Dominic Behan wrote in ‘My Brother Brendan’ that “[t]here’s no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary”. The Guardian seems determined to defy this logic by yet again publishing an obituary of a terrorist with the blood of Israelis on his hands which is full of euphemisms, false equations and whitewashing, proving once more its expertise in post mortem PR.
Why terrorists are deemed to deserve an obituary in the Guardian in the first place is beyond me. Frankly, were I a member of the family of a prominent British politician, academic or author who had to share the obituary pages with the likes of Ahmed Yassin , Nizar Rayan, and now Abu Daoud, I would be highly insulted. It would feel no less offensive than if my loved one had been put in a category with Peter Sutcliffe or Harold Shipman.
The writer of this miserable obituary is ‘Middle East Specialist’ and former board member of CAABU, Trevor Mostyn. Writing for the Tablet in 2002, Mostyn similarly managed to ignore both the origins of the second Intifada and its Israeli casualties, but was apparently eager to show off this item from his photo album.
Maybe it is nostalgia for trips to Gaza gone by, mixed with a shockingly blinkered political stance, which causes Mostyn to downplay Arafat’s role in connection to the Black September organization and try to paint him as a blameless ‘moderate’ swept along by a tide of events beyond his control into situations for which, according to Mostyn, he bears no blame or responsibility.
“However, Abu Daoud was a loyal member of Yasser Arafat’s mainstream Fateh party. Arafat and other moderate Fateh leaders appear to have gone along with the terror campaigns to avoid losing control and being sidelined by hardliners. “
Of course Mostyn’s ridiculous whitewashing of the man responsible for the deaths of so many Israelis and Palestinians was completely demolished years ago by Abu Daoud himself in his memoirs and in interviews as well as by information from US State Department documents.
“Daoud also was interviewed about the Munich massacre for a film called “One Day in September,” produced by John Battsek and Arthur Cohn for Sony Pictures Classics. Director Kevin Macdonald said Abu Daoud admittedBlack September was merely the cover name adopted by Fatah members when they wanted to carry out terrorist attacks.
The PLO operative recalled how Arafat and Abu Mazen both wished him luck and kissed him when he set about organizing the Munich attack.”
Mostyn’s moral turpitude is further exposed when he equates the murder of 11 unarmed sportsmen with the deaths of terrorists by lumping them all together in the same category by writing “Before the outrage, which resulted in 17 deaths “. But Mostyn also has an explanation for the planned killing of eleven Israelis simply because of their ethnic identities; albeit one which normal people who have not yet abandoned their moral compass may find unconvincing.
“Abu Daoud was also irked that Palestinians were not represented at the Munich Games and argued that the Israeli athletes (like all Israelis) were national servicemen.”
This attempt by Mostyn to turn a terrorist into a member of a romantic ‘militant group’ and the cold-blooded and premeditated murder of civilians into a ‘kidnapping’ gone wrong, as well as whitewashing one of the most murderous organizations of the 20th century and its corrupt leader, is by no means exceptional for the Guardian, where common sense, reason and decency came to an untimely demise long ago.
However, members of the British public who object to the romanticisation and whitewashing of terrorists and their murderous acts are not obliged to permit their loved ones’ obituaries to be published on the same pages as those for terrorist master-minds. How uplifting it would be to know that we do not yet have to eulogise British common sense were Guardian readers to vote with their feet and thereby express their disapproval of this genre of mind-manipulation on the backs of the victims of terror.