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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

October 26, 2002

Humanizing Israeli Victims

I am not as convinced as the author of this piece that there is a gradual shifting in the media toward a more sypathetic view of Israel. I do believe though that the bus bombing and the Bali massacre will increase the contempt for terrorism. Then too even a modest shift toward a more sympathetic view is a much-welcomed change from what has been up to this point.
HonestReporting encourages members to contact your local editors and recommend that they publish similar articles.

Thanks to journalist Tom Gross for the research.

----- (1) USA TODAY -----

A page one story from USA Today declares that "Israelis have discovered ways to live with everyday terror." Ellen Hale writes:

"Through small daily actions, deliberate public policies and subtle adjustments in the way they think, [Israelis] have found healthy methods of taking control of their lives and going about their business amid the chaos of war. Though they may have had to cut back on liberties they once enjoyed, most say they have learned to take pleasure in people and experiences they previously undervalued -- (small moments with their families and friends).

"The day it re-opened, Cafe Moment [where 12 Israelis were killed on March 9] was packed with the families of those killed, as well as those injured in the blast, in a robust show of survival that someone called 'non-violent revenge.' Moment bomb victim Joseph Cohen, 50, spent two months recuperating in a hospital. He now walks with a cane, is partially blind and has pitted scars over his back from nails planted in the bomb. Yet, he returns to the cafe every day for a drink. Says Cohen: 'I made myself do it. You have to. You live, or not.'"

Online at:
http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20021017/4542206s.htm

Comments to:
editor@usatoday.com

----- (2) TIMES OF LONDON -----

As the war against Iraq gathers steam, The Times of London published a profile of the Iraqi Jewish community. ("Iraq's last Jews Wait in Fear for War" - Oct. 18)

Writer Ian Cobain makes mention of the often-forgotten Jewish refugees who were forced to flee Arab countries in the wake of Israel's independence:

"Fifty years ago, there were about 350,000 Jewish people in Iraq. When the British marched into Baghdad at the end of the First World War a fifth of its citizens were estimated to be Jewish... After the creation of the state of Israel hundreds of thousands of Jews fled Iraq, at first slipping across the borders in small numbers, then joining airlifts organised by the Israeli Government."

The Times reports on the remnants of the community today: "Today 38 [Jews] remain in the capital. In Basra, the once prosperous port in the south, there is just one old woman. In Mosul and Amarah, and other Iraqi cities where Jews had lived for more than two millennia, their communities have vanished without trace." In Baghdad, the guardian of the only functioning synagogue said that he required "written permission from the Ministry of Information before I can talk to you, and then they will send one of their minders to sit in on the interview."

Online at:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-450465,00.html

Comments to:
worldnews.editor@the-times.co.uk