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October 06, 2017

The Washington Post Belatedly Covers Hamas-Fatah Talks

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The Washington Post has finally reported on recent reconciliation attempts between the two ruling Palestinian groups, Fatah and Hamas—nearly a month after they first came to public light.

In an Oct. 3, 2017 dispatch, Post reporter Sufian Taha and Jerusalem bureau chief Loveday Morris noted that Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was visiting Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip as part of a “symbolic step toward ending a decade-long rift” with the U.S.-designated terror group. The PA is dominated by the Fatah movement, which, after losing elections in 2006, fought a brief and bloody war with Hamas in June 2007.

Tensions between the two groups have continued in the years since that conflict. However, as CAMERA has noted, many major news outlets frequently underreport Palestinian politics and rivalries. Some outlets, such as The Washington Post, devote in an inordinate amount of coverage to Israeli politics. (see, for example, “The Washington Post’s Jewish Home Fixation,” The Washington Jewish Week, April 26, 2017).

The Post, for instance, has offered reports on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s dog biting someone, or, under its “World Views” section, a piece on an Israeli restaurant purportedly overcharging Chinese tourists. When Palestinian affairs are covered, it’s often in a manner that infantilizes them; recent Post reports have been on topics such as a Gazan field trip for schoolchildren and Palestinian pigeon ownership; implicitly portraying them as prisoners without independent agency (“For Palestinians, its Lights Out at The Washington Post,” Algemeiner, June 22, 2017).

To its credit, The Post now informs readers that:

“Hamas invited Hamdallah’s unity government…to take control of administering Gaza last month [emphasis added]. Hamas also its own administrative committee and said it was ready to hold elections.”

This has important ramifications—and not only for Palestinian politics. As the U.S., Israel and others list Hamas as a terrorist group, what becomes of the Palestinian Authority and its composition is of extreme importance to both the region and the policies of non-regional actors, like the United States. However, this is the first Post report fully detailing efforts that have been going on since “last month.”

The New York Times, Reuters and other outlets have been covering the reconciliation attempts since the beginning of September 2017. A Sept. 28, 2017 lengthy Post report on Gaza’s water crisis briefly—in five sentences—noted that reconciliation attempts were under way. But, the majority of that dispatch focused on Gaza’s water crisis, while omitting that by devoting reconstruction aid to terror instead of infrastructure, Hamas rulers are principally to blame.

To the detriment of its readers, The Post continues to underreport Palestinian politics.

Posted by SD at October 6, 2017 11:36 AM

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