Middle East Moral Equivalency: Anti-Israeli Terrorists as "Warriors"

"An Odd Understanding Reached in Israeli Prisons" is areview by staff editor and frequent Times contributor Neil Genzlinger of "Hot House," a Cinemax documentary airing tonight,about Palestinian terrorists being held in Israel prisons.Genzlinger's piece was accompanied by a flattering photo of a young, smiling female prisoner, Ahlam Tamimi, identified in the caption as "among about 10,000 Palestinians being held in Israeli jails."

Genzlinger added: "A former Palestinian newscaster, Ahlam Tamimi, recalls the day she dropped a suicide bomber off at his target, then coolly went on television to report on the resulting bombing."

What the Times didn't mention is Tamimi's actual target, a Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem in August 2001, one of the most infamous of all the myriad Palestinian suicide bombings, one which killed eight children, a fact that failed to wipe the smile off Tamimi's face.

Genzlinger didn't use the word "terrorist" in the course of his short review, which is suffused with a tone of moral equivalency.

"Mr. Dotan, who grew up in Israel, is so successful at revealing the world inside the prisons, where about 10,000 Palestinians are held, that by the end of 'Hot House' you may feel more than a little annoyance at the two sides in this endless conflict. These enemies know each other absurdly well. They learn from each other, and talk openly about doing so. Yet they can't seem to break the cycle: a cat and mouse addicted to their own game."

He even lumped the terrorists along with Israeli soldiers as "warriors" in the last line: "The film, though, is necessarily ambiguous as to whether all this will lead either side to be more accommodating or will simply result in smarter warriors."

The same "warriors" who killchildren in suicide bombings?