Tim Blair


New Criterion



Thursday, March 25, 2004
A CLEAN 180 DEGREE TWIST from Mark Willacy on tonight's national TV news.

A Palestinian teenager has been pressured into putting on the nail bomb of martyrdom. At the checkpoint he gives himself up.

"He told us he didn't want to die. He didn't want to blow up," said Lieut. Tamir Milrad.

It was all on video, and confirmed by the St Petersburg Times, the Herald Tribune, The Age, etc.

The family of the teenager, identified as Hussam Abdo, said he is gullible and easily manipulated.

"He doesn't know anything (about politics), and he has the intelligence of a 12-year-old," said his brother, Hosni.

Who were the proud leaders of this conscript to suicide?

Members of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade in the Balata refugee camp next to Nablus claimed responsibility.

And what does Auntie News do with the image of poor, but lucky, Hussam Abdo?

It runs an image of the lad with his arms in the air, under Willacy's self-narrated script (I paraphrase) 'The killing of Sheik Yassim is recruiting a new generation of suicide bombers'.

You'd like to think Willacy was just stupid. The alternative, and obvious explanation is that ABC News is incapable of telling the truth, even when the rest of the world can see it.

On March 16, Israeli troops stopped an 11-year-old boy allegedly trying to smuggle explosives through the same checkpoint. Israel said militants had given the boy the explosives without his knowledge, either to ferry across the checkpoint or to be blown up by remote control when he got near soldiers.

All good clean anti-colonial resistance, in Auntie's commune.