Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Some History on Palestinian Violence Against Americans

The following is an excerpt from Daniel Pipes' weblog. At the end of the
article in information on getting on his list.


Don't Rely on the Media: Palestinian Authority violence against Americans.

Is there any subject that the mainstream media treats worse than the
Palestinian Authority (PA)? Case in point: placing the Oct. 15 murder of
three American security personnel in Gaza. Here is USA Today's comment
( , representative
of media assessments of the topic: "the killings reflected a potentially
dangerous new escalation in a conflict that for the past half-century has
largely treated U.S. officials as bystanders. Terrorist Palestinian groups
have generally avoided attacks on U.S. officials."

To find out the real situation, one has to go to such sources at the
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA),
Palestinian Media Watch, and The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

CAMERA's Eric Rozenman points to a long history of the PLO targeting
American officials (Ambassador to Sudan Cleo A. Noel Jr. and his colleague
George C. Moore in March 1973; U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Frances E. Meloy
and his colleague Robert O. Waring in January 1977). It notes that
approximately 103 American citizens have been killed by Palestinian
terrorists in Israel and the disputed territories since 1968; and at least
39 Americans have been murdered in the past three years. CAMERA concludes
that "reports stating that the three security guards murdered on October 15
are the first Americans killed by Palestinian terrorists, either following
September 29, 2000, or before, are simply wrong."

Palestinian Media Watch's Itamar Marcus argues
( that "In its
English statements, the PA presents itself as an American ally, while its
Arabic messages incite its people to hate and kill Americans," then
documents this statement with a list of hair-raising quotes, calling on
Saddam Hussein to kill American soldiers, threats against Americans, and
promises that the United States will be destroyed. PMW concludes that the
American security personnel were murdered "by Palestinians fulfilling their
role in their war against Americans, as they have been taught by their
leaders, through years of hate-mongering and calls for violence against

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy's Matthew Levitt provides
extensive background in his "Terrorist Attacks against Western Officials in
Gaza, The West Bank, and Israel." He quotes Palestinian threats (an al-Aqsa
Brigades leader: "Now, American targets are the same as Israeli targets"),
points to U.S. government expectations of such attacks (George Tenet in
February 2002: if Palestinian groups "feel that U.S. actions are threatening
their existence, they may begin targeting Americans directly"), and recalls
Palestinian attacks on other Western personnel (Canadian and Danish, in
particular). He concludes that the Oct. 15 incident was "neither
unprecedented nor unexpected."

Unfortunately, this means that if you read just the newspaper – never mind
only watching television – you basically don't know the score on an issue as
complex and historical fraught as Palestinian violence against Americans. To
be well informed requires reading the work of think tanks and advocacy
organizations. (October 18, 2003) Permalink

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