(June 10, 2013 / JNS) How comforting it must be to cultivate the delusion that everything begins and ends in the territories. But the reality is that certain things are not contained; there is osmosis. Terror doesn’t recognize boundaries, neither red lines nor green lines. But the mainstream media is hushing up any evidence that might suggest otherwise.
News consumers, here’s a little test: Have you heard of the terror attacks perpetrated against Jews in Ramle in central Israel? Just this week, the windshields of about 10 cars were smashed there. Families driving their children to an after-school activity, or coming back from the supermarket, had bricks hurled at their cars. Did you happen to catch any coverage of the 10-year-old boy from Lod who was beaten and whose eye was blackened by a group of Arab teens as he was coming home from school? Did you hear a shred of a story about the group of Jewish schoolchildren who were forced to leave an arcade due to violence, spitting and cursing by a group of Arabs? Try to imagine what would happen in the media if the ethnicities were reversed. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Let’s put aside the terror in Judea and Samaria, which continues to sow fear in varying degrees (this week, among other incidents, firebombs were hurled at a bus carrying children in Samaria. Boring. Nothing to report.) Let’s pretend that terror in Judea and Samaria is a case of dog bites man. Let’s pretend that the ambushes by rock-throwing Palestinians on access roads to quiet communities are as exciting as rain in January. But what about the terrible attacks by Bedouin outlaws against the residents of the Negev community Retamim? Here’s just an example from the last few days: Rocks were thrown at women and children, cars were set ablaze, a married couple were attacked with a crowbar, violent ambushes awaited farmers in their fields and a number of terror attacks were attempted along the roads. In the Negev.
And what about the recent firebombing at a home in Mount Scopus, not far from Hebrew University in Jerusalem? Did you hear anything about that? What about the racist Arabic graffiti on the walls of a synagogue at Beit Safra in central Jerusalem? The mass gravestone vandalism at the Mount of Olives? The Ha’ohel synagogue in Bat Yam that has been vandalized four times in the last month, with swastikas spray painted on its walls and its doors destroyed? The nationalistically motivated arson of the woods in Armon Hanatziv? Anything?
An Israel Railways train was recently pelted with rocks in the “occupied” Ramle station. Two University of Tel Aviv students were lightly hurt when windshields shattered, spraying shards everywhere. If you heard about this incident, you deserve a medal.
Here’s another news flash: Several days ago, two Israeli Arabs were indicted for allegedly trying to burn a Jewish family near Nahariya. They prepared a firebomb, hid on the side of the road in the Western Galilee, and threw the bomb at a car as it was turning to enter the Jewish community of Tal-El. They then rolled a burning tire into the road. All the media outlets were notified about this incident by the Justice Ministry. All the media outlets chose to ignore it. Even the Israeli Arab resident of Shfaram who met with Hezbollah agents in Mecca and handed over classified military information for an extended period of time got less screen time than the weather forecast.
Compare all this with the coverage of Jewish “terror”—price-tag attacks involving despicable vandalism of Arab property, which, by Israeli media standards, is tantamount to 9/11. Everyone knows that the hotline recently set up by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni for reporting acts of racism wasn’t intended for acts perpetrated by Arabs. According to the newspeak dictionary, the word “terror” means an abominable act perpetrated only by individuals whose mother is Jewish. On the other hand, an abominable act perpetrated by an individual whose mother is not Jewish will be defined as “flying objects” or “act of mischief” or “a metaphor of resistance.”
Indifference toward the terror directed at settlers has long been a cornerstone of Israeli journalistic ethics. Now this terror has spread into the rest of the country. Europe’s efforts to label products manufactured in the settlements, which were very well received by the media, will also not remain confined beyond the Green Line. All Israeli exports are on the line.
Terror organizations have understood how the mechanism works: The trickle of racially-motivated murder attempts from the Judean Mountains to the Galilee, from the Negev to central Israel, is made possible by the Israeli public’s silence. First they came for the settlers, and you didn’t speak out.
Emily Amrousi, a journalist living in Samaria, is a columnist for Israel Hayom