While Reuters’ consistently fails to report on the culture of violence endemic in Palestinian Arab society and ingrained in Palestinian children, its correspondents diligently pursue opportunities to portray Israeli society in this light from a variety of angles including the human interest format.
In "Terrorist" targets popular at West Bank gun range, Erika Solomon tells the tale of an Israeli anti-terrorism course in Gush Etzion where Israelis, Americans, and Europeans learn to shoot “everything from handguns to M-16 combat rifles”.
Through her storytelling, Solomon wants the reader to buy several notions she is peddling. First, that Israel is teaching its children to use violence:
“Sharon Gat… steadies a little girl who comes up to his gunbelt. They're holding a rifle almost as big as she is.”Second, that Israelis are racists. Here, Solomon cherry picks a quote from one of the participants:
"It could indoctrinate children with racist beliefs. It was sad to hear young kids express such racism."Next, is an association between Zionism and the use of violence:
“… Gat says his course is not just about shooting guns; it also teaches "Zionist values."Finally, that the Israelis consider this a lot of fun:
"Gat says his anti-terrorism theme is mostly for excitement."Conspicuously missing from Solomon's story on the weapons training at Gush Etzion is any account of the devastating history of that community which amongst other appalling events, includes the massacre of 240 Jewish residents who had surrendered to an Arab army in May of 1948.
Perhaps the significance -- and irony -- is lost on her.