Media Clippings: Finally, a Respite

One of the indignities of traveling to foreign countries these days – aside from lost luggage and jet lag – is having to put up with only the BBC, Sky News and Channel 2, to say nothing of the ubiquitous CNN, if you want to find out what's going on in the world. The offense mushrooms if something significant happens in Israel.

Now, however, it seems the insult can come about even if nothing happens in Israel, but Israel-related things happen elsewhere.

Let me explain. Two weeks ago, I was in Israel and Germany for very brief stays. What amazed me was how quiet it was in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, but how raucous the Israeli-related images were that news-gatherers were exporting to the world. That's par for the course, though; it comes with the territory.

What was really perturbing was that, with the second wave of planned terror attacks in London, there was nothing said about Israel or what the country has had to withstand since the beginning of the second intifada. The four TV channels mentioned above railed against the suicide bombings in the U.K., condemning them with utter forthrightness, while terror in Israel was ignored or justified as a logical response to the "occupation."

In the coverage of the flubbed second bombings, there was much talk about what the British could do to assist in the battle against terror, but not a word about what the Israeli response might teach us all about the nature of such incidents, or how Londoners might learn from Israelis how to weather such devastating bombardments.

That was why it was so comforting to board a plane for home and in the course of the flight read an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal Europe of July 22-24 titled "Jerusalem, England." There, Israel was given its dues as a staunch ally in the terror war.

But the Journal is not the norm. Its editors have often referred to the Jewish state in such terms, a notion that seems anathema to other Western media outlets.

That's why it was so astonishing to read in, of all places, The New York Times on July 25 – just after the tragic killing of an innocent Londoner thought to be a terrorist – a news item titled "In Most Cases, Israel Thwarts Suicide Attacks Without a Shot." This was one of only three or four positive news articles the Times has run about Israel during the second intifada. It took into consideration the terrible struggle the country has had to withstand, and just how bravely the populace has responded.

As the piece goes: "Very late on Friday night, Israeli military and counterintelligence forces intercepted a would-be suicide bomber on his way to Tel Aviv, wearing a suicide belt, and persuaded him to disrobe and surrender.

"The capture was a sharp contrast to the killing last week of an innocent man … "

Granted, the piece was buried on Page 13 and given less than a column of space; still, it was nearly miraculous in its effect. u



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