The double standards employed by foreign journalists when covering the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict are especially egregious in the context of terms used to characterize the two governments. For instance, while the Guardian has described Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home Party as an “extreme rightwing nationalist“ party, the antisemitic terror group Hamas has been characterized by the paper’s Jerusalem correspondent on multiple occasions as merely “conservative“, and an official Guardian editorial claimed that PA President Abbas is a “leading moderate“.
Indeed, in order to maintain the edifice of moderation, Abbas and his PA ministers routinely perform a simple trick: engage in antisemitic, pro-violence, extremist rhetoric in Arabic to their own people, while feigning ‘moderation’ and pro-peace politics in English when speaking to Western audiences. However, for this to work, foreign journalists must play their part when reporting the words and deeds of Palestinian leaders: suspending their normal skepticism and failing to employ the critical scrutiny which Israelis are routinely subjected to.
A perfect example of this dynamic – in which Palestinian hypocrisy almost certainly won’t be reported by the UK media – can be found in a report today at Media Line titled “Senior Palestinian Official Lashes Out at Hamas Encouragement of Violence“.
A senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says the Palestinian leadership rejects any efforts to teach a culture of violence to Palestinian children. Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Palestinian Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs was responding to a report on Israel’s Channel 2 on a Hamas rally in the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
In the video, Palestinian boys, some of them wearing black ski masks, carried toy guns and waved the Islamist group’s green and white flag. One boy said he wanted to become a “martyr” and take revenge on Israeli soldiers for killing his uncle. Other boys said they wanted to “resist” Israeli control of “Palestine.”
“It will be very dangerous to allow any party to educate the children according to the ideology of this party (Hamas),” Al-Habbash told The Media Line. “The children must be educated according to the Palestinian culture, Palestinian understanding, and Palestinian heritage without any relation to violence.”
Al-Habbash went on to explain that Islam is a peaceful religion in dialogue with all peoples. “We reject violence against anybody, against Muslims, against Christians, against Jews, against anybody in the world,
Wonderful, isn’t it? Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the PA minister of Religious Affairs, has come out strongly and unequivocally against Hamas-style violence and incitement.
Except that, well, that doesn’t seem to accurately represent Al-Habbash’s true views – as we revealed in a post back in February.
Here’s Al-Habbash saying something very different about violence – in Arabic of course – in front of an audience which included President Abbas:
Whoever wants resistance, whoever wants Jihad, the direction for Jihad is well-known and clear… Those who send young people to Syria or elsewhere to die for a misdirected cause must stop and understand that Jerusalem is still waiting. Jerusalem is the direction, Jerusalem is the address
Here’s the video:
Additionally, Palestinian Media Watch also recently reported that in another speech where Abbas was present, “Al-Habbash said that the PA’s negotiations with Israel are modeled after the Hudaybiyyah agreement between Islam’s Prophet Muhammad and the tribes of Mecca, and explained that Muhammad signed a 10-year truce, yet two years later conquered Mecca”.
Here’s the video:
To recap: The PA Minister of Religious Affairs was quoted recently in English criticizing violence and incitement and supporting peace. However, several months ago, in two separate speeches in Arabic, he called for terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and explained – as did Yasser Arafat before him – that the PA’s putative entreaties for peace are merely tactical decisions with the ultimate aim of vanquishing their Israeli ‘peace partners’.
As Jennifer Dyer, a retired US Naval intelligence officer, explained: “A treaty of Hudaybiyyah is an agreement you break as soon as you’re able to. Its function is to constrain the other party and buy time for you”.
Of course, the chances the UK media will call out the Palestinians in their double-talk are close to zero.
However, this isn’t merely about the dishonesty of one PA minister. Such revelations about the PA’s true agenda (along with the consequences of recent ‘land for peace’ policies in Gaza and S. Lebanon) help explain Israeli skepticism that even the most generous and equitable two-state agreement will actually lead to a genuine peace, in which Palestinians ‘drop all historical claims’, lay down their armaments of terror, and nurture a culture of tolerance.
Journalists reporting about the peace process who claim the mantle of professionalism simply can not continue to wax eloquently on the ‘provocation’ of Israeli settlements while feigning ignorance about the injurious impact to the peace process of such egregious examples of Palestinian duplicity.
- CAMERA Snapshots: Where’s the Coverage? PA Official’s Doublespeak (camera.org)
- This Ongoing War: 15-Jan-14: How jihadist messages heard in the Palestinian Arab villages go unreported in the wider world (thisongoingwar.blogspot.com)
- In search of Palestinians who are sickened by PA’s celebration of Sbarro bomber (cifwatch.com)
- UK media silent about Pope’s meeting with Mufti who claimed that Muslims’ destiny is to kill Jews (cifwatch.com)
- What the UK media won’t report: Poll reveals Palestinians are most antisemitic people in the world (cifwatch.com)