JTA’s Leslie Susser writes this in his latest report on the internal “danger” East Jerusalem Palestinains pose to the Israeli state in the aftermath of the Merkaz HaRav attack:
“…20 percent of Jerusalem’s 220,000 Palestinians have been involved directly or indirectly in terrorism, according to Israeli police sources.”
You’ll notice there is no verifiable source for this charge and so no way to document it. I’ve just e mailed JTA’s editor asking him to do so. But if it were true it would mean that 45,000 Arab residents of Jerusalem have been involved in terrorism. Sorry, but I don’t see any way this could be possible unless you come up with some pretty wild and far-fetched standard for implicating someone with involvement with terror.
Doing some web research it appears that another right-wing Israeli news site quoted Israel’s interior minister saying something far different:
Arab residents of Jerusalem have been involved in at least 20 percent of terrorist attacks against Israelis, Dichter said Saturday.
This too is an unquantified, unverified charge but at least the claim is far different and it comes from a specific Israeli official.
This is a perfect example of the Israel coverage we’ve come to expect of JTA. The only thing I can’t tell is whether this story is the result of a reporter’s error or an editor’s error. Or is it possibly willful incitement against Palestinians? Will JTA publish a correction? Just when is the mashiach scheduled to arrive??
NOTE: An Israeli journalist I trust has just written asking me to suspend judgement on Susser till I know more about what happened in this instance. So I will say it is possible that Susser is not at fault but an editor made a mistake in editing his story. At any rate, we’ll see if JTA responds to my e mail asking for clarification.