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January 06, 2006

Margaret Coker's Partisan Reading of Oslo

In a December 4 article in which she discusses the Israeli and Palestinian election campaign and Israel's reluctance to allow Palestinian voting in Jerusalem, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Margaret Coker made sure to note that the right of Palestinian to vote in Jerusalem "was stipulated in the Oslo peace accords."

Clearly, then, Coker is familiar with Annex II of the Interim Agreement—the Oslo document containing the stipulation she cited.

So why, when the article discusses Hamas' participation in the Palestinian election—"Israeli officials are mixed about what [Hamas'] entrance into policis will mean," Coker wrote—did the reporter ignore what Annex II says about groups like Hamas?

A few paragraphs before the document's clause about Palestinian voting rights in Jerusalem, Annex II states:

Article III – Qualification and Nomination of Candidates

2. Nominations

The nomination of any candidates, parties or coalitions will be refused, and such nomination or registration once made will be canceled, if such candidates, parties or coalitions:

(1) commit or advocate racism; or

(2) pursue the implementation of their aims by unlawful or nondemocratic means.

Hamas' charter and violence make clear the group's "racism" and "unlawful" acts. (See here for details about Hamas' ineligibility for Palestinian elections.)

Coker's selective citation of the Oslo Accords to raise questions about (possible) Israeli policies while at the same time overlooking Oslo's demands on the Palestinians suggests a very disturbing double standard.

Posted by at January 6, 2006 12:06 PM


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