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January 11, 2010

AP's Damage Control on Palestinian Incitement

Leila Ghannam, the acting governor of Ramallah, is in damage control mode on the issue of Palestinian incitement, and the AP has served as a willing accomplice. Amy Teibel's AP article yesterday ("Israel: Palestinians to blame for impasse in talks"), notes Israeli objections to the naming of a square in Ramallah after bus hijacker Dalal Mugghrabi, who was responsible for the murder of 37 civilians in 1978. Teibel writes:

Leila Ghannam, the acting governor of Ramallah, confirmed the plan to name the square after Dalal Mughrabi, but said the national Palestinian leadership had nothing to do with the decision. (Emphasis added.)

Yet, according to a Dec. 31 report by Palestinian Media Watch:

The text on the giant banner carrying Mughrabi's portrait at the birthday ceremony read: "Under the auspices of President Mahmoud Abbas The Political and National Education Authority Ceremony on the anniversary of the birth of the bride of the cosmos The Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi."

Two PA TV news broadcasts focused on the celebration:
"Under the auspices of President Mahmoud Abbas, the Political and National Education Authority held a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi, commander of the Coastal Operation (i.e. hijacking of bus and killing of 37 civilians)." [PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 29, 2009]

The AP has ignored a request to make clear that the publicity material surrounding the event overtly stated that the naming and celebration of Mughrabi were held "under the auspices" of President Abbas, Ghannam's denial notwithstanding.

Posted by TS at January 11, 2010 06:10 AM


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