What is the truth about the famous and infamous Jenin battle? After 18 months of armed intifada, in the month of March 2002 alone Palestinian terror targeted and killed 120 civilians in Israel, mostly in the form of homicidal suicide bombings; in cafes, restaurants, religious dinners, school yards and buses. Israel knew the base of this terror campaign: in the already autonomous Palestinian-administered city, Jenin. In April the IDF (‘Tzahal') entered Jenin, and in a pinpoint operation eliminated the nest of 45 known Palestinian terrorists. Israel lost 24 of its fighters in this battle, because it started hand-to-hand fight instead of easier airborne attacks; to minimize civilian casualties.
However, Palestinian and Arab propaganda called this battle a "massacre", and talked about 3000, later "500 Palestinian civilian casualties" (Palestinian "Minister of Truth", Saeb Erekat). Western media picked up this tenfold inflated false information, and, unchecked, distributed it worldwide.
In two weeks the falsehood of the Palestinian "reports' became clear, and most major media left the subject behind. In August even the rather slow UN fact-finding committee reported that Israel did not commit any sort of massacre; the number of dead Palestinians was 52, mostly gunmen. But certain media organs loved to hate Israel and continued to use the ‘Jenin-massacre' name. The BBC News continued the false accusations even long after the UN report, with libelous accusations on its website as late as November 2002. Even years later Palestinian Muhammad Bakri's "Jenin, Jenin" movie was a success in such circles, though it was a mix of half-truths and staged straightforward lies - in the true ‘Pallywood' tradition.
The media should have an important task to cry out immediately when a ‘massacre', a cruel mass killing of people happens. Unfortunately the media was not brave enough to cry out fast, loud and clear about some worst massacres in our age; like the genocide of a million black African citizens of Sudan by their own Islamist Arab government. On the other hand some media irresponsibly adopted imaginary ‘massacre' fabrications made up by unreliable sources like totalitarian regimes, and disseminated those for the mere rating.
Ill-founded stories about alleged massacres were spread by Arab propaganda against Israel, uncritically repeated by Western media. Such false massacre stories were Sabra and Shatilla in Lebanon in 1982, falsely accusing Israel - this was committed by Christian militias admittedly as retaliation for several similar massacres of Christians by Muslim militias. A total fabrication was the Palestinian "Jenin massacre" lie too.
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