Was there a massacre in Jenin? Why do the media disagree?

Sorry, I meant to make this a new thread not a reply to this one.

>> Do you think the “myths” have been debunked by the information provided?

Not for me. I still believe the “myths”.

Another article related to the events in Jenin: Washington Post: In Jenin, U.N. Envoy Witnesses ‘Horrifying’ Scene

The level of discourse here is sinking to near all time lows.

Collounsbury apparently believes that calling a point of view, supported by examples, laughable, counts as intelligent discourse. No need to provide any evidence to back up your view. Keep repeating the charge and maybe it will stick.

And (s)he is apparently unaware that bias isn’t lying. The emphasis, the choice of words, the selection of what to tell and where to place it, this is bias. Church of the Nativity is characterized as “a stand-off” with Palestinians taking refuge in the Church for protection … not called using “human shields” or even using sacred architectural shields. The fact that invoices were found directly linking the top levels of Arafat’s leadership to the funding of terrorism hardly made the news, and the fact that terrorists intentionally surround themselves with human shields in these areas is de-emphasized and never described in pejoritive terms. But when the IDF has prisoners knock on doors it is not only called using “human shields,” with the connotation of shooting from behind a wall of civilians, the actual accusation is often not even mentioned in the article, or if it is, it is buried way deep, leaving the implication to stand alone. These are examples of bias and they are part of a long trend.

As to Jenin. Here is what is known: the IDF considered this operation a war effort and states that they attempted to minimize civilian casulties; house to house searching in hostile areas is dangerous work and the IDF admits to massive destruction of property as a method and (at least) dozens of deaths; some Palestinians claim there was a massacre there; first charges included that there were mass graves but when none were found the charge became one of carting away bodies in refrigerated trucks; the IDF has kept media out of the area; the scene so far is one of horrible destruction but so far is not inconsistent with the IDF version of events, neither does it disprove the accusation of an organized, officially sanctioned and coordinated, massacre of civilians with many members of the IDF participating in a huge cover-up (and all staying Mum) disposing of hundreds of bodies by special refrigerated trucks to sites unknown. Now these facts could be reported in an pro-Israeli fashion or a pro-Palestinian fashion. Try to write it out both ways. Which matches what has been reported in the media?

I can’t even understand the point that several other posters are trying to make. It seems to be written in English but …

I’m with hemlock, war is not pretty, especially when your enemy specializes in using human shields and you know that you need to get them anyway. The IDF may have decided that it was better to accept the “unavoidable deaths” of a hundred Palestinians than to accept the death of several hundred IDF troops politely going door to door where you know terrorists are laying in wait to ambush you. But the officially sanctioned and coordinated massacre version seems absurd and illogical to me. The willingness of the world media to accept it as likely fact without an iota of real evidence bespeaks the bias that is out there.

And one more thing:

The bias is so deep that we all accept biases as fact. For example, the phrase “The Palestinian People”. The was not a people of Palestine before they were created by the Arabs abandoning their brethern in camps on their borders. In the early 20th century there were just Arabs of various groups who happened to live in an area that was refered to by Jews and some Westerners as Palestine. See the entry for Palestine in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica (http://95.1911encyclopedia.org/P/PA/Palestine.htm)

But the bias is so pervasive that all accept the notion of a Palestinian people.

Could that be because it isn’t what’s happening and there’s nothing to dispute about the characterization?

This was covered in the news, with pictures of the documents, Israeli spokesmen on CNN etc…

It is using human shields, but I guess since it’s one at a time it doesn’t really qualify. Does it?

Because something sounds absurd and illogical to you doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

An investigation will have to take place to see if this was a massacre. We have conflicting reports from the Israeli’s themselves on how many were killed, i.e. it went from hundreds to dozens and these are their own words(sorry don’t have the cite, but it was reported widely in the news).

Are you saying there’s no such thing as a Palestinian people? What’s your opinion of this Palestinian history?

Also, the encyclopedia is source of information without bias? Who would have thunk!

Oh, and by the way, your link doesn’t work, maybe it just me, I don’t know.

CK, you’re wrong about media access. Israel initially banned ALL reporters from Jenin and other areas.



There has been worldwide condemnation of their actions in Jenin. Amnesty has condemned it. The UN has condemned it. They didn’t even allow rescue workers in for 11 days to provide humanitarian belief:


European leaders and media have condemned it:


US media has reported the horrors:


The World Bank is highly critical:

Even Israel is admitting the killing of innocents:


It is NOT helping the cause of innocent, peace-seeking Israelis to continue this whitewash and denial of the atrocities commmitted by their leaders. Many are considerably less happy than you are with what is going on:



I take the word of US, UK, Australian, European newswires and newspapers, the United Nations, and Amnesty International over propaganda from the Israeli government. Note: I haven’t bothered to cite anything from the “controlled Arabic press” - sure they’re biased.

All in all it depends on your definition of “massacre.” But this is certainly in the league of “atrocities.” Not until the rubble is dug up will the full picture be known.

istara, allow me to add to your list a contribution from an Israeli paper:

Those who condone Sharon’s actions, a few questions.

I am trying to empathize with both sides. I believe I understand why Sharon is ordering what he’s ordering. I don’t condone it, but it’s explicable, in the light of what the suicide bombers have done. Can you empathize with the innocent people of Jenin? Or do you believe they’re all guilty?

Consider the inisputable and undisputed facts: there was wholesale destruction, intimidation, and many deaths (massacre notwithstanding) in a besieged town at the hands of an army. Helicopter gunships hovered overhead. Water, food, medical assistance was denied access, as was the press.

Ask yourself: would you stand for it in your own town? Imagine a gang goes loco with semiautomatics in your town. Some of them hide in your street. Would you expect or condone the cops to bulldoze your house to look for them?

Do you think that what happened is more or less likely to create a new generation of Palestinian terrorists?

EMPATHY. Tough for some, I know. And if you can’t empathize, try to analyze why you can’t. Could it be because of partisanship?

27 March: In the Israeli resort of Netanya, a Palestinian bomber blows himself up at a hotel, killing 28 Israelis celebrating Passover. No one person objects to calling it a massacre (as it was).

3 April: Israeli soliders march in Jenin and have been said to killed at least 50, at most 400 (Israeli solider’s and Palestinian cilivian guesses repectivly). Israeli soliders block doctors, forensic experts, aid agentcies, and reports from accessing the city. They have: used children as human shields, bulldozed bulidings with people still inside, and virtuly destroyed Palestinian society.

If the press calls the occupation of Jenin and it’s refugee camp a massacre and you say they are bias. This reasoning is outright, blatant, and disgusting racism, it is sick to see people defend it. When should it be called a massacre? when an Israeli civilian is dead. The only stopping me (but not the press) from calling it a war crime is that not all evidence is in (thanks to the Israeli soliders for preventing any witnesses). The truth will come out in time, but for now I would definity call this a massacre.

I should mention that the israelis have probable moved a lot of bodies. Vans with freezers have been observed on the area.

Try it now: http://95.1911encyclopedia.org/P/PA/PALESTINE.htm
If that doesn’t work then you can get to it via yahoo, references, encyclopedias, by alphabetical, 1911 encyclopedia Britanicca, click on the P volume and scroll down to click on the entry (the top of the entry starts off with Palermo, you’ll need to scroll down some). Sorry for my web pointing incompetence.
Also from that entry is that politically what we now call Palestine had no Arab political identity either Some being historically part of Syria and some of Jordan and

Tjrinder, the Ottoman jursdiction of Palestine has no independent existence**

No, there is no historic Palestinian people but there is one now, I guess - one that was created as an identity by the Arab nations keeping their displaced brethern in camps after they annexed the land that was supposed to be a new Arab country.

As to your cite … first, no mention of a history of an identifiable Palestinian people at all. And the much else in there is at odds with most other reliable sources … the Western Wall was never part of the Temple but actually it all dates from Islamic periods and is all part of the Dome of the Rock?!? OK then.

Every information source has its bias, I doubt that the 1911 edition of Encyclopedia Br. had a pro Israeli one anyway, and could likely be trusted for factual information like political organization and population composition. I wouldn’t trust it for commentary though.

I empathize with the plight of those caught in the cross-fire. I wouldn’t stand for a gang of terrorists setting up in my basement. If they did and I knew that the police were coming, I’d scurry out of the way, and not be surprised if my house was a shambles after the fact. Police are not always nice. When someone is killing you today you worry about stopping him now. Maybe after he’s not killing me we can solve the problems that tomorrow will bring.

Quite hard to scurry away when you’d be shot for being on the street during curfew. You do not show any empathy at all IMO. If Israel was not involved and this was a Spanish Gov. taking exactly the same measures in a Basque area after a series of terrorist attacks would you be so sure of your views?

Just because you are fighting terrorism does not give anyone the right to dismiss human rights. Terrorists do not observe the human rights of their victim. Should Israel act like terrorists and bullies or should they act like a civilized country and allow aid in the area now that they have control. There are people who need help in that town NOW. Every aid agency and the UN are calling for to be let in to start helping people. the Israelis themselves have some of the best rescue workers in the world, where are they?

From everything I’ve read the Israeli Army/Administration have acted with complete disregard for human rights when it comes to Jenin.

Personally the whole thing has gone beyond sickening. The pighheaded attittudes of both sides are a nasty infection that spreads outside of the region. Are there no more moderates who are at least willing to listen to the other side for a second? To try and see things from the otehr’s point of view?

All I here is The press is pro this and pro that because they happen to report something unfavorable to the other side. The truth is most news agencies have tried to be unbiased, it still happens but as far as I have seen no information has been supressed. If a suicide bomber kills innocent civilians we know about it. If Israeli tanks lay seige to a Palestinian city we hear about it.

We make judegements on the rightness or wrongness of what I see and that can not be avoided. What I hate seeing is that if I make an observation that the leadership of both sides has been a joke and the leading cause for this horrible murder (Sorry in my mind killing is killing no matter how a person justifies it defence or what and I am refering to both sides once again) Both sides will accuse me of supporting the other side and being a rascist.

I’m so sick of this stupidity That at times I wish we could evacuate the entire region Locate both populations as far away from each other as possible and then Use Nukes to turn the country into a giant radioactive glass works!!!

(sorry for the rant but I get so angry at the stupidity of a situation that is completely fueled by irrational hatred and outdated and usless nationalism)

The Passover massacre was described by the BBC as “Deadly suicide bomb hits Israeli hotel”. No, the value-laden word “massacre” was not used by the same outlets that highlight that word when describing Israeli actions. And posting the way you do, I’d suggest that you change your sig.

DSeid the BBC and most others (incluing yourself in your last post) have refered to it as “the passover massacre”

“Among those killed on Friday were six Hamas militants, including Qais Idwan, the man Israel blames for the “Passover massacre” last week which killed 26 people and triggered the current offensive.” (from here)

There is nothing wrong with calling it that, I think of it in the same way. That was a massacre of Jewish people, and should be deplored like any other killings.

However, don’t start to defend the disgrace that happend in Jenin. To consider the massacre of 27 people at passover as terrible, but view the massive and untold amount(50-400?) of death, destuction, and horror in Jenin as acceptable, is racist. Palestinian deaths are just as ugly as any other, and I don’t see how this point of view conflicts with my sig. Maybe you should try and adopt it?


What efrem said.

The BBC headline read

“Massacre” is not used in the article. Not when talking about Jews dead.

Ha’aretz today reports

No mention of that denial on the BBC web site.

Okay DSeid, how often does the media have to say “massacre” in order for you to be satisfied? The link that efrem provided to the BBC article indicates “Passover massacre” as did many news reports on television. What’s your point?

As far as your behavior in calling me a racist … I’d suggest that you read the “New Antisemitism” thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=110004)

Oh, I forgot. Zionism is racism. And calling people names is the pursuit of peace.

Personally, I’ll continue to follow the guidelines I’ve stated in that thread.

As far as this thread goes, I’ll continue to make the point that the world media consistently reports in a Palestinian slant.

I find a distinct difference between cold blooded murders and deaths that occur while targetting murderers that are planning to kill more innocents. The first is evil, the second tragic.

IF it turns out that there was indeed, as alleged, an officially sanctioned, coordinated, premeditated murder of innocents (along with a cover-up of the same) then yes … it should be called a massacre and the guilty parties should be punished. The eagerness to believe that without any evidence supporting such a claim smells of something … but I don’t speak like that in public.

Um… for the record I never called you a racist. However I do believe putting Israeli lives over Palestinian ones is racist.


Huh? I don’t quite understand what your saying. Could you be less sutle and please elaborate.


All right, “to each his own”. However, if you seriously think that the whole “world media consistently reports in a Palestinian slant” maybe it’s your objectiveness that should be in question?


Occording to the first hand reports, and what we learned in the aftermath, what happened there was both evil and tragic. It is sad that you can defend the event at Jenin as “deaths that occur while targetting murderers that are planning to kill more innocents” it seems like an accuse for murder. I know if it was my town/family who it got subjected, I would be a liitle more mad, what would you call it then?


Hmmm… without any evidence? Have you even read any of the reports? There are already evidence of “officially sanctioned, coordinated, premeditated murder of innocents (along with a cover-up of the same)” What we know:

  1. Officially sanctioned, coordinated: The Israeli army (notiously known for their disreguard of Palestinian lives) were sent in to “occupy” Jenin. When they left what resulted is a whole a lot dead bodies and destuction. Here, the Israeli gov. itself has put the death toll at “dozens” while the Palestinians say “at least 500 were killed”

  2. Premeditated murder of innocents: The Soliders have also bulldozed/shelled houses and buildings with people still inside. Leaving them buried alive/dead under rubble.

  3. Cover up: The Israeli Soliders prevented any Doctors, Reports, Aid Agencies, and even forensic experts to enter or envistigate what happened in Jenin. Even when they had numerous reports of dead and dieing people in the streets, in their houses or buried under rubble, only Israeli soliders and Israeli settlers(can you believe this) were allowed to go in.

Now lets forget (for the moment) the claims of “mass burial”, “human sheilds”, or “shooting of innocents”. From what I have seen so far the people of Jenin were treated as an after-though by the Israeli army. Again I will say to treat them any less then we would if they were Israeli civilians (or whatever) is racist. Don’t you think?