20 March '16..
This week in her New York Times column called “Ramallah Journal,” Diaa Hadid examined corruption and intimidation within the Palestinian Authority legislature. The article was as important as it was unusual, in shining a spotlight on the problems in Palestinian government that create challenges for Israelis and Palestinians alike. New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan has addressed the importance of this kind of coverage: pointing out that New York Times Readers were not receiving the full context about how Palestinian leadership actually triggers much of the violence that Israelis and Palestinians face.
Yet even in a piece about Palestinian government, Hadid took a detour to criticize Israel, and in doing so fell short of accepted journalistic standards. Referring to Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar, Hadid wrote, “…the Israeli military issued an order limiting her movement. (She was later arrested on charges that have not been made public.)”
What’s the Truth?
It turns out that Khalida Jarrar was charged by Israel with inciting violence and being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is designated as a “terror organization” by: Canada, Israel, and the United States, and the PFLP “General Command” is also so designated by the United Kingdom.
By way of background, this is the same designation those countries give to groups such as Islamic State (ISIS), Al Qaeda and Boko Haram.
Among many other attacks, the PFLP claimed credit for the 2014 Jerusalem synagogue massacre, in which terrorists attacked worshipers with a gun and butcher knives, ultimately taking eight lives.
What’s the Penalty for Joining a Terror Organization?
Last month, a British woman who joined the Islamic State was sentenced by the UK to six years in prison. A South Carolina teenager who “was influenced by Islamic State” was sentenced by the United States to five years in prison.
Fifteen months in jail and a fine of 10,000 shekels (about $2,600 USD), based on a plea bargain in which Jarrar admitted to membership in the PFLP terror organization.
Taking on the Palestinian Authority is No Excuse for Shoddy Journalism.
Diaa Hadid wrote an important column about corruption and intimidation of lawmakers within the Palestinian Authority. Yet when she criticized Israel, Hadid failed to meet journalistic standards by leaving out critical information: the lawmaker Hadid was so eagerly defending was also an admitted member of an international terror organization, that proudly claims credit for horrific attacks against Israelis.
New York Times readers deserve all the news that’s fit to print, not just the portions that fit a specific, and misleading, agenda.
We have contacted the New York Times requesting a correction. Watch this space for updates.
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