From: Ali Abunimah
To: National Public Radio (email@example.com)
Subject: NPR--Another grossly biased Gradstein report
March 12, 2002
Dear NPR News,
Linda Gradstein's report from West Jerusalem on All Things
Considered this afternoon about the latest events in the Occupied
Territories and Israel was incomplete and biased.
The studio introduction to the report read by host Robert Siegel
mentioned that at least 30 Palestinians and seven Israelis
were killed in today's violence. But Gradstein's report itself
contained absolutely no mention of any of the dozens of Palestinian
deaths let alone any details about them. As usual, Gradstein did provide
details on Israeli deaths.
Describing Israel's attack on Ramallah, Gradstein (a reporter who
has for years been accepting thousands of dollars in unethical
payments from Zionist groups) said only that:
"Dozens of Israeli tanks entered the city and a nearby refugee camp
early today, ripping up roads and crushing cars. Sporadic gun
battles broke out between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen."
In fact, at least two people were killed in the Israeli attack. A
joint press release by the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief
Committees and Physicians for Human Rights--Israel stated that, "Two
hospitals, the Ramallah Hospital and Ramallah Maternity Hospital,
have been fired upon by Israeli troops. Also, as in many places in
the West Bank and Gaza Strip, soldiers have this morning fired upon
two ambulances in Ramallah." The release also said that Israel
continues to prevent medical services from reaching the injured.
Describing Israel's attack on Jabalya refugee camp in the Occupied
Gaza Strip, Gradstein said only that:
"Earlier, Israeli troops pulled out of the Jabalya refugee camp in
the Gaza Strip after arresting what were described as terrorist
suspects and blowing up several buildings Israeli officials charged
were weapons factories."
For some strange reason, Gradstein made no mention of the fact that
at least 22 people were killed in the attack on Jabalya, and more
than 80 injured according to medical sources, many of them
civilians. The "buildings that Israeli officials charged were
weapons factories," were almost certainly what Palestinians would
describe as homes and workshops.
The Associated Press reported of the attack on Jabalya that "many
civilians, some in their pajamas, fled the fighting, moving toward
nearby Gaza City on foot and in donkey carts. 'They are killing us,'
said Laila Ayoub, 38, carrying a baby girl. 'They used helicopters
to fire on us while we were leaving.'"
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza reported that:
"Abdul Rahman Mohammed Izz al-Din, 55, was hit by several bullets
fired by Israeli forces while standing in his house. When his son,
Walid, went to help him, he too, was killed by Israeli fire.
According to eyewitnesses, a deaf man, Samir Sadi Sababa, 45, was
also killed by Israeli occupying forces at the entrance of Jabalya."
But Gradstein was having none of this. In total contrast, when
describing a later attack on Israelis, Gradstein said:
"Meanwhile, gunmen dressed in Israeli army uniforms opened fire on a
road along Israel's border with Lebanon killing six Israelis, five
of them civilians. The gunmen were shot dead after a half hour
battle with Israeli troops. Israeli military officials said they
believe the radical Hizbullah movement in South Lebanon was
It is simply outrageous that when dozens of Palestinians are killed
in an Israeli onslaught on refugee camps, Gradstein mentions only
property damage and arrests, while no less than three times quoting
or including actuality of Israeli officials and officers referring
to these camps as nests of "terror." Meanwhile, she describes in
detail an attack which took far fewer Israeli lives.
Other significant events that Gradstein failed to note included when
Israeli soldiers in Al Amari refugee camp near Ramallah took over a
Palestinian apartment building. Haaretz reported that the "Israeli
forces fired for 10 to 15 minutes from tank-mounted machine guns on
a hotel where journalists were photographing tanks targeting the
"No one was injured in the barrage, which sprayed the glass-enclosed
stairwell and nearby rooms where about 40 journalists were working,"
the Haaretz website said, but "An ABC news television camera left
filming on a tripod when the journalists took cover was hit by seven
bullets - one directly in the lens."
Perhaps Gradstein can be excused for missing that one. After all, as
usual, she wasn't there.