Sunday, October 31, 2010

al-Mughrabi perpetuates the myth

As part of its ongoing Palestinian public relations campaign, Reuters stories typically characterize Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as a "moderate" even as the agency frequently refers to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a "right-winger" and cabinet ministers like Avigdor Lieberman as "ultranationalists".  Beyond this political window-dressing however, is a more sinister effort to conceal from readers, the long-term objectives and strategy acknowledged by Abbas and the Palestinian leadership.

For example, in a story on a rally in Gaza attended by tens of thousands of Islamic Jihad and Hamas supporters, Reuters correspondent Nidal al-Mughrabi writes:
President Abbas, however, rules out any return to violence against Israelis in pursuit of Palestinian statehood. He has said he will pursue diplomatic alternatives should the peace talks with Netanyahu collapse definitively.
This is actually false.  As Andrew McCarthy noted in 2008:
Abbas urged a throng of 50,000 Palestinians to re-aim their guns at the “occupation” (i.e., Israel) instead of turning them on each other: “Fatah,” he promised, “will not give up our principles and we have said that rifles should be directed against the occupation…. We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation….”
And just last week, Abbas revealed that his current feint at negotiations with Israel is — like his mentor Arafat’s similar tactics — a strategic pause at best. He explained to a Jordanian newspaper that he was not pursuing “the armed struggle” at “this present juncture” only “because we can’t succeed in it.” He was quick to add, though, that “maybe in the future things will be different.”
We've not seen any evidence in the last two years, offered by Reuters or any other media source, that would suggest Abbas has altered his thinking in this respect one iota.

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