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March 11, 2016

UPDATE: Peace Now Head Condemns Extrajudicial Killings, Not Self-Defense

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PA President Mahmoud Abbas

(Note: This post was corrected on March 14, 2016. CAMERA, relying on a report from Israel National News, erred in saying that Peace Now's General Director, Yariv Oppenheimer, criticized terror victim Yonatan Azarihab for defending himself. In fact, Oppenheimer was criticizing those who, after Azarihab neutralized the Palestinian terrorist, killed him. CAMERA regrets the error)

The head of Peace Now, an Israel-based organization that repeatedly has opposed the policies of the Israeli government, has condemned Israeli responders to a Palestinian terror attack for committing an "extrajudicial" killing by shooting the terrorist.

Yariv Oppenheimer, the head of the organization, accused Israelis responding to the scene of an attack in Petach Tikva on March 8, 2016 of “executing” the terrorist without trial.

Eleven persons were wounded in terror attacks that day in Jaffa and Petach Tikva. The Jaffa attacks took the life of tourist and U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force, 29, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University.

During the assault in Petach Tikva, one of the victims, Yonatan Azarihab fought back. After being stabbed in the neck, the Israeli removed the knife from his own body and then used it to stab the terrorist who reportedly had set about to find other victims.

According to Israel National News (Artuz Sheva), Oppenheimer took to the social media platform, Twitter, claiming Israeli responders executed the terrorist:

“This is how it goes [,] from neutralizing terrorist to execution without trial.”

Contrary to numerous instances of poor and biased anti-Israel media coverage (for a list of some examples, see “Wave of Palestinian Violence Accompanied by Spate of Bad Writing, ”CAMERA, Oct. 14, 2015), Oppenheimer claimed “in the present atmosphere, no one in the media dares to report and deal with the issue.” Perhaps this is because in reality the “issue” of Israeli extrajudicial killings as covered by news media has been minimal, unlike the wave of Palestinian Arabs wantonly trying to murder Israelis.

CAMERA has previously noted (“Israeli Court: Peace Now Lied, Must Pay Now,” Dec. 23, 2008) Peace Now’s credibility problem. Among other instances, the advocacy group falsely claimed that “a large proportion of the settlements built on the West Bank are built on privately owned Palestinian land,” including 86.4 percent of the Jewish community of Ma’ale Adumim and 35.5 percent of Ariel. After repeatedly refusing to address concerns with these numbers raised by CAMERA and others, the group was forced to admit that only 0.54 percent of Ma’ale Adumim’s land was privately owned by Palestinian Arabs—an error of nearly 16,000 percent.

In 2008, a similar failure by the group to admit another false claim regarding Israeli settlements and Palestinian-owned property led to a successful libel suit, in which Peace Now and some staffers were ordered to compensate aggrieved parties and to issue public apologies.

Despite this court decision, some media outlets still treat Peace Now as an unquestionably credible source, failing to provide details of the group’s history to their readers (see, for example, “Post-Watch: Washington Post Discredits Itself on Israel,” CAMERA, Dec. 9, 2011).

If Peace Now can document extrajudicial killings of terrorists already incapacitated by would-be victims, passers-by or police or other members of security forces, it should detail the evidence, not take to 140-character tweets.


Posted by SD at March 11, 2016 10:55 AM

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