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September 26, 2017

The Washington Post Pushes ‘Despair’ Excuse for Palestinian Terrorism, Again

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PA President Mahmoud Abbas


A Washington Post report on a Sept. 26, 2017 Palestinian terror attack pushed the narrative that “despair” and “frustration” over the lack of a Palestinian state was a motivating factor in anti-Jewish violence ("Palestinian shoots dead 3 Israelis at settlement near Jerusalem").

The dispatch, by Post reporter Ruth Eglash and Jerusalem bureau chief Loveday Morris, provided details about the attack in which a 37-year-old Palestinian named Nimr Mahmoud al-Jamal murdered an Israeli policeman and two security guards at the entrance to Har Adar in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). Al-Jamal, who worked in Har Adar, opened fire shortly after 7 a.m., murdering the three men and wounding another Israeli.

In an otherwise informative article, The Post uncritically repeated the claim that “Palestinians say such attacks are caused by frustration stemming from 50 years of occupation.” However, as CAMERA has frequently noted, Arab anti-Jewish violence—including terrorist attacks—predates Israel’s acquisition of disputed territories in the 1967 Six Day War (for example, see "Anti-Jewish Violence in Pre-State Palestine," Aug 23, 2009).

According to CAMERA's BBC Watch, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) encourages the media to push the narrative that “despair” and “frustration” over the lack of a Palestinian state are the motivating factor behind terror attacks. (see “Reviewing BBC compliance with PLO media guidance,” Dec. 8, 2015). The Post, and others, frequently seem to follow these PLO-approved talking points.

Some Palestinian leaders, however, have refuted the idea that frustration over a “military occupation” is the motivating factor behind anti-Jewish violence. For example, Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, declared in a speech at a rally on Jan. 19, 2016, at the very height of the so-called “stabbing intifada”:

“This intifada [violent uprising] is not the result of despair. This intifada is a jihad, a holy war…only a holy war will drive the occupier out of Palestine.”

Indeed, if “despair” over the lack of state is to blame, than Palestinians should be attacking their leadership, which has rejected U.S. and Israeli offers for a state in exchange for peace with the Jewish nation in 2000 at Camp David, 2001 at Taba and 2008 after the Annapolis Conference, among other occasions.

Both Fatah, the movement that dominates the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Hamas, the U.S.-designated terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, praised the September 26th attack. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a non-profit organization that monitors Arab media in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem, noted that Fatah called the attack “an operation” and al-Jamal a “Shahid” (martyr) on its official Facebook page. As PMW pointed out:

“Fatah’s referring to the terrorist murderer as a Shahid is the highest praise that Fatah could give…[it] means that he ‘died for Allah.’ Fatah is telling Palestinians that murdering Israelis is something that their god, Allah, desires, and for which the ‘Martyr’ will be rewarded in Heaven.”

In other words, it's not "despair," but a twisted idea of the divine, that helps motivate anti-Jewish violence.

Indeed, PA President Mahmoud Abbas—who is frequently called a “moderate” by the press and policymakers—has praised such acts. His advisor on religious affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, stated on official PA TV “there is no status Allah has exalted more than Shahada (Martyrdom),” in a 2013 sermon translated by PMW.

As with other Palestinian terrorists who have murdered Jews, the family of al-Jamal will receive payments from the PA—a practice enshrined in law as CAMERA noted in a recent Op-Ed in The Hill. Unsurprisingly, this also went unmentioned by the Palestinian leadership—and The Post that often uncritically quotes them.

Posted by SD at September 26, 2017 01:11 PM

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