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August 19, 2013

The Economist: Advocating for Palestinian Killers

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The Economist continues to go off the rails in its treatment of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its overt bias violates all journalistic norms. The latest article about the topic of the Palestinian prisoner release, “Why they count,"” essentially advocates for Palestinians who have violently attacked or murdered Israelis. Subtitled "The release of prisoners touches Palestinians to their core," the article starts by complaining that the number of Palestinian prisoners released by Israel has declined and then faults Israel for allegedly detaining "eight times as many Palestinians as it has just released" -- with the implication that, with some exceptions, many Palestinians are randomly detained and held in prison for no good reason.

When the two sides sat down to negotiate two decades ago, after signing the Oslo accords in 1993, Israel freed 2,000 Palestinians in a single year. For the next couple of years it released, on average, around 1,000 a year. In later years that number slumped to a few hundred. Now, to coincide with the fresh round of talks that started in Jerusalem on August 14th, Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has freed just 26.

And:

Since July 19th, when America’s secretary of state, John Kerry, announced that peace talks would restart, Israel—say human-rights campaigners—has detained eight times as many Palestinians as it has just released.

Citing Palestinian President Abbas' "critics," the column goes so far as to suggest that violence and kidnapping, Hamas' tactic of choice, is most effective against Israel:

Mr Abbas’s Palestinian critics say his non-violent policy is plainly less effective than that of Hamas, the Islamist faction that runs the Gaza Strip. In 2011 Hamas got Mr Netanyahu to release more than 1,000 prisoners in exchange for a single Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who had been captured by Hamas and held for five years.

The article exudes sympathy for the Palestinian prisoners, falsely suggesting that most are innocent:

Few issues stir Palestinian emotions as fiercely as the fate of prisoners. Almost every Palestinian has a relative in jail—or has been there himself. Human-rights groups estimate that 750,000 Palestinians have passed through Israeli prisons since the West Bank and Gaza were conquered in 1967. Some 2,300 Palestinians were detained in the first six months of this year alone. Whereas Israelis generally dub them terrorists, Palestinians call them asra, or prisoners of war, and devote large chunks of their public broadcasts and budget to supporting them and their families. Some have been sentenced for complicity in the 100-plus suicide-bombings which shook Israel during the intifada (uprising) that fizzled out in 2005. But many of those that languish in 17 special Israeli jails have no such blood on their hands.

They include 14 members of the Palestinian parliament and hundreds of non-violent protesters who have tried in vain to stop Israel’s army and settlers from acquiring their land.

But as Elder of Ziyon points out, the article is based on deception and lies. Read his analysis here.

And read the real story about who these Palestinian prisoners are and what they have done here and here.

Posted by RH at August 19, 2013 07:34 PM

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