How the Israeli Media Protected Ariel Sharon Over the Gaza Disengagement

March 21 2016

In December 2003, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced his plan to evacuate the IDF and uproot Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip, a policy to which he had earlier vocally objected. By early 2005, as the disengagement plan began to take shape, Israel’s left-leaning mainstream media abruptly dropped their habitual opposition to Sharon, instead deliberately adopting a policy of treating the prime minister, then under investigation on charges of corruption, with kid gloves—at least, Amnon Lord points out—until the disengagement was completed:

Amnon Abramovich, a veteran [Israeli] journalist and television commentator, called upon his colleagues in the media to unite and back Sharon to protect him from the potential negative consequences of the ongoing criminal investigations. . . . In a discussion [with] fellow leading journalists . . . at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem in February 2005, [Abramovich] exhorted his colleagues . . . “to protect Sharon . . . in a sealed box padded with gauze, cotton, and plastic wrap, at least until the end of the disengagement. . . . After that, we’ll reconsider.” . . .

In order to rally public support for the disengagement . . . after three-and-a-half years of ruthless attacks by a Palestinian terrorist enemy, a new enemy had to be created, the enemy within, namely the Jewish settlers in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Indeed, Abramovich admitted that he once had regarded Sharon as an “enemy.” Now, it was the settlers.

As Lord documents, the Israeli media largely followed Abramovich’s exhortations.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Ariel Sharon, Gaza withdrawal, Israel & Zionism, Israeli politics, Media


The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy