Sunday, December 14, 2008

News of the World Article slanders Israel

I felt moved to write the following self-explanatory letter to the News of the World political writer Fraser Nelson. The article was about the child Afghan suicide bomber who killed three British marines. It was entitled "Who can spot an angel of death?". The article managed to incorporate two outrageous and totally irrelevant slurs against Israel. And what makes it so shocking in my view is that I am sure the writer had no idea that he was being offensive in any way.


Dear Mr Nelson

I enjoy your column in the News of the World every week, and hence am particularly disappointed that your normal journalistic standards could have been so completely compromised as they were in your article today about the child Afghan suicide bomber.

The problem in the article is that you have introduced two inappropriate, unnecessay and totally incorrect references to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. There have, of course, been many articles in the media that exhibit both ignorance and anti-Israel bias, but your two references to Israel reach an all-time low in my view (especially as I am sure your outlook is generally sympathetic to Israel). Specifically:

Point 1: You say "The Taliban use children like the Israeli army use robots. Seldom has a fighting force been so callous"

I can only assume that you had a mental blockage when you wrote this statement. First of all it seems to imply that the Israelis callously use robots to attack people in the way the Aghans do with suicide bombers. I can only assume that you have confused your facts here. The Israelis have, on a small number of occasions used robots to DISARM potential suicide bombers, as in the well known case of the 14-year-old Palestinian boy in March 2004:

This use of robots is exactly the opposite of what is implied in your statement. The use of robots is explicitly to save lives including even that of the suicide bomber. Your statement is a kind of a blood libel, that requires an apology. Perhaps you were confusing Israel's use of robots with the American use of drones against the Taliban. That would surely have been a more relevant and appropriate comparison to make given that the article was about Afghanistan and not Israel.

Point 2: You say (about the Afghan suicide bombers): "These are not the serious, adult suicide bombers used by Palestinian terrorists against Israel". This statement is offensive and ignorant on two levels. First the statement is false because the Palestinians have not only used child suicide bombers extensively, but have indoctrinated an entire generation of children to believe that killing as many Jews as possible by becoming a suicide bomber is the greatest ambition they can achieve. In fact, compared to the Afgan child bomber (who apparently may not even have known that he was on a suicide mission) the Palestinian child bombers have begged to become suicide bombers as a result of their indoctrination. For information about this, and a catalogue of Palestinian child suicide bombers see:

Secondly, the statement implies that Palestinian use of suicide bombers is somehow a legitimate and professional type of activity compared to the Afghans. Again you need to be reminded that, almost exclusively, Palestinian suicide bombings have been directed at civilian and not military targets. To even imply that these are morally superior somehow to the Afghan suicide attacks against the army is truly abhorrant.

I am extremely upset that you of all people have now joined the rest of our media writers in using any opportunity, no matter how inappropriate, to slander Israel.

Yours sincerely

Edgar Davidson