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June 25, 2009

Washington Post Sanitizes Hamas Attacks

In "Palestinian Premier Sets 2-Year Statehood Target" (June 23), The Washington Post continues a loaded and misleading word choice. In reporting a speech by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the newspaper says that "the United States and others have called on Hamas to end its armed resistance [emphasis added] and to join the other Palestinian groups that recognized Israel under the 1993 Oslo accords." "Armed resistance" hardly describes Hamas' actions; it sanitizes them.

What is Hamas "resisting"? Israel withdrew completely from the Gaza Strip in September, 2005. In January, 2006 Hamas won the Palestinian legislative election and formed a new PA government. And Israel became the target of incessant rocket and mortar attacks mostly by Hamas and its allies. This is not resistance, but aggression. Hamas continues to refuse to abide by agreements the Palestinian Authority made with Israel, refuses to recognize Israel, and refuses to end anti-Israel terrorism-- The Post's "armed resistance" - as demanded by the United States, United Nations, European Union, and Russia. And Hamas' charter remains unchanged; it continues to call for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state, and its replacement with an Islamic theocracy, as well as for death to the Jewish people. "Armed resistance," or murderous intransigence?

Hamas and its allies and surrogates, including the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees have continued to stage or attempt terrorist attacks from Gaza and from the West Bank. Is that too "armed resistance"? This peculiar usage has become a pattern, having appeared also in earlier articles about Hamas terrorism, "Israel's Attacks on Gaza Deepen Palestinian Rift," January 1, and "Carter Decries Gaza Curbs, Asks Israel to Halt 'Abuse'," June 17.

In reference to terrorist groups elsewhere, The Post seems to acknowledge a different view. In "Blasts Kill 22 Across Baghdad," June 23, printed next to "Palestinian Premier Sets 2-Year Statehood Target," Wael Abdel Latif, an Iraqi lawmaker, is quoted commenting on "the so-called resistance" of extremist groups in Iraq. Those organizations use many of the same terrorist tactics, and carry a similar Islamic extremist ideology, as Hamas. The Post can quote an Iraqi official who denies the legitimacy of these groups' "resistance," but in its own words justifies Hamas violence. What Hamas "resists" is a Jewish state within any borders. It carries out its resistance by armed aggression, that is, by terrorism. The Post's euphemism is not only inaccurate, it echoes Hamas' propaganda.

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RESISTING HAMAS’ RESISTANCE: Ayelet with her one-month-old baby Chanan in a Sderot bomb shelter after a Jan. 17, 2008 rocket attack. The baby’s room was hit in an earlier attack.
-A.L.

Posted by ER at June 25, 2009 05:14 PM

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