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June 01, 2001
PMWatch denounces LA Times for Libelous Column



Dear NileMedia Reader: From the start of the Palestinian Uprising, a group of American activists have challenged media coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Their activities are coordinated by PMWATCH.org, with headquarters in Philadelphia. They have attracted activists from around the nation who are sick and tired of the slant in coverage, which often resorts to out-right Arab-bashing. We urge you to visit their website, roll up your sleeves, and join their efforts. We also urge you to support other websites like www.mediamonitors.net and www.middleeastwire.com, both of which have managed to influence the tone of the debate on the middle east. Finally, we are happy to advise you that our readeship at NileMedia continues to grow at exponential rates and we would like you to assist our efforts by mailing our articles to publications that might be interested in republishing our work. We do not charge for republishing, so it should not be that hard a sell. Our growth is dependent on our readers who just keep spreading the word that this is a website where we prepare daily crow for the mass media crowd. Thanks for your support. Now, please read this press release from PMWATCH. And please join PMWatch.org in their efforts to bring balance to American media coverage of the Palestinian struggle for independence.


Wayne, PA (June 1, 2001) -- Palestine Media Watch (PMWatch) issued a statement today calling on the Los Angeles Times to offer a public apology for publishing an opinion piece that equates calls for settlers to leave the Occupied Territories in the West Bank and Gaza with Hitler's purge of Jews during the Holocaust.

In a May 23, 2001, Los Angeles Times opinion piece titled "Settlers Bear Brunt of Violence, Anti-Semitism", author Jonathan Kellerman wrote:

Strip away the label "settlers" and substitute "Jews" and the pronouncements of ostensibly right-thinking people degrade to: Peace will come to the region only if Jews are expelled from areas where their presence inflames Palestinians. In other words, ethnic cleansing.

One of Hitler's first acts as fuehrer was to set into the law the concept of Judenrein --Jew-free areas that paved the way for ghettos and extermination. The call to dismantle settlements amounts to rehabilitation of that odious policy.

According to Ahmed Bouzid, president of Palestine Media Watch, "this statement is nothing short of an outrageous blood libel against anyone who considers settlers occupiers in a land that does not belong to them, in addition to being an insult to the memory of Holocaust victims and all victims of ethnic cleansing."

The statement by PMWatch was accompanied with a petition that calls "on the Los Angeles Times to issue a public apology for publishing this libelous piece and to promise never again to publish opinion pieces that egregiously slander those who disagree with them and violate the most basic principles of decency." The petition was endorsed by hundreds of signatories, including many Jewish supporters of the Palestinian cause.

"Freedom of speech is to be prized and protected at all costs," said Ahmed Bouzid, "but there are limits to the extent to which hate speech can be tolerated before lapsing into libelous slander. The Los Angeles Times would never publish anything that openly indulged in crude Holocaust revisionism -- and rightly so. Why then does it deem fit for publication something that outright calls Palestinians and their supporters Jew killers and ethnic cleansers?"

Asked what the activist group expects from the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Bouzid said: "an apology for publishing hate speech and a promise that such speech will not be dignified with a spot on one of the nation's premiere newspapers."