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September 14, 2017

"Palestine" Enters Popular Culture on Jeopardy!

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Jeopardy! -- the popular television quiz show that began in the 1960's -- is premised upon contestants formulating a question to a clue presented by the host in the form of a statement/answer. The clues are chosen from a variety of categories (within history, geography, literature, science) that tests contestants' general knowledge.

The term "Palestine" to ostensibly describe a modern-day entity has recently been the subject of Jeopardy! clues. For example, the September 13th show included the following clue and answer:

Clue: A land divided by Jordan, Egypt & Israel, or the seat of Anderson County, Texas.
Answer: "What is Palestine?"

The implication seems to be that "Palestine" is also the current name of a modern country in the Middle East (referring to disputed territories).

In the November 18, 2016 show, there was a similar clue:

Clue: It's a small New Hampshire town as well as an ancient name for Palestine.
Answer: What is Canaan?

The implication again seems to be that Palestine is the modern-day name of the country. But references to a current "Palestine" in the West Bank and Gaza are incorrect. Those areas should accurately be referred to as "Palestinian" or "disputed" territories, depending on which areas are being discussed, or as the West Bank and Gaza. If Jeopardy! clues are trying to suggest that Palestine is a modern-day state, the program should take a cue from the numerous media outlets that have corrected this error. For example:

Correction (National Geographic,12/15/16): A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to a barrier between Israel and Palestine. The barrier is between Israel and the West Bank.

Correction (Washington Post, 9/25/14): The Sept. 23 obituary for religious scholar Gerald A. Larue inaccurately reported that he participated in archaeological digs in Egypt, Palestine and other parts of the Middle East. He took part in digs in Egypt, Israel and the West Bank, not Palestine.

Correction (Wall Street Journal, 7/11/08): Salam Fayyad is the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority. An item in Thursday's World Watch column incorrectly gave his name as Falam Fayyad and indicated he was prime minister of Palestine.

Correction (LA Times, 5/5/2007) An article in Friday's California section included a subhead saying former President Carter urged students to travel to Palestine. The area referred to is the Palestinian territories.

Correction (LA Times, 12/23/2005) An article in the Dec. 11 Calendar section about an international art exhibition included Palestine in a list of nations from which artists had contributed works. It should have said the Palestinian territories.


Posted by RH at 12:47 PM |  Comments (0)


Vox: Don't Say "Radical Islamic Terrorism," But Definitely Say "Jewish Terrorism"

On our main site yesterday, we wrote about Vox's false claim that West Bank settlements are dotted with world-class hospitals that Palestinians can't go into.

While looking into that, we noticed something else. Across multiple articles, Vox reporter Zack Beauchamp has championed the argument that use of the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism" is problematic in that, even with the qualifier "radical," it broadbrushes all Muslims.

Here, for example, is Beauchamp approvingly citing the view that the phrase targets "the entirety of the Muslim religion":

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And again later in the piece:

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In another article, Beauchamp writes,

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And here, Beauchamp treats the concept as one that should be obvious:

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Okay. But if that's what Beauchamp and Vox believe, why do they use the phrase "Jewish terrorism" with such relish?

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In one article, variants of the phrase appear 18 times: in the title, in headings, approvingly in quotes, and in the reporter's own words.

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Does Beauchamp think attacks by extremist Jews speak for "the entirety of the Jewish religion"? Does he not care about "alienating Jewish allies"? Or "misidentifying the cause of the problem as one of Jewish theology"? Is it fine, in his view, to "insult mainstream Jews to boot"? That seems to be the conclusion from his language.

Posted by GI at 10:54 AM |  Comments (0)

September 13, 2017

In New Yorker, Diana Buttu Fabricates About 'Fauda'

Diana Buttu, a lawyer and former legal advisor for the Palestine Liberation Organization who has infamously and repeatedly insisted that Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza "do not carry explosive heads," and has repeatedly and falsely maintained that no Israelis died in suicide bombings from 1997 to 2000 inside Israel (in fact, 24 Israeli civilians were killed in six bombings during that time period), has now turned her fact-defying denials to fiction: the popular television series "Fauda."

In a New Yorker review of "Fauda," editor David Remnick writes ("How Do You Make a TV Show Set in the West Bank," Sept. 4):

Diana Buttu, a lawyer who has worked as a legal adviser to the P.L.O., watched the series recently and told me that she found the experience disturbing. She did not share Shamni’s ambivalence, and when we spoke she made a compelling critique of “Fauda.” “In ‘Fauda,’ we do not see the occupation,” she said. “It is invisible, just as it is in the minds of Israelis. In fact, we never even hear the word. We don’t see a single checkpoint, settlement, settlers, or home demolitions. We don’t see any homes being taken over, or land being expropriated or anything of the sort. We see a nice brick wall, not the ugly eight-metre-high one, as the only sign that we are in the West Bank.

While Buttu's critique may be "compelling," it's also false. Contrary to Buttu's claim, the word "occupation" is heard in "Fauda" and checkpoints do appear. For instance, in the very first episode, during the key wedding scene in which undercover Israeli forces carry out a failed attempt to kill arch-terrorist Taufiq Hamed and end up killing the groom, the groom's uncle gives a speech, stating before these dramatic events (23:06): "Despite all that the occupation has done to us, we still bear children. We're successful, we raise families, have children and prosper."

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Likewise, in the very first episode (19:55), a checkpoint appears, not for the only time in the season.

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A very dramatic scene takes place in episode 8, in which Nassrin Hamed (far right, first picture below), Taufiq's wife, arrives at a checkpoint to cross into Israel to visit her daughter in the hospital, and is strip-searched in a small building at the checkpoint.

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CAMERA has contacted The New Yorker to request clarification of Buttu's false information about the show. Meanwhile, Haaretz has covered The New Yorker review of "Fauda," likewise carrying Buttu's quote without notifying readers that she fabricates. Stay tuned for an update.

Hat tip: Erika Dreifus. With research by CAMERA Fellow Natalie Segev and Lia Lands.

Posted by TS at 02:37 AM |  Comments (1)

September 12, 2017

LA Times Gives New Meaning to 'Speaking Out'

The Los Angeles Times gives new meaning to the term "speaking out," extending it to students who violated university policy by loudly disrupting a pro-Israel event at the University of California Irvine last May with chants including: "These colonizers and occupiers! You should not be on our f****** campus"; . . . "F*** you!" . . . "Israel, Israel you can't hide, we charge you with genocide!" . . . "Long live the intifada!" . . . "Israel, Israel what you say? How many people did you kill today?"

As Snapshots noted last week, The Times' online article about SJP's appeal protesting the administration's sanctions gave voice only to those who drowned out others' voices, dedicating three out of seven paragraphs to SJP statements, while failing to publish even one sentence reflecting the views or statements of the pro-Israel groups which ran the disrupted event or pro-Israel students who attended.

Meanwhile, The Times has compounded the problem on Friday by running the same skewed article in print and adding the egregiously misleading headline: "UCI group fights discipline; University punished students who spoke out at event featuring Israeli veterans." (Emphasis added.)

For comparative purposes, here is how The Times used the term "spoke/speak out" in recent weeks in other contexts:

Continue reading "LA Times Gives New Meaning to 'Speaking Out'"

Posted by TS at 06:51 AM |  Comments (0)

September 11, 2017

Politico Whitewashes Linda Sarsour’s Record

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Linda Sarsour is a New York-based, Palestinian-American anti-Israel activist who has latched on to so-called progressive political causes in the United States. According to Politico magazine, she’s also one of “50 ideas blowing up American politics (and the people behind them).”

Sarsour, Politico tells readers, is number forty-six.

Reporter Taylor Gee called Sarsour a “lightning rod of the resistance” and “the picture of defiance.” The article noted that Sarsour is an advocate for “intersectional progressivism” and that “her insistence on Palestinian rights as part of the progressive package has met vociferous opposition from pro-Israel Democrats, who label her exclusionary and anti-Semitic.”

This, however, is a vague—and misleading—description. As CAMERA’s Ricki Hollander noted in a May 23, 2017 report, Sarsour has a history of silencing “those who shed light on misogynic practices and to avert criticism from the societies that tolerate or encourage them ("Who is Linda Sarsour?").” The self-styled progressive activist even threatened Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born feminist and former Muslim, calling to take her ‘vagina away,’ in a crude 2011 tweet that Sarsour later deleted. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a victim of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Indeed, ugly and exclusionary statements are Sarsour’s specialty. She has called Zionism—the belief in Jewish self-determination—as “creepy” and a form of “racism.” This echoes Soviet-era propaganda which sought to paint the Jewish state of Israel as being unnatural and unworthy of existence.

Politico does not specify what sort of “Palestinian rights” their awardee advocates for. But Sarsour has been clear on this point via her support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) that seeks to single out Israel for opprobrium. As CAMERA has noted, BDS leaders like Omar Barghouti have explicitly called for the destruction of Israel. U.S.-designated terrorist groups like Hamas—whose charter quoted Adolf Hitler—are also BDS supporters. Sarsour, however is a BDS defender—despite studies that show BDS to be economically harmful to Palestinians.

In fact, Sarsour is noticeably quiet about the abuses Palestinian people endure at the hands of their autocratic leadership in the form of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, or Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA), which rules the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). It’s a revealing omission.

As Hollander noted, what Sarsour really advocates is “the replacement of the Jewish state with a Palestinian one.” Politico should have told its readers about this fact—and the rest of Sarsour’s history—when the publication offered its whitewashed portrait.

Posted by SD at 04:59 PM |  Comments (1)


Iranian Proxy Threatens U.S. Troops, Media M.I.A.—Again

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani


Iranian-backed proxies in Iraq have “vowed to start killing Americans again once the Islamic State is expelled,” The Washington Times has reported (“Ruthless Iranian militia vows to turn against U.S. troops once Islamic State is defeated in Iraq,” Sept. 7, 2017). However, many major U.S. news outlets have failed to cover this story.

Jafar al-Hosseini, a spokesman for Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH), told Iran’s Fars News Agency that the U.S. must leave Iraq or be confronted with a new war. Washington Times correspondent Rowan Scarbarough observed that al-Hosseini’s “scripted messages on Beirut’s al-Mayadeen Arab-language TV station suggest” that Kata’ib Hezbollah “is not bluffing.”

Scarbarough detailed that the group has about 5,000 operatives and was organized in 2007 by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, which trained them in the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other tactics. IEDs were used to kill approximately 500 U.S. personnel.

KH was designated a terrorist organization in 2009 by the U.S. State Department, which noted:

“KH has ideological ties to Lebanese [Hezbollah] and may have received support from that group. KH gained notoriety in 2007 with attacks on U.S. and coalition forces designed to undermine the establishment of a democratic, viable Iraqi state. KH has been responsible for numerous violent terrorist attacks since 2007, including improvised explosive device bombings, rocket propelled grenade attacks and sniper operations. In addition, KH has threatened the lives of Iraqi politicians and civilians that support the legitimate political process in Iraq.”

Iran uses proxies, many of them Quds Force-trained, in Tehran’s quest for regional domination. As Scarbarough pointed out, the U.S. presence in Iraq stands in the way of the mullah’s desire to turn Iraq into a vassal state.

Many Iranian-backed militias, also known as Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) have strong ties to, or even already hold positions in, the Iraqi Government. Indeed, as the Middle East analyst Ali Khedery noted on Twitter, KH operative Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis—a U.S.-designated terrorist—has been photographed chairing a meeting of Iraqi generals.

Jafar al-Hosseini’s exhortations are but the most recent threats against the U.S. by Iranian-supported groups. As CAMERA highlighted, in April 2015, PMUs threatened to target “the American interests in Iraq—even abroad,” if the U.S. House Armed Services Committee voted to arm Kurdish Peshmerga forces (“Where’s the Coverage? Iran Threatens U.S. Troops,” Dec. 11, 2015). Al-Hosseini issued a similar sort of threat against U.S. troops in March 2017, Scarbarough noted.

Yet, the media has routinely failed to cover either the atrocities committed by PMU’s or their threats against U.S. forces, as CAMERA detailed in a Sept. 16, 2016 report (“The Washington Times Covers Underreported Iran-Backed Shi’ite Militias”).

Michael Pregent, an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, and a former intelligence adviser to U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus (ret.) told CAMERA that some news outlets don't know who many of the militias are. Further, the coverage that does occur often obfuscates the reality of what is happening in Iraq. For example, he noted that it's common to hear media reporting “Iraqi security forces retook an area today,” but omit that, in fact, those forces often are PMUs—some of which are led by U.S.-designated terrorists like al-Muhandis.

KH’s most recent threats went unreported by USA Today, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, and other major U.S. news outlets.

Posted by SD at 10:59 AM |  Comments (0)


Haaretz English Edition Conjures Palestinian 'Politial Prisoners'

In an article about the possible loss of state funding for Jaffa Theater, Haaretz's Judy Maltz conjures up "Palestinian political prisoners." Online and in print (Thursday, page 1), Judy Maltz wrote that a June production included the reading of letters penned by Palestinian "political prisoners":

Finance Ministry’s legal adviser, Asi Messing, said representatives of the Jaffa Theatre would be summoned to a hearing in connection with two specific events held on their premises: a performance in June based on the recital of letters written by Palestinian political prisoners . . . (Emphasis added)

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According to the U.S. State Department 2016 Human Rights Report for Israel: "There were no reports of civilian political prisoners or detainees" (page 16).

On what basis does Haaretz identify the prisoners in question as "political prisoners"? Political prisoners are (see, for example, the definition by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly) are imprisoned "for purely political reasons without connection to any offence." (Emphasis added.)

The play does not identify the prisoners by name or their offenses. If Haaretz editors knows the identity and specifics of these prisoners allegedly held only the basis of their political activity, they haven't said so.

In a Hebrew article published the same day as Maltz's piece, Yair Asheknazi refers to the letter of a "security prisoner":

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Ashkenazi's Hebrew article stated (CAMERA's translation):

In the production "Prisoners of the Occupation," produced by Einat Weizman, in early June at the Jaffa Theater, letters recited included correspondence between a security prisoner and his childhood friend, in which he described the daily life of prisoners.

Haaretz's English version of Ashkenazi's article omits mention of the security prisoner.

See also "Haaretz, Lost in Translation"

Posted by TS at 02:59 AM |  Comments (1)

September 06, 2017

After UCI Sanctions for SJP, LA Times Gives Voice Only to Those Who Drowned Out Other Voices

On May 10, Students for Justice in Palestine disrupted a pro-Israel event at UC Irvine with hateful shouting and vitriolic chants, preventing IDF reservists from continuing with the panel until the group left. As a result, the campus administration slapped SJP with a two-year probation and affirmed the university's commitment to "protect everyone’s right to express themselves without disruption."

Meanwhile, a Los Angeles Times article about the university's decision to sanction the group for its attempts to drown out others' voices in violation of university policy gave voice to only one side: Students for Justice in Palestine.

The one-sided Sept. 4 article (online only) entitled "Pro-Palestinian UCI students appeal sanctions after Israeli event protest" dedicated three out of seven paragraphs to statements provided by SJP. It reported:

In a statement, representatives for the group said that their clapping and chanting at the event -- sponsored by Students Supporting Israel -- was in response to aggressive behavior by a member of the soldiers' group.

"It's outrageous that the university is punishing us, students, instead of protecting us from aggressive foreign military agents on campus," Daniel Carnie, a Jewish UCI students, said in a statement. "We're a diverse group of Palestinian, black, Latino and Jewish students who attended the soldiers' speaking event and asked critical questions." . . .

Students for Justice in Palestine said its members have been harassed and cyber-bullied since the event; the group said it has filed a discrimination complaint.



In contrast, Los Angeles Times reporter Hillary Davis devoted not one sentence to panelists representing Reservists on Duty, or to representatives from Students Supporting Israel, which hosted the event. Nor did she convey the views of pro-Israel students who attended. Had she done so, she might have spoken with panelist Jonathan Elkhoury, an Israeli Arab from Reservists on Duty, who reported to CAMERA:

We were yelled and cursed at, and one of our female delegation participants was spat on by an SJP member. They came to our event to shut it down, an SJP representative said it herself while yelling into a microphone the next day. We had to have them escort us off campus because the SJP students made it impossible for us to leave the class safely.


[Full disclosure: CAMERA has brought Elkhoury on campus tours in the past. Also, CAMERA joined up with other several other organizations to urge the university to take action against SJP.]

Moreover, Davis failed to give readers any information about the nature of the vitriolic chanting by SJP members. Plenty of video documentation of the disruption is available exposing the ugliness of the SJP's chants ("These colonizers and occupiers! You should not be on our f****** campus"; . . . "F*** you!" . . . "Israel, Israel you can't hide, we charge you with genocide!" . . . "Long live the intifada!" . . . "Israel, Israel what you say? How many people did you kill today?")

CAMERA has contacted The Times, urging editors to add comment from representatives from Reservists on Duty, from Students Supporting Israel and/or pro-Israel students who were subjected to the hateful SJP demonstration. CAMERA also called on The Los Angeles Times to add video of the demonstration, enabling readers to decide for themselves who exactly engaged in "aggressive behavior."

Sept. 10: LA Times Runs One-Sided Article in Print Publication

As of this writing, The Los Angeles Times has failed to add in any comment or information from the pro-Israel side and has not added video of the disruption to the Web article. Moreover, on Friday, The Los Angeles Times ran the one-sided article in the print paper, once again completely omitting any comment from the pro-Israel groups or students. The incredibly misleading print headline was: "UCI group fights discipline; University punished students who spoke out at event featuring Israeli veterans."

Posted by TS at 01:50 AM |  Comments (2)

September 05, 2017

Palestinian Terrorist Group Runs for German Parliament

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PFLP operatives


The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S. designated terrorist group, is “campaigning as a political party in the September general election to the Bundestag,” according to a Jerusalem Post report by Benjamin Weinthal (“Germany to Permit Palestinian Terror Group to Run for Parliament,” Aug. 31, 2017). The European Union also considers the PFLP to be a terrorist organization.

A spokeswoman for Germany’s Interior Ministry told Weinthal “candidates from parties and candidates in Germany cannot be banned or allowed by the Interior Ministry in Germany.” The PFLP is running on a joint list with the Marxist-Leninist Party.

The Interior Ministry noted that Article 21 of Germany’s constitutional law prevents the PFLP from being considered a political party—accordingly the group cannot campaign independently.

As CAMERA has pointed out, the PFLP is responsible for dozens of terrorist attacks that target the Jewish state and its citizens. Indeed, in Nazi-like fashion, the PFLP has a history of murdering Jews worldwide, irrespective of their citizenship. In one infamous instance, on Oct. 7, 1985, PFLP terrorists hijacked a cruise ship named the Achille Lauro and murdered a 69-year-old American Jewish man, Leon Klinghoffer, who was confined to a wheelchair.

As the Middle East analyst Barry Rubin noted in his 2005 biography Yasser Arafat, one of the PFLP terrorists involved in that operation was a “British neo-Nazi skinhead” who was working for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), an umbrella group dominated by the Fatah movement. Both Fatah and the PLO are currently led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas—a man often described by media outlets as a “moderate.”

Weinthal, a research fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, asked if the Interior Ministry planned on outlawing the PFLP. He was told that the Ministry “does not, in general, comment on bans.”

Several German lawmakers and the Israeli political party Yesh Atid have sent a letter to Interior Minister Thomas de Maizere requesting that Berlin ban the PFLP and Hezbollah, another U.S.-designated terrorist group whose operatives are permitted free reign in Germany’s borders. A 2016 German intelligence report indicated that there are at least 950 active Hezbollah members operating in the country. Like the PFLP, Hezbollah, a Lebanese-based, Iranian-proxy, is responsible for murdering Jews throughout the world, including during the 1992 and 1994 bombings in Argentina of the Israeli embassy and the AMIA Jewish community center ("Hezbollah Backgrounder 2016," CAMERA).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called it a “national duty” for Germans to remember the “Holocaust shame.” However, some Germans seem content to allow antisemitic terrorist groups to operate in their country and, like the Nazis, to mask themselves as a legitimate political party.

Many major U.S. news outlets have ignored this story. A Lexis-Nexis search showed that The Washington Post, USA Today, The Baltimore Sun, and others, failed to carry it. By contrast, in addition to Weinthal’s report in The Jerusalem Post, Fox News also detailed Germany’s decision to allow the PFLP to run for elections (“Palestinian terror group allowed to run in German parliament elections,” Sept. 2, 2017).

Posted by SD at 10:52 AM |  Comments (1)


AFP Dissembles: Palestinian Clown Incarcerated for Activity in 'Leftist' Group

Well, I'll put it on, and I will dissemble myself in't; and I would I were the first that ever dissembled in such a gown. I am not tall enough to become the function well, nor lean enough to be thought a good student; but to be said an honest man and a good housekeeper goes as fairly as to say a careful man and a great scholar.

-- Feste the Clown, Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night"


According to Agence France Presse photo captions last week, Israel had imprisoned a Palestinian clown for 20 months for alleged involvement in a "banned leftist group." In fact, Israel's Shin Bet security agency accused him of being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, designated as a terror organization by the European Union, the United States, Canada and Israel. A sampling of the numerous captions follow:

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Palestinian clown Mohammad Abu Sakha poses with his mother at his family home in the West Bank city of Jenin, following his release on August 31, 2017 from administrative detention, the controversial measure under which Israel detains suspects without trial for periods of several months, renewable indefinitely. The 26-year-old circus teacher was accused by Israel of membership in a banned leftist group and held without charge for 20 months.

He had been part of the Palestinian Circus School in Bir Zeit in the occupied West Bank since 2008, first as a student and later as a clown and teacher.

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Palestinian clown Mohammad Abu Sakha poses under a national flag near his family home in the West Bank city of Jenin, following his release on August 31, 2017 from administrative detention, the controversial measure under which Israel detains suspects without trial for periods of several months, renewable indefinitely. The 26-year-old circus teacher was accused by Israel of membership in a banned leftist group and held without charge for 20 months.

He had been part of the Palestinian Circus School in Bir Zeit in the occupied West Bank since 2008, first as a student and later as a clown and teacher.

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Palestinian clown Mohammad Abu Sakha poses next to a banner bearing his picture at his family home in the West Bank city of Jenin, following his release on August 31, 2017 from administrative detention, the controversial measure under which Israel detains suspects without trial for periods of several months, renewable indefinitely. The 26-year-old circus teacher was accused by Israel of membership in a banned leftist group and held without charge for 20 months.

He had been part of the Palestinian Circus School in Bir Zeit in the occupied West Bank since 2008, first as a student and later as a clown and teacher.

Continue reading "AFP Dissembles: Palestinian Clown Incarcerated for Activity in 'Leftist' Group"

Posted by TS at 02:59 AM |  Comments (0)

August 31, 2017

Report: Al Jazeera Airs False Testimony on IDF Child Killing

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Elena Zakusilo on Lie Detector

Ynet reports:

The Qatari-based Al Jazeera TV network aired an investigative report last week showing an Israeli-Ukrainian woman who alleged that she murdered civilians and children while serving in the IDF.

The woman, Elena Zakusilo, did volunteer for the IDF and served in a junior administrative position, but her testimony, which was proven to be false shortly after it came out, was taken from a Ukrainian TV show called Lie Detector and aired in November 2013. . .

The Lie Detector host follows up by asking whether she killed people. She responds "yes," and the lie detector on the show determines she is speaking the truth.

"The first time I killed was difficult for me. I threw the weapon, and said I wasn't going anywhere. But I went," she elaborates.

The host then asks whether she was willing to return to service in the Israeli army and to killing its enemies, and whether she was asked to kill children. She responds in the affirmative to both questions. When asked how many people she killed, she says she doesn't know.

Zakusilo's story was refuted in late 2013. At the time, the story caused outrage among the Muslim community in Ukraine, leading Israel to examine the matter with the IDF, eventually learning Zakusilo was lying.

The findings were transferred to Ukrainian authorities. At the same time, the Ukrainian security services conducted their own examination of the matter, which found in December of that year that Zakusilo was in fact lying on live television.

"Elena Zakusilo did not participate in military confrontations, including between Lebanon and Israel," the Ukranian security services said at the time. "Everything she said on Lie Detector does not conform to reality. Her answers on the show were given based on a script prepared by the main editor of the TV show."

Then-Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor examined the matter, finding that while Zakusilo did serve in the IDF, she had a junior administrative position and was never involved in the kind of combat activities she described.

See also: Al Jazeera English Corrects: Haifa Not in 'Northern Occupied Palestine'

Posted by TS at 04:39 AM |  Comments (0)

August 30, 2017

Journalist: The Palestinian Authority is ‘Destroying the Judiciary’

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PA security forces

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is working to destroy the judiciary, according to an Aug. 28, 2017 Gatestone Institute report by the Israeli-Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh.

Toameh said that a new piece of legislation “aims at amending the law of the judicial authority so that [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas and his government would be able to tighten their grip over the work of the courts and judges.” The proposed law would allow Abbas and other top PA officials to interfere with a Palestinian judiciary that was at least nominally independent.

Palestinian judges, attorneys and activists are planning protests against the law. The chairman of the Palestinian Judges Forum, Osama al-Kilani, declared, “The new bill will place the judicial authority under the tutelage of the executive authority.”

Similarly, a statement from an association of Palestinian lawyers warned: “This will put an end to the independence of the judiciary.”

The Palestinian Basic Law stipulates that only the Palestinian Legislative Council can introduce changes and amendments to existing laws. However, the legislation supported by Abbas would allow the executive branch to dismiss judges and would make the prosecutor-general subordinate to the head of the PA.

As Toameh noted, this latest bit of autocracy follows an authority crackdown on journalists. Recently, Abbas “approved a Cyber Crimes Law that gives his security forces expanded powers to silence his critics on social media.” According to Toameh, this legislation was passed secretly and without consultation with the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate or the Palestinian Legislative Council.

It is yet another sign of how state building has gone awry in PA-ruled lands. When it’s not busy bankrolling antisemitic sermons by PA officials or increasing payments to imprisoned terrorists, the authority is dismantling many of the key components widely acknowledged to be essential for a free, prosperous and democratic society.

Yet, as CAMERA has recently highlighted, the media continues to ignore growing PA repression. Indeed, the passage of the Cyber Crimes Law and the attacks on the judiciary have been omitted in recent coverage by major U.S. news outlets, such as USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and elsewhere.

Posted by SD at 12:16 PM |  Comments (0)

August 29, 2017

Al Jazeera: Haifa in 'Northern Occupied Palestine'

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Aug. 29 Update, 7:45 am EST: Al Jazeera English Corrects: Haifa Not in 'Northern Occupied Palestine'

In an Aug. 20 article, Al Jazeera English places the Israeli coastal city of Haifa in "northern occupied Palestine" ("UK: Palestine activists face prison over Elbit protest"). Shafik Mandhai redraws the map:

Based in the city of Haifa in northern occupied Palestine, Elbit produces military and civilian-use equipment, including drones, aircraft, weapon control systems, and artillery. (Emphasis added.)

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This is a completely false characterization of Haifa. According to the United Nations (as well as an "Oslo status quo" map published by Al Jazeera) the Israeli northern coastal city of Haifa is not in the "Occupied Palestinian Territories," which include the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and by some definitions eastern Jerusalem.

See also: Reuters Uses Ellipses to Downplay Al Jazeera Journalist's Quote

Posted by TS at 05:00 AM |  Comments (0)

August 28, 2017

Palestinian Leader Promises to Pay Terrorists ‘Until My Dying Day’

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PA President Mahmoud Abbas


Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the head of the Fatah movement that dominates it, has vowed to pay terrorists “until my dying day.”

Abbas’ remarks were highlighted on a special banner that was posted on Fatah’s official Facebook page on Aug. 26, 2017, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a non-profit organization that monitors Arab, Russian and Iranian media. That banner, MEMRI noted, said:

"I will never stop [paying] the allowances to the families of the prisoners and released prisoners, even if this costs me my position and my presidency. I will pay them until my dying day."

As CAMERA has highlighted, many Western news outlets frequently refer to Abbas as a “moderate.” However, the Palestinian leader has rejected U.S. and Israeli offers for a “two-state solution,” including a 2008 offer that would have given Palestinians more than 93.7 percent of the West Bank and a Palestinian state with a capitol in eastern Jerusalem.

More recently, Abbas refused then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2014 framework to restart negotiations and then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s March 2016 offer. Instead—and in full violation of the 1990s Oslo accords under which the PA was created and funded—he has refused to resolve outstanding issues with Israel in “bilateral negotiations,” and has even denied the Jewish state’s right to exist.

Yet, as CAMERA has pointed out, major U.S. news outlets, such as The Washington Post, failed to detail either the March 2016 rejection or recent June 2017 revelations that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had accepted—and Abbas had rejected—the 2014 framework ("50 Years of Palestinian Rejection," Commentary, June 8, 2017).

Indeed, an Aug. 25, 2017 Post story (“U.S. calls Kushner’s Mideast talks ‘productive,’ doesn’t commit to two-state solution”) on U.S. efforts to restart negotiations completely omitted this history of Palestinian rejectionism.

MEMRI noted that Abbas’ stated commitment to funding terror was a response to these recent U.S. efforts. As a May 17, 2017 CAMERA Op-Ed in The Hill detailed, Palestinian law stipulates terrorists and their families be paid for acts of anti-Jewish violence (“How the Palestinian Authority’s ‘social safety net’ encourages terrorism”).

Posted by SD at 12:04 PM |  Comments (0)

August 24, 2017

Vox: Israeli-Arab Conflict One of World's "Most Violent" Disputes

2014 conflicts.jpgAccording to Vox, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is one of the "most violent" in the world.

Vox gained notoriety when it reported that Israel limits traffic on the bridge connecting the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In fact, Israel doesn't limit traffic on the bridge because the bridge doesn't exist.

In this week's story about Palestinian infighting, journalist Shira Rubin writes that the battle between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas "has major stakes for one of the world’s longest-running, and most violent, political disputes."

Is that a fair characterization? A recent Reuters overview shows that, even during the he bloodiest year of Arab-Israeli fighting in decades, 2014, the number of casualties in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank paled in comparison to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, South Sudan, Pakistan, Sudan, Ukraine, Somalia, Central African Republic, and Libya. The 2014 Gaza conflict accounted for about 2,000 of 100,000 battle-related deaths worldwide that year. (The graphic along the left margin, by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), shows the fatalities from Arab-Israeli fighting in the context of 2014's conflicts worldwide.)

And again, 2014 was an an outlier. A year earlier, in 2013, fewer than 50 people were killed in Israeli-Palestinian fighting, less than 0.1 percent of the 70,000 killed in the rest of the world's conflicts. In 2015, there were roughly 150 killed as a result of violence in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and 100,000 fatalities from conflict worldwide. You can check out PRIO's graphic of 2016's most deadly conflicts on page three of this document. Can Vox find Israel on the chart?

No. Because, in fact, the Arab-Israeli conflict is can hardly be described as one of the world's most violent disputes. So does Vox do so? It seems to be a case of the media believing its own obsession. There's some circular logic involved, which looks something like this:

"Why does the Arab-Israeli conflict get so much media coverage?"
Because it’s one of the world’s deadliest conflicts!
"But how do we know it’s one of the worlds deadliest conflicts?"
Well, look how much media coverage it gets!

In reality, there's a glaring disproportion in coverage and prominence of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Western media, a phenomenon documented by, among others, Virgil Hawkins in his book Stealth Conflicts: How the World's Worst Violence is Ignored. The media's Israel-obsession is likely to cultivate a mistaken understanding of the world and its violence in the minds of those who read the news. And, it seems, in the minds of those who write the news, too.

Posted by GI at 02:27 PM |  Comments (1)

August 23, 2017

The Media Misses the Palestinian Crackdown on Palestinian ‘Journalists’

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Majid Faraj, the director of the PA's General Intelligence Service


The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been imprisoning and harassing Palestinian journalists. And many major U.S. outlets have failed to cover the repression.

The PA’s General Intelligence Service arrested five Palestinian journalists on Aug. 8, 2017. They were held on suspicion of “leaking sensitive information to hostile authorities,” according to a Jerusalem Post report (“Palestinian Authority arrests five journalists for ‘leaking’ sensitive information,” August 9). All five were arrested on the same night. Two of the “journalists,” Tariq Abu Zayd and Ahmad Halaika, work for al-Aqsa TV, a propaganda outlet for Hamas, a rival of the Fatah movement that dominates the PA. The other three were Qutaiba Kasem of the Asdaa website, Amer Abu Arafa of the Shebab news agency, and Mamdouh Hamamreh of the pro-Hamas al-Quds television.

The Jerusalem Post quoted an anonymous who Palestinian journalist who speculated, “The arrests might be aimed at pressuring Hamas to release Fouad Jaradah, a reporter for the PA’s Palestine TV, who was arrested in Gaza on June 8 and was later accused of collaborating with the authority.” The paper also highlighted that the arrests came on the heel of increased PA repression of journalists, including the June 2017 decision to block access to websites that support Hamas or Muhammad Dahlan, a rival who was exiled by PA President Mahmoud Abbas several years ago.

The families of those arrested by the PA characterized the detention as Abbas’ “revenge,” Ha’aretz noted.

Several organizations, including the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), decried the crackdown. On Aug. 15, 2017, the PA released the journalists and required them to pay bail—but did not offer any formal indictments.

Many major U.S. news outlets, including USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times and others, failed to detail any of the above arrests or the repression of information by the PA. In contrast to their blackout of PA autocracy, The Washington Post has instead run recent dispatches detailing Palestinian pigeon ownership (“An old pastime thrives in a Palestinian enclave,” August 13) and Gazan Arab school children on a field trip to Jerusalem (“Children from Gaza visit Jerusalem for the first time,” August 20).

The Post also offered a report on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s calls to close the Israel offices of Al Jazeera, the Qatari-funded propaganda outlet. As CAMERA has highlighted, Al Jazeera frequently broadcasts sermons of clerics linked to terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda and Hamas. One Al Jazeera “journalist” named Elias Karram openly described his job as “resistance” against Israel.

However, The Post’s report on Netanyahu’s comments on Al Jazeera omitted crucial information and was implicitly—and unprofessionally—critical of the decision of the Israeli government (for more details see “Can The Washington Post Google Anti-Jewish Incitement?” CAMERA, Aug. 8, 2017).

Yet, the PA’s decision to imprison journalists without charge—and to effectively impose fines on them for their criticisms—elicited little to no attention from their nominal colleagues in the Western press.

Posted by SD at 02:53 PM |  Comments (0)


The PA and Hamas Employ the Al-Aqsa Libel, Again

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PA President Mahmoud Abbas


Both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas have once again made use of the so-called “’al-Aqsa is in danger’ libel.” This is the lie that Jews plan to destroy or defile the al-Aqsa mosque, which sits near Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount. Its use by Palestinian leaders often precedes anti-Jewish violence (for some examples, see “The Battle over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount,” CAMERA, July 24, 2017).

On Aug. 22, 2017, both the PA, which rules the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, “revived the lie that a Jew or Jews were behind the 1969 arson of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by a Christian fundamentalist,” The Times of Israel reported (“PA, Hamas rehash lie that Jews planned 1969 burning of al-Asqa mosque,” August 22).

On Aug. 23, 1969, a mentally ill Australian named Denis Michael Rohan set fire to the al-Aqsa mosque, destroying part of its roof and an 800-year-old pulpit. Although Rohan was a Christian fundamentalist, the Palestinians and other Arabs blamed Israel for the arson attack—which the Israeli government had, in fact, extinguished.

Palestinian leaders have continually revived this lie. In a recent interview with the official PA news site Wafa, Dr. Mahmoud Abbash claimed “the fires that erupted in the Al-Aqsa Mosque 48 years ago by a Jewish terrorist of Australian origin are still burning today, as long as the noble sanctuary and the holy city [of Jerusalem] are violated by the Israeli occupation.” Abbash is a top adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is frequently labeled a “moderate” by many in the press.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a non-profit organization that monitors media in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem, highlighted a PA-broadcast documentary that claimed that the 1969 fire was “planned by senior Jews of high position.”

Similarly, Hamas released an Aug. 22, 2017 statement claiming that a “Zionist criminal” committed the arson attack.

Abbas himself has used the al-Aqsa libel. For example, in a Sept. 16, 2015 statement on official PA TV, Abbas exhorted: “The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is ours, and they [Jews] have no right to defile them with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to…we bless every drop of blood that is spilled in Jerusalem.”

Abbas’ remarks were followed by the so-called stabbing intifada, in which Palestinians armed with guns, vehicles, knives, and rocks, among other weapons, attacked Israelis over the course of several months.

Posted by SD at 11:30 AM |  Comments (0)

August 22, 2017

Dictionary.com's Unfortunate Choice of Usage

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The popular online dictionary, dictionary.com, has become a valuable online resource since its inception more than 20 years ago -- which makes it all the more regrettable that the single example of "contemporary usage" for the word "venerate" is taken from a 4-year-old, politically biased opinion piece. The offending sentence is:

How else to explain what just happened: An Israeli government decided to venerate land over justice, and over life itself.

Without the context that this is simply one person's negative and controversial anti-Israeli government viewpoint, readers see only a defamatory statement that may be construed as a statement of fact, representing common contemporary usage. It is hardly the sort of neutral example one might expect from an academic resource like a dictionary, and leaves one to wonder whether this was just an unfortunate oversight or whether the editor responsible for the choice harbors some anti-Israel bias him or herself.

CAMERA has contacted the dictionary to suggest that the offensive example be replaced with a more neutral one.

Readers can fill out a form here about the problematic content at Dictionary.com.

Posted by RH at 02:25 PM |  Comments (4)

August 18, 2017

Palestinian Dictator Abbas Congratulates North Korean Dictator Jong-Un

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Associated Press (AP) photo


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently congratulated and praised President Kim Jong-Un of North Korea. The AP account of the incident, reported in only a few American Websites, was ignored by American television and print media. The Times of Israel using the AP report that referred to the Palestinian official news outlet Wafa as a source, said:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday [Aug. 15, 2017] congratulated North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un on the occasion of his country’s “Liberation day” … “The Korean people offered the most precious sacrifices for their freedom and dignity.”

[…]

Abbas expressed his appreciation for North Korea’s “firm solidarity in support of the rights [of the Palestinian] people and its just struggle to end the occupation and establish our independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

The PA president also expressed wishes for Kim’s “health and happiness,” for North Korean “prosperity” and for the “historic relationship between Palestine and North Korea to further develop.”

Abbas’ message, made no mention of North Korean continuing nuclear weaponry threats against the United States and its allies.

Abbas and Jong-Un are birds of a feather — both are dictators. The North Korean dictator’s brutal perpetual regime allows no opposition, including reportedly ordering the recent assassination of the dictator’s half-brother Kim Jong Nam, and the public execution of his uncle General Jang Song-thaek in 2013 on charges of corruption. Meanwhile, in 2017, Abbas is in his twelfth year of a four-year term having called off every election for president of the PA since his original one in 2005.

The Abbas dictatorship repeatedly endorses violence against its Jewish neighbors. For example, a few years ago, Abbas set the release of murderers as a precondition for negotiations. When Israel complied, Abbas welcomed these killers home, including praising as a hero Issa Abd Rabbo who had murdered two Israeli university students who were hiking.

Palestinians are continuously incited to hatred and violence against Jews by Palestinian communications media, in mosques and schools. Sometimes it's the Palestinian leadership very publicly doing the inciting. For example, on Sept. 16, 2015, responding to an unfounded rumor, Abbas on Palestinian Television, declared, "We won't allow Jews with their filthy feet… to defile our Al-Aqsa mosque… we bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem…"

Previously, during the Arafat dictatorship, according to Abu Daoud, the mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre which left 11 Israeli athletes murdered, Abbas provided the funding for the operation.

What to take from all this? For one thing, U.S. news outlets have generally failed to cover news exposing the true nature of West Bank Palestinian leadership.

Posted by MK at 05:26 PM |  Comments (0)

August 17, 2017

AFP Omits Israeli Victims In List of Car Ramming Attacks

AFP Car ramming.jpg

A few hours ago, at least 12 people were murdered in Barcelona by a Spanish national of North African descent who drove a van into a restaurant. One news source in Europe reports that prior to the attack, the perpetrator posted anti-Israel propaganda on social media. Ninety people were injured in the attack; more deaths are likely.

In its coverage of the attack, Agence France Press has included a list of car ramming attacks that have taken place over the past year, with the list beginning with an attack that took place in Nice, France in 2016. The language (which is in the screenshot above) used to frame the list is as follows:

Vehicles have been used as weapons of terror several times over the past year, often by by followers of the Islamic State (IS), attacking nations in the US-led coalition fighting the jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

The list includes car ramming attacks perpetrated in France, Germany, Sweden, and England. Predictably, AFP’s list omits car ramming attacks that have targeted Israelis.

There were at least three such attacks, probably others.

Continue reading "AFP Omits Israeli Victims In List of Car Ramming Attacks"

Posted by dvz at 03:36 PM |  Comments (0)