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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The Guardian vs Myron Kaplan on ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’

The New York Metropolitan Opera will open their production of ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ on October 20th, an opera based on the 1985 hijacking by Palestinian terrorists of an Italian cruise ship named the Achille Lauro, in which a 69-year-old wheelchair-bound Jewish man named Leon Klinghoffer was shot in the head before being thrown overboard.

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Leon Klinghoffer

Though the opera will be staged as planned, The Met recently cancelled plans for a cinema simulcast of the production, citing fears that it may inadvertently incite antisemitism due to what’s been characterized as its sympathetic view of the terrorists.

On June 18th, the Guardian’s classical music critic expressed his outrage at The Met’s decision in the following article, in which he dismissed  “concern in the international Jewish community” about the opera’s propensity to “fan global antisemitism”.

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So, we thought it would be helpful to reproduce an open letter written to the New York Metropolitan Opera by Myron Kaplan, a senior research analyst at CAMERA who also happens to be a serious opera fan.

Dear Mr. Gelb,

As a longtime fan of grand opera, I have attended numerous superb live Met performances both at Lincoln Center and via live Saturday matinée performance HD transmissions to theaters (not to mention listening to numerous Met Saturday matinée live radio broadcasts)—and have greatly admired your accomplishments at the Met. So it was with great dismay and disappointment that I learned that the Met had scheduled for the 2014-2015 season its first-ever performances of John Adams’s “The Death of Klinghoffer.” Mediocre music is the least of the work’s problems. Even more serious is a tendentious story line and an inflammatory libretto that falsely maligns Israel and the Jewish people.

This story line can be characterized fairly as “Understandably aggrieved Palestinian Arabs wreak vengeance on disabled Jew standing in for all his perfidious co-religionists.” This is an obscene inversion of the reality that was the Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking and subsequent terrorist murder of passenger Leon Klinghoffer. In this regard, it must be noted that the librettist, Alice Goodman, during the writing of the opera rejected her American Jewish heritage by joining the Anglican Church, the leadership of which is known for its hostility toward Israel. Goodman is now a parish priest in England.

The most troubling aspect of the Met’s scheduling of “The Death of Klinghoffer” is the live HD transmission of this opera, set for November 15, 2014—one of 10 such transmitted opera performances planned for the coming season—to more than 2,000 theaters in 66 countries (including more than 700 U.S. theaters). This would make the live performance immediately available to hundreds of thousands of people (and potentially millions according to the Met), giving wide international distribution to what is, at its heart, an anti-Jewish slander.

I’m aware that it may not be feasible at this juncture to cancel all or any of the eight performances of this opera scheduled during the period of October-November 2014, but in order to minimize the harm, the Met should substitute another opera for the HD transmission.

As alluded to above, the opera is based on the 1985 murder of a helpless 69-year-old American Jewish man, Leon Klinghoffer, confined to a wheelchair—shot in the head while vacationing with his wife on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea. He was murdered by Palestinian Arab hijackers belonging to the Palestine Liberation Front, a component of Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization, and his body dumped into the water. The choice of the title, “The Death of Klinghoffer” and not “The Murder of Klinghoffer,” signals the work’s moral evasion and misrepresentation. In a sense, it is consistent with the PLO’s initial comments on the murder, that either Klinghoffer had died of natural causes or his wife pushed him overboard to be able to claim life insurance. The title’s sanitizing of murder is, however, also consistent with the opera’s anti-Jewish tone. Instead of properly characterizing the Palestinian hijackers of the cruise ship as permanent prisoners of their own rage originating from cultural indoctrination, Adams/Goodman impart idealism to them.

The opera opens with these words sung by the Chorus of Exiled Palestinians: “My father’s house was razed—In nineteen forty-eight—When the Israelis passed—Over our street.” Here, Israelis are likened to the avenging Angel of Death in the biblical story of the original Passover, exacting punishment on the ancient Egyptians after Pharaoh, breaking a promise, refused to let the Jewish people leave Egypt. This amounts to an artistically licensed slander, falsely suggesting that the Israelis, besieged by the armies of five Arab countries and Palestinian Arab “irregulars” bent on driving them into the sea, exacted widespread revenge upon Arabs residing in the ancient Jewish homeland.

Hijacker Rambo invokes anti-Semitic canards: “Wherever poor men—Are gathered they can—Find Jews getting fat—You know how to cheat—The simple, exploit—The virgin, pollute—Where you have exploited—Defame those you cheated—And break your own law—With idolatry.” Rambo’s lyrics, with virtually no artistic embellishment, could have been lifted from Nazi publications like Der Sturmer, as even a casual glance at the archives would confirm.

Repeatedly, the Palestinians are portrayed as humane idealists. Hijacker Molqi sings: “We are—Soldiers fighting a war—We are not criminals—And we are not vandals—But men of ideals.”

Hijacker Mamoud appears gentle and grieving as he tells of his mother and brother: “She was killed—With the old men—And children in—Camps at Sabra—And Shatilla— Where Almighty God—In His mercy showed—My decapitated—Brother to me—And in His mercy—Allowed me to close—My brother’s eyes—And wipe his face.”

This tear jerker falsely implies that Israelis, rather than members of the Lebanese Christian Phalange militia, massacred hundreds of Palestinian Arabs on Sept. 16-18, 1982 in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee districts. It gives no hint that the Phalangists acted in retribution for massacres of Christian Lebanese by the PLO and the September 14 assassination of the country’s Christian president-elect, Bashir Gemayel.

Mamoud shows himself to be consumed with seemingly permanent hate and a vision of martyrdom: “The day that I—And my enemy—Sit peacefully—Each putting his case—And working towards peace—That day our hope dies—And I shall die too.” But even this negative portrayal is mitigated by Mamoud’s meditation on the birds in the air— which may encourage the viewer to sympathize with him.

Leon Klinghoffer’s aria expressing his humanity and railing against the terrorists is insufficient to mitigate the harmful impression left by Goodman’s biased libretto and may even be seen as unnecessarily agitating the terrorists: “I came here with—My wife. We both—Have tried to live—Good lives. We give—Gladly, receive—Gratefully, love— And take pleasure—In small things, suffer—And comfort each other—We’re human. We are—The kind of people—You like to kill—Was it your pal—Who shot that little girl—At the airport in Rome?—You would have done the same—There’s so much anger in you—And hate.”

Goodman’s biased libretto condemns Jews and Israelis as a group, while the Arab hijackers, when condemned, are characterized as violent or revengeful individuals without regard to their ethnic/religious group. If Adams/Goodman intended some semblance of balance in this respect then they would have included, as well as anti-Jewish canards, anti-Arab/Muslim charges such as “Muslims want to destroy all infidels—their Koran tells them to do this.” But there is no semblance of this in this opera.

Then there is the matter of the renewed cruelty this Met production, not so much fiction but rather propagandistically manipulated facts, is likely to inflict upon the Klinghoffer family. After the 1991 premieres of the opera, The Telegraph (London) reported that Mr. Klinghoffer’s two daughters, Lisa and Ilsa, attended a New York production of the opera in 1991, which they described as “appalling” and “anti-Semitic.” A New York Times article reported on the antipathy toward Adams/Goodman by Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer: “We are outraged at the exploitation of our parents and the cold-blooded murder of our father as the centerpiece of a production that appears to us to be anti-Semitic.”

If it’s necessary to provide at least one first-time HD transmission of a modern opera composed after 1930, there are two excellent candidates already in the Met’s 2014-2015 schedule: Shastikovich’s ‘Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk” and Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress,” both of which, according to critics, have excellent productions, conductors and singers. The Shastikovich substitution would involve merely a replacement of November 15 on the HD schedule with November 29 currently scheduled as a Saturday matinée performance of this opera. The Stravinsky substitution would involve replacement of November 15 on the HD schedule with May 9, 2015 already scheduled as a Saturday matinée performance of this opera.

Otherwise, classic operas already scheduled at the Met in 2014-2015, but not scheduled for HD broadcast, include “Aida”—currently scheduled for a Met evening performance on the same day, November 15, as the HD transmission. Why not substitute it on that day with the Adams opera? This magnificent Verdi opera is one of the favorites of opera fans worldwide. Certainly it would be a much greater drawing card than the Adams opera in all or nearly all of the countries. Other possibilities include “La Traviata,” “Magic Flute,” and “Barber of Seville.” For “La Traviata,” replace November 15 on the HD schedule with December 27, currently scheduled as a matinee performance of this opera. For “Magic Flute,” replace November 15 on the HD schedule with November 8, currently scheduled as a matinee performance of this opera. For “Barber of Seville,” replace November 15 on the HD schedule with November 22, currently scheduled as a matinee performance of this opera.

Mr. Gelb, I trust that you will reverse an unfortunate decision just as you did in 2012 when, displeased with Opera News reviews of Met productions, you barred the magazine from subsequent reviews. Following an uproar from opera fans, you reversed the brief ban, forthrightly admitting to having made a mistake. Live transmission of “The Death of Klinghoffer,” a slanderous anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli concoction, is much more grave than the contretemps over Opera News. Mr. Gelb, we urge you, for the sake of the Met’s reputation and the constant struggle against anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, to at least provide an HD transmission substitution.

Sincerely,

Myron Kaplan

The Guardian fetishizes the ‘culture’ of Palestinian terrorism

A May 16th Guardian article by Karma Nabulsi – an Oxford University academic and former PLO representative who previously claimed, at the Guardian, that Palestinian “schoolchildren are blown to bits [by the IDF] while playing’ – which fetishizes Palestinian violence represents a pattern at the media group, whereby contributors and editors support for the ‘right’ of Palestinians to engage in terror attacks against Israelis.

Here are just a few examples: Guardian editors published a letter in January 2011 by a philosophy professor which explicitly defended the right of Palestinians (on moral grounds) to murder Israeli civilians in terror attacks – an editorial decision which was actually defended by their readers’ editor following the uproar which ensued;  In May 2011, the Guardian published an official editorial about the ‘Arab Spring’, and praised the Palestinians for teaching the Arab world how to launch ‘successful’ intifadas; And, in November 2012, during the war in Gaza, Associate Editor Seumas Milne wrote an op-ed explicitly defending the right of Hamas to launch terror attacks against Israelis, and argued that Israel has no such moral right to defend itself.

So, while the May 16th article, titled ‘Artist of the Palestinian revolution‘, on an exhibit featuring Palestinian revolutionary films and art now showing at venues in London (under the slogan “The World is with Us“), comes as little surprise, it’s nonetheless interesting in the way it’s presented, as embodying chic, progressive artistic sensibilities.

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Nabulsi’s tale about the glorious nature of the Palestinian revolution begins in the early passages:

In the simplest terms, the story of the Palestinian revolution is a story of the cadres who created it, served it, and gave it both life and force. A people expelled en masse from their homeland, they managed to take matters into their own hands and transform their situation in a most ingenious manner. Initiated by a handful of young refugees, they began to “make their own history”, launching a popular struggle in the late 1960s to regain their homeland and their rights.

However, the PLO was founded in 1964, three years before Israel was ‘occupying’ any Palestinian – or, more accurately, Jordanian – territory, and the (clearly stated) goal of the “popular struggle” was not to “regain their homeland”, but to annihilate the Jewish state.

Nabulsi not only fails to note that the weapons depicted in her beloved Palestinian art were used to murder unarmed Jewish civilians, but characterizes the PLO and other Palestinians terror groups as culturally vibrant, progressive, and humanistic social welfare-based institutions:

Developing factories, institutions, hospitals, schooling and a plethora of ideologies inside an armed struggle throughout the 1970s, Palestinians also created an ebullient revolutionary culture of music, film, poetry, radio, photography, painting and plastic arts, and became the touchstone for revolutionary movements across the world.

Here’s the next terrorist-chic graphic from the exhibit used by Nabulsi:

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Nabulsi then sums up the movement thusly:

By no means a Marxist revolution (although Marxists were a part of it), it was definitely progressive, and certainly popular. To the revolutionary movements of Africa, Latin America and Asia it was known intimately: Palestine was with the world, just as the world was with Palestine.

This was not merely an anti-colonial or national liberation movement. Comprising the disenfranchised and the dispossessed, and driven by a determination to return home, and to count on themselves alone, meant that the Palestinian cause was not national, nor leftist, but, instead, of the whole people. The culture of return and the armed struggle at the heart of the revolution brought common cause to a people whose country had been destroyed by the Nakba

Since 1964 (the year the PLO was founded), over two thousand Israelis have been murdered, and thousands more maimed, by the “culture of Palestinian armed struggle”.

Finally, we’ll leave you with the trailer from the ‘The World Is With Us” London exhibit promoted by Nabulsi:

 

TWIWU Web Trailer from Palestine Film Foundation on Vimeo.

 

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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.

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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.

“Abu Nidal, Abu Shmidal”: Guardian Mid-East editor misleads on roots of ’82 Lebanon War

A February, 2012 piece by the Guardian’s Middle East editor, Ian Black, which attempted to draw an analogy between Israel’s 1982 war against the PLO in Lebanon and current tensions with Iran, suggested that both scenarios demonstrate the Israeli propensity to cynically use a phony “pretext” to start a dangerous war.

Black wrote the following in the final paragraphs of his story:

“…In June 1982 an assassination attempt on the Israeli ambassador to London by the renegade Palestinian faction led by the Iraqi-backed Abu Nidal provided the pretext for war against Yasser Arafat’s PLO in Lebanon, despite a ceasefire that had held for nearly a year. Ariel Sharon, then defence minister, was pressing to attack and persuaded the prime minister, Menachem Begin, to go ahead

“Abu Nidal, Abu Shmidal,” Begin reportedly replied as his security chiefs explained the crucial detail and significance of the London attack. Full scale invasion, thousands of dead and years of war and occupation were the result.” [emphasis added]

Black, evidently delighted by the chance to cite the alleged use, by an Israeli leader, of the Yiddish-inspired verbal tradition (using “sh” or “shm” to dismiss something with mockery) in order to, himself, dismiss Israel’s motivation for entering the war, evoked the the same alleged quote – which, interestingly, has alternately been attributed to Israel’s then army chief, Rafael Eitan – in his piece on Friday, ‘January 4, ‘Arabs are losing faith in America: Lessons from Lebanon 1982‘.

Black, in an effort to buttress his narrative that the ’82 war was the beginning of the Arabs’ disenchantment with an America unwilling, evidently, to check Israel’s reckless aggression with a stern and mighty hand, writes the following:

“The war began in a sense in London, where, on June 3, a Palestinian gunman shot the Israeli ambassador, Shlomo Argov. It was clear from the start that the hit team was not from the PLO but from the dissident Iraqi-backed outfit run by Abu Nidal, Yasser Arafat‘s sworn enemy. Israel‘s prime minister, Menachem Begin, egged on by his defence minister, Ariel Sharon, went to war against the PLO in Lebanon anyway. “Abu Nidal, Abu Shmidal,” another Israeli minister said.” [emphasis added]

Black’s breezy dismissal of Israel’s decision to enter the Lebanon Civil War (which, by 1982, had already been raging for seven years) is historically unserious.

No, the war didn’t, “in a sense”, start in London.

The roots of the Lebanon war lay in the bloody expulsion of the PLO from Jordan, their relocation to Lebanon in 1971 and subsequent attacks against the Jewish state by the Palestinian terrorist group.

In March 1978, PLO terrorists infiltrated Israel, hijacked a bus and ended up murdering 34 Israeli civilians on board.  In response, Israeli forces crossed into Lebanon and overran terrorist bases, pushing the PLO away from the southern border.  The IDF shortly withdrew and allowed UN forces to enter, but UN troops were unable to prevent PLO terrorists from re-infiltrating the region and acquiring new, and more dangerous arms. 

A series of PLO attacks and Israeli reprisals ended briefly due to a U.S. brokered ceasefire agreement in July 1981, but the PLO repeatedly violated the cease-fire over the ensuing 11 months(Between July 1981 and June 1982 26 Israelis were killed and 264 injured.)

Meanwhile, over 15,000 PLO fighters were encamped in locations throughout Lebanon, armed with an extensive cache of weaponry – which included mortars, Katyusha rockets, an antiaircraft network and even surface-to-air missiles.

Israel was unable to stem the growth of the PLO militia, and the frequency of the attacks had forced thousands of Israeli residents in the Galilee to flee their homes and take refuge in shelters.

So, while the final provocation occurred in June 1982 when a Palestinian terrorist group led by Abu Nidal attempted to assassinate Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, Black’s suggestion that Israel may have cynically exploited the assassination as a pretext break a peaceful “truce”, in order to launch an unnecessary war, is patently untrue.

The casus belli for Operation Peace for the Galilee was self-evident, building for years, and needed no “pretext”.

What country on earth would permit a terrorist group (with an increasingly deadly arsenal of weaponry) on its border to launch frequent terror attacks against its citizens without a robust military response?

Today, as in 1982, the Jewish state can not afford to shy away from confronting clear and present dangers it faces, and, more importantly, need not morally justify – to Ian Black and others who evidently fancy themselves sophisticated political sages – a robust defense of its national interests and its citizens’ lives.

Harriet Sherwood scolds Romney for refusing to believe in the mythical “peaceful” Palestinians

Harriet Sherwood’s latest report, Mitt Romney’s remarks reflect dwindling faith in two-state solution, Sept. 18, represents another example of the Guardian Left’s capacity to reject even the most basic logical statements about the Middle East — the ones “absolutely necessary to understand reality” — and rule them out-of-bounds.

Sherwood writes:

According to Romney, the Palestinians are committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel and have no interest in peace;

She then adds, in a manner suggesting that the Guardian Jerusalem correspondent may be auditioning for a future role as spokesperson for the Palestinians:

His characterisation of the Palestinians is wrong. The Palestinian Liberation Organisation, acknowledged as the “sole legitimate representative” of the Palestinian people, recognises the right of Israel “to exist in peace and security”. The Palestinian leadership is committed to a negotiated solution and opposes armed struggle.

One statement purportedly attesting to the Palestinians’ peaceful ways?

Well, that’s enough proof for her!

Such parroting of Fatah ‘hasbara’ is remarkable even for Sherwood, whose sympathy for the Palestinian cause is rarely ever disguised.

Whatever Palestinian leaders say occasionally in public (in English), the role of a reporter is, of course, to see through such unserious platitudes, and Sherwood, in her latest report, doesn’t even go through the motions of such basic fact checking.

If Sherwood would have done so much as search Google she would have determined that Fatah – who attempted  or carried out (through various terror groups affiliated with its movement) more than 1,500 attacks during the Second Intifada – has never changed its charter supporting terrorism and rejecting Israel’s right to exist.

Per CAMERA:

Fatah has not changed to its internal charter calling for the “complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence” through violence.” (Article 12).  Other articles which still stand include:

Article 17, which states: “Armed public revolution is the inevitable method to liberating Palestine.”

Article 19, which states that “armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.”

In addition, Fatah:

  • Still refuses to accept Israel as a Jewish state and insist on the right to resettle millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants within Israel’s pre-67 borders.
  • Denies Israel’s Jewish history, condemning its “falsification” of  history, calls for “the return of Palestinian sovereignty over the whole of the soil the city of Jerusalem” and insists on the evacuation of Jewish communities in Jerusalem.
  • Continues to endorse the Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade – responsible for numerous suicide bombings and terrorist attacks– as its armed wing.

If Sherwood had an interest in objectively analyzing Romney’s claims, she could have easily come across mounds of evidence attesting to a Palestinian political culture which glorifies terrorism, promotes antisemitism and rejects the very idea of peace and co-existence with the Zionists.

As Palestinian Media Watch reports:

“Since the Palestinian Authority was established it has systematically indoctrinated young and old to hate Israelis and Jews. Using media, education, and cultural structures that it controls, the PA has actively promoted religious hatred, demonization, conspiracy libels, etc. These are packaged to present Israelis and Jews as endangering Palestinians, Arabs, and all humanity. This ongoing campaign has so successfully instilled hatred that fighting, murder and even suicide terror against Israelis and Jews are seen by the majority of Palestinians as justified self-defense and as Allah’s will. The PA presents Jews as possessing inherently evil traits. Jews are said to be treacherous, corrupt, deceitful and unfaithful by nature. These Jewish “attributes” and traditions are presented as the unchangeable nature of Jews. Forgeries and fiction masquerading as history are used to document and support the libel that Judaism is in essence racist and evil. Jews are said to be planning and executing heinous crimes, including burning Palestinians in ovens, murder, using prisoners for Nazi-like experiments, and more. 

Palestinian daily: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 6, 2008,

The PMW report continues:

“The PA assigns responsibility to the Jews for all the problems in the world: Wars, conflicts and civil wars are all said to be triggered by Jews. Indeed, the oppression suffered by Jews throughout history is presented as the legitimate response of nations seeking revenge for the injury caused them by the Jews living among them. The creation of the State of Israel is said to have been a European plot, in order to be rid of their Jews and save Europe from the evil of Jewish presence in their countries. 

The Palestinian Authority makes no attempt to educate its people towards peace and coexistence with Israel. On the contrary, from every possible platform it repeatedly rejects Israel’s right to exist, presents the conflict as a religious battle for Islam, depicts the establishment of Israel as an act of imperialism, and perpetuates a picture of the Middle East, both verbally and visually, in which Israel does not exist at all. Israel’s destruction is said to be both inevitable and a Palestinian obligation. 

the Palestinian Authority foment violence against Jews and Israelis, presenting it as legitimate and even heroic self-defense.”


Satanic Israeli peace: PA TV broadcast a caricature from the UAE newspaper Al-Ittihad in which Israel is depicted as Death with an olive branch in his mouth – Palestinian TV (Fatah) June 28, 2011

“PA terror promotion takes many forms. Nationalistically, the PA actively elevates violence as a valid and heroic means to achieve political goals, while religiously, fighting and killing Jews has been presented repeatedly by PA religious and academic leaders as Allah’s will. On the social level, Palestinian leaders and society honor even the most loathsome of murderers portraying them as heroes and role models.”

Additionally, Sherwood could have reported a 2012 Palestinian poll indicating that if a presidential election were held today Marwan Barghouti—a terrorist who founded the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades, jailed over his role in directing suicide bombings —would garner the most votes.

She could have also reported the results of another poll in 2010 which found that 59 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank (and 63 percent in Gaza‏) eventually hope that one state − Palestine − will replace the Jewish state. (The same poll indicated that only 23 percent of Palestinians said they believed in Israel’s right to exist as the national homeland of the Jews.)

She could have noted that 47.5% of Palestinians still support terrorist attacks inside pre-1967 Israel.

Or, Sherwood could have cited a 2011 poll indicating that 73% of Palestinians “believe” the Islamic Hadith that preaches it is Islamic destiny to kill Jews.

In fact,  a bit of searching  on YouTube and the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent may have found the following clip of ‘moderate’ PA leader Mahmoud Abbas admitting that he ordered terrorists to carry out their “operations“.

Later in her Sept. 18 report, Sherwood goes beyond merely shilling for Fatah, and makes a claim about Hamas’ supposed willingness to embrace a ‘peaceful solution’ which their own leaders don’t even pretend to support.

Sherwood:

“The official founding charter of Hamas, the Islamist faction that rules the tiny Gaza Strip, still calls for historic (ie pre-1948) Palestine to be liberated. However, its leaders have repeatedly indicated, albeit sometimes opaquely, that they can live with a Palestinian state within 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.” [emphasis added]

This is simply a lie. 

As recently as April 2012, senior Hamas member Mousa Abu Marzook told the Jewish Forward – a leftist publication which would have likely accepted even the most risible claims as to the group’s “moderation” – that Hamas will never recognize Israel as a state, but will only accept a hudna - a tactical temporary cease-fire.

The Hamas covenant is unequivocal:

“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad. Initiatives, proposals, and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

Further, the Hamas covenant doesn’t just call for the destruction of the Jewish state, it openly calls for the murder of Jews as such. As recently as last month, the deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Sheik Ahmad Bahr, called for the annihilation of Jews.

A woman doesn’t need permission from her husband, nor a “servant his master’s permission,” in order to engage in jihad, Bahr told his flock. This, he says, is “in order to annihilate those Jews.”

Hamas clerics have similarly called for the murder of all Jews on earth.

Here’s Hamas cleric Muhsen Abu ‘Ita on Hamas TV in 2008.

Moreover, if Harriet Sherwood has ever, in her entire career at the Guardian, written a report dealing seriously with Palestinians’ extreme antisemitism – a culture which often promotes the murder of Jews – I’ve never seen it.

The truth is, however, that Harriet Sherwood does not represent an anomaly.

For much of the elite media the Palestinians exist merely as an abstraction.  If Israelis continue to be obsessively scrutinized by much of the world – their every act and decision placed under a microscope – the Palestinians are, inversely, one of the least examined, and under-scrutinized, political or national groups.

If Harriet Sherwood and her colleagues were to bookmark Palestinian Media Watch, visit the site regularly and honestly report what Palestinians actually say to each other in Arabic, rather than uncritically accepting the scripted lines they dutifully report to Western journalists, Guardian readers would be unable to continue trumpeting the Palestinian cause with quite the same vigor.

They’d be forced, perhaps, to empathize with Israeli concerns that a future Palestinian state may likely devolve into yet another terrorist run polity, and wouldn’t, in fact, deliver “peace and security”.

In short, such inconvenient facts about the true nature of Palestinian culture would disabuse many of their fanciful notions regarding the “root cause” of the conflict.

In a revealing blog post in 2011, Guardian Assistant Editor Michael White, writing about media self-censorship, made a revealing admission.

White, who’s been with the Guardian for over 30 years, wrote:

[The Guardian has] always sensed liberal, middle class ill-ease in going after stories about immigration, legal or otherwise, about welfare fraud or the less attractive tribal habits of the working class, which is more easily ignored altogether.

Toffs, including royal ones, Christians, especially popes, governments of Israel, and US Republicans are more straightforward targets.

White concluded, thus:

And remember, dear reader, that we are also striving much of the time to tell you what you’d rather know rather than challenge your prejudices or make you cross.”

By exposing Palestinian racism and their culture of violence – thus giving lie the fiction of a peaceful, progressive national liberation movement – the Guardian would be challenging their readers’ considerable prejudices about Jews and Israelis.

In such an extremely unlikely scenario, of course, the institution would actually be able to honestly lay claim to the genuinely liberal values they now so egregiously and consistently undermine.

Guardian’s Middle East Editor, Ian Black, equates Gilad Shalit with Palestinian terrorists

I’ll never forget the heated debate on Facebook about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict I had with a left-wing Jewish acquaintance back in Philadelphia several years ago. Upon attempting to confirm that, regardless of how critical she may have been towards the Israeli government, she wasn’t suggesting anything resembling a moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas, she wrote:

“That question is a red herring.”  

What my friend was saying, in effect, was that the question I was posing wasn’t relevant and/or was merely meant to divert attention from the particular issue we were discussing.

Of course, what this really meant was that she wasn’t prepared to concede my argument that democratic Israel (whatever its imperfections) was inherently morally superior (by even the most rudimentary liberal standards) to the reactionary, Iranian backed Islamist terrorist group who rules Gaza. 

My friend’s post-modern rejection of the modest proposition that Western-style liberal democracy is inherently superior to Islamism – an idea which more than a few far left Jews have succumbed to – also represents, to be sure, an intellectual paradigm which characterizes the Guardian-style left.

The Guardian’s Middle East editor, Ian Black, wrote the following, upon news that a deal for Gilad Shalit’s release may be near, in “Gilad Shalit exchange deal could boost both Hamas and Israeli government, Oct. 11:

Shalit’s lonely, five-year plight has moved and angered Israelis who, by and large, still accept the burden and risks of compulsory national service.

Palestinians face the problem on a far larger scale: they count some 11,000 security prisoners in Israeli jails, the admiring Arabic label “factories for men” masking the toll this takes on families. [emphasis mine]

No, it’s not surprising that the Guardian’s Middle East editor equates Gilad Shalit with Palestinians who have either planned or carried out murderous terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli civilians.

But, the fact that such moral comparisons are routine at the Guardian doesn’t render them any less abhorrent. 

Palestinian terrorists being held in Israeli jails do, of course, vary considerably in their motivations.

Most are religious and inspired by Islamist theology, and others more secular and motivated by political ideology.   

But almost all of those who have wed themselves to a Palestinian terrorist movement share one common belief: that Israel has no right to exist and that it is therefore morally justifiable – indeed laudable – to murder Israeli Jews.

This is the moral thread which links Al-Aqsa Martyrs BrigadeDemocratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP)HamasPalestine Islamic JihadThe Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), and other terrorist groups.

All you need to do is briefly survey Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI to understand how widespread and socially acceptable hatred towards Jews – and not merely Israelis – is within Palestinian society.

The fact that sixty-six years after the Holocaust there are individuals, groups, and nations who, as in every generation, seek to destroy Jews should come as no surprise to anyone with even the most cursory understanding of world history.

But, what is at most appalling – and what this blog continually strives to expose –  is the fact that it has become respectable within certain liberal circles to ignore, excuse, or rationalize such annihilationist antisemtism.

I live little more than 1 km away from the Gilad Shalit tent on Azza (Gaza) Street in Jerusalem, and routinely walk by Gilad’s father, Noam, on my way to work.  

As the tent is open and Noam is often there and open to visitors, I’ve often considered introducing myself and expressing my support.

However, there was something about it which didn’t quite seem right.  Who was I, I’ve thought, as a new Oleh (immigrant), to intrude?

How could I, as an American-Israeli, possibly understand his pain?  

As a new Israeli, I sincerely try to avoid the hubris of imagining that I could possibly understand the sacrifices of native-born Israelis – those without the privilege of escaping to another nation in times of trouble. 

For five years, Noam and his family have been robbed of the joy of celebrating Shabbat, Jewish holidays and festivals, and the ineffable beauty of everyday life, with their son, Gilad.

Noam Shalit with a photo of his son, Gilad, at the Shalit tent on Azza St.

Unlike the terrorists being held in Israeli jails, Gilad, at the time of his abduction by Hamas, had not committed, nor was contemplating, any actual crime.

Gilad’s five years of captivity in Gaza was, however, a consequence of the moral – and immutable – crime of being an Israeli Jew. 

“It’s All Netanyahu’s Fault,” the Guardian and much of the MSM Say. But Is It Really?

A guest post by Elan Miller, who blogs at Destination Israel.

Over the last few weeks and months, a spurious lie has been spreading. Nothing new, perhaps, lies are told the whole time. But this one is a particularly important lie, and it needs quashing with immediate effect.

The lie goes as follows. The Palestinian people want to live in peace. They want to live in peace, alongside Israel. They want to live in peace, alongside Israel, the Jewish state. They want to live in peace, alongside Israel, the Jewish state, but Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is an extremist and prevents them from doing so. Benjamin Netanyahu and his cohorts, the lie goes, are the sole reason why the peace process appears to be dead in the water.

To understand the claim better, we must go back some time. Earlier this year, Wikileaks collaborated with the Guardian to reveal hundreds of secret documents online. The Guardian went through the archives and found an astonishing incident. In an article entitled, “Israel spurned Palestinian offer of ‘biggest Yerushalayim in history”, we are told that “Leaked papers reveal [Palestinian] negotiators proposed concessions on East Jerusalem settlements, Sheikh Jarrah and Old City holy sites” and that Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat said the following: “It is no secret that … we are offering you the biggest Yerushalayim [the Hebrew word for Jerusalem] in history.” The Guardian had a field day with this quote, using it as proof that the Palestinians were ready to make mass concessions. What was not mentioned in the headline, or in the analysis articles, was that Erekat went on to say, “But we must talk about the concept of al-Quds [Jerusalem in Arabic].”

The Guardian is quick to inform us that an “unprecedented offer” was made “on the East Jerusalem settlements”, carefully picking and mixing quotes that painted a story of Palestinian negotiators adopting a conciliatory approach, going so far as to propose “that Israel annex all Jewish settlements in Jerusalem except Har Homa.” Put like this, it sounded very much like the Israelis were acting unreasonably, wantonly even.

In the ensuing debacle, Israel was roundly criticised for deliberately missing an opportunity to forge a real, lasting peace with the Palestinians. Had this been the end of the story, I would no doubt have not been writing about Palestinian lies, but about Israeli ones.

But the story does not end there. There is much that the Guardian neglected tell us in its editorials or headlines. For while Israel was indeed offered concessions by Palestinian negotiators, they were rendered obsolete and utterly invalidated when placed in the context of the greater plan put forward. Deep in the article, toward the end, we are told that Israel’s negotiator, was “recorded as dismissing the offer out of hand because the Palestinians had refused to concede Har Homa, as well as the settlements at Ma’ale Adumim, near Jerusalem, and Ariel, deeper in the West Bank.” Intriguingly, we are told that “Israel’s position was fully supported by the Bush administration.” Whatever one might say about the Bush administration, is worthy of note that the Israeli position was fully supported. No reservations were expressed. It was clear as day to the Americans that an offer on Jerusalem offset by a situation in which Ma’ale Adumim and Ariel would have to be ceded by the Israelis to Palestinian control was wholly unacceptable.

Not only this, but we might bear in mind recent statements made by Maen Rashid Areikat, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s ambassador to the U.S., who said that the future Palestine should be free of Jews. After the firestorm that followed, Areikat then incriminated himself further when reiterating his position to the left-leaning Huffington Post stating that “Israeli soldiers and settlers — ‘persons who are amid an occupation, who are in my land illegally’ — would be rejected from the new Palestinian state.” So, not only would Israel have to give Ariel and Ma’ale Adumim over to the Palestinians, but in excess of 56,000 people would be forcibly ejected from their homes and compelled to find a new place to live. Is it any wonder that Israel rejected such a proposition? The peace process is dead in the water, but not for lack of Israel trying. It is dead in the water because the Palestinian leadership has led us so far up a futile and fruitless path that there is nowhere else to turn but to yet more ridiculous measures. By acting like a petulant child, not only is the Palestinian leadership dismissing Israel’s concerns and requirements, but it is effectively sabotaging the demands and needs of its own people, too.

For almost two decades now, there has been an implicit understanding that negotiations will take place based on the cease-fire line of 1949 commonly known as the “1967 borders”. This line was never intended to constitute a border. How it came to be regarded as sacred has been one of the greatest deceptions of our time. So when President Obama states that Israel will need to find a solution based on this line, this is a massive break with previous agreements and understandings. Instead of focusing on the abominable racial incitement and insidious accusations of land theft being propagated by the Palestinians, a blind eye is turn to such indiscretions and the heat is turned on Israel for having the gall to demand that tens of thousands of people not be uprooted from their homes.

It is revealing that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas saw fit to select Latifa Abu Hmeid, the mother of several terrorists involved in multiple attacks on Israeli civilians, to be the ambassador for the Palestinian independence bid. Abbas might be a moderate relative to his predecessor Yassir Arafat, but there can be no doubt that he is absolutely not moderate. In choosing such a person to endorse the bid, we are told everything we need to know about his vision and aspirations.

It would be bad enough if this was an aberration from the norm. But it’s not. Previously, Abbas has overseen the dedication of a town square near Ramallah to another Palestinian national icon, Dalal Al Mughrabi, the terrorist who killed 37 people, including 13 children, after hijacking an Israeli bus in 1979. At least two schools and numerous summer camps are amongst the recipients of having the dubious honour of being named after this murderer. Such are the heroes of the Palestinian people.

Even more disturbingly, you might have missed such enthralling television as this, in which little children are shown dressing up as suicide bombers and clutching mock AK-47 rifles. Similarly, another odious clip depicts a little girl facing the screen telling viewers that Israel “stole” all the land, and “changed the names”. It’s bad enough that the current generation make unreasonable demands of Israel. Much, much worse is that the current generation are being indoctrinated before our eyes, being led to believe that Israel – in its totality – has no right to exist at all.

So. Do the Palestinian people want to live in peace? To be fair, I imagine the answer is that many do. Most people in the world do. But do the Palestinian people want to live peace alongside Israel? Well, no, not if repeated attempts to portray the residents of Tel Aviv, Haifa, west Jerusalem and other internationally undisputed Israel-controlled areas as land thieves and aliens are anything to go by. As long as the entire Jewish state is repeatedly deemed illegal and a travesty of justice, then it follows that the Palestinians are not prepared to accept an Israeli state alongside it. As long as such agitation reigns unchecked, what hope is there for peace? 

It would take someone with all the vision of a Cyclops to believe that Netanyahu is responsible for Abbas’s endorsement and glorification of terror and his subsequent refusal to engage in negotiations. Benjamin Netanyahu’s fault? Israel wilfully spurning opportunities to make peace? Palestinians forced to a final resort? Hardly. Don’t believe the lie, no matter how many times you hear it.

Palestine Papers the Guardian buried: Notes by Palestinians on why they shouldn’t recognize the existence of the Jewish people

This is cross posted by Eldad Tzioni at NewsRealBlog

When The Guardian and Al Jazeera released “The Palestine Papers,” they chose to write articles about a very small percentage of them — and then they twisted what the papers actually said to advance their agenda.

In fact, the papers have a lot of information that is quite newsworthy that the Guardian decided against publicizing — precisely because it makes the Palestinian Arab leaders look like fools, liars or both.

Here’s just one example out of many.

One paper is called “Talking Points on Recogntion [sic] of Jewish State,” where the PLO details its reasons for not accepting Israel as a Jewish state.

The paper includes an annex that discusses the implications of such recognition. One of them is:

Recognizing the Jewish state implies recognition of a Jewish people and recognition of its right to self-determination. Those who assert this right also assert that the territory historically associated with this right of self-determination (i.e., the self-determination unit) is all of Historic Palestine. Therefore, recognition of the Jewish people and their right of self-determination may lend credence to the Jewish people’s claim to all of Historic Palestine.

There is no controversy over the existence of the Jewish people. The Jews have been recognized as a nation by the entire world for some 3000 years. (Here’s an example from 1850, and an eanti-Semitic exampl from 1743.) The Koran seems to say it as well. It is simply a fact.

Which means that the official PLO position is to deny an undeniable fact because that fact may makes their negotiating position weaker!

Also, note that while they use as their reason for denying Jewish peoplehood the possibility that it might be used against them in negotiations over the Green Line, that same denial can be (and is) used by Palestinian Arabs to deny the Jewish right to self-determination anywhere.

Yasser Arafat and other senior PLO officials used to tell everyone that there was never a Temple in Jerusalem. The official ePalestinian Authority Ministry of Information websithad an article last year that denied that there was any Jewish connection to the Western Wall, a claim that was repeated in official PA media.

The fact is that any recognition that Jews have historical ties to the land of Israel is threatening to a “people” who have only sprung up in the last century. The very existence of a Jewish people is a natural extension of that fear.

As a result, the Palestinian Arab leaders must go to great lengths to ensure that they can lie consistently about the non-existence of the Jewish nation. After all, if self-determination is a human right, then the Jews have that right as well — but only if the Jews are a people.

Here we can see that the Palestinian Arabs know that their proposition is absurd, but they willingly choose to lie about a historical fact because the truth is uncomfortable to them.

Why should we believe them about anything else?

The Guardian’s “Reductio ad Israel”

A recent CiF essay, by Matthew Cassel, regarding Lebanese Palestinians’ unwillingness to disarm, reduces the sum of all Lebanese Palestinian fears to the attack, by Christian militias, on Sabra and Shatila in 1982 – an attack, it should be noted, that occurred in the context of a Civil War which raged for 15 years and claimed up to 250,000  lives.  Of course, missing in Cassel’s piece is any context about the Lebanese Civil War:

Lebanese Civil War

The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 130,000 to 250,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people (one-fourth of the population) were wounded,and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced, the majority of them Christian Lebanese. There was also a mass exodus of almost one million people form Lebanon, mostly of Christian descent. The Post-war occupation of the country by Syria was particularly politically disadvantageous to the Christian population as most of their leadership was driven into exile, or had been assassinated or jailed.

Combatants in the war included The Lebanese Front, The South Lebanon Army, Syria, Israel, The Lebanese National Movement, The Lebanese National Resistant Front, the PLO, Amal Movement, Hezbollah, Lebanese Armed Forces, and the Arab Deterrent Force.

There is no consensus among scholars and researchers on what triggered the Lebanese Civil War. However the militarization of the Palestinian refugee population, with the arrival of the PLO guerrilla forces did spark an arms race amongst the different Lebanese political factions.

Continue reading

Identifying Palestinian Anti-Semitism Is Itself Racist?

This was published by Richard L. Cravatts, in the American Thinker

No sooner had a three-day conference on contemporary anti-Semitism at Yale University ended than voices of disapproval arose over a perceived bias and even latent racism of the event. Sponsored by the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA) and bringing together some 110 scholars to present papers relevant to the theme of “Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity,” the conference had as its seemingly benign and productive objective a furtherance of the initiative’s primary role of identifying and seeking to explain current manifestations of the world’s oldest hatred.

The need for such a conference, though distressing, seems to be justified based on both anecdotal and statistic studies, including a 2009 report by the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University, which noted a doubling of anti-Semitic incidents from the prior year: 1,129 in 2009 compared to 559 in 2008. Equally troubling were the 2008 findings of the European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom, and Security Franco Frattini, which revealed that of the documented anti-Semitic incidents on the European continent, Muslims were responsible for fully half, a statistic made more alarming by the fact that European Muslims, based on being only 3%-4% of the population, committed 24 to 32.3 times the number of anti-Semitic incidents as European non-Muslims.

None of this seemed to matter to critics of the Yale conference, who were incensed that many of the scholars who participated were “right-wing extremists” articulating “odious views” about the perpetrators of anti-Semitism, according to Maen Rashid Areikat, the U.S. representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization. “As Palestinians, we strongly support principles of academic freedom and free speech,” Mr. Areikat wrote, without a hint of irony, in an indignant open letter to Yale’s president, Richard Levin. “[H]owever[,] racist propaganda masquerading as scholarship does not fall into this category.”

Mr. Areikat’s assertion that academic freedom and free speech are cardinal principles in Palestinian culture is a novel, if not delusional, way of assessing what passes for scholarly, hate-free inquiry in the territories, particularly when it comes to discussing Jews and Israel. Perhaps he forgot the efforts of students at Al-Najah University, for example, who fondly remembered the outbreak of the Second Intifada by constructing a macabre attraction called “The Sbarro Cafe Exhibition,” named for the location of a 2001 suicide bombing of a Jerusalem pizza parlor, where fifteen Jews were murdered and dozens more wounded. Created not as a memorial but as an inspiration for further terror-laden savagery, the diorama included scattered pizza slices amid Israeli body parts, splattered blood, and calls to martyrdom with Koran and Kalashnikovs close by.

Read the rest of the post, here.