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Unfiled May 16, 2002
Holy Shit!
By Mark Ames Browse author Email
Page 2 of 3
"I will explain to you why. Two weeks ago I covered a story about some terrorists who broke into a settlement in Hebron and killed a family. They killed the wife and husband in their bed, and then they went into the children's room and killed a five year old girl. In her bed! Now I can understand where the terrorists come from -- a terrorist is not a good person, he kills, and besides, these settlers in Hebron are really fanatical, I really can't stand these people. But what is so horrible is how the Palestinian people, I mean the whole population, celebrates and support the murder of even that little girl! At least 80 percent of Palestinians support these murders. Where is their sense of responsibility? Why do they not ask themselves if this is a bad thing? How can a people celebrate killing a 5-year-old girl in her bed, no matter who her parents are? What does this say about the Palestinians?

"I know that our oppression has made their life terrible, I know it well because my job is to cover it. But Jews never celebrated and supported the murder of children. They at least debated it, they considered its consequences, they accepted maybe that it was a horrible fact of war. The Palestinians don't. Not one of them speaks out against it. There is no sense of responsibility, no sense of restraint. That is why I don't want to live with them, we cannot.

"And the fence works. The fence around Gaza works very well. Just this past month 40 terrorists have died trying to cross it. They don't get through. Here in the West Bank, they just walk right through the Green Line and blow up any cafe they want."

We were sitting in a cafe ourselves. Like most cafes, it was almost empty. A security guard stood at the gated fence; we were in a courtyard. The security guard was nervous and rude; he kept the key to the gate hidden in his jeans pocket, pulling it out to open the gate for each client going in and out, and stuffing it deep in his pocket after each locking.

"I'll tell you how else I've changed," my cousin said. "When we first had peace, the extreme right, the settlers, used to say, 'How can Israel help arm the Palestinian Authority? How can we give guns to our enemies? They will just fire at us from the hills. We are arming our enemies!' I didn't pay attention, it seemed ridiculous. We thought that everything had changed, that the world was watching the Palestinians and it wasn't possible. But now I have to admit, I was wrong. They DID fire at us from the hills, and elsewhere, with weapons that we gave them!

"I have been wrong about many things and I have to admit this. Especially about Sharon. I thought that when he moved to invade the West Bank six weeks ago, that he was crazy, that it would be ruinous and only make things worse. But I was wrong. Sharon was right. There is a military solution. Before, we had one or two suicide bombers every day. Maybe three. It seemed that there was no way of stopping it. I have to admit, I was wrong. There is a military solution. I am not in favor of it, but I cannot argue that it does not work."

Most of my cousin's anger was reserved for the American press.

"On September 11th, I was very impressed with how responsible your press was. In Israel, every commentator would be screaming to fire the head of the CIA, the FBI, and so on. They would be blaming everyone. One of our famous commentators noted this. He said that it showed how measured and responsible American media was, how in America, instead of blaming first, they would spend money and time investigating what really went wrong, and in a few weeks, the really great investigative stories would come out.

"What happened? Your media has not criticized the government at all. It is simply a mouthpiece. Condaleeza Rice tells the networks not to broadcast Osama bin Laden videos because he is sending coded messages -- and everyone knows this is bullshit -- but EVERY SINGLE television station complied. No one questioned it!

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