March 16, 2006

If someone comes to kill you, it's a campaign

The Washington Post; April 15, 1996

Raids Draw Wide Praise In Israel; Lebanon Operation Boosts Peres' Image

The enemy that Israeli Jews have in mind is Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shiite militia that has intensified rocket attacks on northern Israel in recent months in a cycle of violence connected with the Israeli military occupation of a strip of southern Lebanon that it calls its security zone. The Israeli government has been under increasing pressure to take some action toward improving security, with the rocket attacks following a series of suicide bombings in Israel by radical Palestinians that claimed 59 victims during nine days in February and March.

Today a tide of refugees fled toward Beirut as Israeli artillery continued to pound southern Lebanon and helicopter gunships attacked suspected Hezbollah buildings in the southern suburbs of Beirut. Hezbollah continued to fire rockets into northern Israel. {Story, Page A18}

The Lebanon operation is a political windfall for Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who faces a national election May 29. Opposition Likud Party leaders, such as faction chief Uzi Landau in an interview today, have been reduced to applauding Peres for "at last adopting some important Likud-oriented principles" of fighting terror. Pollster Mina Tsemach said Peres's popularity will certainly rise in the short term.

The Washington Post; April 28, 1996

Truce in Lebanon (Editorial)

SECRETARY OF State Warren Christopher, in an intense shuttle, finally produced a truce on the border between Israel and Lebanon. "The understanding," as it is called, undertakes to draw Syria, Lebanon's overlord, into seeing that Hezbollah terrorists do not fire either from Lebanese civilian areas or on Israeli civilian targets; Israel retains a defensive zone in southern Lebanon. These terms, assuming they are honored, enable Prime Minister Shimon Peres to head into Israel's elections on May 29 claiming a fair measure of success in Lebanon, or at least completion of a thankless mission without becoming mired.

So it was 10 years ago. As this graph shows, Hezbollah attacks on Israel had increased steadily from 1990 - 1995. The situation became impossible to sustain so Israel launched "Operation Grapes of Wrath" to respond. Yes, the response came in middle of an election campaign. But that hardly was the reason for the response. There is no country in the world that would have been expected to endure what Israel did. Yet no other country gets tarred with the brush of cynicism like Israel does.

This week a four year old agreement was broken by the Palesitnians. And how do many of the editorial pages treat Israel's response? Like an election ploy.

The New York Times

As if That Fire Needed Fuel

The acting Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, should not have allowed the desire to do some election-season muscle-flexing to push him into storming the prison in Jericho with tanks, bulldozers and helicopters.

Mediacrity in The Times, in Mourning, Reaches For Incoherence after referring back to his invaluable Sulzberger Indifference Template writes

The one and only reason is that the Palestinians do not want to punish other Palestinians for murdering Israelis and Jews.

That is the central reason why the Jericho prison was a sham and why the raid was necessary. That is why Mohammed Abbas favored releasing the murderers, just as he had released four dozen terrorists from that same "prison" a couple of months ago -- which the Times almost completely ignored.

There's a lot more there. Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav finds something positive in the Times editorial

The only 'good' news here is that they blame the US and the UK more than Israel.

The Boston Globe

The Battle of Jericho

Israeli leaders such as Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz cannot be expected to acknowledge that they had political motives for ordering tanks and bulldozers to assault the Jericho prison. The operation killed at least two people and might still incite a new wave of generalized violence. The logic of electoral politics, however, suggests that they felt they had to prevent the six accused murderers from being released. That logic dictated that Olmert not allow his right-wing rival Benjamin Netanyahu to use the emotional issue of such a release against Olmert and his centrist Kadima party.

In an e-mail, Backspin pointed me to the Boston Globe's editorial. It really doesn't matter that the Globe blames the PA and the monitors also. There is only one party at fault: the PA that is currently being led by the terrorist group Hamas. The PA made an agreement affecting Israel's security. They jailed a number of terrorists to save their lives. Still this "jailing" was not at all severe and allowed the terrorists a pretty comfortable life. But there was a line that Israel was not going to allow the PA to cross.

The Washington Post

Israel's West Bank Choice

So it's not surprising that Mr. Olmert would have ordered yesterday's sensational raid on a Palestinian prison in the West Bank, in which Israeli forces captured six militants accused of murdering a right-wing Israeli minister in 2001. True, Palestinian leaders invited the intervention by suggesting that the ringleader of the group would soon be freed, and U.S. and British monitors withdrew from the prison minutes before the raid, reportedly because of their own objections to security arrangements. But this was an act tailored for Israeli voters, some of whom will be as pleased by the predictable expressions of Palestinian and international outrage as they are by the roundup of bad guys.

As I noted before the Post is being cynical and continues to whitewash Palestinian violations of agreements.

The editorial boards of all three papers have lost their credibility to speak of peace. The Hamas run PA threatened to free the six prisoners. It allowed the intimidation of the guards. These were very good reasons for Israel to take action. If they were not, by themselves, reasons to for Israel to launch a raid to capture the six what would justify such a response? Or more generally, what breach could the Palestinians commit that would justify any Israeli response? The Times, the Globe and the Post clearly believe that there is no violation seriuos enough for Israel to respond.

That being the case, how can they say they believe in peace? Or do they simply define peace as a condition when Israel never responds no matter what the provocation?

UPDATE: I never thought I'd say this but the Baltimore Sun's editorial, "Another Unilateral Move" was better than the 3 editorials referenced above. While acknowledging that political motives may have played a role in Olmert's decision

The Israelis say they stormed the Jericho prison to ensure that the Palestinian assassins of an Israeli Cabinet minister were not released, and they were right to be concerned. The Palestinians held the murderers in a special arrangement brokered with U.S. help after the 2001 murder. But American and British officials had complained repeatedly to the Palestinians about lax security at the prison to no avail, pulled out their monitors and paved the way for the Israeli assault.

Israel acted on its own because it won't deal with the new Hamas-led government, which has refused to recognize Israel's right to exist. As long as Hamas holds to its anti-Israel stance, it will suffer the consequences of Israel's unilateral actions.

The editorial is not perfect. It is too preoccupied with unilateral Israeli moves, and some of its wording is less emphatic in its support of Israel's position than I would like. But given the competition in the MSM this isn't bad.

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Related articles about Media Bias in Soccer Dad.
Related articles about Israel in Soccer Dad.
Related articles about Palestinian Authority in Soccer Dad.

Crossposted on Israpundit and Soccer Dad.

Posted by SoccerDad at March 16, 2006 10:12 PM
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