(JTA) — The Jerusalem Post fired senior reporter Larry Derfner after he penned a controversial blog post justifying terrorist attacks against Israelis.
The post, titled "The awful, necessary truth about Palestinian terror," appeared on a personal blog Derfner shares, Israel Reconsidered (Israelleft.com). It stoked a firestorm of controversy in Israel for appearing to justify the recent terrorist attack near Eilat, which left eight Israelis dead. It was later deleted from the blog.
"Whoever the Palestinians were who killed the eight Israelis near Eilat last week, however vile the ideology was, they were justified to attack," Derfner wrote, according to text from the blog cited Sunday by Jerusalem Post columnist Isi Liebler.
"But while I think the Palestinians have the right to use terrorism against us, I don’t want them to use it, I don’t want to see Israelis killed, and as an Israeli, I would do whatever was necessary to stop a Palestinian, oppressed or not, from killing one of my countrymen," Derfner wrote in his original post. "What’s needed very badly, however, is for Israelis to realize that the occupation is hurting the Palestinians terribly, that it’s driving them to try to kill us, that we are compelling them to engage in terrorism, that the blood of Israeli victims is ultimately on our hands, and that it’s up to us to stop provoking our own people’s murder by ending the occupation."
On Friday, Derfner apologized for the post, saying he meant that the Israeli occupation provokes Palestinian terrorism, not that it justifies it.
"Writing that the killing of Israelis was justified and a matter of right took a vile image and attached words of seeming approval to it. This, I’m afraid, produced an ‘obscene’ effect, as one critic wrote. I don’t want to write obscenity about Israel. I didn’t mean to, and I deeply regret it," Derfner wrote. "I meant, instead, to shock Israelis and friends of Israel into seeing how badly we’re hurting the Palestinians by denying them independence: It’s so bad that it’s helping drive them to try to kill us."
Apparently, that apology was insufficient. On Monday, he posted a note saying the Jerusalem Post had fired him after receiving hundreds of subscription cancellations.