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Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Klein Keeps Up Hebron Whitewash
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein's whitewash of the right-wing extremist aspects of a dispute over two Jewish families living without permission in a market in the West Bank town of Hebron continues.

An Aug. 6 article by Klein repeats his quoting of Shlomit Bar-Kochba without reporting that her father is Moshe Zar, a Jewish landowner West Bank who served prison time for his role in terrorist acts against Arabs in the 1980s, including a bombing that blew off the legs of one Arab West Bank mayor -- a clue to the extremist motivations of Bar-Kochba. Klein also quoted a member of Israel's National Union Party without describing its political persuasion -- that is, right-wing. By contrast, Klein is not shy about pointing out when Israeli political parties are left of center.

The main thrust of Klein's article was a report that some Israel Defense Forces infantry troops and two commanders have refused to participate in the planned evacuation of the families from the market. Klein described those resisting troops only as "mostly religious troops" who "reached their decision after consulting with their rabbis, who instructed them to not play any role in the evacuation, including an indirect one." But as with Bar-Kochba, other sources tell us what Klein does not.

A Jerusalem Post article reports that the rebelling troops belong to a "hesder yeshivot" -- a program which combines advanced Talmudic studies with military service in the IDF. In other words, these are Orthodox or ultra-Orthodox Jews who are resisting their military command.

Further, the UK Guardian reports that Yaakov Amidror -- "a right-wing retired general" whom WND quoted approvingly in December 2004 -- as saying that he strongly opposed the evacuation but that soldiers had no choice but to carry out their orders: "There is only one thing that is worse than the decision to expel Jews from their homes in Hebron ... and that is to ruin the army. Disobeying an order is a sure way to ruin the army."

Will Klein ever put down the whitewash and describe the right-wing extremist motivations behind the Hebron occupation? If he cared about honest journalism he would, but sadly, we know better.

UPDATE: The Guardian article also adds one more pertinent detail that Klein has ignored. Klein writes that "Arab merchants illegally set up shop at the market but were asked by the Israel Defense Forces to leave after a series of clashes broke out in the mid-1990s," but there's much more to the story, according to the Guardian:

The two Jewish families have been squatting illegally in several apartments in the Hebron market for several months. The market has been closed since 1994, when the Jewish militant Baruch Goldstein opened fire in a shrine holy to both Jews and Muslims, killing 29 Palestinians. Settlers have been seeking to re-establish a presence. 

We've previously noted Klein's reluctance to mention Goldstein's massacre in his stories set in Hebron or concerning the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 7, 2007 12:27 AM EDT

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