Along the Tracks

Thursday, August 21, 2003

‘Truce’ ends

The New York Times dutifully reports that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have announced the end of their “truce” with Israel after an IDF helicopter blasted to oblivion a Hamas leader yesterday in the West Bank.

Isn’t it strange that the Times, with most others in the media, did not consider the “truce” over when Hamas blew up a busload of worshippers in Jerusalem earlier this week? So, the Times (and others) position becomes clear: Bombing innocent civilians does not qualify as breaking a truce, but targeted killing of militants does.

And they wonder why people think the news is slanted!

Meanwhile, on the Editorial Page ...

The Times makes more sense than it has in ... well, ever, when it comes to house opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Today, the Times comes out unequivocally for a crackdown on militants by Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.

And while the Times has consistently called for an end to the “cycle of violence” with equally harsh words for the Israelis, today seems to mark a turning point in editorial opinion:

“Hamas described Tuesday's bombing as retaliation for the Israeli Army's killing of one of its militants in June. Hamas is a self-appointed gang of thugs with no right to kill anyone, Israeli or Palestinian. That is how it must be treated by Mr. Abbas and his security chief, Muhammad Dahlan.

“After nearly three years of fighting between Israel and armed Palestinian groups, Mr. Abbas’s administration may not have the police resources to shut down Hamas, Islamic Jihad and a third terrorist group, the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, immediately. What it can do is start to chip away at them to at least demonstrate its intent. It can demand that all three immediately abide by a cease-fire that allows no exceptions in response to Israeli retaliations or anything else. “

Have the Times editors really seen the light and chosen to hold the killers responsible as a precondition to Israeli concessions and movement on the road map? I’ll be watching.

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