Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Guardian Editor Apologizes Over Jenin Coverage

The "Jenin Massacre" as it was called by members of the Mainstream Media (back in 2002), was the impetus for the founding of CUANAS (Christians United Against the New Anti-Semitism). My relatives in Europe were convinced that Israelis had enacted a "massacre" in Jenin which had left thousands dead and buried in "mass graves".

These were the words they used and the images they conjured.

I seem to recall even hearing the word "genocide" being bandied about.

I was shocked that my relatives would accuse Israel of such a thing for two basic reasons:

1) my relatives had always seemed to be pro-Israel

2) if the IDF wanted to massacre Palestinians certainly it would not be hard for them to do so. They have an advanced Air Force with which they could kill people by the hundreds of thousands, should that have been their goal. But instead, they used ground troops in Jenin, ground troops who went house to house attempting to find the terrorists who were manufacturing the suicide bomb belts which were killing so many Israelis back in 2002.

My response to my relatives at the time was that I was quite sure that Israel was not committing a genocide, or a massacre, or whatever macabre name they wanted to give the military action which Israel had justifiably taken.

I told them that they ought to wait until things shook out, and when the smoke had cleared, I expected them to apologize for their assault on Israel.

I am still waiting for the apology from my relatives. But, at least I get the vindication of having the Guardian's editor apologize for disseminating such propaganda in the first place:

The editor of The Guardian newspaper had the last word at the Jewish Book Week’s closing session on Sunday night when he apologized for his publication’s controversial editorial following Israel’s incursion into the Jenin refugee camp in 2002.

Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian’s editor, was speaking together with former Haaretz editor David Landau about reporting in the Middle East to a crowd of about 600 people when he responded to a question from the audience about the Israeli incursion into Jenin in April 2002.

In response to his publication’s coverage of the operation, Rusbridger said it was unfair to blame the reporter. Following Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, the Guardian’s editorial commented in its April 17 edition that: “Israel’s actions in Jenin were every bit as repellent as Osama Bin Laden’s attack on New York on September 11.”

“I take full responsibility for the misjudgment,” Rusbridger said. And during a response to a later question, he apologized for the editorial on Jenin - unprompted.