Israel's War of Words Gets Dirty

Israeli troops are still denying foreign reporters access to the Jenin refugee camp, amid reports that they are burying bodies in mass graves, but Israel "cannot bury the terrible crime it has committed: a slaughter in which Palestinian civilians were cut down alongside the armed defenders of the camp," writes Independent reporter Phil Reeves. Meanwhile, a military official with the Israeli government media centre is trying to spin the restrictions on journalists as evidence of Israel's respect for the dead: "Believe me, we would love to let you guys into Jenin, but unlike the Palestinian terrorists, we respect the dignity of the dead," he said. "They want to gather up the bodies and show them off to the international media as evidence of a massacre - that is typical of the sort of PR tricks they play." But Israel's best weapon in the international propaganda war may be the Palestinians themselves. "Just as the world's media focused on the Jenin atrocities, a suicide bomber wiped the story off the airwaves on Friday by murdering six Israelis in Jerusalem," Reeves writes. "Israel's propagandists hardly seemed necessary. The Palestinians were doing the job for them."