Globe And Mail Draws Sympathy To Palestinian Terrorists

February 16, 2023

Splashed across the front page of the February 16 edition of The Globe and Mail, was a lengthy feature article entitled: “Palestinians sense a new intifada coming as young people focus their anger on Israel’s insurgent right.”

Written by international correspondent Nathan VanderKlippe, the article purported to explore the background of Palestinians who have attacked Israelis in recent weeks, but instead, it only helped to obfuscate the moral boundary between terrorist and victim.

VanderKlippe began his feature by introducing readers to Mahmoud Aleiwat, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy who recently shot two Israelis in an unprovoked terrorist attack, and how friends and family members regard him as “as (a) shahid, the martyr” who is “fearless and strong,” and who wonder how he could “have found such a great reservoir of courage” in order to attack Jews. VanderKlippe reports that Aleiwat’s extended family “marvel over his heroism, calling him a mujihadeen, a fighter” and that a classmate of Aleiwat says “Jews ‘are occupiers.’”

While there is nothing wrong with an investigative piece describing the life of a Palestinian child terrorist, VanderKlippe instead drew sympathy for someone who took a gun, and attempted to end the lives of innocent Jews walking on the Jewish Sabbath.

VanderKlippe then profiled Wadi’ Abu Ramuz, a 17-year-old who launched firebombs and explosives at Israeli officers and who was killed by Israeli forces in the end of January. The article quoted Hadeel Abu Ramuz, Wadi’s mother, who claimed Israel used excessive force: “Why would you shoot him in the abdomen?… Shoot him in the leg. Shoot him in the hand. Arrest him. But don’t kill him.” For some reason, the Globe’s reporter didn’t deem it necessary to ask the Abu Ramuz family if it condones their son’s launching firebombs at Israelis, nor was mention made that the Palestinian Authority’s “pay-for-slay” program offers financial rewards to Palestinian terrorists and that may have incentivized his actions. Nor did the Globe explain that Wadi’ was also in possession of a flag of the Hamas terror group and a knife. The Globe featured a prominent photo of this dead terrorist and his family. In total, it’s noteworthy that the Globe published 11 photos to its online article and 7 in its print edition, none of which depicted Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism and their families.

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The article then noted that “Authorities ordered them (the Abu Ramuz family) to take down a Palestinian flag and remove pictures of their son. ‘They don’t want people to honour martyrs,’” but the Globe failed to explain that maybe, just maybe, Israel doesn’t want Palestinian terrorists to be glorified, which could lead other Palestinians to commit deadly terror attacks.

Then, VanderKlippe described another Palestinian terrorist in sympathetic terms: “Khairi Alqam, the man who killed seven outside the synagogue before he was himself killed, had a great deal to lose. He owned a car, ran a business as an electrician with several employees and was nearing marriage. ‘We had prepared his gold for him’ as a wedding dowry, said Ali Alqam, his uncle, who had also offered his nephew his flat after he was married.”

The inclusion of these extraneous details served to humanize a Palestinian terrorist who murdered seven innocent Israeli civilians as having been a simple business owner who was soon to be married.

More perversely, VanderKlippe drew a connection between an uptick of Palestinian terror attacks in recent weeks, and the new government in Israel led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to VanderKlippe, the increase in recent attacks “also reflects an increased bleakness after Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power in Israel with hard-right support,” citing Itamar Ben-Gvir, a new cabinet minister, and describing him as “a nationalistic provocateur.”

This was a complete non-sequitur. There’s no evidence that these Palestinian terrorists who picked up guns, wielded knives and lobbed explosives in order to murder and maim innocent Jews was prompted to do so because “Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power,” whereas the likely catalyst, was a grotesque Palestinian culture of incitement and hate which promotes violence against Jews as being praiseworthy and honourable.

Israel’s new prime minister is not the only tacit rationalization cited by VanderKlippe to explain Palestinian terrorism against Israel; Israeli policies are used to justify or at least explain why Palestinians decide to murder innocent Israelis.

VanderKlippe quoted Ali Alqam, the uncle of Khairi Alqam, who murdered seven Jews outside a Jerusalem synagogue on January 27, 2023, who suggested that the conditions of Arab residents in Jerusalem was a reason he committed the terror attack.

“Ali points to his surroundings as an explanation. Garbage and broken glass litter the ground in the shadow of the Mount of Olives, in an East Jerusalem neighbourhood that does not enjoy many of the public services available elsewhere in the city,” VanderKlippe wrote.

“When people are oppressing you, then you stop being afraid of death,” Ali told VanderKlippe.

And while undoubtedly many supporters of Palestinian terrorism against Israel cite Israeli government policies as a justification for murdering Jews, but this is a repugnant rationalization. In any other context, giving column inches to such excuses would be unconscionable.

For example, if a murderer in prison believed that shooting innocent pedestrians on the street was justified because of government laws, would glowing descriptions of the perpetrator as being “fearless and strong” be repeated by news outlets, and would publishing extended gripes about the government be seen as relevant? Hardly.

The acts of Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians, no matter how they are justified by their perpetrators and supporters, cannot be justified, let alone as reasonable measures against Israeli government policies they oppose.

Beyond humanizing Palestinian murderers and tacitly explaining their actions, VanderKlippe also recycled a lazy, but favourite trope used by news media outlets of the Second Intifada (uprising): the so-called “cycle of violence.”

VanderKlippe ends his article by once again quoting Ali Alqam, the uncle of Khairi Alqam. “The cycle of violence ‘is an unsolvable thing,’ Ali said. ‘It started a long long time ago and it will continue until the oppressive measures stop.’”

Despite its oft-repeated use, there is no widespread “cycle of violence” between Israelis and Palestinians, a so-called tit-for-tat. No Israeli government policies, nor any abuses, real or imagined, could possibly have justified the actions of Khairi Alqam, who indiscriminately shot at and murdered seven innocent Jews outside a Jerusalem synagogue on a Friday night.

By suggesting that there is some kind of an ceaseless pattern of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, VanderKlippe avoided pointing the finger at Palestinians who murder innocent civilians, and instead chalked it up to an amorphous cycle that just keeps on happening.

Nathan VanderKlippe’s lengthy article delving into the lives, motivations and justifications of Palestinian terrorists adds little to the public’s understanding of the complex ways in which the next generation of Palestinian youth are brainwashed and incited into violence against Israelis, but instead seemingly boils it down to an nebulous “cycle of violence” where Israeli policies somehow justify, or at the very least explain, why Palestinians murder innocent Jews.

Canadians deserve better from Canada’s paper of record.

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