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November 03, 2015

Where's the Coverage? Palestinian Leader: All of Israel is 'Occupation'

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas appeared to reject the legitimacy of Israel in any borders in an Oct. 28, 2015 speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva. Abbas, frequently described by some press and policymakers as a “moderate,�? made clear that he views the Jewish state’s existence as illegitimate. But most media did not report this latest example of a Palestinian leader denying Israel’s right to existence.

The remarks of the PA President and head of the Fatah (the word can be translated as “conquest�?) movement were transcribed by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a non-profit organization that monitors Palestinian communication media.

Abbas told the U.N. HRC: “Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, haven’t you wondered: For how long will this protracted Israeli occupation of our land last? After 67 years, how long? Do you think it can last, and that it benefits the Palestinian people?�?

By claiming that Israel’s “occupation�? began 67 years ago, in 1948 with Israel’s declaration of statehood, the PA President was clearly stating that he considers the Jewish state itself to be an occupation and, by Palestinian interpretation, an illegal one.

The PA president went from denying Israel’s right to exist to inciting violence against it. Abbas falsely asserted to the UN body that Israel desecrates Islamic holy sites. “[The] holy sites which have been desecrated every other second again and again for seven decades now,�? Abbas claimed, “under an occupation that does not quit killing, torturing, looting and imprisoning.�?

This is another instance of Abbas employing the “al-Aqsa libel�?; falsely charging that Jews hold secret designs on the al-Aqsa mosque which occupies the southwest part of Temple Mount, Judaism’s most holy site. The libel has long been used by Palestinian Arab leaders, beginning in 1929 and including 1996 and 2000, to incite anti-Jewish violence. As CAMERA has documented, on Sept. 16, 2015 Abbas exhorted, “The al-Aqsa is ours…they [Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet�? (“Incitement over Temple Mount Leads to Palestinian Violence, Again�?).

Abbas’ false claims that Israel “does not quit�? killing and torturing Palestinian Arabs echoes his other recent allegations that Israel had “executed�? a 13-year old boy, Ahmed Manasra. In fact, Manasra was being treated in an Israeli hospital for injuries sustained from being hit by a car while fleeing after he and his cousin stabbed a 13-year old Jewish boy.

PMW says that Palestinian official media failed to accurately transcribe Abbas’ remarks in Geneva, noting that the “after 67 years, how long?�? was removed from reports by state media outlets.

This is hardly the first time that Abbas and/or his Palestinian Authority have claimed that all of Israel is “Palestine.�? PMW notes that the PA National Security Forces Facebook page “presents pictures of Israel�? where, in the last week alone, Israeli cities Haifa, Acre and Ashkelon are portrayed as “occupied.�? CAMERA has shown previously how Palestinian textbooks have depicted all of Israel as Palestine (“Palestinian Textbooks Teach Anti-Israel Hate,�? June 1, 1999).

PMW has documented extensively how Abbas, his predecessor Yasser Arafat and other PA officials have used maps that show all of Israel as Palestine.

With his latest attempt to rewrite history and delegitimize Israel, Abbas may have felt he was speaking to a receptive audience in the form of the U.N. HRC, which passed more resolutions in 2014 condemning Israel than all other countries combined, including noted human rights abusers such as Iran, China, North Korea and Russia.

A Lexis-Nexis search reveals that most major media outlets failed completely to report Abbas’ October 28 remarks. The sole exception was The Boston Globe, which while noting Abbas’ appearance and the subsequent Israeli Foreign Ministry condemnation of the Palestinian leader’s statements, failed to detail just what he said (“Palestinian leader asks for UN’s help,�? October 29).

Where was the coverage?

Posted by SD at November 3, 2015 11:47 AM


Isn't this a direct outcome of political leaders focusing solely on posturing with nary a word on what's to be done with the millions of Palestinians? No one knows what sources to trust since everyone is interested only in vilifying the other side. Under these conditions journalists just reflexively scramble to the middle ground. If PMW weren't an activist organization coverage would be different. If the only news outlet that covers you is The Blaze there's something wrong with what you're doing.

Posted by: Mike Holloway at November 3, 2015 01:03 PM

Reporting the FACTS of Abbas' deception would ruin the West's common perception of him as a "moderate" who actually wants peace. They refuse to believe the TRUTH that his goal is to replace Israel, not live by its side. Note how the same media couldn't let go of Netanyahu's comment about the mufti, giving it front-page coverage for days and generally ignoring his subsequent clarification. That fit nicely with their worldview of Israel as unreasonable and belligerent.

Posted by: Carl at November 3, 2015 11:43 PM

The Jewish homeland has been under attack for at least 3,000 yrs. They are the smallest people group but incur the unwarranted wrath of so many nations throughout history, including the arab nations , historically by the catholic church, and Europe in general. The islamic immigration into Europe , esp France has has reignitted this baseless hatred. May God bless and protect Israel and Jewish people everywhere and give them a time of peace.

Posted by: Matthew Evans at November 5, 2015 04:13 AM

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