Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Dead Israelis don't count (letter to the Sun)

I sent the following self-explanatory letter to the Sun today:

  • Your story today about the acquittal of Parveen Sharif on charges of withholding information about her brother's imminent suicide bombing mission in Israel was interesting, but contained a glaring omission. There was no mention at all that 3 civilians were killed and 65 were injured in the suicide bombing at Mike's Bar in Tel Aviv. In fact, the impression from your report is that the suicide bombing never took place, since the report concludes with the words "Omar — who posed clutching an AK47 rifle with another British bomber — failed to detonate his device in 2003. He killed himself in shame." In fact this was a joint mission with fellow Brit Asif Hanif who did blow himself up. Moreover, contrary to what was written, there is no definitive evidence about how Omar Sharif died, but most informed commentators accept that he was killed by a Hamas operative who had organized the attack.

The problem is that the Sun is actually the only pro-Israeli newspaper, yet even it does not think that dead Israelis really count.
Incidentally the Sun story was genuinely interesting because it revealed that Parveen Sharif (who incredibly is a teacher) told pupils after 9/11: “I am on Osama Bin Laden’s team.” Those following the case will also know that she sent email messages to her brother telling him he "must be strong in his mission" and that she recieved email messages from her brother telling her that she would "have to look after the family from now on". But, of course, the jury found her not guilty of failing to inform the authorities about an imminent terrorist act on the grounds that she "could not have known about it". The question I'd like to have asked is "What exactly did she think her Jihadist brother was doing when he told her he was going to Israel?" Maybe she thought he was going to visit the Wailing Wall or swim with the dolphins in Eilat.

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