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March 21, 2018

Los Angeles Times Dubs Convicted Terrorists 'Political Prisoners'

Rise above the noise! Go below the surface! Enjoy top-quality reporting, enjoins a recent Los Angeles Times ad campaign.

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Instead, though, a recent movie review provides readers with noise instead of top-quality reporting, erroneously stating about the 1976 hijacking of Air France Flight 139:

In June 1976, two German and two Palestinian revolutionaries -- the nomenclature varies from "freedom fighter" to "terrorist" depending on which side you're on -- hijacked an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris and directed it to Entebbel, Uganda, to demand the release of 52 political prisoners. ("Negotiations, maneuvers in a fine political thriller," page E5, and online here. Emphasis added.)

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The term "political prisoner" has a very distinct and well understood definition, and applies to those imprisoned for their political views. This definition does not apply to the 53 convicted terrorists, 40 held in Israel, six in West Germany, five in Kenya, and one each in Switzerland and France, whose release the hijackers demanded.

For instance, among them was Kozo Okamoto, a Japanese terrorist who carried out a deadly 1972 attack in Israel's Lod Airport, killing 24 people. Ronald Fritsch, a member of an offshoot of the Baader-Meinhof group and imprisoned in West German, was convicted of the 1975 kidnapping of politician Peter Lorenz. Fritz Teufel, another member of the same Baader-Meinhof offshoot and also imprisoned in West Germany, was convicted of robbery, firearms offenses and belonging to a criminal organization. Another name on the list was Andreas Baader, of the Red Army Faction, convicted of the arson bombing of a Frankfurt department store. Ulrike Meinhof, Baader's comrade in the RAF, was another whose release was demanded. She was charged with numerous murders and the formation of a criminal organization. Among the prisoners held in Israel was Archbishop Hilarion Capucci, charged with smuggling arms to Palestinian terrorists. (Four Kalashnikov rifles, two pistols, 220 pounds of dynamite and several detonators were found in his car in Jerusalem, as The New York Times noted in his 2017 obituary.) Israel also was holding Fatima Barnawi, who was serving a life sentence for planting a bomb in 1967. The prisoner held in Switzerland was Petra Krause, a German-Italian awaiting trial for explosives offenses. The five held in Kenya were imprisoned after an Israeli warning that the PFLP was about to attack an El Al flight in the Nairobi airport. (More details on the prisoners are here.) Is "political" the correct terminology for this activity?

As The Los Angeles Times correctly reported on the 10th anniversary of the hijacking ("10th Anniversary of Hostage Rescue," Dan Fisher, July 3, 1986):

Two West German and two Palestinian gunmen took it over and ordered it to Uganda. Joined by three accomplices at Entebbe Airport and supported by the troops of then-President Idi Amin, the hijackers demanded freedom for 53 jailed terrorists and a $5-million ransom. (Emphasis added.)

In addition, the reference to the hijackers as "revolutionaries" -- in reviewer Katie Walsh's unfortunate words, "the nomenclature varies from 'freedom fighter' to 'terrorist' depending on which side you're on" -- is extremely problematic. Nowhere does Walsh note that the Palestinians were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, recognized by the United States government as a terror group, and the Germans were members of the notorious Baader-Meinhof group, responsible for a wave of terror attacks.

Posted by TS at March 21, 2018 05:23 AM


Rewrite sorry for all the errors.

I can not remember the name of the book now although I'm sure I have it in my footnotes somewhere, a book written some time ago that argued Jewish terrorists were "freedom fighters". The defense the Irgun and Stern Gang were Freedom Fighters has been copied by Palestinian "Revolutionaries".
However, the Jewish Freedom Fighters never claimed to be revolutionaries. If you open your mind to why "revolutionary" is proffered by the LA Times article, among other left leaning publications, it should cue you that the Palestinians who impose religious ideological principles are no revolutionaries. I do not know that I could win an argument between who is a terrorist and freedom fighter if I am left only with contrasting the Irgun and Stern Gangs with Fatah, Hamas, the PA, Palestinian Islamic Jihad etc.
One could write a list of the objective goals to throw off British influence seize power and control of the region and impose its rule of law. However, that is compromised by assumptions that are false. One further condition is understated in the Palestinian paradigm for terrorism, the Jews had faced total extermination, pogroms, and were never completely emancipated in Europe or the Middle East under sharia law which imposes taxes and other disadvantages on non-Muslim minorities. The principle reason Jews are singled out as "settlers" is because they are non-Muslims. False assumptions include the notion the "Palestinians" in all their fractured parts are "Revolutionaries" reclaiming their land somehow making them more secular and inclusive which is a total falsehood. Hamas, and other groups like Palestinian Islamic jihad, put true perspective on the PAs intransigence to abandon terrorism and accept a two state solution. The Palestinians could begin building their nation today. Their goal is not emancipation.
The two state solution Israelis accepted because it guaranteed them emancipation. Afterward, fighting a series of wars and waves of heightened terrorist acts to annihilate the state of Israel and the Jews, the Palestinians have not developed any nation building qualifications they are still obsessively struggling with the fact a non-Muslim entity is emancipated and exists without the imposition of sharia law. The priority to eradicate a Jewish Homeland on the part of the Palestinians based on religious chauvinism has never been fairly discussed in any venue that would advance a peace process.
Guaranteeing Holy places is not sufficient and it doesn't work, a hard line on 1967 boundaries would only deny Jews access to the Kotel. One settlement the Palestinians began building (It is assumed because they are Palestinians they aren't settlers? I don't understand that perspective, Gaza is practically one big settlement.) in Area C where Israel controls 6% of the area commonly referenced as the West Bank is being built on Ancient Jewish Temple ruins, intentionally as an insult to Judaism and history.
Religious chauvinist ideology helps explain why attempts to secularize some of the base hatreds and explanations for Palestinian contempt of the peace process, two state solution, status of Jerusalem whose population is 2/3rds Jewish and they could still negotiate for a capital in their area of Jerusalem, have failed. The Palestinian terrorists are not Revolutionaries or "freedom fighters", in fact Palestinian terrorists are religious crusaders attempting to impose religious laws in preference to civil law.
For more than 70 years it was hoped that Islamic radicals religious zealotry if ignored might go away or could be made to assume the identity of a Marxist revolution . President Obama and his administration made the same mistake with Iran, Libyan "freedom Fighters" and the list goes on and on.
Hard core socialists like Bernie Sander's, among others, concept of "progress" is significantly limited by their notions of revolution, a false narrative the left was corrupted by in opposition to the Vietnam War and is manifest in the DNC party exemplified by President Obama's epic failures in the 8 years of his foreign policy.
I won't argue the Stern Gang and Irgun were not terrorists. but Israel was not founded on their principles the Palestinians can not claim the same and are not progressive revolutionaries that is a constipated myth a narrative constructed to content feeble minded liberals.

Posted by: jeb stuart at March 24, 2018 01:33 PM

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