March 21, 2017
CBS Article is Not Objective on Israel’s Security Barrier
A CBS article about the opening of subversive grafittist Banksy’s new hotel in Bethlehem demonstrates how a journalist can slant a controversial topic. Entitled "Banksy's ‘hotel with the worst view’ opens in Bethlehem,” the article by Jerusalem-based reporter Robert Berger describes Israel’s security barrier, in his own words, as “Israel's separation wall.”
This is neither the objective nor the accurate way of describing the controversial barrier, of which 90% is not a wall, but a fence. This is the term used by Palestinians and their supporters to refer to the barrier. And the reporter adopts it as his own.
Berger later refers to “security barrier” – in quotation marks – as a term used by Israelis to describe what the reporter himself terms “the wall. ” So why does he not similarly attribute the term “Israel’s separation wall” to Palestinians?
The reporter in his own words
With a play on words on the luxury Waldorf Astoria chain, this place is called the Walled Off Hotel, because it was built almost immediately next to Israel’s separation wall in the Palestinian-ruled city where Jesus Christ was born. [emphasis added]
The reporter attributing a claim
The Israeli government built the wall, or “security barrier” as the Israelis call it, more than a decade ago after a wave of Palestinian suicide bombings, with the aim of preventing terrorists from entering Israel. For the Palestinians, it’s a bleak symbol of Israeli occupation and what many consider apartheid. [emphasis added]
And while he reports Israel’s “aim” in building the barrier, Berger does not bother to mention its success in drastically reducing the number of terrorist attacks and Israelis killed. The number of terrorist attacks decreased by over 90%, and the numbers of Israelis wounded and murdered declined by 85% and 70% respectively, since the barrier was erected. Indeed, an Islamic Jihad leader acknowledged in an Arabic TV interview that the barrier created an obstacle to carrying out the terrorist group’s attacks.
In the same vein, the reporter cynically portrays Israel’s concern for the safety of its citizens by not allowing them to enter Palestinian-run areas as mere allegation:
Israel has banned its citizens from visiting Bethlehem and other Palestinian-controlled areas, purportedly due to fears for their safety. [emphasis added]
What he avoids mentioning is that the Israeli army policy preventing its citizens and tour guides from entering territories under the Palestinian Authority began in late 2000, in the wake of the kidnappings, murders and mutilation of the hapless Israelis who had wandered into Palestinian-controlled neighborhoods (Area A).
Perhaps the most horrifying example was the case of two IDF reservists who inadvertently entered Ramallah on October 13, 2000 and were brutally lynched by a frenzied mob. The bloody incident was caught on film by an Italian journalist. Israelis who witnessed this on television were shocked by the sheer barbarity of the attack and the realization of the danger inherent in entering these neighborhoods. While the Israeli Ministry of Defense gradually began to allow Arab Israelis to visit Area A cities after the second intifada ended, the Palestinian Authority continues to incite against Israeli Jews, and nearly 15 years after the Ramallah lynching, a PA parliament member honored the perpetrators’ families with plaques of honor. Israeli Jews are therefore still barred from entering this area.
March 20, 2017
Washington Post Notes Jordanian Terrorist Hailed as a ‘Hero’
A Washington Post dispatch highlighted the release of Jordanian terrorist Ahmed Daqamseh, who was imprisoned for murdering seven Israeli schoolgirls in 1997. Post reporters Ruth Eglash and Taylor Luck offered readers an important look at the rapturous reception that greeted Daqamseh upon his release on March 11, 2017 (“Freed 20 years after slaying of 7 Israeli schoolgirls, Jordanian is hailed as hero,” March 13, 2017).
The Post provided readers with a look at Daqamseh’s horrendous crimes and the grieving that followed. On March 13, 1997 Daqamseh—a Jordanian solider—opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolchildren who were visiting the Jordanian border site of Neharayim—known as the “Island of Peace”—for a field trip. He murdered seven Israeli schoolgirls and wounded six others.
Eglash and Luck noted the disappointment and pain of one of the survivors of the massacre, Hila Levy, who is now 33 years old. Levy remarked, “We knew he would be released sometime soon, but it still hurts.”
Daqamseh has been celebrated for murdering the seven schoolchildren. The Post pointed out that, “in Jordan, supporters of Daqamseh, whom the Jordanian military court deemed mentally unstable at the time, hailed his release and called him a hero….hundreds of relatives and supporters greeted Daqamseh at his family home in the northern village of Ibdir, 60 miles north of Amman, the capital.” Eglash and Luck said the murderer’s name trended on Twitter among Arab users where he was called a “model” and “hero.” Indeed, in Jordan, “Daqamseh has been adopted by the opposition movement, led by Islamists and nationalist,” both of who have repeatedly called for his release.
The Post reported that following his release, Daqamseh told Al-Jazeera, “Don’t believe the lie of normalization with the Zionist entity. Don’t believe the lie of the two-state solution. Palestine united is from the ocean to the river…there is no state called ‘Israel.’”
The Washington Post should be commended for highlighting the grotesque celebration of anti-Jewish violence and the rejection of Israel’s right to exist that permeates Arab society.
However, The Post’s report was not without fault. For example, it uncritically quoted a Jordanian shopkeeper named Mohammed Youssef, who justified the celebrations of Daqamseh’s release with the spurious claim that “Israelis kill Palestinians by the hundreds every month, and no one is brought to justice.” This accusation, of course, is false. As CAMERA has highlighted (see, for example “Where’s the Coverage? Joint Chief Chairman Declares ‘Israel Went to Extraordinary Length’ to Protect Gaza Civilians” Nov. 13, 2014), various military officials and inquires have noted Israel’s judicious use of force. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, then serving as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has stated: “The IDF is not interested in creating civilian casualties.”
By contrast, self-avowed enemies of the Jewish state purposefully target civilians, including schoolgirls—and are praised in many sections of Arab society for their efforts.
March 15, 2017
NY Times Misleads on David Friedman and Two-State Solution
In an article today about the visit of U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt to the West Bank, Ian Fisher of The New York Times misleadingly reports that David M. Friedman, President Trump's pick for the next ambassador to Israel, "has disavowed the two-state solution" ("Trump's Envoy to Mideast Meets With Mahmoud Abbas in West Bank").
The article does not inform readers that in his Feb. 16 Senate confirmation hearing, Friedman more recently expressed support for the two-state solution, calling it "the best possibility for peace in the region."
As The Times reported Feb. 17 ("Nominee for Israel Envoy Regrets 'Hurtful Words," Emmarie Huetteman):
Although [Friedman] has been dismissive of it in the past, he said the two-state solution had received ''the most thought and effort and consideration.'' He later elaborated that he had not seen any evidence that Palestinians had an ''appetite'' for unifying under a single state.
''It still remains the best possibility for peace in the region,'' he told senators, referring to the two-state solution.
Likewise, AP reported Feb. 16:
Friedman said he "absolutely" supports a two-state solution, but said he's skeptical such an approach can succeed because Palestinians haven't renounced terrorism and have refused to accept Israel as a Jewish state. But he said he would be "delighted" if it were possible to reach a two-state agreement.
CAMERA has contacted The Times to request a clarification. Stay tuned for an update.
March 09, 2017
Israel's Entry Law, and America's
You can love it. You can hate it. But at least be correct, contextual, and consistent when talking about it.
While that's a universal best practice, in this case we're talking about Israel's new law restricting access to the country for some of those advocating boycott of the Jewish state.
We've already called on The New York Times to correct two errors in its editorial about the Israeli law. The editorial wrongly claims the US has "consistently held that settlement building in the occupied territories is illegal." In fact, since the Carter administration it has consistently avoided such a characterization.
The editorial also misleadingly downplays BDS aims, claiming that the movement is merely "against Israel for its occupation of the West Bank." As CAMERA and others (including BDS leaders) have pointed out, a trifecta of BDS goals essentially amount to a call for the elimination of the Jewish state.
Finally, the New York Times editorial, and a number of other media outlets, claim that the law bars entry to anyone who "supports" BDS. In fact, the law is worded much more narrowly, and refers not to supporters but rather anyone "who knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel that, given the content of the call and the circumstances in which it was issued, has a reasonable possibility of leading to the imposition of a boycott – if the issuer was aware of this possibility."
One might think from the reaction abroad, including that of The New York Times, that the Israeli law is particularly unusual. What overseas critics of the law don't mention, though, is that the United States has long had similar restrictions.
Section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act says that an alien "whose entry or proposed activities in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable ground to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States is inadmissible." That's much broader than Israel's language.
The Immigration and Nationality Act also bars members of the Communist party: "Any immigrant who is or has been a member of or affiliated with the Communist or any other totalitarian party (or subdivision or affiliate thereof), domestic or foreign, is inadmissible."
And finally, it bars those who would break laws for the purpose of "opposition to … the United States":
In general.-Any alien who a consular officer or the Attorney General knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, seeks to enter the United States to engage solely, principally, or incidentally in … any activity a purpose of which is the opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States by force, violence, or other unlawful means, is inadmissible.
One wonders if American critics of the new Israeli law have also criticized these laws, which are much closer to home.
March 07, 2017
ISIS Tells Supporters to ‘Dress Up Like Jews,’ Carry Out Attacks
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is encouraging its supporters to carry out terror attacks against Western Jewish communities. According to the U.K.-based newspaper, Daily Mail, ISIS members in an online jihadi chat room forum discussed disguising themselves as Jews prior to attacking.
The messages first appeared on an ISIS-affiliated Telegram Channel called Lone Mujahid (Holy Warrior), which is often used by the terrorist group to disseminate messages. The Jerusalem Post, which highlighted the Daily Mail’s report, noted:
“The full post read: ‘If you’re still in the west! Dress up like a Jews! Got to your nearest Jewish area! Make sure you have plenty of weapons under your coat!’ and then urged followers to ‘unleash the pain of Muslims’ on the potential victims.”
A subsequent message provided a list of Jewish communities in Britain and included an image of Amedy Coulibaly, an Islamist who, in January 2015, committed a terrorist attack on a Kosher supermarket in a Paris suburb. A post accompanying Coulibaly’s image, exhorted: “Take the brother’s example and terrorize the Yahood [Jew].”
As CAMERA has noted (see, for example “Poll: Majority in France Believe Jews Responsible for Antisemitism,” Feb. 12, 2016) anti-Jewish violence has risen sharply in Europe, with many attacks being perpetrated by Islamists. More recently, in February 2017, two men, “who were described as being of North African origin,” attacked two Jewish brothers in a Paris suburb. The attackers shouted, “Dirty Jews, you’re going to die,” before using a saw to cut off the finger of one of the brothers (“Jews in France: Anti-Semitic Attack Saws Mans Finger Off As Attackers Yell ‘Dirty Jews,’” International Business Times, Feb. 24, 2017).
On March 1, 2017, the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, told Britain’s Jewish community leaders that jihadists were targeting Jews in Europe and the U.K. Rudd noted, “Daesh [ISIS] literature continues to identify the Jewish community as a ‘desirable and legitimate target (“ISIS Plotting Attacks on UK Jewish Community,” Express, March 4, 2017).’”
Although media outlets outside the U.S. reported the Islamic State’s recent plots, many American newspapers failed to provide coverage. A Lexis-Nexis search of major U.S. journals, including The Washington Post, USA Today and The Baltimore Sun, among others, showed no mention of ISIS’s threats.
March 06, 2017
Travel Articles Eschew Bias, Highlight Beauty of Israel
While the mainstream national newspapers continue push the Palestinian narrative about Israel and the Middle East, two recently-published travel articles about Israel are refreshingly honest. Harper’s Bazaar has published a photo essay full of gorgeous scenes from Israel, “30 Photos that Will Make You Want to Book a Flight to Israel ASAP.” The Hindu, an Indian publication, has provided a detailed plan for vegetarians to eat their way through the Jewish state, “Breaking Bread in Israel.”
In The Hindu, reporter Pankaja Srinivasan is relieved to report that vegetarians can, in fact, travel in Israel without fear of "starvation." He samples laffa bread in Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market, zatar bread in Jaffa, hi-tech pita bread and chocolate rugelach in Jerusalem, and falafel everywhere.
Srinivasan’s article is yet another welcome sign of the increasingly warm ties between India and Israel. You can read the whole thing here.
In addition, Harper’s Bazaar has published 30 beautiful images of Dead Sea beaches, Jerusalem landscapes, markets, and holy sites, Tel Aviv skylines and neighborhoods, food in Jaffa, and Caesarea relics.
Overall the article is free from the types of bias we usually see, for example, it acknowledges that Jerusalem is part of Israel, and doesn’t propagandize the Dead Sea. There is, however, one minor error: the caption in the photo of the Western Wall Plaza refers to the Kotel as “the last wall standing of the Second Jewish Temple.” In fact, the Western Wall was not part of the Temple itself, but rather a remnant of an outer retaining wall surrounding the Second Temple. On the other hand, the publication correctly noted that the Western Wall "is considered the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray," and that this is "due to its connection to the Temple Mount," a point that hard news organizations have gotten wrong repeatedly.
You can see all of the photos here.
A shot of a Tel Aviv beach is accompanied by the caption, “A woman takes a dip in the Mediterranean sea off the shores of Tel Aviv. Fun fact: this could be you!” Well, yes, it could be! I’m getting my ticket now….
Facebook Reinstates Fatah’s Terror-Promoting Page
A mere three days after its removal, Facebook has reopened the terror-promoting page of Fatah, the movement that dominates the Palestinian Authority. Facebook did so “without removing any of the terror promoting material that is regularly posted on the page,” according to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a non-profit organization that monitors Arab media.
Shortly after Facebook decided to close down the page, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Ministry of Information accused Facebook of “targeting…Palestinian national platforms on social media” and displaying a “blind bias in favor of the occupation.” More conspiratorially, the PA—making use of long-standing antisemitic tropes of Jews controlling the media—claimed that Facebook had “an agreement” with the Jewish state.
However, according to PMW, Fatah’s Facebook page frequently posts material celebrating anti-Jewish violence and terrorism. On April 20, 2016, for example, Fatah’s student movement posted a video entitled “Martyrdom-seeking unites us,” which depicted three young Palestinians planning and carrying out an attack on Israeli soldiers with knives and vehicle-ramming.
CAMERA has frequently highlighted how Facebook has been used to promote Palestinian terrorism and antisemitism (see, for example “German Authorities Investigate Facebook for Allowing Holocaust Denial,” Nov. 9, 2016).
Facebook’s rules forbid bullying, harassment and threatening language. However, the social media organization has been criticized for failing to remove antisemitic posts and apologia and propaganda from terrorist groups. In one January 2014 example that CAMERA documented, an image posted on Facebook celebrated Nazi violence against civilians; perversely using Nike’s swoosh logan and slogan “Just Do It.” Initially, Facebook refused to remove the image, stating that it didn’t violate “community standards.” Eventually, the organization reversed course, removing the post and banning the user (“Facebook Admits the Obvious,” Jan. 9, 2014).
Facebook has also been used by Palestinian terrorist groups to organize and plot attacks against Israelis, as CAMERA noted in an Aug. 17, 2016 article (“Israel Busts Terror Cells Sponsored by Hezbollah, Recruited via Facebook”).
Facebook did not provide a reason for its decision to reinstate Fatah’s page.
March 03, 2017
Iranian Film Depicts Destruction of U.S. Navy
A filmmaker in Iran has released a 90-minute movie depicting the destruction of U.S. Naval forces by Tehran.
Associated Press correspondent Nasser Karimi reported on the film’s release (“Iranian film hails demise of U.S. Navy in imagined Gulf battle,” March 2, 2017). Iranian director Farhad Azima created the animated film, entitled “Battle of the Persian Gulf II.” The movie is a sequel to an earlier work about the 1980’s Iran-Iraq War.
According to the AP:
“In the film, a character who closely resembles Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran's elite Quds Force, leads a single vessel against more than a dozen American warships. When a U.S. commander orders him to surrender or die, he replies: ‘General, I am not a diplomat, I am a revolutionary!’
“He [Soleimani] warns that any American soldiers taking part in an attack on Iran ‘should order their coffins,’ before his forces destroy the whole U.S. fleet.”
The movie depicts the U.S. Naval ships as being obliterated “with a barrage of rockets, some of which tear American flags from their masts.” The battle follows an imaginary U.S. attack on an Iranian nuclear facility.
Azima asserted that the film was made with no government involvement from Tehran and that money was raised from “ordinary people” in Iran. Yet, the ruling mullahs exercise considerable censorship and control over Iranian life; it’s unlikely that the movie was made without their tacit approval.
The AP dispatch claimed that, since the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, “tensions are rising again” between the U.S. and Iran. However, this is not the first time in recent months that Iran has threatened U.S. armed forces.
In November 2016, an Iranian ship “pointed its weapon” at a U.S. Naval helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz (“Iranian ship threatens U.S. helicopter, media MIA,” CAMERA, Dec. 5, 2016). Iran also has threatened U.S. ships, in August 2016 and January 2017, among other instances (“Official: U.S. Navy ship fires warning shot at Iranian boats,” CNN, Jan. 9, 2017). Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told CNN in January 2017 that there were a total of 35 instances of Iranian ships acting belligerent towards U.S. vessels in 2016.
March 01, 2017
Guardian Refuses to Correct False Claim that Journo Drove Through Mt. of Olives “Tunnel”
(Cross-posted from UK Media Watch)
Earlier in the month we examined a Feb. 13th Guardian article written by Sarah Helm, “It’s too late to stop the senseless capture of Palestinian land”, a propagandistic tour de force which amplified the prophetic anti-Zionist musings of a Palestinian “cartographer“ named Khalil Tufakji.
There were multiple errors and misleading claims in Helm’s report, but one we particularly focused on is found in the following passage:
I’ve been listening to Tufakji since the mid-1990s and everything he foresaw has so far come true. He pointed out where a tunnel would be drilled through the Mount of Olives to connect settlements – it seemed impossible but we are now driving through it.
As we noted at the time, whilst it’s unclear where precisely Helm was driving, she certainly wasn’t driving through the historic 3,000 year old Jewish cemetery adjacent to Jerusalem’s Old City – for the simple reason that there is no such tunnel at that location! We considered that Helm may have conflated the fake Mount of Olives tunnel with the real Mount Scopus tunnel (Derech Har HaTsofim Tunnel) quite a few kilometers away.
We complained to Guardian editors and, ten days later, we received a reply, implicitly acknowledging that the journalist was in fact driving through Mount Scopus, as we surmised. However, instead of correcting the grossly misleading text, editors decided to argue that though Helm was driving through Mount Scopus Tunnel, it’s not wrong to refer to Mount Scopus as Mount of Olives.
Here’s their full reply:
We understand that the tunnel known as the Mount Scopus tunnel goes through the Mount of Olives ridge.
The description here by the Jerusalem expert Eli Schiller states in part that: “The Mount [of Olives] has three prominent peaks: Mount Scopus, 826 m, A Tur (Church of the Ascension) 816m, and Mount of Corruption, 746m”.
Schiller also states: “Today Mount Scopus is part of the Mount of Olives, and there is no necessary justification to give each different terminology.”
For the purposes of the article, we think it is sufficient to leave the reference to a tunnel through the Mount of Olives as it is.
Let's be clear about what this represents. Editors knew they couldn't argue the facts in ordinary language (using regular maps), so they pivoted to an obscure geological justification -- concerning what constitutes the broader Mount of Olives ridge -- for Helm's claim that she drove through a tunnel at Mount of Olives.
Of course, the sentence about driving through Mount of Olives would have immediately evoked, to the overwhelming majority of Guardian readers, a very specific visual of the iconic and historic Mount of Olives cemetery. They certainly wouldn’t have considered – let alone researched – the geological nature of the area in question. If they had decided to investigate the claim further, they would have more likely just consulted a regular map (like Google Maps, seen above), and seen that Mount of Olives (in the ordinary use of the term) represents a distinct and unique Jerusalem location.
Indeed, the context and aim of the passage about the tunnel “through Mount of Olives” written by the Guardian journalist seems clear: to support her Palestinian protagonist’s narrative that Israel is encroaching on and desecrating Palestinian land and historical sites in the holy city – making peace impossible and war inevitable. A tunnel through Mount Scopus simply would not have had the desired rhetorical impact as a tunnel through Mount of Olives, and certainly wouldn’t have helped support the story of Israeli malevolence she wanted to tell.
No amount of sophistry or obfuscation can change the fact that the claim by the Guardian journalist was egregiously and substantively misleading to readers, and thus in violation of the accuracy clause of the Editors’ Code.
We have appealed the Guardian decision and will update you as warranted.
-- by Adam Levick
February 27, 2017
The Washington Post Omits the Anti-Israel Record of Human Rights Watch
A Feb. 24, 2017 Washington Post report on the decision by Israeli authorities to block the entry of an anti-Israel Human Rights Watch (HRW) employee omitted key information (“Human Rights Watch worker barred by Israel”). The dispatch, by The Post’s Jerusalem bureau chief William Booth, failed to fully inform readers about HRW’s history of singling out the Jewish state for opprobrium and mischaracterized the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
The Post reported that Omar Shakir, HRW’s recently announced Israel and Palestine country, was denied entry into Israel. Booth briefly quoted Israeli concerns that HRW is “systemically anti-Israel,” but failed to elaborate.
In fact, Human Rights Watch, a self-appointed arbiter of human rights abuses around, has a long history of anti-Israeli bias.
HRW, as CAMERA has highlighted, has raised funds on the basis of its singling out Israel. HRW has even used the criticism that it receives from “pro-Israel pressure groups” to get funds from wealthy Saudi donors (“Minority Report,” New Republic, April 27, 2010). HRW’s own founder, Robert Bernstein, repudiated the group in a Oct. 19, 2009 New York Times Op-Ed that noted the non-profit organization was guilty of “helping those who wish to turn Israel into a pariah state.”
In his 2016 autobiography entitled, Speaking Freely, Bernstein enunciated on his criticisms of the organization he helped create and on whose board he served for decades. Bernstein pointed out that HRW misleadingly treats as fact the opinion that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is illegal under international law. He also wrote that although HRW occasionally criticized—often only when forced to do so—the terrorist group Hamas, it “placed a greater emphasis on denouncing” Israel.
Indeed, the Executive director of the Middle East and North Africa section that oversees Israel, Sarah Leah Whitson, previously worked for the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. There, according to non-profit watchdog NGO-Monitor, she was “very active in pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel causes.” Whitson's AAADC work goes unmentioned in her HRW bio. [For a recent CAMERA expose' of HRW's anti-Israel slant, see “Low-Hanging Fruit: Human Rights Watch and Palestinian Child Laborers,” April 14, 2015.]
In response to allegations of bias, Whitson rashly compared her critics to Hezbollah. Ironically, this is the same U.S.-listed terrorist organization that she referred to as merely an “Islamic Resistance” in a 2007 article in the Lebanese paper Al-Akhbar. In that piece she—not surprisingly—sought to portray Israel as an aggressor.
In addition to omitting this pertinent history, The Post whitewashed the BDS movement. The paper cited a NGO Monitor video clip of Shakir speaking in support of BDS in 2010 at the University of California-Irvine, but then noted that BDS “supporters say” that movement is “designed to force Israel to end its almost 50-year military occupation and practices it compares to ‘apartheid’ against Palestinians.” The Post failed to inform its readers that the BDS movement seeks the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state and counts among its founders and supporters numerous terrorist groups (see, for example “CAMERA Refutes ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ BDS Advocacy, May 19, 2015).
In his autobiography, Bernstein noted that anti-Israel terror groups, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, are aided in the “battle for international opinion” when “foreign press…uncritically cover the reports of human rights organizations without closely examining the merits and political repercussions” of these NGO’s assertions. By omitting both HRW’s checkered history regarding Israel and the BDS movement it abets, The Post confirms Bernstein’s concerns.
Where’s the Coverage? Iran Calls for Palestinian Terrorist Attacks
The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for Palestinians to carry out terror attacks against Israel. Khamenei’s Feb. 21, 2017 exhortation was underreported by major U.S. news media outlets.
Reuters news service—citing a transcript of Khamenei’s remarks posted on the Ayatollah’s official website—reported the dictators’ comments. Khamenei called Israel a “cancerous tumor” and claimed, “With Allah’s permission, we will see this intifada will begin a very important chapter in the history of fighting and that it will inflict another defeat on that usurping regime.” The phrase, “usurping regime” is frequently used by Islamists to refer to the Jewish state’s presence on land that they consider to be Muslim.
Khamenei also asserted: “The Palestinian intifada continues to gallop forward in a thunderous manner so that it can achieve its other goals until the complete liberation of Palestine.” As CAMERA has noted, Iran’s desire to “liberate” “Palestine” includes the theocratic regime’s self-stated objectives of the destruction of Israel and the genocide of its Jewish citizens.
According to the ADL, Khamenei’s remarks were delivered at “the opening address at the annual Sixth International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada (uprising). …The Conference was reportedly attended by delegates from 80 countries, a representative of the Jewish anti-Zionist Netueri Karta group, and leaders of the Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Hezbollah terror organizations.”
CAMERA has pointed out that Tehran supports several U.S.-designated terrorist groups, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Hezbollah, which carry out terror attacks against Israelis. In its report, Reuters omitted this pertinent fact.
Reuters, however, was one of the few U.S. news outlets to even note Khamenei’s vow to support Palestinian terrorism. According to a Lexis-Nexis search, many major newspapers, such as The Washington Post, USA Today and The Baltimore Sun, failed to report the Supreme Leader’s remarks.
An English-language transcript of Khamenei’s speech can be found here.
February 23, 2017
NY Times: Hamas Seeking to Put Off War, Israelis Itching for Conflict
There's a peculiar juxtaposition in yesterday's front page New York Times story, contrasting how Israel and Hamas supposedly view the possibility of renewed confrontation. The insinuation seems to be that Israelis are seeking war, while Hamas is seeking to put it off.
Here's what the story says is happening "on the Israeli side":
On the Israeli side, the political right talks of a new war in the spring over Hamas’s rearming and expresses a desire to inflict a decisive blow. …
Sounds like they're chomping at the bit.
Then there's Hamas. The piece does note that the group's new leader is "hard-line," and that weapons are "presumably" being constructed in, and smuggled into, the Gaza Strip. But regarding attitudes toward renewed fighting, we're told that its leaders are seeking to "put off as long as possible what they see as the next inevitable war":
Leaders of Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the United States and by many other countries, do not have the same backing from the West. Interviews with political and business leaders, academics and ordinary people can divine only a basic strategy: improve the lives of frustrated residents as its leaders put off as long as possible what they see as the next inevitable war, then fight when it happens. (Life could be better, Hamas’s critics contend, if the group spent less on war preparations.)
So Hamas leaders want to avoid war, readers are led to believe, but are resigned to the fact that Israel will force it upon them — never mind that Gaza's major wars tend to begin with Hamas rocket barrages or cross-border kidnapping attacks against Israelis.
In unrelated news, Hamas recently released a Hebrew-language music video about launching a war and killing Jews.
The video, at least, isn't shy about predicting that the hypothetical next war will begin with Hamas firing rockets at Israel. The opening line of the song, sung over animated images of a Hamas rocket attack, says, "For my Zionist enemy I've prepared all kinds of rockets that reach where he lives," and that "he will die if he doesn't immediately leave my land."
Other images include Jews being sliced in half by rockets and a severed Haredi head being impaled on a sword.
Check out the full video here.
Diminishing Morale and Dissension Within Hezbollah
Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese militia and terror group, has been fighting in Syria for 5 years at the behest of Iran. An article by Lebanese journalist Hannin Gadar contends that the group's most experienced fighters are chafing under the command of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and are leaving.
Gadar writes of emerging social problems in the Lebanese Shiite community from troubled returning fighters. Western societies with unfettered media frequently describe dissension in the ranks, troubling questions about their mission and difficulties experienced by returning war veterans. There is less disclosure of increasing demoralization due to prolonged conflict and subsequent substance abuse among members of terrorist groups operating within closed societies where such discussions are proscribed and problems denied.
Articles such as this one are important to raise awareness and to counterbalance the Western media's propensity for critical self-scrutiny and highlighting problems within our own military forces and among returning veterans. As the article makes clear, closed, authoritarian societies are not immune to disintegrating morale, dissension in the ranks and substance abuse.
February 22, 2017
Success: PBS Ombudsman Blogs About Miko Peled Interview
Earlier this month, CAMERA sent an alert to our members and posted an article on our website regarding Tavis Smiley and his interview with radical anti-Israel activist Miko Peled, which was aired on PBS. During the interview, Peled made several false claims that were not corrected or challenged by his host. Many of our letter-writers wrote to Smiley, as well as to the PBS Ombudsman, Michael Getler.
Getler responded in a column late last week, in which he linked to our article and discussed our critiques. He agreed that Smiley could have challenged Peled more, and that he “could have bounced some of Peled's most controversial assertions off on his follow-up guest, Rabbi Leder, which Smiley did not do.” Getler also noted that he forwarded CAMERA’s critique to Smiley.
Although Smiley did not respond, he will have hopefully taken the critique under consideration and will think about these issues before bringing similar guests to his show in the future.
In his blog post, Getler also published excerpts from many of the letters that CAMERA members and others sent in. Below are the letters as Getler published them:
The guest, Miko Peled, on the show made so many incorrect assertions that it would take a very long letter to point out all of them. Mr. Smiley, you, as an informed journalist, should have at least questioned, if not corrected, some of them. Peled's description of Israel as an apartheid state has no basis in fact. In an apartheid state the oppressed do not have recourse to the courts nor do they have equal transit and health opportunities. Patently untrue in Israel.
Describing Israel as a “union between racism and colonialism” ignored the fact that Jews are indigenous to Israel and have been a presence in Jerusalem since 1004 BC! The assertion that Palestinians get only 12 hours a week of water may be true but their water is controlled by the Palestinian Water Authority. Israel has nothing to do with it. These, and many other, statements of Mr. Peled are not surprising in view of his past statements. Minimal research would have shown this. It is necessary to correct these mis-statements to maintain PBS' claim to journalistic integrity.
Lawrence H. Levine, Pleasantville NY
(Ombudsman’s Note: Peled has likened Israel treatment of Palestinians to apartheid but not on this program.)
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I am writing to protest the content and tone of your [Tavis Smiley’s] interview with Miko Peled on 2/2/17. Miko Peled is well known as an anti-Israel extremist who frequently veers into anti-semitic territory. For example on your show he termed Jewish history a "myth," denied that Jews have a right to self-determination via a state of their own, and repeatedly libeled Israel's water policies towards the Palestinians.
Had you been fulfilling your role as a talk show host with some degree of objectivity and concern for the truth, you could have pointed out archeological evidence for Jewish history in Israel which is abundant, including the Western Wall of Solomon's Temple. You could have pointed out that denying Jews the right to national self-determination essentially meets the U.S. State Department's definitions of antisemitism. You could have pointed out that Israel supplies Palestinians with twice the water specified in the Oslo Accords, and that Palestinians would have even more water if they stopped refusing hookups to Israeli water infrastructure in their opposition to "normalization,” and stopped refusing to use effluent drip irrigation techniques employed by Israel to conserve water.
Instead you had another guest on, a Rabbi who weakly offered some minor corrections and whose stance seemed to reflect the typically misguided, left-of-center utopian fantasy that Israeli and Palestinian actions have been morally and politically equivalent. In fact Israel has made great concessions of land and rights to Palestinians in search of peace, and has been met with unceasing terrorism and refusals of generous peace offers. This is because the true and only goal of the Palestinians is the destruction of Israel…If your purpose was to provide your listeners with accurate information, you could have corrected or challenged Peled's falsehoods. You could have had an additional guest on 2/2/17 to forcefully and effectively respond to Peled.
Daniel H. Trigoboff, Ph.D, Williamsville, NY
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I am disturbed about Tavis Smiley’s program with Miko Peled in which Peled made false statements about Israel that went unchallenged by Smiley. Several of these false statements include calling Jewish history a myth, calling Israel an illegitimate state, calling the Haganah a terrorist group even as he justified terrorism against Israelis and perpetuated the falsehoods about the water libel. When PBS knowingly invites radicals to appear on their shows, the host should do their homework and be prepared to aggressively challenge their narratives and false claims. Smiley should announce corrections of Peled's false statements on his show, particularly the implication that Israel denies water to Palestinians and that the Haganah was a terrorist organization.
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Almost every phrase that came out of Mr. Peled's mouth had some disinformation that had a single goal: to portray Israel as an illegitimate state based on some mythical story and to portray Israelis as bunch of evil racist white Europeans oppressing indigenous population.
Here few most outrageous lies that I heard in the interview:
1) Jews suddenly showed up few decades ago and took land from the people who lived there forever. FALSE! To say something like that is to disregard well established historic and archaeological facts. Jews have always lived in Israel, despite regular massacres perpetrated against them by Arab Muslims, crusaders, Turks and numerous others. 2) There have never been a Palestinian nation. This nation was invented in 1960's in Moscow by the Soviets. Those who call themselves "Palestinians" now are in fact a conglomeration of different nationalities, most of which came to the area in the middle of 19th century as migrant workers. The rest settled there between 1948 and 1967 by the Jordanian King in violation of Forth Geneva Convention after Jordan (with the blessing of England) illegally captured West Bank in 1948. 3) Few Bedouins came to Judea from Arabia and are not indigenous people. Israel has always tried to accommodate Bedouins and their lifestyle…Most Bedouins are loyal Israeli citizens.
Valery Tsimmerman, MD
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The Tavis Smiley talk show with Miko Peled is a new low in responsible broadcasting. The selection of Rabbi Steve Leder as an ineffective "balanced view" indicates, at best, a pathetically inept PBS. In light of other broadcasts with overt slants, any thinking person surmises the worst: PBS’s actions are only open-minded to accusation about Israel. PBS open-mindedness has apparently allowed the facts and their brains to fall away - neither are used.
Hillel Hammerman, New York, NY
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On February 2, Tavis Smiley hosted Miko Peled, an extreme anti-Israel activist who has made outrageous statements about Israel and claimed that Jews have no history there. Peled falsely claimed that the Haganah was a terrorist group, but he does not accept the idea that Israeli Jews have any right to defend themselves from real terrorists. Mr. Peled claims he can’t be anti-Semitic because he is Jewish, but he is on record making statements against Jews, and being technically Jewish does not stop someone from hating Jews.
Forest Hills, NY
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In your recent broadcast by T. Smiley, the well-known Mr. Anti-Semite and Anti-anything-Jewish Paled was invited. I know the Freedom of Speech and Right to Expression are very important. But why invite the well-known hater to the program with the moderator who is either badly prepared, or sympathetic to Mr. Paled views, or simply intellectually lazy? And even if Mr. Tavis's sympathies are with Palestinian Arabs -- he has no right to reveal it in his work as Journalist.
Dr. R. Ogulnik
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When you have anti-Semites like Miko Peled on your show why don't you mention the wise and prescient words of Dr. Martin Luther King JR spoken in December 1967: "When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You're talking anti-Semitism." Also why don't you mention that the Obama State Department stated that it is anti-Semitic to claim you oppose the State of Israel, but not its policies. Your silence when confronted with anti-Semitic drivel raises the issue of whether you agree with the drivel.
Richard Sherman, Margate, FL
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February 15, 2017
Israel and U.S. Military Aid
One common narrative in media reports about Israel is that Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid. The Brookings Institution’s Shibley Telhami, for example, made the claim in Newsweek in September (“Is America Giving Too Much Aid to Israel? Key Poll Findings,” September 16, 2016). That same month – the month that the most recent U.S. aid package to Israel was finalized – CNN wrote “the US has made Israel its largest recipient of military assistance for decades…” and the New York Times called Israel “already the largest recipient of American aid...”
(“Largest-ever US military aid package to go to Israel,” and “U.S. Finalizes Deal to Give Israel $38 Billion in Military Aid,” both September 13, 2016).
In the past, CAMERA has been one of the few to question this conventional wisdom. In 2006, CAMERA’s Alex Safian wrote that the costs of U.S. military personnel stationed in Europe and Asia “are gigantic costs that truly dwarf what we spend on aid to Israel.” He noted at the time that Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, in their paper that year lambasting “The Israel Lobby,” ignored the tremendous financial cost of U.S. troops abroad.
Now, the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies has reexamined this claim. Professor Hillel Frisch has written:
The response to the charge [that, at $3.1B per year, Israel is the largest recipient of US military aid] is simple: Israel is not even a major beneficiary of American military aid. The numerical figure reflects official direct US military aid, but is almost meaningless compared to the real costs and benefits of US military aid – which include, above all, American boots on the ground in the host states.
There are 150,500 American troops stationed in seventy countries around the globe. This costs the American taxpayer an annual $US85-100 billion, according to David Vine, a professor at American University and author of a book on the subject. In other words, 800-1,000 American soldiers stationed abroad represent US$565-665 million of aid to the country in which they are located.
Once the real costs are calculated, the largest aid recipient is revealed to be Japan, where 48,828 US military personnel are stationed. This translates into a US military aid package of over US$27 billion (calculated according to Vine’s lower estimation). Germany, with 37,704 US troops on its soil, receives aid equivalent to around US$21 billion; South Korea, with 27,553 US troops, receives over US$15 billion; and Italy receives at least US$6 billion.
The post-World War II agreement between the U.S. and Japan, pursuant to which the U.S. stations troops there, includes a “U.S. pledge to defend Japan in the event of an attack.” It wasn’t until 2015 that the agreement was updated to permit Japan to come to the aid of the U.S. or other allies. It’s clear, therefore, that Japan directly benefits from U.S. troops stationed in its country, at U.S. taxpayer expense.
As Professor Frisch explained, the in-kind military aid given to many nations around the world, including Kuwait, Qatar, and the Baltic states, puts U.S. service members on the line. In contrast, the cash aid given to Israel puts no U.S. service members in danger.
Jewish Voice for Peace Hosts Convicted Palestinian Terrorist
Jewish Voice for Peace, the misnamed anti-Israel organization, will be hosting a convicted Palestinian terrorist at its upcoming conference in Chicago on March 31 to April 2, 2017.
Rasmea Odeh, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S.-designated terrorist group will be a featured speaker at the event, according to an Algemeiner report by Lea Spyer (“Jewish Voice for Peace to Host Convicted Palestinian Terrorist at Upcoming National Conference,” Feb. 6, 2017).
Odeh will be speaking, along with three other speakers, during a workshop titled “All In!” In addition to Odeh, another panelist at the JVP conference is Linda Sarsour, an anti-Israel speaker who, among other things, has called to remove the vaginas of her female critics (“#WomensMarch Co-Chair Linda Sarour’s Twitter attack on victim of female genital mutilation,” Legal Insurrection, Jan. 27, 2016).
Odeh was convicted for her role in two terrorist attacks: In 1969, she set up explosives in a grocery store, murdering two Hebrew University students and wounding nine others. Four days later, she set up explosives targeting the British consulate. In 1970 she was sentenced to life in an Israeli prison for her crimes, only to be freed in a prisoner swap ten years later.
The Anti-Defamation League has described JVP as the “most influential anti-Zionist group in the United States.” ADL has asserted that JVP’s role in the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) effort is to provide the movement with a “veneer of legitimacy” and camouflage against identification as antisemitic.
Despite ADL’s apt characterization, JVP is often misleadingly described as a “left-leaning” or “progressive” Jewish group by many major U.S. news outlets. As CAMERA has noted, JVP has often been given Op-Ed space by The Washington Post, The Hill, and others (“Jewish Voice for Peace Repeats anti-Israel Clichés; Post Provides a Platform,” June 29, 2016).
Similarly, Sarsour, a co-organizer of the Jan. 21, 2017 “Women’s March on Washington D.C.,” has been feted by journalists who often fail to disclose her history of inflammatory statements, including accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing and dismissing reports of al-Qaeda terror attacks as conspiracy theories (see, for example “CAMERA Rebuts Zogby Op-Ed in The Hill,” Aug. 27, 2015).
A Jan. 23, 2017 article in Elle Magazine, for instance, claimed that “conservative news sites” and “Islamophobes” were attacking Sarsour for her role in organizing the women’s march. However, the article by Mattie Kahn failed to note Sarsour’s decidedly anti-feminist, anti-human rights exhortations.
It remains to be seen if future news reports treating JVP as a credible source will inform readers of the group’s associations and advocates.
February 13, 2017
Hamas Members Defect to ISIS
Hamas, the U.S.-designated terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, is losing operatives to the Sinai-affiliate of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The two groups, while rivals, share similar long-term objectives.
According to a recent Times of Israel report, a high-profile member of Hamas’ naval commando unit, Abed al-Wahad Abu Aadara, defected to ISIS a year ago. Numerous other Hamas members have also joined ISIS in the Sinai, which is both a competitor and a sometime collaborator with the Gaza-based terror group.
Avi Issacharoff, a Times of Israel Middle East analyst, noted:
“In recent years Hamas has lost dozens of members of its military wing — the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades — to IS’s Sinai Province, including a number of its fighters from the elite Nukhba unit. Many of these operatives left for Sinai with their families and relatives and now serve as the Sinai Province’s main points of contact with Hamas. These defectors include a number of Hamas’s experts on operating anti-tank missiles and assembling roadside bombs, who have provided substantial assistance to IS in its war against the Egyptian army.”
Some of the Hamas defectors have been fairly high-profile operatives. Abu Malek Abu Shweish, a former “top assistant to the commander of Hamas’ military wing in the Rafah area,” and Abed al-Hila al-Qishta, a leader in Hamas’ Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, are among the more noteworthy defectors, highlighted by Isaacharoff.
Despite the defections, Hamas and Islamic State operatives have cooperated on certain mutually beneficial objectives. For instance, members of Hamas’ military wing in Rafah assist Islamic State Sinai operatives with weapons smuggling and transporting injured ISIS fighters into Gaza for medical care.
CAMERA has previously noted (“Hamas Cooperates with ISIS-Sinai,” March 3, 2016) allegations of cooperation between Hamas and the Islamic State’s Sinai province—including claims from an ISIS fighter that Hamas was providing communications and weapons systems to its fellow terror group. Both movements, while differing on strategy and tactics, share the same goals: The imposition of sharia law and the destruction of the West and Israel.
Despite their similar Islamist ideologies, some commentators have previously claimed that Hamas would never work with the Islamic State. Vox magazine’s Max Fisher (now a New York Times reporter) treated with contempt Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 2014 tweet comparing Hamas to the Islamic State. In an Aug. 25, 2014 article (“Hamas is not ISIS. Here’s why Netanyahu says it is anyways”) , Fisher wrote:
“As an analytical matter, Netanyahu's argument is flatly false. While Hamas and ISIS are both rightly classified by the US as terrorist groups, both target civilians, and both espouse Islamic and Arab supremacism, that does not make them at all linked, much less identical.”
“The two groups are totally distinct. It's not just that there is no known connection, operational or otherwise, between Hamas and ISIS, although there isn't. They ultimately follow very different ideologies: Hamas will talk about Islamist extremism, but it is ultimately a Palestinian nationalist group first and foremost, one that is fighting to establish its vision of a Palestinian state.”
Moreover, Fisher noted, “Hamas leader Khaled Meschaal [sic] publicly rejected any Hamas-ISIS comparison.” Perhaps Fisher shouldn’t have taken a Hamas leader at his word.
As CAMERA has noted, Hamas is only a Palestinian national group if one takes Palestinian nationalism to have as its cause bête noire the destruction of Israel—a fair argument, but one that Fisher, a frequent Israel critic, is unlikely to make.
February 12, 2017
In Haaretz in English, Petah Tikvah Attack Is Only 'Suspected'
On Thursday, an assailant opened fire on shoppers in the central Israeli town of Petah Tivkah, and stabbed one, injuring a total of five people. The suspected attacker is an 18-year-old from Nablus. That this attack happened is not in dispute.
Yet, Haaretz's English edition, both online and print, referred to a "suspected" attack, as if was not yet verified that a shooting attack had taken place. The first sentence of the print article refers to the attack as "suspected":
Five people were hospitalized following a suspected shooting attack in the central city of Petah Tikvah yesterday.
The front-page headline of Haaretz's English edition Friday was "Five people wounded in suspected Petah Tikva terror attack."
The digital edition in English also qualifies the attack as "suspected." Its headline is: "Five Wounded in Suspected Shooting Attack in Central Israeli City."
Likewise, the first sentence online reads:
Five people were hospitalized following a suspected shooting attack in the central Israeli city of Petah Tikvah.
The Hebrew edition, in contrast, both in print and online did not qualify the attack as "suspected" and reported it just as it was: an attack. The Hebrew print headline states (CAMERA's translation): "Petah Tikvah Market Attack: Five Lightly Wounded from Shooting and Stabbing, 18-Year-Old Suspect from Nablus Arrested."
The first sentence states: "Five people were lightly injured yesterday in a shooting and stabbing attack near the market on Baron Hersh Street in Petah Tikvah."
This latest instance of what we call "Haaretz, Lost in Translation" follows another English edition article last month which described an incident in which a Bedouin driver ran over and killed an Israeli policeman as a "police claim." Yet, the fact that the driver ran over and killed the policeman was not disputed; the reason, however, was disputed (the Bedouin driver either intentionally attacked the policeman or, alternatively, lost control of the vehicle after police shot him). CAMERA prompted corrected in that case. We have contacted editors again about the Petah Tikvah attack. Stay tuned for an update.
February 10, 2017
Igor Sadikov’s Insincere Apology at McGill
Igor Sadikov, a student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada has revealed the underlying hostility toward Israel and Jews motivating the BDS campaign on college campuses.
Sadikov, a BDS activist and a member of the Legislative Council and Board of Directors of the Students’ Society of McGill University, did this by calling on his Twitter followers to “punch a Zionist.” Sadikov “apologized” for his call to violence in the face of criticism from B’Nai Brith in Canada.
In his “apology,” Sadikov expresses regret for harming his fellow students and adds that as a Jew, he wants to be “disentangle” Jewishness from Zionism. Sadikov has since deleted the threatening Tweet and his Twitter account.
His Facebook account currently includes the text of his apology, the replies to which indicate that a fair number of his supporters support violence against Zionists. Oliver Melancon, for example, offers to punch a Zionist on Sadikov’s behalf. And sadly enough, Sadikov “liked” this comment, indicating that his apology is insincere. Apparently, he still thinks its OK to punch Zionists.
By the way, international students can expect to pay between $19,000 and $44,000 CDN for one year of attendance at McGill University.
February 07, 2017
E.U.-Supported Palestinian University Calls to ‘Blow Up’ Jews
A Palestinian university with strong U.S. and E.U. ties held a militant parade graphically calling for the murder of Jews.
Birzeit University, just outside of Ramallah in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), held festivities to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the Fatah movement on Dec. 31, 2016. Fatah is the dominant movement in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and is led by the authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), an organization that translates Arab, Iranian and Russian media, recently issued a report on the event.
MEMRI footage showed armed masked men in military fatigues conducting drills and chanting at Birzeit University’s campus. The men belong to Fatah’s Shabiba student movement. According to MEMRI, during the drill, the student movement members praised deceased Palestinian leader and Fatah head Yasser Arafat and shouted:
“Blow up the head of the settler!”
“We are the guardians of the borders!”
“Oh shabiba, this is a call to arms!”
As CAMERA has noted, Palestinian officials often refer to all Israelis as “settlers,” regardless of where they live.
Birzeit University has frequently held events celebrating terrorism. In December 2015, students decorated a Christmas tree on the college’s campus with ornaments of prominent Palestinian terrorists and murderers. Fathi Shaqai, the founder of U.S.-designated terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a Birzeit alum himself, was one of those whose image was placed by university students on the tree. Abu Ali Mustafa, the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), another U.S.-designated terrorist group was similarly celebrated.