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.
76% of all statistics are made up.
Sol Salbe says
Why don’t you leave your comments at the JTA’s own website:http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/news/article/2008031020080310mercaz.html?
That’s an extremely strong statement not to mention rush to judgment. And this coming from the same gentleman who offered a mealy mouthed pass or understanding to the Palestinians as to why public opinions show overwhelming support for the latest murder in Jerusalem. And that is without mentioning the fact that this murderer was championed as a brave martyr with full page picture in the official PA press, a fact you of course didn’t feel important to mention.
So how is it that a seemingly minor placement of a statistic within an article is cause to quickly accuse JTA of willful incitement against Arabs – however, the championing or hero worship lauded upon a brutal cold blooded murderer with the official newspaper of the PA press is not cause for even a mention? and not even in the slightest part explanatory of Palestinian public approval of this cold blooded act? You instead only explained it exclusively within the context of, of course Israeli actions which caused it to be so?
The double standard is glaringly obvious and rather disgusting, not to mention the fact it gives easy fodder to anyone wanting to reduce your credibility.
Richard Silverstein says
Not at all. If you read this comment at Gershom Gorenberg’s blog you’ll find that JTA issued a correction to its subscribers. Of course, the JTA editor never bothered to respond to me, the person who first noted the mistake & reported it to him. But how many of the Jewish papers which published the original error will publish the correction. In the meanwhile, how much damage has been done in the minds of American Jews who read this thinking that 45,000 East Jerusalem Arabs support terror?
I called the attack “bestial.” I didn’t realize that was considered “mealy-mouthed” in yr circles. Is there a stronger word I should’ve used??? Your problem w. me is that I don’t ONLY condemn the Palestinians, but I also condemn Israeli incitement & violence. The only approach you accept is one-sided condemnation. Sorry, but I don’t do that.
That’s because I knew that you and 100,000 other online Palestinian haters would do that for me.
It is typical of the right-wing Israel First apologists like you to call such a mistake like this a “minor placement of a statistic.” If you read Gershom Gorenberg’s excellent post linked above you’ll find that, good journalist that he is, he followed up on this story with the interior minister’s office who noted that at most several hundred East Jerusalem Arabs may be implicated in even the remotest way with terrorism. So you call the difference between 45,000 Arabs implicated in terror & a few hundred as a “minor statistic???” Interesting.
Tell you what. When you denounce every act of Israeli violence & incitement against Palestinians & peace-loving Israelis including Baruch Goldstein, Yigal Amir, Emil Grunzweig’s murder, & the Jabel Mukaber pogrom then I’ll do as you wish.
This is either a lie or willful ignorance on yr part. I denounce Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians regularly. Do you always display yr laziness & ignorance so extravagantly??
My integrity is safe with those who understand & respect my mission here. I don’t solicit yr respect nor do I expect it.
In your entry you stated JTA would never acknowledge an error, at least not before Moshiach comes?
Now your big gripe is they didn’t brush your ego, a blogger from Seattle. Has Reuters, Guardian, or the NY Times mentioned someone specificially for pointing out an error when they made a correction? Why would you expect specific mention of you, further how impt is mention of you to the conflict?
Given the events in whole here – A Palestinian goes on a bloody gory murder spree – PA press glorifies him as a hero – JTA errs in writing a statistic – 25% of East Jerusalem Arabs versus 25% of committed terror acts – within an article –
I’d have to think the first two are more formative for any lasting or changed impressions here? The error is notable nonetheless.
Additionally, if you feel that a statistic within an article and granted, likely unnoticed later correction, is in fact crucial to incitement and impression you must be highly concerned about the goings on of the Al Durra trial?
Wouldn’t you think that pictures of the boy and his father were far more powerful in inciting violence than that likely barely noticed statistic? Apparently the PA believed they were very powerful? Were those 2 servicemen who were gored to death in the West Bank were an indirect if not direct result of those pictures used by the PA?
Fast forward to today – Al Jazeera often leads many of their news broadcasts with pictures of him and his father and the PA has used commercials with him urging elementary kids to seek martyrdom as the highest honor…
You demanded the JTA thank you for pointing out their error yet one who points out incitement from the PA side is a Palestinian hater? An unbiased observer should be against incitement on both sides since it only increases the chances for violence?
So you vehemently dislike being called a self hating Jew because this attempts to reduce the value of what you say out of hand, yet you easily use the same silencing technique in reverse.
No, it’s doubtful many people with either opinion on this conflict noticed that stat, though it is a notable error nonetheless. Again, with your labeling to diminish and silence.
Tell you what you start writing to the PA and Al Jazeera or ISM every time they incite against Israelis with as much fervor as you condemn this and then you’ll have some credibility. As far as Baruch Goldstein – is that actually an attempt to defeat someone’s credibility? Assuming they think of that guy as anything more than a bloody murderer. So in your mind anyone who finds your positions or logic troubling at times is a right-wing Israel First apologist who supports Baruch Goldstein? That must keep your opinions and morality very safe.
Yet, excuse me, but you accused anyone who pointed out the fact that this beastial (your word) murderer was afforded hero worship in the PA press as a Palestinian hater?
To paraphrase your own labeling – within the extremist left your respect is likely safe. It’s just when you venture out to the middle where you encounter problems. And if anyone finds you hypocritical, over the top or concescending, you could always just assume they’re a right-wing Israel first extremist who likley has a poster of Baruch Goldstein on their wall.
Richard Silverstein says
Actually, they would never have acknowledged their error nor issued a correction if Gershom had not posted his blog post. Ami hates my guts but has enough respect for Gershom to realize that if the latter notes an error its serious & worth copping to.
I note in reviewing my site stats that Ami Eden visited Gershom’s site shortly after he published his post (perhaps Gerhsom alerted him to it?). Then Ami visited my site (from Gershom’s). Three hours later Ruth Abrams published her comment at Gershom’s site saying JTA had issued a correction.
I did not know nor did I expect that Gershom would write about this matter (though I’m glad he did). Had he not done so there would’ve been no correction. Ami still has not answered the e mail I sent to him asking him to explain the numbers in this claim. Further proof that he would never have admitted an error based solely on my criticism.
The problem with people like you who come here to try to take me on is you don’t bother to actually read what I write. Or if you do read it you don’t pay enough attention to actually absorb what I’m saying. I never said I wanted to be mentioned by JTA. That would be ridiculous. But I would think an acknowledgement of my e mail with a return e mail would’ve been the decent thing to do. Most journalists answer their e mails I’ve found though in this case Ami chose not to do so.
Note the Israel Firster apologists always attempt to turn the tables when the debate gets too testy or too close to home, with some alleged act of Arab perfidy. We’re not getting into the Al Dura issue here. It’s the goose that laid the golden egg for groups like CAMERA, MEMRI, etc. That issue lays an egg here, period. And it ain’t golden. There are plenty of sites where you can spin yr conspiracy theories about that one. This isn’t one of ’em.
More lazy ignorance. That’s not what I said, nor what I wanted.
All anyone has to do is read your rhetoric to know that this is what you are. Do you deny you hate Palestinians? And pls. don’t respond with empty rhetoric stating the secular equivalent of hating the sin and loving the sinner.
You don’t understand why it is a far deeper calumny to call me a self-hating Jew than it is for someone to call you a Palestinian hater?
I’m not seeking your credibility. I have set out my mission here and those who don’t like it can take a hike. My goal in life is not to live up to your expectations.
Anyone who gets on a soapbox as Ruth did about the evil that lurks in the hearts of all Palestinians sure has a lot of explaining to do. I’m opposed to those on both sides of the conflict who see evil only in the enemy but refuse to acknowledge it among their own. To anyone who refuses to acknowledge Jewish incitement & terror and only sees Palestinian incitement and terror, Baruch Goldstein is a perfect antidote.
Only someone on the far-right of this issue could call me an “extremist.” My views are far more mainstream about the conflict than yours if you review Israeli & American Jewish public opinion surveys.
Neither the Forward, Haaretz, The Guardian or American Conservative Magazine are particularly known for embracing “extreme leftists.” In fact, I’d say they “venture out to the middle” and they don’t have problems with publishing my work. What does that say about you though?
I do. Though they’re not always extremist, but they’re always always right-wing.