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“Fairfax Media readers deserve media coverage that is factual, balanced and unbiased” – Sam Tatarka, Zionism Victoria President

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The increase in terror attacks in Israel and Israel’s response are important news items that require media coverage that is factual, balanced and unbiased. Fairfax Media readers deserve nothing less.

The recent article by Ruth Pollard, Israelis and Palestinians turn their eyes to Jerusalem after a bloody week, (Saturday Age 9/10/15) was quite the opposite.

The terrorist attacks perpetrated against innocent Israelis going about their daily business increased in ferocity and frequency following Mahmoud Abbas’ shameful performance at the UN General Assembly in which he declared the Oslo peace process dead. On October 8, Abbas expressed support for Palestinians “who are defending the Al Aqsa Mosque and are suffering a lot for the sake of defending it.” Addressing the Israeli government, Abbas said: “Stay away from our Islamic and Christian holy sites.” Abbas and his willing accomplices in the media such as Pollard are continuing a canard designed to incite anger and violence – that the Al Aqsa mosque is under threat. Nothing could be further from the truth as Pollard should well know. In fact the “Al Aqsa” lie has been used to stoke the fires of murderous hate in the Arab population of Israel against Jewish residents well before the foundation of the State of Israel. His callow calls for “calm” should have been called for the hypocrisy that they represent.

The killing began on 2 October with the shooting murder of Eitan and Naama Henkin, both in their 30s, who were gunned down whilst four of their horrified children sat in the back seat of the car that Eitan had been driving. Abbas’ Fatah faction claimed responsibility for this heinous crime and celebrated the killers as holy warriors. Attacks such as these and the highly regrettable deaths of innocent Palestinian civilians come as a consequence of the PA’s failure to quell the fires of hate that it stokes every day in its classrooms and its media as Israel’s security forces seek to thwart further attacks against its citizens.

Whilst not downplaying the loss of innocent Palestinian lives in the course of Israel’s response to this latest outbreak of savagery, the overwhelming majority of Palestinians killed in recent weeks have died in the course of perpetrating stabbing attacks against innocent Israelis walking the streets of Jerusalem. Pollard carefully humanises each of the killers by naming them and simultaneously dehumanises the victims by referring to them by the pejorative “settlers” or by referring to their political affiliations as if somehow that justifies their deaths. The man who “works for an organisation that aims to create a Jewish majority in the OldCity” was 41 year old father of seven, Rabbi Nehemia Lavi. He was stabbed to death when he came to the aid of 22 year old Aharon Bennett who was walking in the OldCity with his wife and 2 year old son.  Bennett died as a result of his wounds and his wife was also stabbed.  Illustrating the obscenity of the response of Palestinian “civil society” to this event the Palestinian Bar Association has now conferred an honorary law degree on their killer a 19 year old Palestinian law student Mohammed Halabi.

The situation in Israel and the Palestinian administered territories is complex in the best of times. Biased and false reporting does nothing to enlighten your readers and increase understanding – it only serves to widen rifts and inflame tensions.

Sam Tatarka, President Zionism Victoria

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