|Israel Resource Review
||4th August, 2005
The People of Sa-Nur
Special Correspondent, Israel Resource News Agency
Sa Nur, Israel
On July 4th, 2005, I step down from a bulletproof journalists' tour bus onto the controversial soil of Sa-nur, one of the four Shomron area settlements to be evacuated come mid-August. My mission is to give a "human face" to the people living here. I end up staying for two and a half days, and taping interviews with several of the Russian artists and a couple of the religious settlers. I myself emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1989, and though I came to the United States, I can relate to these people as Russian Jewish immigrants who's past experiences reflect those of my own family. I will give as human a perspective as possible but I am not advocating a specific political side, simply because I find the question to be far too complicated to answer with a simple blue ribbon for the leftists and an orange one for the rightists.
What I do know is what I see and hear while I'm in Sa-nur. Sa-nur contains what to a group of Russian olim is a nostalgic remainder of a paradise. Oleander bushes hem in the Turkish fortress-turned Art Galleria, dirt paths wind down to the settlers' gray stucco houses and tents, and the atmosphere is filled with a quiet activity. Someone is building tents, cooking lunch, someone is teaching the kindergarten, and evidence of new construction is cluttered throughout: pieces of wood, plastic, fabric, and other materials are strewn on much of the dirt path areas and in front of the stucco block houses and metal-wall caravans. The settlement, an artist's colony founded in 1987, was once a haven of comradery and artistic fellowship. All of the artists came from the Soviet Union where all of their lives they had experienced ant-Semitism, social and economic inequality, and varying levels of war trauma.
All of their lives they had dreamed of a place where they could feel at home, "What was important was not the place I was going to, but the place that I was leaving… The stronger anti-Semitism became in Russia, the stronger was my conviction that my place is in Israel and only Israel." These are the words of Mark Salman, a white-bearded, 67 year old gentleman whose entire family (with the exception of his father) was shot to death in Stalinist Russia and who spent some of the tenderest years of his childhood in a Siberian work camp. Salman is an artist who came to Sa-nur during its second flow of Russian artist immigrants in the early 1990s. Salman's words are a universal description of the sentiments of Sa-nur's artistic community: it became a blissful refuge the likes of which the artists could have only dreamed about. "When I saw Sa-nur, I understood that I need look no further.
I had never seen a biblical passage, well maybe in paintings such as Kromskoy's "Christ in the Desert", and some others, but I didn't associate in my brain this paysage with actual Israel. When I arrived I suddenly felt that this was the place where my ancestors came from, there is a kind of mysticism to this earth and it drew me in. It's fourteen years now that I've been here in Sa-nur." Salman told me his story in his two-room stucco apartment, every inch of shelf and table space crowded with statuettes and medallions intricately crafted by the hand of an obvious master. Salman doesn't know what will become of all of his intricate pieces when he has to evacuate the place; he appears worried and yet doesn't wish to even consider what disengagement will be like when the day comes. "First of all, who are these soldiers? I can't fight with my children, with my grandchildren. I can't physically throw rocks at them, I don't want to do that… They're promising us that they'll [the soldiers and police], behave appropriately… But how is it possible, with this kind of mutual politeness, to solve the problem of evacuation? In what times was this, that a person willingly left his home? Well the truth is in our case, for compensation. But what if compensation doesn't interest us?"
All of the artists are inspired by Sa-nur and feel a real affinity and kindredness to its historically Samarian soil. "It's not a physical quality that Sa-nur has, it's a spiritual quality. Therefore for no amount of money, could I ever sell it." Declares Haim Kapchitz in a trembling voice, his disposition that of a jolly Santa Claus in his burgundy suspenders. He is wearing a knitted kippah on his head, and declaring his loyalty to a Jewish philosopher named Ralph Cook who believed in active Judaism, (as in participation in the armed forces), and he couldn't look more content in his environment: A large studio in the front of the Art Galleria where his paintings cover the walls and his latest mosaic plans lay out in the middle of the floor. We sit at a small table covered with the proper kind of Russian condiments: bread, tuna, chocolate, and a bottle of vodka. Haim is 68 years old and a relatively successful public mosaic and fresco artist in Israel.
He was born in Belorussia and immigrated to Israel in 1981. He
joined the artist's colony in Sa-nur in 1987 when Anna and
Victor Boguslavsky invited him to see the budding artist's
colony. Haim has mixed feelings about the religious families who
have settled in Sa-nur during the past 2 years: "I have a kind
of double feeling . . . on the one hand I feel an extraordinary
pity for the village of Sa-nur, the artists' colony of Sa-nur,
in some ways these wonderful people have destroyed it. It became
completely different. I like these people, I really like them,
but they've destroyed the world that existed here before. I'm
not against them, they're more rightist than I, but they've
destroyed that world that we had herebefore. There were these
fairytale-like trees; it was a different world . . . And they
destroyed it all. It's hard to imagine what was here before. I
was happy all day, from morning 'til night. I had always enjoyed
my artistic work before, but never before had I experienced such
a spiritual paradise. There was this atmosphere of brotherhood,
we were all more than brothers to each other, it was something
unbelievable. So for me it's nostalgia . . . But these people, I
love these people, what they started here, it's a completely
different story." The population of Sa-nur has grown
considerably because of the religious family settlers, there
were just a handful of artists left (many were scared off by the
Second Intifada), when the families started arriving in 2003,
and now there are over 20 families and more people are still coming.
That first night in Sa-nur the artists invite me to a local wedding that takes place near the village of Homesh, also to be evacuated come August. Julia Segul, 67, an artist who came to Sa-nur in 1994, is holding one of the settlers' babies in her lap, feeding the child ice cream with her fingertips, a blissful smile on her face and a large camera at her side.
Segul never saw the original artists' colony, but is very much attached to the place and for the first time in her life feels at home. She has no grandkids of her own yet but gazes at the baby in her arms and proudly proclaims "these are my grandchildren." Segul was born in Charkov and has felt the hostile brine of anti-Semitism her whole life. From her early childhood, she was aware of how brutal the soviet children could be to Jewish children. She felt that the only way to prevent the children from killing her was to fight back. One day, at about age 12, she saw two boys walking down the road, the kind of boys she knew would hurt her if they saw her. All of a sudden, a self-defensive anger came over her, and she thought to herself, "I'll kill them first." She started choosing which rock would serve best as her weapon and by the time she had chosen one, the boys had come upon her. She raised the rock over her head, ready to throw it at the boys, and she had such a look in her eyes that the boys ran away, frightened. "When a person is ready to kill, (even if it's a little girl) you see it in their eyes." She says, chuckling to herself. Segul's fighting spirit has found its place in her eager support and love of the religious families in Sa-nur. Some of her art reflects her political views while other works are very personal and are a documentation of her childhood memory, and all of her pieces (displayed in the upstairs gallery of the main artists' building,) are extremely symbolic. There is a pair of 4 foot tall broken sunglasses symbolizing the blindness of many as to the real situation in Israel. The inner frames show a pretty countryside view and the outer frames show violence and pain.
On the second and third days, after speaking with more of the Russian artists, such as with Vladimir Breitman, the eager 83 year-old photographer from Minsk (and World War II veteran pilot), at the wedding who pushes everyone aside in his search for better shots, or with Aharon April, the renowned painter (and WWII veteran as well), who was one of Sanur's founders, I spend time talking to some of the religious settlers. As a student of psychology, something odd now looms into my view: pretty much all of the artists and settlers have no idea what will happen when disengagement day comes around, but not only can they not imagine it at all, they simply don't want to.
What is happening in their minds? Is this a form of denial, a self-defense mechanism to get through the time to come? David Fadida, 25, states that it's not fear that keeps people from thinking about disengagement day, but a refusal to accept it: "Thinking about it is already a form of acceptance. It's important to think in a positive manner." Says Fadida, one of his small children playing next to him as he sits at the playground picnic table across from me and dwells on the question, he himself has studied psychology for 3 years and is now studying to become a rabbi. Fadida came to Sa-nur with his wife and children in 2003, they had been looking for a place to fall in love with, and when they saw Sa-nur cupid's arrow finally struck. Fadida himself emigrated from France at the age of 17, he had known since he was 13 that he wanted to come to Israel. "I had already been to Israel several times with my parents for vacation and I really liked it. I realized afterwards that France is not a nice place for me, because of anti-Semitism and because when I was a teenager, after age 13, I became more religious and mature and at the same time I was learning to think for myself."
When he first came to France he studied in a Yeshiva in Jerusalem, then he served in the army, and then he worked in France for a year in a community organization which encourages Zionism in young people called Binai Akiva.
The Fadidas have all found their niche in Sa-nur: while David continues his rabbinical studies with the rabbi there, who happens to be the rabbi he studied with at yeshiva, his wife teaches at the Sa-nur kindergarten as well as at another village 20 minutes away.
I notice that the orange rubber bracelet on his child's wrist says: "Let the people decide." David tells me that he has two small children and another one on the way. He is obviously a doting father and now takes the child on his lap. "If there are people who would like to believe that we don't care or that we aren't scared for and aren't worried about our children, it's false, because it's clear that those who sacrifice the most for their children are people like us." Fadida keeps stressing that what is most important is not the outcome, but to do things in a "moral way," and clearly this is what the settlers see as moral.
Amos and Sygal Azaria also ardently believe that what they're doing is best for their children. "When my child grows up I don't want him to say, 'just because of me, my mother did nothing.'" Sygal's words are simple and in her eyes is an obvious effortlessness of vision: she has no questions about what's right or wrong. "At first my family was scared of me coming here, because the place is completely surrounded by Arabs. But now they understand that it's important. And it's truly pretty here. " Sygal is 23 years old, she commutes weekly to Haifa University where she is studying to be a nurse, and she and her husband felt compelled to move to Sa-nur when they heard about the situation.
It was actually over a year ago Amos and Sygal decided to come to Sa-nur but they had to wait half a year until a caravan was ready. "We couldn't just stay in the House, we had to do something," she declares. The conversation pauses when her 1 and a half year old son crawls under her shirt to nurse. Little suckling noises can be heard from the bulge under her shirt, tiny feet sticking out at the bottom. I look around her small metal-walled caravan the place is strewn with toys and books; evidence of two young students raising a baby. Her husband Amos is finishing up at the Technion in Haifa and she tells me he even finds time to write the Sa-nur weekly events paper. As for Sygal's own parents she says they immigrated from Strasbourg, France, 30 years ago. "They were zionists, they came for the people of Israel. They came even though they had great jobs in France, a big house, all their friends." Sygal is proud of the demonstration she participated in by the village of Homesh this morning. She shows me digital shots that were taken of her and her baby sitting in the shovel of a bulldozer, opposing the construction that was planned to take place that afternoon.
"Today the army said that they need to build a building for security, but we know that it's not for security, that it's to help them block the road later on." She is proud that they were able to stop the construction and says that she is not at all afraid of any violence that could take place. "These people are gendarmes and police, not people who want to do bad things to me, these are people who want to protect me."
Even if there's a chance of violence from them, she says her cause is so important that she's willing to take her chances. She admits to having little experience with political demonstrations. They may not be too experienced with political demonstrations, but her husband, Amos Azaria, definitely knows his political rhetoric: "We heard about Sharon's terrible eviction plan, before that we were active in Haifa but we felt it wasn't enough: we had to move here and make a bigger step and also because it's our land and we're not going to give it to Arabs for receiving terror. For security reasons, we understand that this place is very important for Israel to hold, if Israel won't be here and there will be terror land over here, then Natanya, Hadera, Pula, Betam and all these places will have katanim(bombs) all the time. And also this way they are catching terrorists and bombers all the time." I talk to Amos at the playground picnic table, after my talk with David Fadida. They both recite as a slogan that they'd rather be at their enemy's home then have their enemy at their home.
Amos is 23 years old and was born in England because his family was there on shlihut (a diplomatic mission) for an Akiva (which recruits young people for Aliyah) for about three years and when they returned to Israel Amos was a year and half old. He is very pleasant to talk to and extremely confident about what he is doing. Now that there is a break in his studies at the Technion, he has been helping to construct tents for newly-arriving supporters of Sa-nur. "I don't think anyone really knows what's going to happen but we expect about 10,000 people coming from all over, from anywhere to here just to be with us. And the army will see the place packed with people and won't be able to do anything." Amos goes on to echo his wife's words: "We want to make sure that all the Jews in all Israel will have security. And by having our children here we protect all the children in Israel. And I'm sure my child when he grows up will be very happy that he was part of giving help to prevent the eviction plan."
On the evening of the 6th I speak to Miriam Adler in her home, she makes me a cup of tea, settles into chair across from me at the kitchen table, and in a sighing high-pitched Russian gives everything I've heard and seen a harsher twist of reality: "What will be necessary to do, that's what we'll do. If it will be enough to just sit here, we'll just sit here, if we need to run in the hills, we'll run in the hills, if we need to gather in some arab house in a village, fine." I notice that Miriam's fair skin is sunburned, (probably from the demonstration earlier today), she looks exhausted and has changed into a comfortable gray t-shirt and pajama pants. It's around 11 o'clock but the day still isn't over for Adler, who is planning to go to the Sa-nur meeting in a little while. Adler is 28 years old, she has 6 children, her home is spotless, her outfits and hair coverings are always perfectly matched, her make-up always perfect and never smeared:
I feel like I should be interviewing for Lady's Home Journal or maybe even Red Book. And it's hard not to admire Adler, she has so much passion and spirit, she calls herself a soldier and she means it. Sanur's spokeswoman, she is an impressive walking front page and reminds me of some kind of modern-day Joan of Arc.
But Adler is serious about her last-resort tactics of running into neighboring Arab villages in order to stop the operation and unlike many of the settlers and artists, Adler has no illusions about what the disengagement may come to.
There's a certain story she likes to tell: "Have you heard of the incident in Tel Aviv? The last time some demonstrators were blocking the roads there, the police officers acted like animals towards them. They caught one demonstrator…he was just sitting on the road, he wasn't using any force…they caught him, knocked him over, took hold of him and another one of them stuck his fingers into the man's nose and just ripped his face apart. If things like that will be happening here, then I can't answer for anything. I can say right now that I hope everything will go off easy and that the army will just leave us alone… I don't even know what to call acts like that, not a "crime," I don't know what to call it."
From the time that Adler was a little girl, she has been exposed
to an atmosphere of rebellion and refusal of government policy.
Her parents were refuseniks in Moscow, and her father, a scholar
in Judaic studies, home-schooled her in Hebrew and Talmudic
teachings. They refused to send her off to the regular soviet
school and they refused to not practice Judaism. "Of course I
could feel that we were not like everybody else; that we were
doing things that were not considered "legal," the militia would
come to our house… But they were things that we had to do . . .
Our parents showed us with their behavior that this was
important." Miriam's parents always wanted to come to Israel,
and were planning on it since about 1979.
With these kinds of early childhood impressions, Miriam was 12 years old when her family immigrated to Israel in 1989. In 1990, the gas masks everyone had to wear because of fear of chemical attacks also slightly traumatized Adler and finally in 1993, at the age of 16, when Arafat was invited to Israel for the Oslo Accord negotiations, Adler began her career as a demonstrator. She blushes, laughs, and admits to even having met her husband, Yaron, at demonstrations:
"There are very few ideological arguments in our home! They would arrest us together, one time in the Arab Quarter, another time in the city, another time in Jericho before they gave away the synagogue in Jericho, people walked all night until they reached Jericho and there they were all arrested! And a couple other times… That's how it happened, we were canned together!"
Adler, the expert demonstrator, a woman who has so far spent her life in revolt and has barely had time for her any other interests such as silverwork (she does add that the artists and the possibility of learning from them is one reason is she came to Sa-nur), is not happy about the fact that most people in Sa-nur do not even wish to imagine disengagement day.
"I told one of my girlfriends: 'get ready for the worst, so that you have only pleasant surprises…I had a thought, for example, to distribute among the mailboxes a description of what happened in Tel Aviv. So that people can get ready, so that they know who they're dealing with. But I don't know if it's worth doing, if it would put people into some kind of panic. I'm considering buying a helmet with a face shield, like the kind motorcyclists use, to stay in one piece. If we, God forbid, sit around and think that everything's ok, nothing will happen, there is nothing to prepare for, then there is a very big chance that August 15th we will end up in a situation in which we really, really don't wish to see ourselves." Miriam is matter-of-fact and she seems to be going into battle with her eyes open. "Doesn't someone have to take a stand against these hooligans and criminals who are selling our country in pieces? And there are so few people who are ready to do that and to say, 'that's it, we're here 'til the end.'"
Marianna Staroselsky can be contacted at
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Disengagement Text Not
Available to Israelis
Aaron Sichel, Publisher, Bryce Report
The office of
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has not made the text of the
Disengagement Plan easily available to Israeli citizens. An
investigation by BR has found that the Prime Minister's Office
(PMO) website has only made the English text of the
Disengagement Plan available to visitors to the English language
version of the Office's website. However, the plan is not
readily available in Hebrew to visitors to the Hebrew language
home of the PMO site-the only version of the PMO website likely
to be visited by most Israelis.
The obscurity of the plan's Hebrew placement is in contrast to its positioning on the English-language site-a section targeted at building connections to English-speaking viewers in Western countries. English-speaking visitors can follow a large dedicated color graphic and link on the front page to a section concerning the Disengagement, where a link to the text of the Plan itself is at the top of the section.
The only references to the Disengagement Plan available in Hebrew, however, are statements by Israeli government spokespersons supporting it. Tracking down the actual text of the plan requires visitors to access the webpage of the "Sela" office, a temporary sub-office in the PMO that was set up exclusively to manage compensation and resettlement options for Gaza evacuees.
Only Israeli citizens facing evacuation from Gaza would normally have reason to be in contact with the Sela office. There are an estimated 8,500 Israelis living in Gaza.
The Hebrew text of the plan is also unavailable on sections of the Hebrew website titled "Government Decisions" and "Government Documents" respectively. A Basic Search of the site using the documentation number of the Disengagement Resolution passed by Sharon's cabinet in June 2004 (documentation number 1996) returned no results.
An Advanced Search using number "1996" returned seven pages totaling 66 results, most of which were not connected to the Disengagement Plan. An Advanced Search that was specified only to "Government Decisions" returned two pages totaling 11 results. The Disengagement Plan itself was the final link on the second page. BR was also able to locate a link to a Disengagement page at the bottom of the "Communication" menu on the site.
A consequence of the plan's Hebrew-language obscurity is that many Israelis may not be able to evaluate the Disengagement Plan itself, outside of statements issued by Sharon administration spokespersons.
Israeli diplomats contacted by BR generally could not explain the Disengagement Plan's Hebrew absence. One diplomatic source at the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC initially responded, "I really don't know what you're talking about" when queried about the plan's unavailability, but subsequently admitted that his office was unable to locate the Hebrew text after almost 10 minutes.
Another Israeli diplomat at a U.S.-based consulate provided BR with a link to Disengagement information from the PMO via e-mail, but did not respond to the question of why the PMO makes the plan's text more easily available to foreigners than to Israelis. The official said the Disengagement plan had also been published by Israeli newspapers, and referred seekers of the text to the website of a popular Israeli tabloid.
Some Israeli diplomats in Asia, Australia, and Europe-contacted after U.S.-based Israeli officials could not provide information-expressed surprise. Most, however, said they had no knowledge of the text's absence and were unable to comment further. (The Israeli Foreign Ministry does not make the plan's text available on its website. It has recently published a full-color glossy brochure touting Disengagement that does not include the plan's text.)
An Israeli official in the U.S., responding to BR after several days, stated that the differences in availability reflected intentional decisions based on the likely audience. "The English site has more background information for people from abroad, while the Hebrew site is more focused on the practicalities of disengagement, for Israelis who will be evacuated from Gaza."
According to the official, making detailed information rapidly
available to Israelis on the PMO website would be superfluous.
"Israelis are hearing about the disengagement everyday, so they
don't really need to hear about all of the background when they
go to the website."
© 2005 Bryce Report
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Murders on a Bus:
Requiem to the Memory of Proportionality
by David Bedein
More than 27,000 Arab terror attacks have taken place against Israeli
citizens over the past five years, in the so-called second "intifada", the
Arabic term for "casting off" of Israel. with a toll of 1,073 men, women
and children who have been murdered in a reign of cold blood of terror.
On Thursday, August 4th, the first terror attack of an Israeli Jew against
Arabs occurred in this second intifada.
Following that attack, in which a crazed 19 year old Jew murdered four
Arabs on a bus, Israeli government TV and Israel government radio devoted
12 hours of newsreels to describe in gory detail how a "religious Israeli
Jew", a 'settler', "close to Kahane activists", in the words of HaAretz,
had murdered four Arabs on an Israeli bus in the center of an Israeli Arab
Israeli government minister of public security Gideon Ezra warned that the
killer represented an "atmosphere of violent opposition to the Israeli
government's disengagement policy".
And the headlines of all Israel's Friday morning newspapers headlined the
story of an Israeli Jewish settler and "opposition activist" had gone
berserk, even though the nineteen year old killer was from Rishon Letzion,
a city in the center of Israel, 8 miles south of Tel Aviv, far away from
Israel's west bank settlements, and was a confused deserter from the
Israeli army, whose parents had warned the Israeli army of his instability.
With less than two weeks left before the Israeli government has scheduled a
unilateral withdrawal from all Israeli Jewish communities in the Katif
district of Gaza, the news this weekend was going to sound quite different
than it sounded last night.
On Thursday night, weekend newspapers and weekend newsreels from the
Israeli and foreign media based in Israel were preparing to run
investigative news stories on the disintegrating "disengagement" process.
Late Thursday afternoon, Israeli Prime Minister's spokesman Ranaan Gisin
gave an unprecedented interview in which he said that the Israeli
government was weighing methods of how to protect thousands of Israeli
citizens as they were being evacuated from Israeli Jewish communities in
the Katif district of Gaza. In other words, Gisin was admitting that Israel
was indeed "withdrawing under fire", an act that the prime minister of
Israel always promised would never happen.
At the same time, although the prime minister's spokesman was assuring
reporters that all evicted Israeli residents from Katif would receive full
compensation and would be allowed to remove all of their possessions from
the 19 farming communities and 2 Jewish Israeli cities that comprise Katif,
the spokesman of the Israel Disengagement Authority made it clear in an
interview on Thursday that the evacuated Jews would only be able to take
two containers of possessions with them.
At a time when a Katif farmer told the "Maariv" newspaper that she would
need 92 u-hauls to remove her produce, the government was offering her
only six u-hauls . . .
Meanwhile, prominent left wing newsmen such as Mati Golan, writing in The
Globes business newspaper and Danny Rubenstein writing in the HaAretz
newspaper warned against Gaza becoming a haven for Islamic terror.
Credible intelligence reports also surfaced on Thursday that Al Quaida had
established a base in Gaza.
Al-Qaida's official Web sites has announced the establishment of a regular
military wing in the Gaza Strip.A declaration posted in the past few days
on an Islamist site considered a mouthpiece for Abu Musab al-Zarkawi, Osama
Bin Laden's right-hand man in Iraq, claimed that the wing, "The Jihad
Brigades in the Promised Land," had in the past few days carried out its
first attacks by firing mortar shells and new Sajil rockets into Israel,
while the mainstream Fateh PLO terror organization announced celebrations
that commenced on Thursday to mark their victory over the retreating
Israeli army from Gaza.
Meanwhile, it was confirmed on Thursday that the Israeli Knesset has
ordered an investigation into the circumstances of how it was that
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Eival Giladi, the Director of the Strategic Coordination
Staff in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office handling disengagement was
also holding a position as the professional manager of the Israel office
of Portland Trust - a half billion dollar British-Palestinian business
development foundation that is handling Portland Trust's Palestinian
investment projects in Palestinian business projects and housing
developments that are scheduled to replace the Jewish communities in Katif.
None of the above news stories made it into Israel's media this weekend.
What has been reported, every hour on the hour, was the mistaken news story
that an Israeli Jewish resident of the west bank town of Tapuach had
conducted an act of terror. He had indeed spent some time in Tapuach, where
he sought counsel as a young man who had most recently become a religious
Jew. Amidst reports that the Israeli government is about to embark on a
policy of also removing all of the small Jewish communities in the west
bank, commentators from the Israeli government TV and Israel government
radio devoted hours of discussion to the ways in which Israel would soon
remove Jewish communities like Tapuach from the map of Israel.
The fact that the killer was a young fellow from Rishon did not fit the script.
Meanwhile, as everyone across the political spectrum of Israel joined a
chorus of condemnation of a Jew's murder of Arab citizens last night, it
was hard not to take into the contrast of how the official Palestinian
Authority media praised the Arab terrorist murders of an Israeli couple,
Dov and Rachel Kol, as they travelled from the road out of Gaza on Saturday
night, July 23rd.
The Voice of Palestine radio and Palestinian state television applauded their murder, . calling it an act of "resistance" [muqawwima] and "holy martyrdom" [istish-haad], and hinting that the murderers were carrying out their civic duty, as the Palestinian media outlets repeatedly referred to the dead Israelis as "settlers" (even though they were not settlers) while calling the Palestinian gunmen "resisters" [muqawwimin-a positive term in Palestinian Arabic] and "citizens" [muwattinin].
The Israeli public, however, had no idea that the official Palestinian
Authority praised these murders, since not one Israeli media outlet
reported it - even though the New York Times of July 25th, 2005 did report
the festivities on the PBC VOICE OF PALESTINE radio that followed the
murder of Dov and Rachel Kol.
All this remains a requiem to the memory of media proportionality, when
context is lost in the quest for a policy that a government would like to
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