This AP story about Abbas’s stifling of dissent won’t appear in the Guardian

Do you note anything out-of-place in this snapshot of the Guardian’s Palestinian Territories page from Dec. 18th?

pal territories

Well, if you looked askew at the lead story (‘Most Palestinians Accuse Abbas of Silencing Dissent’), that’s because it wasn’t really published at the Guardian.

We photoshopped out the real lead story (Palestinians open door to negotiation after submitting draft UN resolution) and added a Dec. 17th AP story that you might see if the Guardian took Palestinians seriously as agents of their own fate, and devoted space to critical investigations into Palestinian government.

Here are some excerpts from the AP story demonstrating that most Palestinians accuse President Mahmoud Abbas of silencing dissent.

Two-thirds of Palestinians say they are afraid to criticize Mahmoud Abbas, according to a poll, and some of the Palestinian president’s recent actions only seem to confirm claims that dissent comes at a price.

Last month, Abbas outlawed the West Bank’s largest labor union and briefly jailed its two leaders for organizing strikes. Security agents routinely monitor social media and send threats or complaints to some of those criticizing Abbas. Meanwhile, the Palestinian leader’s Fatah movement continues to purge supporters of an exiled rival.

Critics say that after a decade in power, Abbas is overseeing a largely authoritarian system with shrinking room for dissent — a claim denied by Abbas supporters who say Palestinians enjoy more political freedoms than most in the Arab world.

We face an autocratic regime that doesn’t believe in any freedoms, in freedom of unions or freedom of speech,” said Jihad Harb, a writer and Fatah member. “The people are now terrified. They don’t speak up, fearing reprisal.”

…according to a poll published last week by the independent Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. Sixty-six percent said they believe they cannot criticize Abbas without fear, according to the survey among 1,270 respondents, with an error margin of 3 percentage points.

One recent controversy centered on the largest Palestinian union, which represents about 40,000 employees of the Palestinian Authority.

Last month, Abbas outlawed the union and had two top officials jailed for a week. The decision followed strikes by the union demanding more benefits.

Guardian editors won’t publish this AP story, and their Jerusalem correspondent, Peter Beaumont, will not investigate the broader problem of human rights violations by the PA because, as Matti Friedman noted in his groundbreaking essay at Tablet Magazine, reporters “working in the international press corps here understands quickly that what is important in the Israel-Palestinian story is Israel”.  

If you follow mainstream coverage”, Friedman added, “you will find nearly no real analysis of Palestinian society…”.

As the Israeli elections move closer, we can likely expect Guardian “expert analyses” on the Jewish state’s putative dangerous lurch to the right, but nothing on the continuing violations of basic political freedoms under the authoritarian government of the Palestinian “President” currently serving his tenth year of a four year term. 

Exclusive: The four ‘controversial’ words banned at Ireland’s Holocaust event

Further to our post on December 15th about the Master of Ceremonies (MC) for the Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland’s (HETI) Holocaust Commemoration event being forbidden to say the word ‘Israel’ or the phrase ‘the Jewish State’, we now have the closing part of 2014 MC Yanky Fachler’s draft speech which evidently so upset HETI trustees.

It seems that (according to our sources) objections were raised over Fachler saying “And we owe it to the victims, to the survivors, and to ourselves, to prevent the memory of the Holocaust being cynically distorted and hijacked by a vicious campaign that denies the Jewish people and the Jewish state – our past and our future.”

Fachler gave in and omitted the phrase “and the Jewish State” because he did not want to cause trouble. Hence the letter – signed by HETI Chair Peter Cassells – dated October 7th to Fachler, saying that in future, MCs would not be allowed to mention ‘Israel’ or ‘the Jewish State’.

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Who are the extremists? Jews praying at their holiest site, or Muslims objecting to peaceful Jewish prayer?

The following passage about violence in Jerusalem and recent tensions surrounding the Temple Mount, in an article by John Reed in the Financial Times (Arab-Israel tensions: Jerusalem tales, Dec. 16th), is quite typical of the disinformation about Jerusalem that passes for serious news within much of the British media. 

Jewish settlers, who get political and financial support from the Israeli state, believe they are reclaiming property inscribed as theirs in history and scripture. Silwan’s overwhelmingly Arab residents see the arrival of the settlers as a form of forceful colonisation, a view shared by Israelis who oppose the settlements. The influx has inflamed emotions among Palestinians already on the defensive from some Israeli rightwingers’ demands for the right to pray at al-Aqsa, Islam’s third-holiest site, and a place reserved for Muslim worship since Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the six-day war.

“We are not against Jews,” says Umm Mohammad, voicing the belief that the three monotheistic faiths’ adherents can live in peace. But she says “al-Aqsa is a sacred place — it’s where the Prophet Mohammed went up to heaven.

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Guardian letter notes the evils of our time: War, racism, rape…and Zionism

If you want to see a good example of the Guardian Left’s malign anti-Zionist obsession, and the capacity of some advocates for peace and progress to become nearly deranged when contemplating the Jewish state, look no further than this letter published by the Guardian on Dec. 11th, praising Bradley Manning’s defense of transgender rights. 

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Guardian quietly removes inappopriate photo of President Bush with a menorah

On Dec. 14th, we commented on an extremely inappropriate photo accompanying an official editorial at the The Observer (sister site of the Guardian) in response to the US Senate’s recent report on the CIA’s interrogation of terror suspects in the years after the 9/11 attacks. (The Observer view on torture, Dec. 14)

Despite the fact that the editorial had absolutely nothing to do with Jews or Israel, editors nonetheless chose the following photo, from a 2008 White House Hanukkah ceremony, of former President Bush in front of a menorah.

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Has Ireland backed down from their shameful decision to hold a Zionistfrei Holocaust event?

As the blog Israellycool and others have recently reported, the trustees of Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland(HETI) have forbidden the master of ceremonies at the annual Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony on January 25th, 2015, from mentioning the word “Israel” or the phrase “the Jewish State”.

Here’s the letter sent to Yanky Fachler, the former master of ceremonies, from HETI chair Peter Cassells explaining that no mention of the Jewish state will be permitted by the MC at the event at Dublin’s Mansion House. 

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Guardian misleads on autopsy results of convicted terrorist Ziad Abu Ein

On Dec. 11th we asked a simple question after an autopsy (by Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian forensic doctors) of Ziad Abu Ein – the terrorist cum Palestinian minister who died in the West Bank on Dec. 10th following a confrontation with Israeli soldiers – concluded that he died from a stress-induced heart attack.

question

The question was raised in the context of a Guardian report by Peter Beaumont on the day Abu Ein died which almost entirely focused on Palestinian claims that he died as the result of either a punch, kick or gun butt to the head, or by the impact of a tear gas canister administered by an Israeli soldier.  

Sure enough, Peter Beaumont’s Dec. 12th follow-up story on Abu Ein failed to clearly report on the autopsy results.

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Will a new Guardian editor facilitate less biased coverage of Israel?

Amidst recent media reports that Alan Rusbridger will be stepping down after twenty years as editor-in-chief of the Guardian, many have begun wondering whether a change in editors will result in less biased coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Such questions arise in the context of the disproportionate role played by the Guardian in the delegitimization of Israel and obsessive coverage of the country, as well as its propensity to legitimize anti-Israel extremists and ignore, whitewash and even legitimize antisemitism.

Read the rest of this post, at Times of Israel, here.

Will the Guardian update their report on Ziad Abu Ein to note he died of a heart attack?

As we noted yesterday, the Guardian published a report (and video) on the death of Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein, who died shortly after a brief confrontation with IDF soldiers during a protest north of Ramallah, which all but ignored substantive evidence corroborating Israeli claims that Abu Ein likely died of a heart attack, not as the result of trauma.

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Guardian ignores key evidence indicating PA minister was NOT killed by IDF assault

What is known at the moment is that a Palestinian minister, Ziad Abu Ein, died today shortly after a confrontation with IDF soldiers during a protest north of Ramallah.  Abu Ein – imprisoned in Israel for his role in a terrorist bombing that killed two Israeli teens, but later released during a prisoner swap – collapsed and was evacuated for medical care, but died before reaching the hospital.

What’s not known is the cause of death, and there is increasing evidence (which we’ll show later in the post) that Abu Ein, who suffered from health problems including diabetes and high blood pressure, may have died of a heart attack.

However, the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent Peter Beaumont naturally all but avoided evidence pointing to the strong possibility that Abu Ein died of natural causes, and instead primarily cited only those sources claiming he died as the result of trauma inflicted by an Israeli soldier.

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Guardian/AP omits ‘minor’ detail in story: An alleged Palestinian plot to kill Obama

The Guardian tradition of tendentious, misleading editing in stories involving Israelis and Palestinians is again revealed in a comparison between a Dec. 9th Associated Press (AP) story on an American Christian indicted in Israel on charges of trying to blow up Muslim holy sites, and the Guardian version of that same story. 

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Guardian photo revisits unproven allegations against Israel in UN school deaths

On Dec 8th the Guardian published its entries for their Photographer of the year for 2014, a list which included the following truly heartbreaking photo by Mahmud Hams:

libel

However, despite the caption’s claim, it’s far from certain that 15 Palestinian civilians (including the girl pictured in the AFP photo) were in fact killed – at a UN school in the Gaza city of Beit Hanoun – by an Israeli tank shell on the day in question.

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