Friday, November 12, 2004

Misquotation in NYTimes

Judith Miller's obituary of Yasir Arafat (Nov. 11) quotes Menachem Begin, Israel's former Prime Minister, as referring to Arafat as "a beast on two legs".

Actually, on June 8, 1982, Begin spoke during a debate in the Knesset, Israel's parliament. He referred to Arab terror directed against civilians, specifically children as his context. The minutes of the session read: "the children of Israel will happily go to school and joyfully return home, just like the children in Washington...We will defend our children. If the hand of any two-footed animal is raised against them, that hand will be cut off...".

Begin did not mention Arafat, but rather terrorists in a generic sense, those who deliberately target children. These were the "animals".

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