Guardian article suggests Yasser Arafat abandoned terrorism after 1990

A nearly 5000 word hagiographic profile of Yasser Arafat by  and  in the Guardian characteristically obfuscated the decades-long record of planning and carrying out terror attacks against innocent Israelis by the late Palestinian leader and groups under his control.

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Here’s the key passage in the Guardian’s ‘long-read’ (Yasser Arafat: Why he still matters, Nov. 13) concerning the man known to some as the “father of modern terrorism.”

Without armed struggle the Palestinian awakening heralded by Fatah was unlikely to have occurred, yet Arafat and his colleagues knew both the value and limits of force. They were aware of the need to modulate or discard force entirely when necessary. Their political programme developed accordingly, from an emphasis on armed action as the sole means of struggle in 1968 to its eventual disappearance from the PLO’s political programme altogether after 1990.

However, the fact is that, though in 1988 he claimed to accept Israel’s right to exist and in 1993 shook hands with Yitzchak Rabin (inaugurating the Oslo Accords), Arafat continued to encourage and provide financial support to “groups directly under his command, such as the Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade”.

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UK media coverage of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens – a CiF Watch review

On June 15th, we posted about a Guardian report co-authored by Peter Beaumont which included a gratuitous (and erroneous) characterization to the three Israeli teens abducted by Palestinian terrorists on Thursday night as “teenage settlers”.  (As we noted in a subsequent post, the Guardian amended the article following our complaint.)

Today, we’re reviewing the coverage of the abduction by the Guardian and other major UK news sites (The Telegraph, Independent, Times of London, and Financial Times), to determine if other reports include tendentious, biased reporting or misleading claims.

The Guardian:

The first report on the incident was written by Peter Beaumont and Paul Lewis on Friday, June 13, was titled ‘Israelis launch search around Hebron after three teenage settlers go missing‘, and (as we noted) falsely claimed, in the headline and subsequent text, that the abducted teens were all “settlers”.

The second report by Beaumont was published in the Observer (sister publication of the Guardian) on June 14th, was titled Fears grow for missing Israeli teenagers and also included the false claim that the three were ‘settlers’. (The Guardian has not thus far revised this passage.)

A third report, Guardian/Associated Press, was published on June 14th and titled ‘Israeli raids target Hamas members as Netanyahu accuses group of kidnapping. Unlike the previous two reports, it didn’t characterize the teens as settlers, and included no other misleading claims.

A fourth report was published by Beaumont on June 15th titled ‘Israeli forces tighten grip on West Bank in search for three abducted teenagers‘. This report also didn’t falsely characterize the teens as settlers, and included nothing similarly problematic.

A fifth report was published by Beaumont (and Agencies) on June 15th titled ‘Israel detains scores in West Bank as fears grow for missing teenagers‘, and included nothing problematic. However, they used the following still shot – a deceptive photo illustrating the IDF’s search for the abducted teens, in an angle in which the soldier’s rifle appears to be pointing directly at Palestinian civilians – accompanying a brief video.

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A sixth report was filed by Beaumont (and Agencies) on June 16th titled ‘Palestinian parliamentary speaker arrested in search for kidnapped teens‘.  And, a seventh report by Beaumont was published on the same day titled Israel considering expelling Hamas leaders from West Bank to Gaza‘.  Neither of these articles included any especially problematic material.

The Independent

The first Indy report on the abduction was written by Ben Lynfield on June 15th, was titled ‘Israel lays blame for abduction of teenagers on Fatah-Hamas pact‘, and was largely fair, but did include the same highly inappropriate photo that the Guardian used.

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A second report (as we noted in our previous post on June 15th) in the Indy, written by Jack Simpson, was titled ‘Netanyahu accuses Hamas of kidnapping Israel’s three missing boys‘ and included the false suggestion that all three teens lived in settlements.  (Indy editors corrected the relevant passage shortly after our complaint.)  A third report in the Indy, by Lizzie Dearden, on June 16th, titled ‘Facebook campaign calls on Israelis to kill a Palestinian ‘terrorist’ every hour until missing teenagers found‘, focused on a marginal Israeli Facebook group while of course ignoring reports that the official Facebook page of Fatah openly celebrated the terrorist kidnapping. 

A fourth report in the Indy, by Ben Lynfield, on June 17th, titled ‘Israeli search for kidnapped youths turns into push against Hamas‘, actually included a photo of the three teens, and – as we note below in our summary – also stood out by reporting on the “60 attempts to carry out abductions  in the past 12 months” by Palestinian terrorists.  (As we note in our summary, such vital context was also non-existent in the UK media’s reporting on the incident.)

Times of London

A Times report by David Rankin on June 14th, titled ‘Search continues for three teens feared kidnapped in Israeland a second report by Tony Bonnici on June 15th, titled ‘Israel PM says teenagers ‘kidnapped by terror group‘, are both unproblematic.  A June 16th report at the Times by Joshua Mitnick titled ‘Hamas leaders held in Israeli hunt for kidnapped teenagers‘ was unusual in respect to the fact that Mitnick quoted the parents of Eyal Yifrach, one of the kidnapped boys, who addressed the media on Monday with ‘an emotional address to their son’. (As we note in our summary, the UK media mostly ignored the families of the kidnapped teens.)

The Telegraph

The Telegraph published a report on June 15th by their Jerusalem correspondent Robert Tait titled Hamas to blame for youths’ “kidnapping”, Benjamin Netanyahu says, and was unproblematic, save a curious use of quotes around the word “kidnapping” in the headline. (Note: even the Guardian refers to the incident as a kidnapping, without the use of quotes.)  And, on the same day, the Telegraph published a story (attributed partially to Reuters) titled ‘Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims Hamas militants behind teenagers’ abduction‘ which included a video of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s press conference that day.

The third article (Reuters) published at the Telegraph on June 16th, titled ‘Hamas kidnapping: Israel expands West Bank hunt for Palestinian teenagers as Palestinian killed‘, is illustrated with an unrelated and highly inappropriate photo depicting the aftermath of an Israeli strike in Gaza. Additionally, the caption failed to explain that the IDF strike came in response to the firing of Grad rockets at Ashkelon the previous day.  

telegrpah photo

However, almost as if to make up for the misleading and inappropriate Gaza photo, the story also included a photo of the abducted teens to illustrate the story.

addendumLater the same day, the Telegraph published their fourth report, by Robert Tait, titled ‘The bus stop that voices Israel’s anguish over missing teenagers‘, which, for the second time in their coverage of the kidnapping to date, used a photo which evokes sympathy for the missing teens.

bus

The report explained:

At first sight, it appears to be just an isolated, lonely bus shelter.

But the yellow ribbons and defiant messages bedecking it eloquently attested to how it has become a symbol of Israel’s anguish over three missing teenagers.

“We will bring you back” and “The people of Israel are alive” read Hebrew messages on large posters beside smaller leaflets bearing the English inscription “# bring our boys homes”

The report also included a photo of the three teens.

Financial Times

On June 15th the Financial Times published a report by John Reed, titled ‘Netanyahu accuses Hamas over kidnapping of Israeli teenagers‘, which opened with this curious passage:

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, on Sunday blamed the Palestinian militant group Hamas for the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers, raising the stakes in a missing-person case that has transfixed the country and its leaders.

Though Reed’s obfuscatory language isn’t quite as egregious as the New York Times recent conflation of cause and effect, as revealed by CAMERA’s Tamar Sternthal, it is still troubling that the passage nonetheless suggests that the prime minister ‘raised the stakes’ in the kidnapping (what’s characterized as a “missing person case”) when he blamed Hamas for the abduction.  

Reed also makes a gratuitous reference to “radical Jewish settlers” in Hebron, who he claims represent the cause of “tensions between Israelis and Palestinians”, without noting the extremely destabilizing presence of a large number of Hamas terrorists in the city.

Summary:

  • The Guardian has published the greatest number of stories on the kidnapping to date, filing seven out of the nineteen total reports covered in this review.
  • With the exception of two reports in the Telegraph, and one in the Independent, every photo used to illustrate the teens’ abduction by terrorists focused on the Israeli military response to the incident, rather than on the boys, their families or reactions by the Israeli public.  In contrast, as we’ve noted in previous posts, the UK media almost uniformly focused on the families of Palestinian terrorists released over the past year by Israeli authorities, rather than on the families of the Israeli victims.
  • With the exception of Robert Tait’s story on June 16th and a report the same day by Peter Beaumont in the Guardian, no other UK media outlet quoted a family member of one of the teenage victims.  Alternately, several reports quoted Palestinians in the West Bank condemning the IDF’s military response to the terrorist abduction.
  • Only one report, in the Indy, provided context on the high number of thwarted kidnapping attempts by Palestinian terror groups over the last year.  However, the Guardian’s Peter Beaumont did cite three specific examples of previous kidnappings – one in 2001, one in 2011 and another in 2013. 
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This caricature depicting three rats caught on a fishing line was posted on the official Facebook page of Fatah (Mahmoud Abbas’s party) shortly after the kidnapping was reported

UK media silent about Pope’s meeting with Mufti who claimed that Muslims’ destiny is to kill Jews

A report at the Independent by Ben Lynfield focuses on Palestinian activists who are “scathing about the Pope’s plans to make the first visit by a pontiff to the tomb of Theodor Herzl”, the founder of Zionism – the political movement, Lynfield explains, “that established Israel and displaced the Palestinians.”

Lynfield continues:

Omar Barghouti, a Ramallah-based member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, termed the planned visit to the grave “nauseating”.

“Laying a wreath on the grave of the founder of Zionism, a patently racist ideology that has served to enable and justify the ethnic cleansing of most of the indigenous people of Palestine, is a nauseating, offensive act of complicity that Palestinian civil society cannot but condemn,” Mr Barghouti wrote in an emailed statement. He added that the gesture would “serve to whitewash Israel’s occupation and apartheid”.

Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s central council, also questioned the Pope’s choice. He said that if the Pope is to visit Herzl’s tomb, he should make a visit to the Yasser Arafat mausoleum in Ramallah for “balance”

Of course, neither Lynfield nor any of his colleagues within the UK media have yet noted that, though the Pope will not be visiting the grave of the ‘father of modern terrorism‘, he will be meeting with the Grand Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein. The Grand Mufti is the most senior religious figure in the Palestinian Authority (the Palestinian equivalent of the Israeli Chief Rabbi), and has an appalling record of extreme antisemitic hate speech and support for suicide bombings.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported the following:

What Pope Francis may not be aware of is that the Mufti has an ongoing record of vicious Antisemitic hate speech, which has been condemned internationally. In 2012, the Mufti preached that it is Muslim destiny to kill the Jews. On a different occasion, in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, he taught that Jews were “enemies of Allah,” and in another speech he said that the souls of suicide bombers “tell us to follow in their path.”

PMW recently cited a speech, broadcast on PA television in January 2012, from a Fatah celebration in East Jerusalem, where the Mufti endorsed the murder of Jews.

Here’s the transcript:

Moderator at Fatah ceremony: “Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs (i.e., Jews) is a war of religion and faith.

Long Live Fatah! [I invite you,] our honorable Sheikh.”  

Palestinian Authority Mufti Muhammad Hussein: 
“47 years ago the [Fatah] revolution started. Which revolution? The modern revolution
of the Palestinian people’s history.
In fact, Palestine in its entirety is a revolution,
since [Caliph] Umar came [to conquer Jerusalem, 637 CE],
and continuing today, and until the End of Days.
The reliableHadith (tradition attributed to Muhammad),
in the two reliable collections, Bukhari and Muslim, says:
‘The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. 
The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. 
Then the stones or trees will call: 
“Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” 
Except the Gharqad tree [which will keep silent].’ 
Therefore, it is no wonder that you see Gharqad [trees] 
surrounding the [Israeli] settlements and colonies.
[Gharqad trees] surrounding, surrounding and surrounding.
That’s the Palestine we are talking about,
with the beginning of the Jihad and the continuation of the Jihad,
with the struggle and the procession of the Martyrs.”

[PA TV (Fatah), Jan. 9, 2012] 

As PMW explained, not only didn’t the Grand Mufti retract or condemn these statements by the moderator, but instead cited the Hadith to buttress the narrative that Palestinians are indeed destined to murder the Jews. 

Though the UK media often characterize mainstream Israeli politicians who are on the right side of the political spectrum as “ultra-nationalist”, “far-right”, or even “extreme”, it seems certain that journalists working for the Independent, Guardian, Economist, Telegraph, or other newspapers covering Pope Francis’s visit to Israel, will fail to use similar pejoratives when reporting on his meeting with the PA Mufti who incites Palestinians to kill Jews.

As was demonstrated recently by a Guardian op-ed’s shameful justification for unparalleled antisemitism within Palestinian society, such egregious double-standards in moral accountability (the bigotry of low expectations) continue to skew media’s coverage of the region, and deny news consumers the opportunity to fairly assess those dynamics which truly represent the ‘root cause’ of the conflict. 

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In search of Palestinians who are sickened by PA’s celebration of Sbarro bomber

Cross posted from This Ongoing War, a blog edited by Arnold and Frimet Roth

Yesterday’s post [“5-May-14: The making of a martyr: it takes more than a village“] reported on the Palestinian state funeral given to the remaining body parts of a Palestinian human bomb named Izz Al-Din Al-Masr. 

The official government-controlled WAFA News Agency gave major prominence to the funeral of the Sbarro bomber "martyr" and to the messages of PA officials inciting to fresh acts of murder. Only in Arabic, naturally. [Via Google Translate]

The official government-controlled WAFA News Agency gave major prominence to the funeral of the Sbarro bomber (“martyr”} and to the messages of PA officials inciting to fresh acts of murder. Only in Arabic, naturally. 

He exploded in August 2001 inside a [Sbarro] restaurant filled with Jews, and died a happy young man, perhaps even an ecstatic one. His life, in accordance with the insane religious dogmas that had been pumped into his head, had reached its point of fulfillment.

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Shahid poster for Sbarro bomber, Izz Al-Din Al-Masr.

sbarro-bombing

Aftermath of Sbarro bombing

Our post made the point that representatives of the major segments of Palestinian Arab society took part in last week’s funeral. 

If you were looking for moderates – say, the so-called moderates of the Mahmoud Abbas regime – they were indeed there but they were not moderating anything. When it comes to murder and incitement to murder of Israelis and of Jews, they are not moderate; they are enthusiastic. In last Wednesday’s funeral procession in Tubas, they participated, heart and soul, to ensure the strongest possible message of support, encouragement, adulation for acts of calculated murder like the one in which the dead human bomb had engaged, and that stole the life of our 15 year old daughter Malki. They amplified this message of hatred and jihad via the official Palestinian Arab state media, as did the Hamas regime in Gaza. They wanted everyone to know – at least, everyone who speaks Arabic. 

As for publishing the same news in other languages, they were much less interested. Try (just as one random example) finding any mention on the English-language, Bethlehem-based, high profile European-funded Maan News Agency website. But Maan’s Arabic side [here] has all the death-cult worship an Arabic reader with an interest in such things could want. Interesting, no?

We received some feedback that suggested this characterization was unfair. They said there are voices in the Palestinian Arab world that are as sickened as people like us are by the unconcealed blood-lust of Hamas, of Islamic Jihad, of Fatah, of the Palestinian Authority and of Mahmoud Abbas.

So here’s an invitation for anyone who has such evidence to send us public, published statements in the Arabic language, in which Palestinian Arab voices condemn what sickens the rest of the world: the process of turning psychopaths like the human bomb who murdered our daughter Malki into martyrs, heroes, figures to be emulated.

Over to you.

Send what you have to thisongoingwar@gmail.com or add them to the comments below. We’ll publish what we receive here. (Remember – in Arabic. We’ll take care of the translating into English.)

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By Robert Tait’s reckoning, Palestinian unity with antisemitic extremists is a ‘boon for peace’

the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to realize the promise of Allah, no matter how long it takes. The Prophet, Allah’s prayer and peace be upon him, says: “The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,’ except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews.” (Hamas Charter, Article 7)

Imagine for a moment if Binyamin Netanyahu dismantled his current government coalition and entered into a partnership between Likud and an Israeli political party whose platform cited religious texts and conspiracy theories to incite its member to murder Muslims – a movement so extreme that their leaders have called for genocide.

Of course, there is no such Israeli political party.  But, if there were, and such a coalition was formed, you can certainly bet that UK journalists wouldn’t be characterizing such an agreement as a ‘boon for peace’.

However, that’s exactly the term used by The Telegraph’s Jerusalem correspondent Robert Tait in characterizing the recent deal between Fatah and Hamas.  His April 25th report,’Kerry reminded no peace deal can be struck without addressing Gaza, reads more like an op-ed than a straight news story, especially in the highlighted passages within the following paragraphs:

Wednesday’s reconciliation pact between Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement and the Islamist Hamas group promised to end years of in-fighting by forming a new national unity government within five weeks. Fresh elections are planned within six months to give the Palestinian political landscape a new air of legitimacy.

By normal reckoning, such heartening news would be seen as a boon to any peace process with hopes of flourishing.

What could be more conducive to resolving the century old conflict between Jews and Arabs than a united front on both sides?

Instead, the development has prompted an almost apocalyptic response from Israel, with Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s prime minister, all but writing off the talks and ordering their suspension five days before their official expiry date on April 29.

By whose reckoning would Palestinian unity between Fatah and a designated terror group which engages in the most extreme antisemitism (and rejects Israel’s right to exist within any borders) be considered a positive step for peace?

As a US State Department spokesperson said during a press conference after the unity deal was reached:  

“But I think the Secretary [of State] and we all understand it’s hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist. And that is one of the principles that’s long been expected”.

Remarkably, Tait himself acknowledges Hamas’s rejection of Israel’s continued existence in a later passage in his report, but still blames Bibi for his “apocalyptic” response, a word, it seems, more suited to describing this speech by top Hamas leader (and group co-founder) Mahmoud Al Zahhar in 2012:

What part of Hamas’s clearly stated desire to annihilate the Jews doesn’t Robert Tait understand?

 

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Guardian contributor claims all Palestinians jailed for terror crimes are ‘political prisoners’!

The following is a first person account (posted previously at this blog) by an Israeli paramedic who, in 2011, arrived on the scene at the Israeli community of Itamar shortly after five members of the Fogel family, including three children, were savagely murdered:

The first thing I saw when we entered the first room was 4-year-old [Elad] on the carpet with three stab wounds in his left chest, and, as I thought at the time he was still alive, left another medic to attend to him.

I then entered the second room and found the 11-year-old[Yoav] who had been butchered, his throat was sliced so deep that his head was nearly detached from the body.

Then we entered the third room where we found the mother [Ruth] dead, lying on floor in pool of blood with multiple stab wounds.  On a bed in same room, lying dead with single stab wound in the neck, was the father [Udi].  The three-month old baby [Hadas] was underneath the father.  The baby was killed with one stab wound to the skull.

I then returned to the first room, where I thought Elad was still alive, and soon realized that he, too, was dead.

The carpet was soaked in blood.

FamilyFogel

Fogel family

The two Palestinians who pled guilty to the gruesome murder, Amjad Awad and his cousin Hakim Awad (who were affiliated with the PFLP terror group),expressed no remorse for their crimes at the hearing where they were sentenced to life in prison.

Fogel-sigtede-2011

Amjad Awad and Hakim Awad

Amjad and Awad are among  the roughly 4,200 or so ‘security prisoners’ – those convicted of crimes, usually violent in nature, motivated by nationalistic reasons – in Israeli jails. Among these security prisoners are Palestinians who committed terrorist attacks where Israelis were killed or maimed; Palestinians who were on their way to suicide missions and were apprehended before the attack; attack planners; and those responsible for preparing the explosives, etc.

However, there is, evidently, another word some use when characterizing the Itamar murderers and others with Israeli blood on their hands: Political Prisoners.

This term was employed recently by ‘Comment is Free’ contributor Martin Linton.  Linton, you may recall, is a former British MP (and chair of Labour Friends of Palestine) who warned in 2010 that “there are long tentacles of Israel in [the UK] who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends.”

Linton’s ‘CiF’ op-ed (‘Release Marwan Barghouti. He can be Palestine’s Nelson Mandela‘, March 28), which contained praise for the terrorist mastermind so fawning it could be mistaken for a parody, included this passage:

An international campaign has been launched to free Barghouti and the 4,227 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails. It is supported by every party in the Palestinian parliament, with Fatah and Hamas united for once, and by the overwhelming majority of Palestinians.

This is of course an egregious distortion of the widely accepted definition of the term “political prisoner“, which normally refers to ‘a person imprisoned for their political beliefs or actions’, and mirrors the language used by the most radical pro-Palestinian voices.

Finally, it should be noted that back in May we prompted a correction at the Guardian over a similarly false claim, in a report by Harriet Sherwood referring to the 123 ‘Pre-Oslo Palestinian Prisoners‘ – all of whom were convicted of murder, attempted murder or being an accomplice to murder – as “political prisoners“. 

Though Sherwood’s article was a straight news story, and Linton’s an op-ed, the Press Complaints Commission has been clear that newspaper editors are required to ensure that even op-eds avoid claims which are false or misleading. 

Linton didn’t merely advance an offensive opinion, he stated as fact something that is categorically untrue.  

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Tyranny of the weak: Why the Guardian will support the next Palestinian Intifada

There are quite a few factors which lead us to believe that many Guardian reporters and editors will likely lend moral support to the Palestinians in the event they launch another deadly intifada.  

Specifically, the paper has shown a clear tendency in the past to license extremist commentators who reject peace and reconciliation with Israel and legitimize (if not justify) Palestinian terrorism.  Additionally, their binary moral paradigm in which Palestinians are seen as immutable victims of Israeli oppression further necessitates at least tacit support for the Palestinians’ recourse to violence. 

First, their promotion of extremism:

In 2011, the Guardian published the leaked ‘Palestine Papers’ and, in an official editorial contextualizing the thousands of pages of “confidential” Palestinian records covering years of negotiations with Israel, harshly criticized Palestinian leaders for showing some alleged reasonableness during negotiations, suggesting that they ‘sold out‘ on Palestinian “rights” such as ‘the right of return’ – characterizing such putative flexibility as “craven”.

The Guardian:

“It is hard to tell who appears worst: the Palestinian leaders, who are weak, craven and eager to shower their counterparts with compliments; 

A well-researched report by Just Journalism in 2011 demonstrated the consistent promotion of voices at ‘Comment is Free’ that reject peace negotiations and even Israel’s very right to exist:

Just Journalism:

The Guardian published more op-eds by Palestinians than by Israelis during  the first half of 2011, with eleven comment pieces by nine Palestinian contributors in comparison with six by four Israelis Three of the Palestinians who contributed op-eds during this period were  either members of Hamas or strongly affiliated with it, and have endorsed  terrorist attacks.  Four further Palestinians were secular nationalists who also reject Israel’s legitimacy and endorse policies that would turn it into an Arab majority state…

Here’s one example demonstrating that the Guardian continued to license even terrorists committed to murdering Jews.

Musa Abumarzuq is deputy head of Hamas's political bureau

Musa Abumarzuq is deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau

Editors also published a letter in 2011 by a philosophy professor which explicitly defended the right of Palestinians to murder Israeli civilians (including, presumably, children) in terror attacks – an editorial decision which was actually defended by their readers’ editor following the uproar which ensued.

Here’s the letter:

Also in 2011, the Guardian editorialized about the ‘Arab Spring’, and actually praised the Palestinians for launching intifadas. 

The Guardian:

The leaders of Fatah and Hamas were obliged to reconcile by the forces stirring the Palestinian street. The negotiators of Fatah had stopped negotiating, and the fighters of Hamas had stopped fighting. Both had to respond to a simple idea: if one million Egyptians can fill Tahrir Square demanding Palestinian rights, why can’t Palestinians, who taught the Arab world how to mount insurrections, and mounted two intifadas of their own.

In 2012, during the war in Gaza (Operation Pillar of Defense) Associate Editor Seumas Milne wrote an op-ed defending the right of Hamas terrorists to launch terror attacks against Israelis, and argued that Israel has no such moral right to defend itself. 

Seumas Milne:

“So Gazans are an occupied people and have the right to resist, including by armed force (though not to target civilians), while Israel is an occupying power that has an obligation to withdraw – not a right to defend territories it controls or is colonising by dint of military power.

Even if Israel had genuinely ended its occupation in 2005, Gaza’s people are Palestinians, and their territory part of the 22% of historic Palestine earmarked for a Palestinian state that depends on Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem. Across their land, Palestinians have the right to defend and arm themselves, whether they choose to exercise it or not.”

Emboldened by the wave of change and growing support across the region, Hamas has also regained credibility as a resistance force, which had faded since 2009, and strengthened its hand against an increasingly discredited Palestinian Authority leadership in Ramallah in Ramallah. The deployment of longer-range rockets that have now been shown to reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is also beginning to shift what has been an overwhelmingly one-sided balance of deterrence

Oppressor vs. Oppressed Paradigm: 

In addition to what seems to be an almost fetishization of Palestinian political violence, the binary, oppressor-oppressed political framework in which they see the conflict seems to necessitate that they suspend moral judgment when dealing with what they see as the ‘weaker party’.  This moral tick betrayed itself in their 2011 editorial on the Palestine Papers noted above, where they opined about the notes released from the 2008 negotiations between Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas:

Guardian:

It is hard to tell who appears worst: the Palestinian leaders, who are weak, craven and eager to shower their counterparts with compliments; the Israelis, who are polite in word but contemptuous in deed; or the Americans, whose neutrality consists of bullying the weak and holding the hand of the strong

More recently, an official Guardian editorial on the current peace process (Israeli-Palestinian talks: perpetual motion, Jan. 1, 2014), began thus:

The secret of perpetual motion eludes scientists but sometimes seems close to being grasped by those involved in the so-called Israeli-Palestinian peace process. That process has too often been about avoiding peace rather than about achieving it. Movement with no other purpose except to suggest something useful is being done mocks the Palestinians, who have been waiting for more than a generation for a measure of justice.

It is important that the responsibility for this failure is assigned correctly, with the greatest part belonging to Israel, the next largest share to the United States and only the smallest portion to the Palestinians. They have been difficult and sometimes slippery negotiators, and they may – it is arguable – have missed some serious opportunities in the past. But there are two points that must always be borne in mind with the Palestinians: they are the aggrieved party; and they are by far the weakest party.

Indeed much of the Guardian’s world view seems dictated by such platitudes about the virtues of the putatively powerless.

As Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson said in defense of his notorious cartoon (during the Mavi Marmara row) which used biblical imagery in depicting murderous Israeli troops killing the dove of peace, while another soldier aimed his weapon at two unicorns:

 I do my level best to stick to the protocols of alternative comedy of the early 1980s, as well as to HL Mencken’s useful nostrum about afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted. In other words, I only attack people more powerful than me

Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian’s star reporter until late last summer, said at a conference of socialists recently that if you are pleasing the people in power…your job is not journalism.

Much of the Guardian’s shift editorially from the Zionist sympathies under its long time editor and owner CP Scott to their current pro-Palestinianism can arguably be traced to the way in which many on the left began to accept previously marginal theories on the necessity of understanding political affairs in the context of the relationship between the powerful and the powerless.  

Such elites soured on the Jewish State once (in the years following the Six Day War) they were no longer viewed as the underdog besieged on all sides by more powerful foes but, instead, as the confident, successful and militarily dominant modern state.  The Jewish people’s greatest sin, argued Pascal Bruckner, was “having emerged from their immemorial weakness” and, by “fearlessly resorting to force”, betrayed the role of victim that had always been assigned to them.

However, more sober minds would surely understand that Israel’s virtue is not dependent upon either its power relationship with its foes, but, rather, by the inherent justness of its cause: its exceptional tolerance towards religious, ethnic and sexual minorities; the strength, vitality and endurance of its democracy; the dynamism of its economy and disproportionate quantity of scientific advances, and the fact that it continues to faithfully carry out one of its primary missions, to serve as a refuge and safe haven for Jews everywhere – a role Theodore Herzl characterized as “the Guardian of the Jews”.  

Similarly, any intellectually credible assessment of the Palestinian people – one not compromised by the bigotry of low expectations – must avoid the temptation of seeing Palestinians as abstractions, and instead view them as complex political actors who are morally accountable for their decisions.  Those who suggest that Palestinians have no choice but to walk into pizza parlors and ignite suicide vests, sending thousands of pieces of shrapnel coursing through the limbs and organs of innocent men, women and children - all of whom are ‘powerless’ to resist the tyranny of such wanton violence – are not only negating the humanity of the Israeli victim, but denying the moral agency of the Palestinian perpetrator.

If negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians do break down, the Palestinians will still retain the power to freely decide whether to continue pursuing their interests through the political arena, or to return to the path of violence and destruction.  If they choose the latter, then Palestinians, and Palestinians alone, will bear moral responsibility for the unimaginable consequences.

And, if the worst does indeed happen, and Israelis are forced once again to bear the burden of a malicious campaign of terror, then the chances are good that Guardian editorials will fly off the presses ‘contextualizing’ the violence as understandable (if regrettable) last resort of the ‘downtrodden’, while all but ignoring their ‘more powerful’ victims.

Genuinely liberal voices, of course, would never countenance such a facile ethical response to a nihilistic, malevolent course of action, and would certainly never succumb to the fool’s moral calculus which equates weakness with virtue.

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Unreported by the Guardian: Details on latest Palestinian prisoners to be released (& their victims)

BBC Watch managing editor Hadar Sela was responsible for most of the research and editing in the following post.

On December 28th the Israeli Prison Service published the list of prisoners scheduled for release later this week, representing the third round of four scheduled releases agreed upon by Israel’s prime minister as a ‘goodwill gesture’ to get the Palestinians to resume peace talks.

As we have noted previously, many newspapers (including the GuardianIndependent, and Irish Times) have whitewashed the violent crimes of the prisoners being released and all but ignored the victims.  So, in addition to details about the perpetrators and their crimes, we’ve also included some information on the Israeli (and Palestinian) victims.  

(You can see the complete list of pre-Oslo prisoners to be released – information which was translated, edited and published exclusively by CAMERA – here.)

Below is a translation of the list of the latest 26 prisoners scheduled for release with additional information:

Alefendi Mohammed Yusuf Adnan (born 1971) was sentenced to thirty years imprisonment for attempted murder, having stabbed and wounded two Israeli civilians with a kitchen knife. 

Sh’hade Farid Sh’hade Ahmed (born 1962) was sentenced to 45 years imprisonment for the murder of suspected ‘collaborator’ Yosef Farhan in Jaffa in 1985 and was due to be released in February 2030.  

Yacoub Mohammed Ouda Ramadan (born 1963, member of PFLP-GC) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Sarah Sharon. 

Afana Mustafa Ahmed Mohammed (born 1964, member of PFLP-GC) was sentenced to forty years imprisonment for his part in the murder of Sarah Sharon and was due to be released in 2033. 

Da’agna Nofel Mohammed Mahmoud (born 1948, member of PFLP) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Sarah Sharon. 

Mother of seven Sarah Sharon (photo right)was 38 years old when she was stabbed to death in Holon on January 20th 1993.

Abu-Alrub Mustafa Mahmoud Faisal (born 1969, member of Fatah) was sentenced to two life terms for the shooting and murder of Yoram Cohen and for beating Mohammed Kamil to death. He was also found guilty of the manslaughter of an additional four Palestinians suspected of ‘collaboration’. 

Kamil Awad Ali Ahmed (born 1962, member of Fatah) was sentenced to sixteen life terms for the murder of Yoram Cohen and fifteen Palestinians suspected of ‘collaboration’.

20 year-old IDF soldier Sgt. Yoram Cohen was shot and killed in an ambush on the truck in which he was travelling in Jenin in 1991. 

Damara Ibrahim Mustafa Bilal (born 1969, member of Fatah) was sentenced to life imprisonment for his part in the murder of Frederick Rosenfeld. 

48 year-old Frederick Steven Rosenfeld  (photo right) was murdered in June 1989. Rosenfeld was hiking in the hills near Ariel when he came across a group of shepherds who stabbed him to death with his own knife and hid his body. 

Abu Muhsan Khaled Ibrahim Jamal (born 1971, member of Fatah) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Shlomo Yehia in 1991. 

Shlomo Yehia (photo left) was born in 1915 in Yemen and immigrated to Israel in Operation Magic Carpet. He settled in Moshav Kadima where he worked as a gardener even after reaching retirement age. On September 26th 1991 he went out to work as usual and was stabbed to death in a public park. Shlomo was 76 years old at the time of his death and was survived by his wife and six children.

Tamimi Rushdi Mohammed Sa’id (born 1972, member of Fatah) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Chaim Mizrachi.

Chaim Mizrachi grew up in Bat Yam and Holon, later moving to Beit El. On Friday, 29th October 1993, he went to buy eggs from an Arab-owned farm near his home and was met by terrorists who fled in his vehicle after wounding him and stuffing him into the car’s trunk. The terrorists murdered Chaim, then burned and abandoned the vehicle north of Ramallah. Chaim was 30 at the time of his death, and was survived by his pregnant wife, his parents, his sisters, and his brother. Half a year after his murder, his daughter was born.  

Silawi Khaled Kamal Osmana (born 1972, member of Fatah) was sentenced to four life terms for the murder of Motti Bitton and three Palestinians suspected of ‘collaboration’. In addition, was also convicted of manslaughter of another Palestinian and took part in the violent interrogation of others. 

32 year-old father of three Motti Bitton (photo right) from Ganim was shot and killed whilst shopping with his wife Mali (who was injured in the attack) in a convenience store along the road from Jenin to Jezreel Junction.

Tzouafta Sudki Abdel Razak Muhlas (born 1974, member of Fatah) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Yosef Ben Ya’akov Malkin (Malka). 

Yosef Malkin (Malka) (photo left) was murdered in his apartment on December 29th 1990 in Haifa by two infiltrators from Jenin. He was 60 years old at the time of his death and worked as manager of the industrial engineering department of a company in Haifa. 

Braham Fawzi Mustafa Nasser (born 1975, member of Fatah) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his former employer Morris (Moshe) Edri.

Morris Edri (photo right) was born in Marrakesh, Morocco in 1928 and immigrated to Israel in 1964 where he settled in Netanya. Morris worked in the pharmaceutical industry until his retirement due to ill-health and then worked in his son’s electrical shop. On November 24th 1991 he arrived at the shop in the morning to find a former employee waiting for him who claimed that he had left some clothes in the storeroom. Whilst Morris was making coffee, the former employee stabbed him in the back. He was 65 at the time of his death and was survived by his wife and nine children. 

Al Shalbi Yusuf Ahmed Nuaman (born 1971, member of Fatah) was sentenced to three life terms for the murders of Jamil Koftan Hasun, Mufid Ali Kna’an and Ahmed Ziud. 

Jaradat Mohammed Anis Ayman (born 1972, member of Fatah) was sentenced to four life terms for the murders of Jamil Koftan Hasun, Mufid Ali Kna’an, Mohamed Tawfik Jaradat and Ibrahim Said Ziud. Also convicted of the manslaughter of an additional Palestinian. 

On October 15th 1991 Jamil Hasun (photo left) from Daliyet el Carmel was celebrating his 32nd birthday. An operator of heavy machinery, he went that morning to pick up workers from a village near Jenin. There he was shot at point-blank range by two attackers. Jamil was survived by his wife and two children. 

Mufid Kna’an from Yarka went out hunting with friends near Jenin on January 15th 1992. There he was shot by two attackers. Mufid was 46 at the time of his death and was survived by his wife and six children. 

Shuamra Yunes Mohammed Naim was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Yossi Hayoun.

Yossi (Yosef) Hayoun was a police sapper who was killed whilst trying to disarm a bomb planted in Moshav Shekef in the Lachish area in June 1993. 

Mahmud Mohammed Salman was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Shai Shuker.

22 year-old Shai Shuker (photo right) from Herzliya was murdered on February 2nd 1994 near Tira. His attacker strangled him with a shoelace.

Abu-Gamal Ahmed Ibrahim Jamal was sentenced to twenty-two years imprisonment for attempted murder and was due to be released in May 2016.

Abu-Ali Faiz Mahmoud Ibrahim was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Roni Levi. 

Roni Levi (photo left) from Petah Tikva was saving up to get married and worked in marketing for a factory during the week and as a taxi driver at the weekends. On Saturday December 29th 1990 he was working an evening shift when radio connection with his taxi was lost. The blood-stained taxi was found the next day in Tel Aviv, but Roni’s body was only discovered three weeks later in an orchard. Roni was 24 years old at the time of his death. 

Barbach Judat Zaki Raami was sentenced to twenty-five years imprisonment for the murder of Yosef Zandani.

28 year-old Yosef Zandani (photo right) was strangled and stabbed to death in his home in Moshav Bnei Aiyish near Gadera on March 30th 1994.

Halaf Juma’a Mustafa Ahmed was sentenced to 21 years and three months imprisonment for aggravated assault and was due to be released in February 2014.

Abu Hasin Ahmed Yusef Bilal was sentenced to a thirty-six year term for the murder of Farouk Raud Abdelhamid Abu Khader and was due to be released in 2027.

Abu Hadir Mohammed Yassin Yassin was serving a twenty-eight year sentence for the murder of Yigal Shahaf and was due to be released in 2016.

Twenty-four year-old student Yigal Shahaf (photo left) from Jerusalem was shot in the head whilst walking through the Old City with his wife on October 10th 1987. He died the next day and was survived by his wife, parents, sisters and brother. 

Tsalah Khalil Ahmed Ibrahim (born 1960, member of Fatah) was sentenced to three life terms for the murders of Menahem Stern, Eli Amsalem and Hassan Zaid. 

Eli Amsalem (photo right) was born in Fez, Morocco and arrived in Israel with his family in 1957, where they settled in Jerusalem. Eli worked as a television technician. On July 28th 1989 he was murdered in his home near the Mahane Yehuda market. 

Muamar Atta Mahmoud Mahmoud (born 1961, member of Fatah) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders of Menahem Stern and Hassan Zaid.

Professor Menahem Stern (photo right) was born in Poland in 1925. He was an Israel Prize laureate and professor of history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He was 64 years old when he was stabbed by two terrorists whilst walking to work on June 22nd 1989. Professor Stern was survived by his wife and four children.

Taktuk Lufti Halma Ibrahim (born 1972, member of Hamas) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Binyamin Meisner.

24 year-old reservist Binyamin Meisner was murdered in February 1989 by a group which lured him into an ally in Nablus (Schem) where they had pre-prepared a stockpile of rocks. Binyamin Meisner was killed by a blow to the head with a stone. 

Guardian images highlight freed terrorist; ignores Holocaust survivor he murdered

After the first round of 26 Palestinian pre-Oslo prisoners were released by Israel in August, as a concession to renew peace talks, the Guardian published three celebratory photosin their Picture Desk Live series, all showing the prisoners being reunited with their families. The captions used for the photos all failed to even mention the Israeli victims of the crimes committed by the freed Palestinians.

Now, as Israel begins the painful process of releasing the second group of 26 pre-Oslo prisoners, the Guardian’s coverage continues to highlight the released terrorists while all but ignoring their victims.

Today’s edition of the Guardian’s Picture Desk Live includes the following:

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The Guardian also added a video of Palestinians celebrating the prisoner release (to accompany an AP story they published today) that included an image of what appears to be the same man in the photo above.

video

Though both the caption and video failed to identify the freed Palestinian, other sites indicate that he is Shabbir Hazam (aka, Shabir Kassam Taher Hazam). Shabbir Hazam, born in 1974, was a member of Fatah and a resident of Gaza who was arrested in 1994 and sentenced to life imprisonment for (along with an accomplice) murdering a work colleague – Isaac Rotenberg from Holon – with an axe.

Here is a photo of Rotenberg:

rotenberg

Isaac Rotenberg

As we’ve noted previously Isaac Rotenberg, born in Poland, was a Holocaust survivor.  Most of his family was murdered in the Sobibor death camp, but Isaac managed to escape and joined the partisans. After the war he tried to make his way to mandate Palestine, but was interred by the British and sent to a detention camp in Cyprus until 1947. After his release Isaac arrived in pre-state Israel and fought in the War of Independence. He continued his work as a plasterer even after pension age and in March 1994 was at his place of work in Petah Tikva when he was attacked by Shabbir Hazam (and another Palestinian worker) with an axe.

He died, aged 67, two days later.

Whilst the Guardian’s coverage of the prisoner release continues to highlight the joy of the freed terrorist and their families, the Jews (and Palestinian ‘collaborators’) they murdered continue to largely remain nameless and faceless.

The Guardian falsely characterizes First Intifada as a “largely unarmed rebellion”

Yesterday we called out the Guardian for repeating the blatantly false claim that Ariel Sharon started the Second Intifada.  Today we came across another Intifada related falsehood advanced by the paper – the suggestion that the First Intifada was “largely an unarmed rebellion”.

The claim, which has been echoed by other Guardian contributors as well, was made in a story they published today from the Guardian Archives – a report about the original Oslo Agreement between Israel and the PLO (written by Ian Black) which originally appeared in the paper on Sept. 10, 1993.

archive

Black’s story included the following passage:

Progress towards this historic moment was driven by the intifada, the largely unarmed rebellion that erupted in Gaza in December 1987. 

Of course, as anyone familiar with the uprising (from 1987 to around 1991) would know, characterizing it as an “unarmed rebellion” is extraordinarily misleading, as the intifada was violent from the start.  Whilst most people remember images of rock throwing Palestinian youths, in fact more than 3,600 Molotov cocktail attacks, 100 hand grenade attacks and 600 assaults with firearms were carried out during that time – violence directed at soldiers and civilians alike.

During this period, over 200 Israelis were killed by such terror attacks, and more than 1,400 Israeli civilians and 1,700 Israeli soldiers were injured.

Memorial for the 16 Israelis killed in first attempted suicide attack of 1st Intifada, in 1989. The attack occurred when the 405 bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was forced off the road by a Palestinian terrorist

And, much like the Second Intifada, Palestinian leaders played a lead role in orchestrating the violent insurrection.

Finally, Jews were not the only victims of the violence, as the number of Arabs summarily executed by Palestinian death squads exceeded the number killed in clashes with Israeli troops – incidents which included attacks with clubs, knives, axes, guns, and even acid.

Twenty years ago, the Guardian grossly misled readers about the nature of the First Intifada – a significant obfuscation thoroughly consistent with their broader pattern of running interference for the illiberal and violent nature of the Palestinian national movement.

Guardian’s egregious double standards on display in report on Israeli Facebook post

Over the last week the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent Harriet Sherwood has devoted two reports to the row over comments posted by an Israeli government official on his personal Facebook page.

August 16:

fb 1

August 22:

fb 2

Whilst the comments by Danny Seaman, Deputy Director General for Information at the Israeli Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, were clearly inappropriate and offensive, recent Facebook posts on the official account of Fatah, the party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, go way beyond ‘inappropriate’ and yet will almost certainly not be reported by the Guardian.

Per a report on Aug. 22 at Palestinian Media Watch:

Fatah’s official Facebook page continues to promote and glorify violence and terror for children. In one [August] post, young Palestinian boys are shown holding rifles with the text: “The children of Palestine – this is how they celebrated their holiday.”

Kids_with_rifle_FB

In another [August] post, a masked man is holding a rifle with these words beside the picture:

“Machine gun, wake up the sleeping and tell them that without blood Palestine will not return

Masked_man_with_rifle

Another [August] post on Fatah’s main Facebook page described 4 female terrorist murderers as “stars who sparkled in the sky.” Three of the women were suicide bombers, while the fourth was a bus hijacker [Dalal Mughrabi] who was responsible for the deaths of 37 civilians [during the Coastal Road Massacre]. 

[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page," Aug. 2, 2013

Unlike Seaman’s Facebook posts – one of which was insensitive towards victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, prompting the Israeli government to issue an apology – do we even have to ask whether the Palestinian Authority will apologize to the Jewish victims of the Palestinian terrorists they recently honored?

Will the Guardian or the mainstream media so much as report these acts of incitement, yet alone properly contextualize the incidents as serious impediments to peace in the dramatic fashion typically employed when Israel announces the construction of new homes in Jerusalem?

Whilst the answers to such questions are obvious to anyone who understands the double standards constantly on display in the coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, the mere ubiquity of the media’s failure to hold Palestinians morally responsible for such grotesque behavior doesn’t render it any less outrageous. 

The list of 26 Palestinian prisoners who will go free, and their victims

The following is a list of the 26 prisoners scheduled for early release from prisons in Israel later this week as a ‘goodwill gesture’ to encourage Palestinian leaders to return to the negotiating table. In all, Israel agreed to eventually release 104 so-called pre-Oslo prisoners.

As we have noted, many in the media (including the Guardian, The Independent, and the Irish Times,) have whitewashed the violent, and often brutal crimes of the prisoners being released, and, conversely, have depicted the families of the soon-to-be released prisoners in a disturbingly sympathetic light.  So, in addition to listing details about the perpetrators, we’ve also included some information on the victims.  (You can see the complete list of pre-Oslo prisoners – information which was translated, edited and published exclusively by CAMERA – here.)

1. Kour Matwa Hamed Faiz (Fatah. Born 1964, resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested 1985) was sentenced to one life term for his part in establishing an armed Fatah cell and for the murder of Menahem Dadon in 1983 and for another attempted murder.

Menahem Dadon from Netivot was 22 years old when he was murdered. He had been sent by his employer to purchase building materials in Gaza and whilst in the shop, was shot in the head at point-blank range. He left a pregnant wife and two daughters.

2. Tsalah Ibrahim Ahmed Mugdad (Fatah. Born 1966, resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested 1993) was sentenced to 32 years imprisonment for the murder of Israel Tennenbaum and was due to be released on 13/6/2025.

Born in Poland in 1921, Israel Tennenbaum from Moshav Vered was a farmer who also worked as a security guard at a hotel in Netanya despite being 72 years old at the time of his death. In June 1993 Tsalah broke into the hotel and murdered Israel Tennenbaum by beating him over the head with a steel rod. He also stole a television from the hotel.

3. Na’anish Naif Abdel Jafar Samir (Born 1967, resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested 1989) was sentenced to a life term for his part in the murder of 24 year-old reservist Binyamin Meisner in February 1989.

Na’anish was part of a group which lured Meisner into an ally in Nablus (Schem) in which they had pre-prepared a stockpile of rocks. Binyamin Meisner was killed by a blow to the head with a stone. 

4. Arshid A’Hamid Yusuf Yusuf (Fatah. Born 1968, resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested 1993) was sentenced to five life sentences after having been convicted of the murders of Nadal Rabu Jaab, Adnan Ayaad Dib, Mufid Canaan, Tawfik Jaradat and Ibrahim Said Ziad by stabbing. Arsheed was also indicted on several additional counts of attempted murder of others he also suspected of ‘collaboration’.

5. Al-Haj Othman Amar Mustafa (Fatah. Born 1968, resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested 1989) was sentenced to a life sentence for his part in the murder of 48 year-old Frederick Steven Rosenfeld in June 1989.

Rosenfeld was hiking in the hills near Ariel when he came across a group of shepherds who stabbed him to death with his own knife and hid his body.

6. Matslah Abdallah Salama (Hamas. Born 1969, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested 1993) was sentenced to one life sentence for the murder of Reuven David in Petah Tikva in 1991.

Together with an accomplice, Matslah entered 59 year-old Iraqi-born Reuven David’s mini-market, tied him up, gagged him and then beat him to death, before escaping in the victim’s car. He left a wife, three children and several grandchildren.

7. Abu-Musa Salam Ali Atia (Fatah. Born 1971, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested 1994) was convicted of the murder of Isaac Rotenburg from Holon as part of an initiation rite for joining a terror organisation and sentenced to one life sentence.

Holocaust survivor Isaac Rotenberg was born in Poland. Most of his family was murdered in the Sobibor death camp, but Isaac managed to escape and joined the partisans. After the war he tried to make his way by ship to mandate Palestine, but was interred by the British and sent to a detention camp in Cyprus until 1947. After his release Isaac arrived in pre-state Israel and fought in the War of Independence. He continued his work as a plasterer even after pension age and in March 1994 was at his place of work in Petah Tikva when he was attacked by two Palestinian labourers with axes. He died, aged 67, two days later.

rotenberg

8. Miklad Mahmoud Ziad Salah (Fatah. Born 1973, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested 1993) was sentenced to one life sentence for the murder of 39 year-old Yehoshua Deutch in Kfar Yam, Gush Katif, in March 1993. In addition he fired shots at an army post and tried to murder a local resident.

Yehoshua Deutch grew flowers and it was in his greenhouse that he was stabbed in the heart by Miklad.

9. Tsualha Bad Almajid Mahamad  (Fatah. Born 1973, resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested 1990) was sentenced to one life sentence for the murder – together with accomplices – of Baruch Heizler and the attempted murder of Betty Malka, Shai Cohen and Avishag Cohen in 1990 whilst he was still a minor.

Baruch Heizler – named after his grandfather who was killed by Jordanian shelling of the Old City of Jerusalem during the War of Independence – was 24 when he was stabbed to death whilst travelling on the number 66 bus in Ramat Gan after having missed the ride to his seminary. Three other passengers were injured in the same attack.

10. Sha’at Aazat Shaba’an Aataf (Fronts. Born 1964, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested 1993) was sentenced to 29 years’ imprisonment after having been convicted of accessory to murder and was due to be released on 14/3/2022. Sha’at drove his accomplices to and from the scene of the murder of 51 year-old Simcha Levi in Khan Yunis in 1993.

Simcha Levi was born in Persia in 1942 and immigrated with her family to Israel in 1950, settling in Moshav Patish in the Negev. Simcha’s job was to drive Arab labourers to their place of work and on the day of her murder she picked up female labourers in Khan Yunis in the south Gaza Strip. Three terrorists disguised as women beat and stabbed her to death in her vehicle in a pre-planned attack.

11. Abdel-Aal Sayid Ouda Yusef ( Born 1979, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested in 1994) was sentenced to 22 years for, along with accomplices, throwing 2 grenades – which did not explode – at Border Police forces. On a different occasion, he placed a bomb next to a Border Police facility but the explosion did not cause damage. Also, he knew about the intention to harm a civilian and aided the process of his murder (Ian Sean Feinberg) by passing information to the perpetrators regarding the absence of soldiers in the area. Also, together with his cell, tortured a local resident suspected of collaboration. After he left the scene, the victim was murdered by his two accomplices. On a separate occasion, he intended to murder a local resident suspected of collaboration.  

Ian Sean Feinberg was born in South Africa and immigrated to Israel after finishing High School. Having qualified in law before his enlistment, he spent five years serving as a lawyer in the Gaza Strip and was later involved professionally with Palestinian economic development as a legal advisor. On April 18th 1993, during a business meeting in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City, terrorists burst into the room announcing that they had ‘come to kill the Jew’. They then murdered him with gunshots and an axe. Ian was 30 at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife and three children.

12. Barbach Faiz Rajab Madhat (PFLP. Born 1974, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested in 1994) was sentenced to life imprisonment for, together with his accomplices, stabbing his employer (Moshe Becker) to death.

Moshe Beker was born in Poland in 1933 and immigrated to mandate Palestine in 1935. On January 21st 1994, Moshe arrived at his orchard in Rishon L’Tsion to see whether his employee had arrived. He was ambushed there by three terrorists, who had slept on site and waited for him. They attacked him, stabbed him to death with a knife and a pair of pruning shears, and fled. Moshe, 61 at the time of his death, was survived by his wife and four children.

13. Raai Ibrahim Salam Ali (Fatah. Born 1957, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested 1994) was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder – using an axe – of 79 year-old Morris Aizenshtat who was sitting on a park bench in Kfar Saba reading a book at the time.

14. Nashbat Jabar Yusef Mahmed (Born 1961, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested in 1990) was sentenced to 25 years for taking part in a lynching of an IDF soldier, Amnon Pomerantz. He was due to be released on 20/9/2015.

Amnon Pomerantz was an electrical engineer and scientist and worked in research and development. On September 20th 1990, Amnon left his home in Havatzelet Hasharon for reserve duty in Gaza. Three hours later, he was brutally murdered by a gang of Palestinian rioters after he took a wrong turn on the way to his base and accidentally entered Al Burj Refugee Camp. After they threw rocks at him, they poured gasoline on his vehicle and ignited it with Amnon inside. It was noted that Nashbat did not express regret for his acts. Amnon was 46 at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife and three children.

15. Mortja Hasin Ghanam Samir (Hamas. Born in 1970, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested 1993) was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his part in the abduction, interrogation, torture and murder of four local residents suspected of collaboration with the authorities – Samir Alsilawi, Khaled Malka, Nasser Akila, and Ali Al Zaabot. Also, he abducted local residents suspected of ‘moral crimes’ for interrogation. His release date was 28.10.2013.

16. Sualha Fazah Ahmed Husseini (Fatah. Born 1973, resident of Judea and Samaria, arrested 1990) was given a life sentence for stabbing Baruch Heizler to death on a bus together with an accomplice and also attempting to murder three additional female passengers.

Baruch Heizler – named after his grandfather who was killed by Jordanian shelling of the Old City of Jerusalem during the War of Independence – was 24 when he was stabbed to death whilst travelling on the number 66 bus in Ramat Gan after having missed the ride to his seminary.  Betty Malka, Shai Cohen and Avishag Cohen were injured in the same attack.

17. Ramahi Salah Abdallah Faraj (Fatah. Born in 1966, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested 1992) was given a life term for killing Avraham Kinstler. Also, whilst in Israel without a permit, he broke into a car a stole a gun. While in prison, he tried to obtain a weapon for another prisoner in order to kidnap a soldier.

Avraham Kinstler was born in Polish Galicia in 1908 and immigrated to mandate Palestine with his wife. On July 7th 1992, Avraham – who had not retired – went to work in his orchard as usual. There he was ambushed by a terrorist and murdered with a farming implement.  Avraham was 84 years old at the time of his death. He was survived by three daughters and six grandchildren.

18. Abu-Sitta Ahmed Sayid Aladin (Fatah. Born 1970, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested 1994) was sentenced to two life terms for killing David Dedi and Chaim Weitzman together with accomplices.

19. Abu-Sitta Taleb Mohammed Ayman (Fatah. Born 1971, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested 1994) was given two life terms for breaking into an apartment in Ramle and murdering two people, David Dedi and Chaim Weitzman together with accomplices. Afterwards, they mutilated the bodies and cut off their ears as proof of the action.

David Dadi was born in Tunis and immigrated to Israel as a child, settling in Ramla. On December 31st 1993, David, along with his acquaintance Chaim Weizman, was stabbed to death in his sleep in his flat in Ramla by labourers from Gaza who were working in a neighboring apartment. David was 43 at the time of his death.

Chaim Weizman was born in Morocco. His family immigrated to Israel in 1962 and settled in Ramla. On December 31st 1993 – aged 33 – he was stabbed to death in his sleep by terrorists whilst staying at the apartment of his friend David Dadi. He was survived by his son, parents and siblings.

20. Mantsur Omar Abdel Hafiz Asmat (Born in 1976, resident of Judea and Samaria, arrested in 1993) was convicted of accessory to murder and sentenced to 22 years.  He found out during work about the intention of his colleagues to murder a civilian (Chaim Mizrahi) and during the murder, helped the murderers to overpower the victim and after his death, placed the body in the boot of his car.

Chaim Mizrachi grew up in Bat Yam and Holon, later moving to Beit El. On Friday, 29th October 1993, he went to buy eggs from an Arab-owned farm near his home, and was met by terrorists who attacked him and fled in his vehicle after wounding him and stuffing him into the car’s trunk. The terrorists murdered Chaim, then burned and abandoned the vehicle north of Ramallah. Chaim was 30 at the time of his death, and was survived by his pregnant wife, his parents, his sisters, and his brother. Half-a-year after his murder, his daughter was born.

21. Asakra Mahmad Ahmed Khaled (Fatah. Born 1972, resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested in 1991) was convicted of the murder of French national Annie Lei in April 1991 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

64 year-old Ms Lei was a tourist visiting Bethlehem and was eating in the restaurant where Asakra worked when he stabbed her to death.

22. Jandiya Yusef Raduan Nahad (Fatah. Born 1973, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested in 1989) was sentenced to 25.5 years’ imprisonment for his part – whilst still a minor – in the murder of 64 year-old Zalman Shlein with his release due on 13/1/2015.

Zalman Shlein was born in Poland and as a fifteen year-old boy was forced to escape Nazi persecution by leaving his home and family. He arrived in mandate Palestine in 1947 and settled in Gan Yavne where he married and raised his family, working as a building contractor. In July 1989 he was stabbed and beaten to death by Jandiya and another Arab labourer at a construction site. Jandiya later tried to escape from prison but was caught.

23. Hamdiya Mahmoud Awad Muhammed (Fatah. Born 1972, resident of the Gaza Strip, arrested in 1989) was also convicted of the murder of Zalman Shlein and sentenced to 25.5 years with his release scheduled for 13/1/2015. Like his accomplice, he also tried to escape from prison and was caught.

24. Abdel-Nebi a’Wahab Gamal Jamil (Hamas. Born 1963, resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested in 1992) was sentenced to 21 years’ imprisonment having been convicted of accessory to murder and was due to be released on 14/12/2013. Abdel-Nebi drove the getaway vehicle after a terrorist shooting at the Machpelah Cave in Hebron in October 1992 in which reservist Shmuel Geresh was killed and Ronen Cohen was injured.

32 year-old Shmuel Geresh – the son of Holocaust survivors – left a wife and two children.

25. Ziwad Muhammed Taher Taher (Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Born 1971, resident of Judea & Samaria, arrested 1993) was sentenced to 21 years in prison for his part (together with two others) in the fatal shooting of Avraham Cohen and was scheduled for release on 05/02/2014.

26. Tsabiach Abed Hamed Burhan was arrested in 2001 for the murder of four Palestinians – Jamil Mohammed, Naim Tsaviach, Ayisha Abdallah and Haradi Marwach. 

Idolising Palestinians: Guardian goes mad over Arab ‘Reality TV’

In addition to their pages dedicated to news about Israel and “Palestine, the Guardian has a separate Gaza page.

gaza guardian

In case you wanted to get up-to-date on the most important news in the Hamas-run territory, here’s a snapshot of the Gaza page on June 23.

new gazaTaking into account two overlapping graphics of the same story, there are four separate reports (and nearly 2500 words) and two videos about the 22-year-old contestant  - from a Gaza “refugee camp” – named Mohammed Assaf who competed in (and recently won) a reality tv show broadcast by the Saudi-owned MBC1, called ‘Arab Idol’.

Remarkably, you have to go back a full month for a story on the Guardian’s Gaza page which actually focuses on news relating to Gaza that is unrelated to Arab Idol – and even that story, published on May 23, only revisits an incident which occurred 13 years ago.

Additionally, the Twitter feed of Harriet Sherwood, who was responsible for three of the four Guardian reports about ‘Arab Idol’, would suggest that the paper’s Jerusalem correspondent can’t quite get enough of the song competition.

twitter

Meanwhile, as we noted in a previous post, save for a couple of photos with misleading captions not even linked to on their Gaza page, the Guardian has ignored news that Hamas and Islamic Jihad ‘trains’ tens of thousands of Palestinian children at ‘summer camps‘ each year on the use of automatic weapons, ‘best practices’ in abducting Israeli soldiers and radical Islamist ideology.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad proudly posted the following photos of a recent camp “graduation ceremony”:

one

one

two

Whilst the Guardian has focused on the fate of one Palestinian contestant on an Arab talent show, they continue to bury news about the disturbing reality of life for over a million and half Palestinians whose lives are controlled by a fanatical regime which indoctrinates innocent children on the values of jihad.

Racist double standards watch: Guardian ignores Palestinians’ extreme right drift

Reports and commentaries in the Guardian (as well as in the mainstream media) analyzing Israel’s upcoming election which warn of a far-right shift within the Israeli electorate have been ubiquitous.  Much of the reporting has focused on the possibility that Binyamin Netanyahu’s party may form a more right-wing coalition government following the election, one which will be injurious – if not fatal – to the “peace process”.

Here are excerpts from such prognostications on the Guardian’s Israel page since early January.  

The left in Israel is its own worst enemy, Rachel Shabi, ‘Comment is Free’, Jan. 21

“Israel is expected to elect the most right-wing government in its history on Tuesday…”

Binyamin Netanyahu rejects calls for Palestinian State within 1967 lines, Harriet Sherwood, Guardian, Jan. 20:

“…a strengthening of the hard right in the next parliament [is expected]“

Obama’s dysfunctional relationship with Netanyahu likely to trundle on, Chris McGreal, Guardian, Jan 20:

…disillusioned former peace negotiators and Middle East policy officials expect his “dysfunctional” and confrontational relationship with Binyamin Netanyahu to stagger along even if the Israeli prime minister returns to power after Tuesday’s election with a government even further to the right of the present one.”

Arab gloom as Israel shifts rightward, Ian Black, Guardian, Jan. 19:

“To measure just how far Israeli politics have shifted to the right it is worth recalling that 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the Oslo accords in which Israel and the PLO recognized each other…

But with Netanyahu poised to return to power at the head of a more right-wing and uncompromising government than Israel has ever seen before…”

Binyamin Netanyahu on course to win Israeli elections, Harriet Sherwood, Guardian, Jan. 18:

Binyamin Netanyahu is on course to head a more hawkish and pro-settler government following Tuesday’s elections,

Support has drained to the ultra-nationalist, pro-settler Jewish Home, led by Netanyahu’s former chief of staff Naftali Bennett, in an indication of the hardening of opinion on the right of the Israeli political spectrum.”

Peace process dead if Netanyahu wins Israeli election, academics war, Paul Owen, Guardian, Jan. 15:

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process is dead if Binyamin Netanyahu wins next week’s Israeli election, leading academics have warned.” [quote from strap line]

Jewish Americans may be increasingly disenchanted with Netanyahu. But their priorities lie elsewhere, Peter Beinart, Guardian, Jan. 12:

“In Israel, public discourse is moving right. You can see it in the rise ofIsrael Hayom, the free, pro-Likud newspaper that has eclipsed Israel’s more traditional, centrist press. You can see it in the rise of Naftali Bennett, the settler leader whose party could come in third in the elections due later this month. You can see it the election campaign as a whole, in which the two-state solution is a virtual afterthought.”

Israel election: country prepares for next act in the great moving right show, Harriet Sherwood, Guardian, Jan. 12:

“Secular liberalism once dominated politics in Israel, but polls next week are set to confirm a long-term shift to the right

Naftali Bennett interview: ‘There won’t be a Palestinian state within Israel, Harriet Sherwood, Guardian, Jan. 7:

“Jewish Home is all but certain to be part of the next coalition government, tilting it significantly further to the right.”

Binyamin Netanyahu: strong man with a fearful heart. Peter Beaumont, Observer, Jan. 5:

“The question of the nature of Netanyahu’s conservatism has been complicated by Israel’s right-shifting political scene.”

Israel’s shift to the right will alienate those it needs most, Jonathan Freedland, ‘Comment is Free’, Jan. 4:

“For now the focus is on the Israeli elections of 22 January. The polls suggest that a government ranked as one of the most right-wing in Israel’s history is set to be replaced by one even further to the right

Even if Bennett is kept out of coalition, Netanyahu will still head a more rightist government.

The centre of gravity is about to shift so far rightward that Netanyahu and even Lieberman will look moderate by comparison.”

Meanwhile, if you were curious about the political center of gravity in Palestinian society, you wouldn’t find much information on the Guardian’s ‘Palestinian territories’ page.

In fact, the ‘Israel’ page and the ‘Palestinian territories’ page look exactly the same:

Guardian Israel page, Jan. 21:

israel

Now, here’s the Guardian’s Palestinian territory page, Jan. 21:

pal

However, for those interested, news regarding a possible extreme right Palestinian political coalition – which was reported in the Algemeiner, as well as in the Arab media - may provide some vital insight into Palestinian political culture.

The Algemeiner reported the following on Jan. 20:

“A member of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Dr. Ahmed Majdalani, told Al-Quds newspaper that he expects Hamas and Islamic Jihad to join with the PLO after National Council elections later this month, though the government will still headed by President Mahmoud Abbas.”

Hamas, in case it needs reminding, is an Islamist terrorist group which refuses to recognize a Jewish state within any borders, cites the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in their founding charter, and whose leaders calls for the mass murder of Jews. Hamas advocates the destruction of Israel through violent means, indoctrinates their children to become suicide bombers, and displays extreme intolerance towards women, gays, non-Muslims and their Palestinian political opponents.

Islamic Jihad (PIJ) , funded by Iran, is another radical Islamist terrorist group, which was formed in 1979 by fundamentalists in Egypt who split from the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood because they were deemed too moderate. PIJ advocates the destruction of Israel through violent means, indoctrinates their children to become suicide bombers, and displays extreme intolerance towards women, gays, non-Muslims and their Palestinian political opponents.

Even if PIJ doesn’t join with the PLO, Hamas and Fatah are currently working out plans to implement, by the end of this month, previous reconciliation agreements signed between the two parties.

So, any way you look at it, right-wing extremism within Palestinian politics is evidently so endemic that “terror groups who urge the ethnic cleansing of Jews” are considered mainstream – a dangerous phenomena which would certainly explain why, at least on national security issues, citizens of the Jewish state seem to have reached a more right leaning political consensus.

Of course, a truly “liberal” media institution would report on Palestine’s dangerous extreme right-wing drift, condemn a possible political coalition which includes groups espousing homicidal antisemitism – and which would necessarily end any hopes of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement – and contextualize Israeli political sentiments accordingly.  

In other words, you won’t read much about Israel’s legitimate fears regarding the ominous strengthening of the Palestinian extremist right on the pages of the Guardian. 

Guardian asks ‘expert’ what Hamas can do to “kickstart the peace process”

A story by Paul Owen on the upcoming Israeli elections and the prospects for peace with the Palestinians, in a Jan. 11 edition of the Guardian’s ongoing ‘Live Blog on the Middle East, relied almost exclusively on the analysis of Amnon Aran of City University, London.

Aran explained that there were a number of dynamics currently “working against peace”.

Owen then asked the following, evidently without a hint of irony or sarcasm:

“Khaled Meshal of Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, the leaders of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank respectively, met in Cairo for talks on Wednesday. Was there anything they could do to kickstart the peace process? [emphasis added]“

Here’s Aran’s even more surreal reply to Owen’s risible query:

“Serious reconciliation and unification” between the two factions would “certainly help”, Aran said, and there were positive signs there, such as the recent pro-Fatah rally in Gaza.”

Aran is of course referring to the recent rally in Gaza celebrating the anniversary of its first terror attack.

While Abbas has made it clear that he will “would never, in a thousand years, recognize a Jewish state”, Mahmoud al-Zahar, senior leader and co-founder of Hamas (a group whose founding charter cites the wisdom of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion), has waxed even more eloquently about the the Jews’ future in the Middle East.

Here he is speaking on Al-Aqsa TV in 2010:

I guess it never occurred to the British academic that a good way to “kick-start the peace process” would be for the Palestinian leadership in the W. Bank to avoid aligning themselves with a group whose leadership characterizes Jews as “blood suckers” and “wild beasts” who deserve to be annihilated.