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June 19, 2002
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The deliberate killing of unarmed civilians is terrorism, part 2

I just wrote an email to Michael Moran from MSNBC.com . Mr. Moran is critical of the TerrorPetition.com campaign which is collecting 100,000 signatures to call on the media:

1) To demonstrate moral leadership and journalistic integrity.
2) To label Palestinian suicide bombers as “terrorists”.
3) To stop whitewashing heinous acts of murder.

If you haven't already done so, please click here to sign the petition - the deliberate killing of unarmed civilians is terrorism. It's as simple as that, but some journalists, like Mr. Moran, have a different agenda - please help them understand that they can't get away it.

I copy my full response to Mr. Moran below.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Melle [mailto:dmelle@factsofisrael.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2002 7:34 AM
To: worldagenda@msnbc.com
Cc: info@terrorpetition.com
Subject: The deliberate killing of unarmed civilians is terrorism

Hello Michael,

I am disappointed in your criticism of Honestreporting.com for their TerrorPetition.com campaign.

A few weeks ago, I had the same discussion with the ombudsman from NPR, which also refuses to use the word ‘terrorist’ to describe Palestinian involved in terror.

Contrary to what you state, TerrorPetition.com is not asking you or MSNBC.com to label every Palestinian that picks up a rifle as a terrorist. What they are simply asking is that based on the act of the Palestinian, you label him/her accordingly. If a Palestinian deliberately stabs a civilian, shoots at civilian vehicles, or blows him/herself up in a mall or a restaurant, he/she is a terrorist. Contrary to what you say, too often, he/she is described by the BBC, Reuters and MSNBC.COM as a “militant”.

My support for NPR ended when a Palestinian murdered a 5-year-old girl in her bed and this despicable act was described as “the killing of a settler by a Palestinian militant”. A “militant” is a union official demonstrating in front of McDonalds for better wages – not a cold blooded killer who deliberately murders unarmed civilians, including kids.

To learn who was , the 5-year-old “settler”, please check my correspondence with NPR at:

http://www.factsofisrael.com/load.php?p=/blog/archives/000033.html

By choosing not to use the word “terrorist”, the BBC, Reuters, MSNBC.com, NPR, and Michael Moran are choosing sides: they are giving a clear advantage to Palestinians that choose violence instead of peace, such as the Islamic Jihad, the Hamas, and Arafat’s terrorist groups such as Al-Aksa brigades. By using the word “militant”, NPR is describing their deliberate acts of killing innocent civilians as legal actions of rebellion.

Have a good day.

Bye,

David Melle
dmelle@FactsOfIsrael.com
http://www.factsofisrael.com/

Michael Moran wrote:

June 5 /2:35 PM ET
THE TERRORISM THING

Honestreporting.com, the pro-Israeli pressure group masquerading as a media watchdog group, has launched a new campaign aimed at muzzling free speech called “Terror Petition.com.”

The group accuses the BBC, Reuters and MSNBC.com of making too fine a distinction between “terrorists” and Palestinian civilians. The pressure group has urged its subscribers to vent their collective spleen by pelting the accused with angry e-mails demanding that we fall into line, or else.

First, may I say how honored I am to be in such good company. The British Broadcasting Corporation is the world’s greatest broadcast news outlet, and Reuters is AP’s match as a wire service in just about every way. Together with MSNBC.com, Honestreporting has singled out “best of breed” in three communications media. (Full disclosure here: I worked for the Associated Press in the late 1980s, and for the BBC from 1993-1996 in London.)

Now to their point: the “Terror Petition” states that “Yasser Arafat, in The New York Times on February 3, described Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians as “terrorists.” But the media refuses to do so.

No so. MSNBC.com does use the word “terrorist” to describe someone who has been convicted of a terrorist act, or someone who has admitted the act or been caught in the act.

Before that, the person is an “alleged terrorist.” What about members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad, you reasonably ask.

Well, if they have not been accused or convicted of terrorism, they are either “militants” or “extremists.” We don’t use the term activist in such cases, and if we have it was a mistake.

Further, we use the word “terrorism” rather liberally to describe suicide bombings and other acts of random violence against civilians. What we don’t do (and this is what irks “Honestreporting”) is throw the word around at every Palestinian who opposes the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Like it or not, there is a difference between a terrorist and a Palestinian policeman who picks up a rifle when Israeli tanks roll into his town. These are difficult issues, and we hire talented, experienced reporters and editors who use their discretion when filing reports. That won’t be enough to satisfy "honestreporting.com" of course, who are interested in something other than honesty

Posted by David Melle at June 19, 2002 07:42 AM
Comments

i marvel at the bias and blindness exhibited by otherwise credible individuals and agencies with regard to this "war"

while i do not condone the actions of palestinian suicide bombers, neither do i agree with israel's systematic deconstruction of the palestinian society. each is a reprehensible act of terrorism in the loosest definition of the word

Posted by: rob on May 26, 2003 09:25 AM

i marvel at the bias and blindness exhibited by otherwise credible individuals and agencies with regard to this "war"

while i do not condone the actions of palestinian suicide bombers, neither do i agree with israel's systematic deconstruction of the palestinian society. each is a reprehensible act of terrorism in the loosest definition of the word

Posted by: rob on May 26, 2003 09:25 AM
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