Mindless headlines

by Micah on August 21, 2003

This headline from the New York Times has been bothering me all day. It reads: “Islamic Militant Groups Say Truce Is Dead After Israeli Strike.” Wasn’t this obvious from the fact that they claimed responsibility for the Jerusalem bus bombing two days ago?

{ 5 comments }

1

Brian 08.22.03 at 1:31 am

You’d think so, but the press aren’t always the quickest people to the draw, and, let’s face it, the Middle East isn’t exactly the clearest political, religios, or military area in the world. But, basically, this one is just the press dropping the ball.

2

John 08.22.03 at 4:47 am

I find the headline silly only insofar as there never was a truce, provided we take ‘truce’ to have its ordinary meaning: ‘a temporary cessation of warfare by agreement between the belligerents’.

Israel never “formally recognized [the truce] even while acknowledging its utility in getting the peace plan off the ground” (New York Times, August 13). Moreover, “Despite a temporary suspension of violence declared on June 29 by the main Palestinian factions, Israel has continued scouring Palestinian cities like Nablus for weapons laboratories and suspects, arresting more than 230 people. Israel says it cannot halt such operations because militants are using this period of relative calm to rearm” (New York Times, August 9). (Note that this was before the pair of suicide bombings on August 12 by two Palestinians, which brought to an end a period of over five weeks during which the Palestinian factions did not carry out any attacks.)

At most, only one side had openly agreed to stop violence against the other. We’ll never know what might have happened had both sides agreed to halt violence and provocation.

They seem to have some recognition of this over at the New York Times, despite the silly headline, because the first line of that story states that Hamas and Islamic Jihad “officially abandoned their declared decision to suspend attacks against Israelis.”

3

biran burgess 08.22.03 at 4:58 am

“They seem to have some recognition of this over at the New York Times, despite the silly headline, because the first line of that story states that Hamas and Islamic Jihad “officially abandoned their declared decision to suspend attacks against Israelis.””

I puzzled over this all day, especially given the NPR coverage on my morning commute. After a long lead stating that the Israel attack eneded the truce, they would eventually get around to mentioning the bombing 2 days ago that killed 20+ people (for which Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility) as possibly being seen as the end of the ‘truce’.

However, they even qualified that, by saying Israel had given the Palestinians only 48 to respond before launching their own attack. It’s almost like saying Israel bears more responsibility b/c:

a) they were hasty in their response and
b) they responded

How does that make sense?

4

Wayne 08.23.03 at 8:09 pm

I constantly, over the years, though sympathetic to the situation of the Palestinians, have listened to complaints about Israeli barbarity when there would be a retaliatory strike against people whose only crime was the murder of innocents, old and young alike. Have these Jews no sense of humor?

The misguided, growing, “leftish” amnesia regarding the causes of the Israeli response and the insistent, racist? complaints that the Israelis were to be held to a higher standard irritated me no end.

We can do a chicken and egg analysis and never get anywhere. Fingerpointing by the weak minded is a boring sport. You were absolutely correct to point out this new press idiocy.

When BushCo runs the world so incompetently and the press displays monumental ignorance and incompetence I can only fear that incompetence might be contagious.

5

Doug Turnbull 08.25.03 at 2:10 pm

According to the coverage in the Washington Post, Hamas’s official position was that the bus bombing was not an attack in violation of the truce, it was a retaliation for Israeli attacks committed previously.

Silly, perhaps, but that was their stated position, and then they stopped even paying lip service to the truce idea in response to the Israeli response.

Comments on this entry are closed.