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NPR Continues to Discount Palestinian Deaths

Ali Abunimah message to NPR pointing out continuing problem of imbalanced reporting on Israeli and Palestinian causalties. Includes graphic description of murder of 14 year old guide to international observers.
From: Ali Abunimah
To: morning (at)
Subject: NPR--Unequal treatment of violence continues

September 23, 2002

Dear NPR News,

Linda Gradstein's lengthy report about the latest developments in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on Morning Edition today included not one single word about the five Palestinians shot dead by Israeli occupation forces since Saturday, while at the same time Gradstein found room to
mention that seven Israeli civilians had been killed in bombings last week.

One of the five dead this weekend was a 14-year-old boy named Baha. This is how The Daily Telegraph reported his death today:

"Two British witnesses described how an Israeli soldier killed their child guide, 14-year-old Baha Bahsh, in Nablus with a single shot to the chest.

"We were walking down the street, four internationals and Baha, and there had been some youths throwing stones at an Israeli patrol made up of a tank and an armoured personnel carrier," said Ewa Jasiewicz, 24, a volunteer with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement.

The incident had calmed down and it did not seem to be a threatening situation. Suddenly an armoured vehicle appeared around the corner and stopped. We stood at the side of the street and a single shot rang out. I think
it was from an M-16, not the heavy machinegun mounted on top. I felt the bullet near me. I looked around and saw Baha bleeding from the chest. Soon blood was bubbling from his mouth and he was dead within minutes."
("Boy aged 14 among five shot dead by Israelis," September 23, 2002)

In recent days NPR's Peter Kenyon has gone out of his way to provide details about Israelis killed in violence, including providing their names.

Meanwhile on Sunday, NPR's Andrea Seabrook in a news spot referred to last week's suicide bombings as having come after a six week period of "relative calm." In fact, the bombings followed a particularly bloody period in which dozens of Palestinians, a large number of them children and unarmed civilians had been killed by the Israeli occupation army. (See

NPR continues to be careless and cursory when reporting about the daily violence directed at Palestinians, while at the same time providing detailed and consistent reports of attacks on Israelis.

Even after this problem has been acknowledged publicly by NPR's ombudsman, it continues unremedied.


Ali Abunimah



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