By Steven Emerson
The terrorist who shot and killed three Israelis in Tel Aviv on New Year’s Day hoped to slaughter Israeli kindergarten students, the Israel Police reported on Sunday.
Nashat Milhem indiscriminately fired a submachine gun, killing two Israelis outside of a bar on a popular Tel Aviv street before running off. An hour later, the terrorist also killed a Bedouin taxi driver. After a week-long manhunt, Israeli forces killed Milhem following an exchange of fire near his home in northern Israel.
Two days after the attack, police uncovered Milhem’s plans to “carry out an attack on Tel Aviv kindergarten students.” However, the terrorist “felt he was being chased” and “focused on survival,” instead of going through with the plot to murder Israeli pre-schoolers.
Milhem’s attack was among those lauded in a Hamas video that aired after the terrorist group hacked into Israel’s Channel 2 feed. “The year started in Tel Aviv and we have already returned to Dizengoff,” Hamas threatened, referencing the famous street in Tel Aviv where the terrorist attack took place.
“Terror will never end,” the video said, telling Israelis to “get out of our country.”
While the Washington Post chose to write about Hamas’ hacking attack, no mainstream US media outlet, including the New York Times, saw fit to report on a terrorist’s plan to massacre Israeli schoolchildren.
The Times and Washington Post reported extensively on follow-up plots after November’s terrorist attacks in Paris. Yet a heinous terrorist plot targeting Israeli kindergarten students following a New Year’s Day shooting spree apparently does not rise to the level of meriting a new story for American readers.
These types of glaring omissions are consistent with the misleading reporting associated with the initial January 1 Tel Aviv shooting attack.
In a January 5 article, the Times indicated officials remained unsure whether the shooting attack was a terrorist attack or criminal in nature.
But by January 2 — a day after the attack — a growing consensus among Israeli security officials considered the shooting a terrorist attack.
Nevertheless, a week after the shooting spree, the Post argued that “the motive for the Tel Aviv attack also remains unclear…”
Imagine the headlines if the roles were reversed, and an Israeli was found plotting an attack on Palestinian youngsters. The coverage would last for days. Stories would include detailed examinations of public reaction and what the incident meant about the well-being of Israeli society. Why, then, is Milhem’s shocking plan failing to attract a word of coverage?
Steven Emerson is the Executive Director the Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org) where this article first appeared.