Summary and Analysis

The deaths of two Palestinians and two Israelis dominated the news programs on VOP on Thursday evening February 1 and Friday morning February 2-with the Palestinians classified as “martyrs” and the Israelis as “settlers” (even though one “settler” was from Afula in pre-’67 Israel).

Thursday Evening Headlines, 9p.m.

  • “The martyring of the youth Ahmad Mheisin from Gaza, who became one of the two martyrs felled by Occupation bullets, both of them in Gaza;
  • Several citizens struck in Israeli attacks in various parts of the homeland;
  • The killing (maqtal) of two settlers, one near Jenin and one near Al-‘Arub (refugee) Camp in the Hebron prefecture;
  • Minister of Culture and Information Yasser Abd-Rabbo characterizes what the Israeli media report on Israel’s response to the (Mitchell) Investigating commission as very limited.;
  • The responsible authorities for the Islamic properties (Waqf) in occupied Jerusalem set forth their complete refusal to new Israeli proposals regarding the digging carried out by the Waqf Authorities in the Jerusalem Holy Shrine;
  • Libyan leader Muamar Qadhafi considers the verdict handed down on the Lockerbie matter to be “political” and NOT “LEGAL”, saying he would reveal new facts in this regard on this coming Monday.”

Once again the killing of the two Palestinians was reported as “unprovoked,” while the killing of the Israelis was treated as an almost natural outgrowth of their being, allegedly, settlers.

VOP gave extensive, but belated coverage (Thursday 9PM) to a growing group of Israeli men of letters-now including former mayor Teddy Kollek and former supreme court chief justices Meir Shamgar and Moshe Landau-who are urging the Israeli authorities to put an immediate stop to extensive and unsupervised digging on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif.

On the election front, VOP has become a little less deferential towards Ehud Barak, once again, as he rejected the idea of meeting Yasser Arafat, and Barak is being portrayed not merely as a lame duck (“resigning prime minister”) but as a dead duck (whose imminent defeat is a foregone conclusion).

Friday Morning Headlines 7 a.m. / 8 a.m. / 9 a.m.

  • “The martyring of Ahmad Mhsein, 22 years old, yesterday when Occupation soldiers opened fire on him without provocation in the Mintar crossing near eastern Gaza City ;
  • Masses of our people escorted the two exalted martyrs Sadr Abu-Tahir and Ismail al-Tubani, and several citizens were wounded in confrontations with Israeli occupation forces in various parts of the homeland;
  • A settler met his fate last night near Al-‘Arab Camp north of Hebron when unknown persons opened fire on his car;
  • Occupation forces put a siege on the area and executed wide searches;
  • And another Israeli met his fate when he was wounded as fire was opened on him near Jenin early yesterday (Note: this was the man from Afula who was taken out of a garage repair shop and executed);
  • Responsible officials from the Islamic Properties asserted their complete refusal to new Israeli proposals regarding the digging operations at the Jerusalem holy shrine, and they refuse the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court to form a government commission to oversee what goes on in the shrine (Haram);
  • The Israeli ambassador in France asserts that what is occurring in occupied Jerusalem would be impossible if the Likud candidate Ariel Sharon (note: NOT CALLED EXTREMIST) WINS THE COMING Israeli elections;
  • The candidacies for Israeli prime minister became final at midnight last night;
  • Libyan leader Muamar Qadhafi consider the verdict in the Lockerbie incident to be political and not legal, adding that he has pertinent facts he will reveal this coming Monday;
  • the Iraqi cabinet registers in its protocol the creation of a free-trade zone and agency between Iraq and Syria.”

Rhetorical Elements — Deaths of Jews

In the last week, VOP took two steps forward and five steps backwards in its treatment of Israelis murdered in drive-by shootings or executed inside Palestinian business establishments in Tulkarm and Jenin.

For a few brief hours (late January 23 and early January 24) VOP carried a Palestinian Authority condemnation of the killing of two unarmed civilians (restaurateurs from Shenkin Street in Tel Aviv) who were abducted from a restaurant in Tulkarm and executed by members of the Fatah Tanzim organization (though VOP never identified them).

But less than 36 hours later, VOP not only reverted to the general non-condemnation policy of the Palestinian Authority but actually began lumping all Israeli fatalities together-including men, women and children from places such as Tel Aviv and Afula–as either “soldiers or settlers” (e.g. January 26/27 reports on killing of Jerusalem man and January 30 summary of Jewish deaths in Intifada).

“Another Israeli met his fate today when he was struck by bullets and wounded seriously near Jenin,” remarked VOP in its 9PM Thursday night news round-up, regarding what was the execution-style murder of who had taken his car to be fixed in a garage in Jenin. “He was taken to a hospital in Israel where he gave up the ghost (Arabic: faraka al-haya, literally: separated from life or spirit).

Song of the Day:

“Our martyrs are convoys.
O Jerusalem, the first direction of prayer.
O Jerusalem, the second of the holy shrines”
(part of the song featured as a lead-in to morning news, Friday)