(May 12, 2003)
Dear MAT supporter,
If you are planning to attend today’s protest (see original
e-mail below) please take in consideration that this is the
road construction season and provide extra time to arrive to
the event. Please see www.ci.stpaul.mn.us/construction/
for construction information.
We also would like you to know that there are
many parking lots nearby, please see the map on www.saintpaulparking.com/html/frame.html
and click on the parking lots around East Seventh Street and
See you at 5pm!
Dear Minnesotans Against Terrorism Supporter,
This message provides detailed information about the NPR demonstration
being sponsored by MAT next Wednesday, May 14th, at
5:00PM, at KNOW, Minnesota Public Radio, at 45 E 7th St in St.
Paul. We will be protesting National Public Radio’s
(NPR) distorted coverage of Palestinian terror attacks against
Israeli civilians. Our protest is in conjunction with a coast-to-coast
series of protests scheduled that day against NPR’s coverage.
We will provide pre-printed signs with the carefully focused
message we wish to communicate – NPR’s coverage
of terrorism against Israelis is seriously distorted. We need
all the signs to communicate the same focused message. If you
bring your own sign, we request that you please use ONLY the
following slogans: a) NPR: Tell the truth on Palestinian
Terrorism against Israelis; b) When it's terrorism, call it
terrorism; or c) NPR Covers up Palestinian Terrorism.
We will meet to prepare signs for the protest on Monday,
May 12th, 7pm, at the offices of Living Legacy, 2857
Hedberg Drive, Minnetonka. WE NEED YOUR HELP.
Please see directions at the end of this e-mail.
Our immediate goal is to increase public awareness that NPR's
coverage of terrorism against Israeli civilians, and Israel’s
response to it, is biased and untrustworthy. Israel is protecting
itself from terrorism by carefully targeting terrorists and
their leaders, while Palestinian terrorists deliberately target
innocent civilians - women, children, teenagers and shoppers.
NPR covers all these actions as though they were morally equivalent,
part of a “cycle of violence”.
There is no moral equivalency, and NPR’s coverage must
point out the difference, or else it simply misses the story.
NPR reporting on Palestinian terrorism should include the same
terms and style as it uses to report other terrorism attacks
in other parts in the world and the victim’s response
to it, e.g., the World Trade Center attack. By not doing so,
NPR implicitly suggests that terrorism directed at Israeli civilians
is somehow more acceptable than other terrorism targeted against
If you cannot attend our protest in person, we urge
you to do the following:
I. Please help MAT cover the cost
of organizing this protest. Send your donation to: Minnesotans
Against Terrorism, P.O. Box 368, Hopkins, MN 55343-0368. We
sincerely thank you for any support you can provide.
II. Write or e-mail your dissatisfaction
with NPR’s coverage of terrorism against Israelis to Mr.
Jeffrey Dvorkin at NPR, his e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
or mail to 635 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.
20001, Phone: (202) 414-2000 Fax: (202) 414-3324 and don’t
forget to cc Mr. Bill Buzenburg at MPR, his e-mail address is
send him a letter to 45 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul, MN
USA 55101 .
Background information for the May 14th
protest on NPR of Palestinian terrorism: How Biased is NPR?
NPR's Middle East coverage features repeated omissions of fact,
misleading lack of context, and sympathetic coverage of Palestinian
grievances. This is coupled with dismissive and incomplete reporting
of the difficulties faced by Israel in its war against terrorism.
It all adds up to a pattern of serious distortion.
Although blatant falsehoods have been broadcast, the real problem
with NPR's Middle East coverage is an invidious pattern of double
standards. NPR has invariably countered criticism of individual,
one-sided programs by claiming that its coverage is balanced
over time. In response, CAMERA
(the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America)
has undertaken multiple, in-depth studies that have confirmed
the severe lack of balance "over time." In three separate
studies in less than two years, CAMERA found NPR programming
severely skewed, giving substantially more air-time to Arab/Palestinian
and pro-Arab speakers than to Israeli and pro-Israel voices,
often omitting entirely any Israeli or pro-Israel voice. Here
are some details.
September 26 -- November 26, 2000
After the first two months of the current Palestinian Arab terror
war against Israel, CAMERA issued a 32-page report, "A
Record of Bias: National Public Radio's Coverage of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, Sept. 26-Nov. 26, 2000." Arab and pro-Arab speakers
were given 77% more time on the air (in words spoken) than Israeli
and pro-Israel speakers. Entirely one-sided programs were commonplace,
whether devoted to assailing Ariel Sharon as a "war criminal,"
to characterizing Israel as a "Jim Crow" nation that
should be done away with in its "apartheid" form,
to blaming Israel for excessive violence, anti-American riots
in Arab capitals, and erosion of a supposed Arab commitment
to peace. There were 41 segments in which only Palestinian/Arab
or pro-Arab speakers were heard and just 24 programs in which
only Israeli or pro-Israel speakers were heard.
March 27 -- April 10, 2002
In a ten-day review of all major news and interview programs
during a time of unprecedented terrorism, including the Passover
massacre of 29 people, the Matza restaurant attack in Haifa
that killed 14, and multiple other lethal terrorist bombings
and shootings, 62 Palestinians or other Arabs were heard on
NPR, often expressing bitter accusations against Israel, while
just 32 Israelis were interviewed. Numerous anti-Israel speakers,
some extreme, were also heard denouncing the Jewish state. Adam
Shapiro, notorious for defending Yasir Arafat in his Ramallah
compound, was featured in a segment, and Jeff Halper, who advocates
the end of Israel as a Jewish state, was heard. Not a single
Jewish victim of the terrorist onslaught was mentioned by name,
not one bereaved family was interviewed, and not one injured
survivor was the focus of a story.
June 1 -- July 31, 2002
In a two-month review of all major news and interview programs,
CAMERA found, again, only 41% of the speakers in Middle East
related stories were Israeli or pro-Israel while 59% were Palestinian/Arab
or pro-Arab. Even smaller percentages of actual time allotment
were given to the Israeli side, which received only 35% in terms
of words spoken compared to the Arab/Palestinian's 65%. Segments
that excluded any Israeli voice while presenting exclusively
Arab or pro-Arab views numbered 29, compared to just 9 in which
only Israeli views were heard with no Arab voices.
According to NPR, the only "moderates" in the Arab-Israeli
conflict are Palestinians and other Arabs. In CAMERA's June-July
2002 study, only Marwan Barghouti -- now on trial by Israel
for his involvement in terrorism -- Sari Nusseibeh, Khalil Shikaki,
Madi Abdel Hadi, along with Egyptian officials and the government
of Saudi Arabia, were termed "moderate." No Israeli
or Israeli leader was described as “moderate”. Israelis
were called "hard-line" or "hard-liners."
Hamas officials were never described as "hard-line,"
or “terrorists”. They were referred to as "Hamas
official," "Hamas leader," "Hamas spokesman,"
or "Hamas founder." The founder of Hamas, one of the
world's premier terrorist organizations, Sheik Ahmed Yassin,
was termed a "spiritual leader" who is "charismatic"
Although various Arab leaders were labeled "popular"
or "prominent," including Marwan Barghouti, Sheik
Yassin, Sari Nusseibeh, and Hanan Ashrawi, no Israelis were
characterized as "popular" or "prominent"
During this time, the New York Times ran multiple articles noting
the popularity of the Israeli government.
NPR's response to documentation of its biased coverage has been
to hire a public relations firm (the DCS group) to improve its
image. We would all be better served if NPR spent publicly donated
money to remove the bias from its coverage.
Here is another egregious example of NPR bias as described by
Alex Safian in an article entitled
Two Rules for Terrorists at NPR that appeared in FrontPageMagazine.com
on March 12, 2003:
An Islamic extremist explodes a bomb amidst a crowd of civilians
on March 4th, killing more than 20, including himself. Less
than a day later another Islamic extremist explodes a bomb on
a civilian bus, killing more than 15, including himself.
Parallel stories, but not covered in a parallel way on National
Public Radio. In consecutive news segments on the March 5th
broadcast of NPR's Morning Edition, the first attack was described
as a "terrorist bombing," with "Muslim insurgents"
the likely perpetrators. The report offered no explanation why
the attack might have occurred, and in particular nothing that
might have been construed as justification.
The second attack was reported without using any form of the
word “terror”, and included nothing about who the
likely perpetrators might have been, describing them only as
"militants." The attack, and similar attacks in the
past, were implicitly justified as a "campaign against
. . . occupation."
Why the gross disparity, with straight news reporting in the
first case, and clear advocacy in the second? Of course, the
answer is that the first attack was in the Philippines, and
was carried out by the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front,
while the second attack was in Israel, targeted Israeli civilians
and was carried out by Palestinians.
Because Palestinians are virtually a protected class at NPR,
the perpetrators of the attack in Israel are described not as
Islamic extremists, or Muslims, or even Palestinians, but as
"militants," who are said to be pursuing a "campaign
against Israeli occupation." The fact that Hamas, which
carried out the attack, considers all of Israel to be "occupied"
was not deemed worthy of mention by NPR, nor the fact that the
Palestinians had rejected at Camp David and Taba Israeli offers
to end anything that could reasonably be called an "occupation."
Talking to the Press About NPR
There may be media present at the protest on Wednesday. MAT
will have a designated spokesperson on site to answer media
questions and you should feel free to refer all reporters’
questions to the MAT spokesperson.
Alternatively, you may feel compelled to answer some questions
yourself. Please keep these pointers in mind:
Boil your years of outrage over NPR's pro-Palestinian
slant down to a few simple facts:
- Our demand is that NPR cover Palestinian terrorism accurately
and without bias. We are not asking for censorship, only for
fair, honest reporting.
- Terrorism is terrorism whether it happens in the Philippines,
New York, or Haifa. To call a terror bomber an "activist,"
as NPR does when the bombing takes place in Israel, is to tacitly
condone terror bombing as a legitimate tool of political activism.
- NPR fails to tell the truth about the Palestinian Leadership.
We want to hear reports about what is being taught to Palestinian
children about Israel.
- MPR is buying the news from NPR and therefore it is MPR responsibility
to demand from NPR to change their unfair reporting of terrorism
Remember that whatever you are asked, those are the things that
you want to say.
Facts that it may be useful to know when
- These rallies are being organized by both Christians and Jews.
- Our goal is to have NPR reexamine its coverage of Palestinian
terrorism and begin to provide news about the Middle East accurately
and fairly. If asked why you are trying to destroy a fine radio
network - or something to that effect - respond that all you
want is for NPR to cover fairly and accurately.
- This nationwide rally is coordinated by a loose alliance of
grassroots organizations, each part of a group based in the
city in which the rally is being held. However, each group selected
the message that specifically fits its mission and believes.
MAT’s message is in regards to terrorism against Israel
and the way that NPR reports it.
- If you are asked why the large Jewish defense organizations
such as the JCRC and the ADL are not sponsoring the rally, a
good answer would be that it is not just a Jewish issue, MAT
has many non-Jewish supporters that are concerned with NPR reporting
on Israel. If the reporter persists by asking why they are not,
suggest that the reporter should ask them.
If you can help us prepare signs (we will provide the materials)
please join us on Monday, May 12th, 7pm, at the offices of Living
Legacy, 2857 Hedberg Drive, Minnetonka. Directions from 394:
Take Hopkins Crossroad (CR-73) Exit
Turn left at the end of the exit to head South on Hopkins Crossroad
Turn Left (East) on Greenbrier Road (Greenbrier Road is the
first left turn just after the light on Cedar Lake Road)
Take the first turn right (South) into Hedberg Road
The 2857 building will be on your right just when Hedberg Road
curve to the left. Drive to the front of the building, parking
is available in front of the office.
If you have any questions, please call Stephanie Digby at (651)