Monday, May 06, 2002
First, the narration asserted something to the effect that "Nasser's belligerent oratory provided the opportunity for Israel, which had longed to expand its boundaries, to launch the Six-Day war in 1967."
Second, the documentary did mention the fact that the PLO, and Arafat, were involved in terrorist activity, but offered few pictures except for some footage of the Munich Olympics (the pageantry, not the murders), a snapshot of Leon Klinghoffer, and some footage of planes that were hijacked to Jordan in 1970. (The footage of the aftermath of Israeli retaliation for various attacks was, shall we say, more prominently displayed.)
Third, immediately after noting the Munich massacre, the documentary cut to Brian Urquhart, former Under-Secretary General of the United Nations, who opines "if the PLO hadn't done something shocking, the world would never have noticed their cause." Urquhart is also trotted out later to explain that Arafat's gun holster was empty when he gave his speech at the U.N., so it's a shame there was a fuss about his being armed while in the U.N.
So, you know, surprise surprise, the film seemd a tad hagiographic for my taste. Of course, if the Sharon film is similarly filled with favorable distortions and puffery, then there's no obvious bias.
The Sharon film was "The Accused," which focuses on Sharon's culpability for the Sabra and Shatilla massacres in Lebanon in 1982.
Maybe the rest of the five-day extravaganza was more balanced. But I doubt it.
The result: the farther from New York City, the fewer column inches a death receives -- I seem to remember that the decline was pretty sharp, so that after about 100 miles the death would warrant scarcely an inch. BUT...the dummy variable that mattered most was the "Palestinian in the occupied territories" dummy variable, whose positive and significant coefficient was sufficiently large that such a death generated almost as long a story as a death in NYC.
I probably have a lot of the details wrong, but this was the basic story. Sadly, as this antedates the Web, there is no on=line version for me to link to.