Yesterday, the Guardian carried this story stating that Israel's Defence Ministry was proposing to refuse the same type of compensation payments to the families of the recent Arab victims of a Jewish terrorist as are paid to Jewish victims of Arab terrorists. Chris Greal's article included this quote from an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset:
The decision raises a strong scent of racism, which distinguishes between a Jewish terrorist and an Arab terrorist.
Normblog expressed his dismay at the story, though being Norm, he knows what the Guardian's track record on reporting Israel is, and prefaced his comments with the words If the following report is accurate...
Now Shalom Lappin has come up with an excellent critique which unfortunately languishes in the comments section of quite another story on the Engage web site.
Shalom's comments and supporting information offer a stinging and well deserved denunciation of the report and the agenda of the Guardian and the British press:
McGreal states that “Four Arab Israelis shot dead by a soldier opposed to the closure of the Gaza Strip settlements are not victims of “terror” because their killer was Jewish, Israel’s defence ministry has ruled, and so their families are not entitled to the usual compensation for life. The ministry concluded that the law only recognises terrorism as committed by “organisations hostile to Israel” even though the prime minister, Ariel Sharon, described the killings by Private Eden Nathan Zaada, 19, as “a despicable act by a bloodthirsty terrorist.” …
The defence ministry proposes to pay the families of the Shfaram victims an undisclosed lump sum instead of a lifelong monthly amount.” These claims are correct as far as they go, but the report is, in fact, seriously and deliberately misleading.
McGreal is describing an entirely unacceptable, but longstanding restriction within the law providing for compensation to victims of terrorism that limits full assistance to people attacked by anti-Israel terrorists.
What McGreal neglects to report is that Sharon’s office has now demanded that the law be revised to accord victims of Jewish terrorism the same status as civilians who suffer at the hands of Arab terrorists. Moreover, Yuli Tamir, a Labour MK, has just introduced an amendment to the current law on compensation for victims of terror which would equalize the status of all victims of terrorism.
These facts are reported in an article by Jack Khoury, Akiva Eldar, and Ruth Sinai in Haaretz on August 31 (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/619070.html). It is interesting to compare the two pieces. While McGreal focuses his article on the fact that the Ministry of Defence confirmed the discriminatory provisions of the current law and misleadingly presents it as a new development, Khoury, Eldar, and Sinai open with “The Prime Minister’s Office demanded on Wednesday that Attorney General Menachem Mazuz review the issue of recognizing those injured in attacks by Jewish terrorists as terror victims.”, and goes on to decribe the efforts of Israeli and Arab MK’s to change the existing law. This is a clear instance of the dishonest, agenda driven reporting of Israeli affairs that is common in the Guardian, and not a small portion of the British press. It is not less important to report the facts fully, fairly, and correctly than it is to expose injustice and discrimination.
Can we now look forward to seeing the Guardian print a full apology and correction? What do you think? Meanwhile, Shalom's critique deserves to be given wide publicity
And for those of you who are connoisseurs of academic hissy fits, read the full debate on the Sarih Nusseibeh "security wall" story which Engage publicises. You need only read the comments by David Hirsh, a leading light of Engage, to get the full picture of what British academic venom against Israel is, since Engage claims to have led the fight against the defeated AUT boycott motion. Yes, they did fight against the boycott. But only to be able to promote their own line of Israel-is-racist, "Sharon's regime"-is-racist, and above all Israel is to blame for the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.