Guardian misleads on bill in response to Arab MKs meeting with terrorists’ families

A Guardian report by Peter Beaumont about new Israeli legislation to allow for the ouster of MKs accused of racial incitement, or supporting terror, included the following background information:

Pressure to pass the law had been mounting following anger when three MPs – Jamal Zahalka, Haneen Zoabi and Basel Ghattas – met the families of several Palestinians killed during a recent surge in street attacks on Israelis. The MPs said they were attending a meeting about the repatriation of the Palestinians’ bodies to their families.

This vague language obscures the fact that the Arab MKs in question (Basel Ghattas, Jamal Zahalka and Hanin Zuabi) met relatives of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces after carrying out deadly (i.e., “successful”) attacks.

Body of victim removed from scene of terror attack on bus in Jerusalem
Body of victim removed from scene of terror attack on bus in Jerusalem (Copyright: GPO/Kobi Gideon)

Specifically, they met last February with the father of Bahaa Alyan, one of the terrorists who carried out the Oct. 13 attack on an Egged bus in the East Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem.  The shooting and stabbing of passengers resulted in the death of Haviv Haim, Alon Govberg and Richard Lakin.

Additionally, the MK’s didn’t merely “meet” with the families of Palestinian terrorists. As Palestinian Media Watch reported, they ‘honored’ the terrorists themselves with a moment of silence, and referred to them as martyrs.

Back in February, when the MK’s visit with families of terrorists was first revealed, we noted that the Guardian similarly misled on the nature of the terrorists’ crimes and the degree of sympathy for the terrorists shown by Arab MKs.

Indeed, details regarding the viciousness of the Jerusalem attack (which created pressure to pass the legislation) is crucial to understanding the issue.  

Whatever the actual merits of the bill (which Beaumont acknowledges is largely symbolic), it’s important for journalists to convey to their readers the very real anger over the fact that elected representatives chose to honor men who walked onto a bus with the sole objective of murdering as many Jews as possible. 

Demanding that legislators avoid expressing support for such terrorists who possess such contempt for human life doesn’t seem like an unreasonable expectation.

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