• FOLLOWING THE FACTS: The Monitor's Nicole Gaouette took note when she saw the initial reports of a Palestinian grandmother shot in the West Bank in October (page 1). But in the rush of news, she soon forgot about it. Then, she met a friend of the family and was impressed by the poignancy of the story, but was skeptical. "You can never be sure about these stories until you check them out for yourself," says Nicole. She went to Nablus to interview the family. "I was struck by the damage to the house. You look at the number of shots, the chips and the bullet holes and it's hard to imagine a professional soldier doing this by mistake or it being a 'stray shot.'"
Nicole did some digging into the legalities of the case and says she was also struck by the extent to which Israel feels that it's being targeted by the Arab states in international courts. "They see it as a new way of waging war on the state."
David Clark Scott
• CANDIDACY RESTORED: Israel's Supreme Court overturned a ban yesterday on two Arab candidates for parliament in the January 28 general election. In a Jan. 3 story ("An Arab-Israeli pushes Israel's free speech limit"), we reported that Azmi Bishara, a member of Israel's parliament, was banned for running for reelection for statements he made that allegedly supported armed struggle against the state. The judges didn't make public their reasoning, but the vote was unanimous. Bishara hailed the decision as a victory for Israeli democracy. Arab-Israelis make up 20 percent of the electorate.
• TIMING OFF: Regarding a Jan. 7 story about the US public relations campaign in the Muslim world ("US ads miss mark, Muslims say" p. 6), the American effort was launched in Indonesiaafter the Pew poll data was released.