bullets and the crash killing both parents and injuring and orphaning their five daughters — aged 2 months to 10 years — in the back seat.
That’s old news, you might say. But just the other week, Mahmoud Damra, the killer of Gilmore and the Kahanes, and who continued in similar fashion for the next decade, was promoted to major-general in the elite Security Force 17 (which is partially funded by the United States) by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
A Google News search, which usually turns up tens of thousands of links, turned up only one solitary North American report of Damra’s promotion — by David Bedein (who runs the Jerusalem-based Israel Resource News Agency) in the Philadelphia Bulletin (April 8). You also could have read about it in the Palestinian Al-Quds.
As Marty Peretz blogged at The New Republic (April 11), “The Palestinian Authority Can Do No Wrong.” The Obama administration, writes Peretz, “has not, at least in my memory, been struck by anything the P.A. has done or said that is inimical to negotiations and to peace.” Rather, “the P.A. has inflamed its own following by honoring out-and-out terrorists with the laurels of street names,” let alone military promotions.
On April 7, the PA named a Ramallah road after the terrorist Yehiye Ayash, known as “the engineer,” a man responsible for the murder of “hundreds” of Israelis, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.
While the new Jewish apartments drew condemnations from the U.S. president, vice president and secretary of state, let alone dozens of American editorials, the Palestinians’ honoring of Ayash was condemned by only an assistant secretary of state for public affairs, and received no coverage other than from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Jewish news service.
The New York Times and some of its writers frequently dismiss Fox News as a one-sided propaganda outlet for conservatives. But I’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to decide if the Times — which has strongly supported Obama’s pro-Palestinian pressure against Israel — was itself a one-sided propaganda machine sanitizing the Palestinians by reporting neither the Damra promotion nor the Ayash honoring, nor the poll of Palestinian support for attacks on civilians, nor the incessant anti-Israel, even anti-Semitic children’s programming on Palestinian television, but nevertheless running a story (April 6), headlined, “Palestinians Try a Less Violent Path to Resistance.”
The Gandhi approach “still remains small scale,” reports the Times, but is nevertheless worthy of a front-page story while Palestinian evidence to the contrary was unworthy of any story at all.
The story, by Ethan Bronner, contradicted its own headline and front-page placement. “Nonviolence has never caught on here, and Israel’s military says the new approach is hardly nonviolent,” writes Bronner. Buried within Bronner’s story is the poll showing “support for armed resistance at 47 percent,” adding the Alice in Wonderland fact that nonviolent marches can also be violent, with stones being thrown, which would be considered violent if someone from the Tea Party tried it.
Meanwhile, Shmuel Rosner, writing in Maariv (April 12), recalls that in 2008 “at the height of the American election campaign, candidate Barack Obama sat with Jewish voters in Ohio. The aim: To prove to them that he is a friend of Israel, to refute rumors of hostile advisors,” namely Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, who is perceived to be harsh on Israel. But now, writes Rosner, Brzezinski, who has suggested the United States shoot down Israeli planes headed for Iran, is consulting within the White House. “The pistol named Brzezinski,” writes Rosner, “was drawn this week from its holster and laid on the table.”
The Washington Post published an op-ed by Brzezinski and former Congressman Stephen Solarz (April 11) suggesting that a “routine” peace proposal “will not suffice,” but if Obama’s “bold” solutions are rebuffed, then the time has come for an imposed settlement, with the U.S. getting “the U.N. Security Council’s endorsement ... thus generating worldwide pressure on the recalcitrant party.” Guess which party will be called recalcitrant?
The New York Sun — continuing its afterlife as a terrific, if ghostly, presence on the Web, with occasional new stories and editorials — has a piece by Yousseff Ibrahim (April 7) in line with the Brzezinski threat. Ibrahim reports that the “latest prediction from the Arab world” is that Obama will take his cue from President Dwight Eisenhower and “force” Israel out of the West Bank the way Eisenhower forced Israel, Britain and France out of the Sinai after the 1956 war. “The circumstances are ripe,” says one prominent columnist in the Saudi daily, Asharq Alawsat.
Perhaps it is fitting that The Sun, a beautiful dead paper in the Other World of cyberspace, is continuing to write editorials about beautiful dead Jews, such as the Sun’s editorial (surely by Seth Lipsky) about the federal lawsuit filed by the family of Esh-Kadosh Gilmore, an American citizen, against the Palestinian Authority. Politico’s Josh Gerstein, formerly of the Sun, has also been staying on top of the Gilmore case, one of the loneliest beats in journalism.
What is interesting, says The Sun, “was the dressing down” the judge gave the Obama administration for a filing that said the administration “remains concerned about the potentially significant impact that these default cases may have on the defendants’ [the Palestinians’] financial and political viability.” Says The Sun’s editorial, “The tenderness of [the administration’s] concerns for the Palestinian Authority ... is touching. The truth is that a filing such as that entered by the Obama administration in the case of Gilmore is a national disgrace. ... something suited to Kafka.”
In 2008, Rosner and the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg had an exchange hosted by Jewcy.com regarding Obama and Jewish voters. Rosner wrote, “But let me ask you this, Jeffrey: Is it Israel that makes Jewish voters uncomfortable about Barack Obama? You’ve written a lot about Obama and the Jews (as I did too), and you seem to think that something else is at play here — dare we say racism?”
Two years later, Rosner writes in Maariv, “Whoever continued to suspect Obama even after his denials throughout the campaign [about a callousness to Israel] can now say that his suspicion has been vindicated, and that Obama’s believers were naive.”
Signup for our weekly email newsletter here.
The Jewish Week feels comments create a valuable conversation and wants to feature your thoughts on our website. To make everyone feel welcome, we won't publish comments that are profane, irrelevant, promotional or make personal attacks.