The Palestinian Authority has a long and tragic history of rejecting peace and proliferating terror, and the press would do well to record it.
(AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)
“Those who don’t learn history,” the philosopher George Santayana famously intoned, “are doomed to repeat it.” The oft-quoted adage certainly applies to the Arab-Israeli conflict. But the history of that conflict can’t properly be understood, nor the likelihood of its resolution truly gauged, until the media stop ignoring and omitting the long history of Palestinians rejecting reasonable U.S. and Israeli peace offers.
On June 24, 2018, Jared Kushner, the senior adviser and son-in-law to President Trump, announced that the U.S. would soon be presenting a new Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. Kushner’s comments prompted both speculation and media frenzy. Less widely noted, however, was the immediate response by the Palestinian Authority, the entity that rules the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and is led by Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah movement.
Before the terms of the proposed peace plan were even announced, the PA, in their own words, launched a “national campaign to thwart the Deal of the Century.” The authority’s concerted opposition to the deal, sight unseen, has been ignored and obfuscated by many press outlets and policymakers.
As the Middle East Media Research Institute has documented, the PA and Fatah have in no uncertain terms voiced their disdain for a peace plan, irrespective of what it might contain. MEMRI, a nonprofit organization that monitors Arab, Iranian, and Russian media, noted that Fatah official Jamal Muhaisin has publicly denounced the unreleased plan as “the American crime of our era.” Muhaisin has even met with Fatah branches in the West Bank in order to plan “The March of Refusal of the Deal of the Century.”
Fatah has also published and distributed posters proclaiming, among other things, “Palestine is not for sale” and “The Deal of the Century will not thwart the will of Palestine.”
An announcement posted on Fatah’s official Facebook page said that the movement hopes “to clarify the dangers posed by this deal, which is known to be a bad deal, and explain how it can destroy our national cause [by] proposing alternative solutions that circumvent the Palestinian people’s eternal rights [in favor of] humanitarian gestures and economic enticements.”
Opposition to the yet-unseen peace plan has seemingly been approved at the highest levels of the PA government. Numerous top Fatah operatives have proclaimed a refusal to accept any proposal put forward by the U.S. — despite the fact that the U.S. is a chief benefactor of the PA and was, in large measure, responsible for its creation.
Some major Western news outlets, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, and others, have quoted PA officials, such as peace negotiator Saeb Erekat, who oppose any U.S.-presented plan. However, many in the media have failed to note the full extent of Fatah’s preemptive and well-organized anti-peace campaign. Worse still, the press has frequently misled about the reasons behind Fatah’s opposition.
Several newspapers, including the Washington Post, have claimed that “by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital” — that is, by belatedly implementing the bipartisan 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act — the U.S. effectively gave Fatah a reason to oppose future peace negotiations. This, however, forgets recent history.
In fact, the PA has repeatedly rejected U.S. and Israeli offers for peace and a Palestinian state — and they were doing so long before the December 2017 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In 2000, at Camp David, in 2001 at Taba, and in 2008 after the Annapolis Conference, among other instances, the PA refused without even so much as a counteroffer U.S. and Israeli proposals for a Palestinian state in exchange for peace with and recognition of the Jewish state.
In a March 27, 2009 interview with Al-Jazeera, Fatah official Erekat — who has been widely and uncritically quoted in media accounts blaming the U.S. for failed peace efforts — hailed Abbas’ decision to reject the 2008 offer.
More recently, PA President Abbas spurned 2014 and 2016 U.S. attempts to restart negotiations. As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting documented, news outlets like the Washington Post failed to cover the latter instance of the Authority once again snubbing Israeli and U.S. negotiators.
Instead of accepting a Palestinian state, the PA has refused U.S. and Israeli demands to quit paying salaries to Palestinian terrorists and their families. Abbas has been unmoved by recent U.S. and Israeli legislation that makes aid contingent on the authority ceasing their so-called “pay-to-slay” policy. In July 23, 2018 remarks, Abbas called imprisoned terrorists “pioneers” and “stars.” He defiantly exhorted: “If we had only a single penny left, we would pay it to families of the martyrs and prisoners.”
Yet, many media accounts blaming the U.S. for Palestinian rejectionism present U.S. aid cuts as a legitimate Palestinian grievance — often failing to tell readers that the PA, the prospective peace partner, is choosing to pay terrorists instead of negotiating peace.
The PA and its leaders have a long and tragic history of rejecting peace and proliferating terror, irrespective of who sits in the White House. And the press, responsible in large measure for crafting the first draft of history, would do well to record it.
The writer is a Senior Research Analyst for CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.
The University of Cape Town campus. Photo: Adrian Frith via Wikimedia Commons.
The University of Cape Town, the top-ranking academic institution in Africa, is set to consider enforcing an academic boycott against Israel later this month.
The UCT Senate, a decision-making body comprised primarily of professors and administrators, endorsed a proposal on March 15 to bar the university from entering into any formal relationship with Israeli academic institutions that operate “in the occupied Palestinian territories,” or otherwise enable “gross human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the university said in a statement.
The campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
JNS.org – Students at Brown University voted overwhelmingly in favor of a referendum held between Tuesday and Thursday, calling on the school to separate itself from companies that conduct business with the State of Israel.
The tally was 69 percent in favor and 31 percent against.
Members of the pro-Israel community nationally and locally condemned the outcome.
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Many are claiming this was a pre-election gift to Trump’s friend, Netanyahu, but it others see a much larger significance that transcends politics and enters into the realm of the Biblical. One such belief was expressed by Breaking Israel News publisher Rabbi Tuly Weisz, who noted that the announcement came on the Jewish holiday of Purim.
“The same days on which the Yehudim enjoyed relief from their foes and the same month which had been transformed for them from one of grief and mourning to one of festive joy. They were to observe them as days of feasting and merrymaking, and as an occasion for sending gifts to one another and presents to the poor.” Esther 9:22 (The Israel Bible™)
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Protesters waving Turkish and Palestinian flags shout anti-Israel slogans during a demonstration in Amsterdam June 4, 2010. Israel’s raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla has set off a diplomatic furor, drawing criticism from friends and foes alike and straining ties with regional ally Turkey, which cal. (photo credit: REUTERS)
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Daqduq was responsible for the “abduction and execution of five American servicemen in Iraq in 2007,” the IDF said. The role of Hezbollah members in neighboring states is an illustration of how groups allied with Iran are continuing to build a web linking Tehran to Beirut via a “road to the sea” that transits Iraq and Syria.
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Or, to put it more simply, why Senator Kamala Harris deserves to be in the White House.
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