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Maalot School - Beslan article redaction by AP

Reader comment on item: [Beslan Atrocity:] They're Terrorists - Not Activists

Submitted by Mitch (United States), Sep 11, 2004 at 10:36

Please note that I composed this message based on the results of a 9/6/04 Google news search, before reading Pipes' article.

The Associated Press seems to have revised an article written for them by reporter Steve Weizman in Jerusalem so that it reflects sensitivity to Palestinians.
I was interested to see whether the world's press would mention the massacre by Arab terrorists of the Maalot High School as a predecessor school massacre to the murderous episode in Beslan, Russia. Even though it was in 1974, and I was only 16 years old, I still remember how horrified the world seemed to be at that time that terrorists would murder 20 children and other innocents for political purposes.
Tonight (9:30 PM EDT, Sept. 6, 2004), a search on Google's news search engine for Maalot School turned up 53 articles mentioning the massacre.
http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&ie=UTF-8&q=maalot+school&filter=0
About 45 of the articles were direct quotes from one article by Steve Weitzman of the Associated Press. Weizman had written an article yesterday, Sept. 5, 2004, about Russia and Israel being in anti-terror talks.
The Google links to the related news stories include this excerpt from that story:
"... own school tragedy in 1974 when Palestinian gunmen killed 20 high school students in a cross-border raid from Lebanon into the northern Israeli city of Maalot..."

However, almost all of the links to this article (approximately 45 of them) as it now stands in various newspapers removes the above text and replaces it with a reference to Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories. That is, when Google News first indexed all of these articles, they had the reference to Maalot, but now, when viewing the actual newspaper websites, the text has been Palestinianized.

CBS New York (WCBS) apparently wrote their own copy for this story, based on Weizman's text and their version still includes Weizman's original text; that is, their website did not replace the original text:
http://cbsnewyork.com/mideast/mideast_story_250074832.html
"...Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on U.S. targets, the Israeli government has portrayed its own battle with Palestinian militants as part of a larger global war against terrorism. The country suffered its own school tragedy in 1974 when Palestinian gunmen killed 20 high school students in a cross-border raid from Lebanon into the northern Israeli city of Maalot. Lavrov arrived Sunday evening from Egypt for a one-day visit to Israel, part of a Mideast tour that will also take in Lebanon and Syria...."

The redacted version appears in most of the remaining 45 or so links, such as Newsday:
http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-israel-russia,0,3218706.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines
"...Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on U.S. targets, the Israeli government has portrayed its own battle with Palestinian militants as part of a larger global war against terrorism. Palestinians say attacks by militants on Israeli civilians should be seen in the context of Israel's 37-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Lavrov arrived Sunday evening from Egypt for a one-day visit to Israel, part of a Mideast tour that will also take in Lebanon and Syria...."

The Australian press seems to be using a somewhat different, unredacted, version of Weizman's article, for instance
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,10678821%255E1702,00.html
which states
"The chilling scenes struck a special chord in Israel, where Palestinian gunmen killed 20 high school students in a 1974 cross-border raid from Lebanon into the northern Israeli city of Maalot." [still credited to Weizman].

I do not know anything about Mr. Weizman, but it seems to me that he filed one version of his story with AP, which was then distributed over the wire. That initial version seems to have been replaced by AP with a redacted, Palestinian-friendly version. I doubt that this was Mr. Weizman's decision to have this political statement inserted. He only was respecting the memory of the students slaughtered three decades ago and noting that this was a particular reason for Israel to identify with the Russian tragedy.
Submitting....

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