Book Review in ‘The Washington Post’ Exemplifies Anti-Israel Media Bias
In The Washington Post’s recent article titled “Israel’s official assassination machine,” Glenn Frankel reviews the book, Rise And Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations, by Ronen Bergman.
The thesis of the book (and the review) is that, “Since World War II … the Jewish state and its pre-state paramilitary organizations have assassinated more people than any other country in the Western world — some 2,300 ‘targeted killing operations.’”
Israel is repeatedly subjected to war and terrorism, probably more-so than any other country in the Western world. Would it be preferable to Messrs. Bergman and Frankel for Israel to respond the way that other countries have done during similar conflicts — by leveling cities with carpet bombings, or strafing villages with napalm? Or how about dropping bombs laden with poison gas — as Syrian leader Bashar Assad did to his own people, with more than 500,000 total dead as of this writing?
Or what about copying Saddam Hussein’s aggression in 1988, when his army dropped bombs with poisonous gas, killing 20,000 Kurds? King Hussein of Jordan killed several thousand Palestinians from late 1970-71, during an uprising known as Black September. There was a genocide in Rwanda, where upwards of a million people were murdered in 1994. And in Darfur, the UN estimates that 300,000 were murdered. Are these kinds of policies preferable?
But according to The Washington Post, Israel — or as the Post‘s book review referred to it, the “Jewish State” — is the “assassination machine.” Doesn’t the Post see how targeting individual terrorists is more humane than wiping out entire towns or cities?
Absent from the piece is any mention that Israel needs military measures to protect against military attacks. Countries and terror groups openly call for Israel’s destruction. In fact, that goal is central to Hamas’ charter. Israel must maintain a qualitative edge — because it can’t afford to lose even one war. Israel’s enemies do not just want to defeat Israel; they want to push its inhabitants into the sea. And still, the Israeli military is the most moral military in the world, often warning civilians to flee target zones — at the expense of operational success.
But who do the book’s author and this reviewer see as the victims of the so-called Israeli assassination machine? Here is the list: Palestinian military leader Abu Jihad (his name speaks for itself); Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, leader of the Hamas radical Islamist movement; the “men behind the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.”
The book also includes “Israel’s clandestine assassination campaign against German nuclear scientists working for Egypt in the 1950’s and early 60’s” on its list of innocents. In addition, it lists “Iranian scientists during the past decade” as mere victims. Yet the review even concedes that the assassinations in Egypt and Iran “helped impede both countries’ nuclear weapons programs.” Clearly, these assassinations were justified and warranted. No apologies were necessary.
Israel has devised a humane way of ridding the world of evil people; it acts in self-defense, and yet is still vilified for it. The world is upside down when it comes to Israel, and no one sees it — especially Bergman and Frankel.
Dr. Michael Berenhaus is a contributor to the news and public policy group, Haym Salomon Center. Along with co-founding organizations that have monitored media coverage, he has been published in publications such as The Economist, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.