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‘Guardian’ reports Israeli shootings of Palestinian boys. NPR reports, Palestinians want to kill Israelis

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Two starkly different views of yesterday’s events. In England, the Guardian reports that on a day of “violent protest” in the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and wounded two Palestinian boys, 16 and 13.

Two Palestinian teenagers shot and critically injured by Israeli soldiers have become the latest totems in a wave of violent protest across the Palestinian territories.

The Israeli army has confirmed that live ammunition was used in Monday’s clashes with Palestinian protesters and that two were shot with 0.22 calibre bullets – ammunition known to cause fatalities.

The Guardian reports that Udi Sirkhan, 16,  was hit in the head by a bullet as he walked home from work near Bethlehem, and was undergoing surgery aimed at saving his life.

But here is last night’s report on NPR from Larry Abramson about the clashes in the West Bank, with a very different emphasis. Not a word about Israeli attacks on Palestinians:  

ABRAMSON: Palestinian authorities say this is popular resistance, a grassroots movement to bring about the release of prisoners at Ofer and other facilities. But one young man named Yousef says he has something else in mind. Why do you come here?

YOUSEF: To kill some Israeli people.

ABRAMSON: You want to kill some Israelis?


ABRAMSON: That plays against the official script of the current demonstrations.

Abramson two or three times lectured Palestinians against resorting to violence, for instance because it will destabilize the economy:

Will these protests stay focused on the prisoners, or will they spill over into the roster of grievances that led to the first and the second intifadas? Thousands died in those uprisings, which lasted for years and shut down the Palestinian economy.

Shouldn’t he be lecturing the Israelis, who have delivered more violence against Palestinians than vice versa?

And what does Abramson mean by a “roster of grievances”? It sounds like the Palestinians are complainers. Have those grievances been addressed in the 25 years since the First Intifada? Yesterday Bradley Burston wrote in Haaretz that the occupation is like slavery, a view I have often expressed (4 million slaves then, 4 million now). Well John Brown said that slavery could only be eliminated by “verry much” bloodshed; and Brown actually directed events, and that is how slavery ended, with a devastating war. I am against John Brown’s violence. But if grievous wrongs are not addressed, they will surely lead to violence.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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16 Responses

  1. Hostage on February 27, 2013, 10:22 am

    Abramson two or three times lectured Palestinians against resorting to violence, for instance because it will destabilize the economy . . . I am against John Brown’s violence. But if grievous wrongs are not addressed, they will surely lead to violence.

    Abramson only has to watch the news in Israel to know that its Finance Minister is deliberately destroying the Palestinian economy because they have pursued non-violent and perfectly legal avenues to address their complaints. Yuval Steinitz admitted publicly that he was withholding Palestinian tax revenues because they obtained upgraded non-member state status from the UN and threatened to ask the ICC to take action against Israeli officials.

    When Israelis and their supporters deny Palestinians equal representation in the UN and access to non-violent judicial remedies through the ICJ, ICC, and other civilized western courts, they only prove that the extremists are correct when they claim there is no viable alternative to talking the law into their own hands and resorting to violence.

    • Krauss on February 28, 2013, 4:59 am

      Phil, you do great work covering the biases of NPR(out of all stations!) when it comes to I/P.

      Abramson, Siegel and other Zionists who work at that place and basically control the reporting on the Middle East must be attacked. It’s simply insane that they’ve been let off the hook for so long as they have.

      People ask why Israel is so supported, well, if the reports they get on even NPR are like this, why are people surprised?

  2. Citizen on February 27, 2013, 10:37 am

    One of John Brown’s famous quotes was “The end justifies the means.”

    Is that not the ethics and morality of Zionism?

    How about a Palestinian suicide bomber’s?

    And Malcom X?

    The US Drone program? The neocon agenda generally?

    • jon s on February 27, 2013, 11:14 am

      As far as I know “the end justifies the means” is attributed to Machiavelli, and in the modern era is seen as typical of totalitarian movements and regimes. In regard to all those who subscribed to that attitude : we usually remember only their means. The “end” was never achieved.

      • American on February 27, 2013, 11:50 am

        ‘the ends justifies the means’ was taken from the Jesuits loyalty oath insititued by Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesuits….although that was not an exact translation….it became a sort of slogan for the political and covert activities of the Jesuits in advancing the Church.

      • justicewillprevail on February 27, 2013, 12:37 pm

        Well let’s hope that applies to zionism too.

  3. Citizen on February 27, 2013, 10:43 am

    John Brown defends his raid–live interview before his death:

  4. Mndwss on February 27, 2013, 10:56 am

    I asked: “Who is Yousef? Is his real name Yehuda?”

    And my comment was deleted. I did not mean to offend anyone.

    It was just a question. Is Yousef a Palestinian or a Jew working as an agent provocateur?

  5. Kathleen on February 27, 2013, 11:17 am

    Phil so glad you are targeting Abramson’s biased reporting. He has been doing this for years.

    • John Douglas on February 27, 2013, 1:47 pm

      Pro-Zionist bias is pretty much a culture at NPR. Think of Terry Gross’s roster of interviewees and the fact that she never challenges even the most obvious pro-Zionist distortions.

      On “ends and means”, clearly the benefits of an action sometimes justifies it and on other occasions – particularly when the action violates human rights – the intended end, even if a good, does not justify the means. A blanket, “The ends don’t justify the means,” is simply not true.

      • Kathleen on February 27, 2013, 3:19 pm

        Yes on Terri Gross. Many of us have been pointing at her biases and her guest list for years. She was one of the worst MSM host for repeating the unsubstantiated claims about Iran. She seems to have toned down a bit.

  6. Maximus Decimus Meridius on February 27, 2013, 12:00 pm

    While The Guardian may still be better than just about any mainstream US newspaper, it really does not deserve any praise for its coverage of Israel/Palestine. It used to be quite good – at least as far as mainstream media goes – but in the past year or so, it’s painfully obvious that it has massively toned down any implied criticism of Israel. Harriet Sherwood’s reports, which used to be quite informative, now read as though they’ve been pre-approved by the IDF’s censors – which they probably have, figuratively if not literally, although her tacky little puff piece about an American who served in the IDF was indeed literally pre-censored by IDF ‘monitors’. Also, ‘moderation’ of Comment is Free threads is ridiculous, with the mods zapping anything which runs foul of the gang of hasbarists who stalk those threads. But most of all, coverage of what is actually going on in Palestine is conspicuous by its absence: the hunger strikes have barely been covered at all, and the death of Arafat Jaradat received only a brief mention.

    My theory is that The Guardian’s avowed wish to expand in the US market is largely responsible for its very obvious swing towards a more Israel-friendly viewpoint. Also, it’s come under extreme pressure from Zionist hoodlums such as CiF Watch, though you’d think a major publication like the Graun would be able to hold its own against them. In any case, it’s almost impossible to believe that this is the paper which, only two short years ago, published the Palestine Papers.

    • Reds on February 27, 2013, 8:15 pm

      I disagree.

      While some of it reporting is correctly as you described it.CiF Watch did manage to put some fear into some at the Guardian but I like to point out the guardian did recently defend a cartoonist of Israel’s P.M. and has also hired Glenn Greenwald to the line up and pulls no punches in regards to the Israeli Firsters. And still allows another writer to write even know CiF has been going after her for years.

  7. Les on February 27, 2013, 2:10 pm

    Thanks to Haaretz for digging up the news unpalatable to US media moguls.

    Published on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 by Common Dreams
    EU Slams Israeli Settlements, Urges Sanctions in New Report
    Settlement expansion is ‘systematic, deliberate and provocative’
    – Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

    Illegal settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem poses the greatest threat to peace between Israel and Palestine, the European Union said in a report that urges all EU states to end all financial investments or transactions that could directly or indirectly aid the settlement-building process.

    Protesters wave Palestinian flags, January 12, 2013, in an area between Jerusalem and the Jewish settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim in the Israeli-occupied West Bank ( AFP / Ahmad Gharabli) Written by the EU heads of mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah, the previously unpublished ‘Jerusalem Report 2012’—which was obtained by Haaretz—calls for economic sanctions on all settlements. Additionally, the report argues that Israel’s persistent settlement expansion is “systematic, deliberate and provocative” and a sabotage on the Israel/Palestine peace process.

    According to the report, Israel is “systematically undermining the Palestinian presence” in Jerusalem, through policies including “restrictive zoning and planning, demolitions and evacuations, discriminatory access to religious sites, an inequitable education policy, difficult access to health care, the inadequate provision of resources.”

    According to Haaretz, the report most pointedly reprimands Israel over its recent construction plans in Area E-1, which would link Jerusalem to the nearby West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim.

    This expansion in E-1 “threatens 2,300 Bedouin with forcible transfer,” the report states, and “would effectively divide the West Bank into separate northern and southern parts.” It would also “prevent Palestinians in East Jerusalem from further urban development and cut off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.”

    Settlement plans for this area were made official in late November after Palestinians gained observer state status at the United Nations, and include over 5,000 new Jewish settlements in the West Bank in the near future.

    The report urges EU member states to “coordinate EU monitoring and a strong EU response in order to prevent settlement construction in E-1, including opposing forced transfer of the Bedouin communities in E-1.”

    The report makes six recommendations on economic issues, suggesting member states “prevent, discourage and raise awareness about problematic implications of financial transactions, including foreign direct investments, from within the EU in support of settlement activities, infrastructure and services.”

    Among the more specific actions suggested by the EU, Haaretz reports:

    Seven of the report’s 10 recommendations deal with imposing direct or indirect sanctions by the European Union on bodies and organizations involved in construction in the settlements. The recommendation to actively encourage European divestment from the settlements is particularly severe, compared with previous internal EU reports.

    The consuls recommend that the EU ensure strict application of the free trade agreement between the EU and Israel so that products manufactured in settlements do not benefit from preferential treatment. Another clause recommends encouraging efforts to enforce existing legislation requiring products made in the settlements to be labeled as such at sales points.

    The report was originally handed to the EU institutions in Brussels and to the foreign ministries of the 27 member states in early January.

  8. DICKERSON3870 on February 27, 2013, 3:40 pm

    RE: “Will these protests stay focused on the prisoners, or will they spill over into the roster of grievances that led to the first and the second intifadas? Thousands died in those uprisings, which lasted for years and shut down the Palestinian economy. ~ Abramson on NPR

    SEE: “The Dogs of War: The Next Intifada”, By Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, 9/03/11

    [EXCERPT] . . . The second (“al-Aqsa”) intifada started after the breakdown of the 2000 Camp David conference and Ariel Sharon’s deliberately provocative “visit” to the Temple Mount. The Palestinians held non-violent mass demonstrations. The army responded with selective killings.
    A sharpshooter accompanied by an officer would take position in the path of the protest, and the officer would point out selected targets – protesters who looked like “ringleaders”. They were killed.

    This was highly effective. Soon the non-violent demonstrations ceased and were replaced by very violent (“terrorist”) actions. With those the army was back on familiar ground. . .


  9. belewlaw on February 27, 2013, 6:58 pm

    NPR has been subjected to an aggressive – and apparently successful – intimidation program by CAMERA and other organization that attempt to stifle balanced coverage of I/P. A friend who was a former producer at NPR says that anytime they ran accurate coverage of I/P issues, listeners would call in and threaten to withhold contributions.

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