an area of the map for world news.
March 2002 issue of
World Press Review
(VOL. 49, No. 3)
World Press Review Correspondent
commandos dramatic predawn capture of the Palestinian-owned
and -manned Karine A in the Red Sea 500 kilometers from the
Israeli coast on Jan. 3, and the governments declaration
that the ships cargo of 50 tons of weapons and munitions
was destined for the Palestinian Authority via Iran, ignited
an explosive media campaign.
contested ground (Photo: AFP).
Despite vigorous denials by Palestinian Authority President
Yasser Arafat that his government had any connection to the
shipment, Israeli officials launched a public-relations blitz
to show that Arafats fingerprints were all over the operation,
complete with a press conference against the backdrop of the
Maarivs front-page banner headline echoed
the rightists lack of trust in Arafat: They Were
Caught Red-Handed (Jan. 6). Its two front-page items were
an analysis by Yaakov Erez and a commentary by former
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In his analysis, Erez wrote:
It becomes clear that words and actions of the Palestinian
leader never meet. Netanyahu continued the no-holds-barred
condemnation: [Arafat] always prepares the next murderous
consignment to the service of his unchanging goal, that is the
destruction of Israel.
Rounding out Maarivs view with a more dispassionate
analysis, Oded Granot wrote: The frightening shipment
on the Karine As deck was especially prepared to prevent
the entry of the IDF into area A [under Palestinian control].
Yediot Aharonot (Jan. 6) chose to emphasize the legendary
prowess of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Senior Yediot
commentator Nahum Barnea wrote: If the Entebbe raid broadened
the range of the war on terrorism, the Red Sea raid has given
it a new identity, a sharper image of the terror coalition(
Jan. 6). Barnea went on to slam Arafat and to remind the United
States that it must re-examine [its] priorities; it is
possible that the Iranians nuclear potential is more urgent
than the elimination of Saddam Husseins regime. And that
is to say that the Americans have no one else in the Muslim
world they can rely on other than Turkey.
Hatzofeh strongly condemned Arafat in a Jan. 6 editorial:
The exposure of the Palestinian weapons ship with 50 tons
of war devices again proves Yasser Arafats conspiratorial
intentions and his companionship of evil.
By Jan. 11, an article in Haaretz by Aluf Benn
and Nathan Guttman reported that both U.S. Secretary of State
Colin Powell and President Bush said that they were persuaded
by the Israelis evidence. At press time, as reports circulated
that Washington was weighing severing ties with the Palestinian
Authority, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney publicly pinned responsibility
for the deadly cargo on Arafat, telling a TV interviewer Jan.
27, Weve just seen evidence that he was involved
in this Karine A shipment.