Friday, January 26, 2018

The Atlantic Breaks the Media Silence on Abbas - by Gilead Ini

...It shouldn't take The Atlantic to lead the way, certainly not this late in the game. News reporters should have understood, from the day President Abbas began his four year term thirteen years ago, that their job is not to protect the Palestinian leader, nor to promote the idea that, through his unvarnished moderation, Abbas is walking evidence of Israeli responsibility for the continuation of the conflict. Coverage of Abbas's role in fomenting hate has been all too scarce. But if a venerated American magazine can do it, there may be hope for the rest.

Gilead Ini..
CAMERA Media Analyses..
24 January '18..

So it is possible. There's no cosmic force, no unbreachable journalistic rule, preventing mainstream American publications from focusing on Mahmoud Abbas's indiscretions. We know it because The Atlantic did just that, and nothing happened, other than the expected: Readers were told what the Palestinian president said, and ended up more fully informed about the man and the conflict he has failed to resolve.

Forthright reporting on Abbas shouldn't be so hard. But too many in the media have struggled with the task. The ugliest of utterances from his mouth have been concealed by those tasked with reporting on them — those same journalists who otherwise seem to believe the Arab-Israeli conflict is the epicenter of world news. So when Abbas recently said, in reference to Jews, that there is "no one better at falsifying history or religion than them," citing God himself to substantiate the anti-Semitic libel, the media silence was deafening.

The New York Times covered the Dec. 13, 2017 meeting at which Abbas made the statement, but decided the anti-Semitism by a head of state wasn't news fit to print.

The Times wasn't alone. The Washington Post, Associated Press, NPR, Reuters, and BBC, were likewise mum about Abbas's recitation of anti-Jewish verses from the Koran, which he used to make the point that Jews falsify the scriptures and history.

A month later, the news media powerhouses were given a second chance. On Jan. 14, 2018, Abbas again took the podium, and again spewed vitriol about his Jewish neighbors in Israel. Aside from pronouncing the death of the Oslo peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, he rejected the Jewish connection to Israel — “it has nothing to do with Judaism” — and denied the legitimacy of the Jewish presence in the country, offering wild conspiracy theories to explain to his Palestinian audience why the Jews are there in the first place.

Among the fabrications: Abbas claimed that Oliver Cromwell, a 17th century English leader who was sympathetic to the idea of readmitting Jews to England, in fact hatched a conspiracy to ship European Jews to the Middle East. He maintained that Jews weren't persecuted in Europe because their religion, but rather due to their “social function.” He insisted early Zionist leader Theodor Herzl coined the slogan “a land without a people for a people without a land” to convey his supposed desire to “erase the Palestinians from Palestine.” He described a “secret meeting” of European leaders in the early 1900s who, fearing the Arab world was poised to inherit European civilization, devised a plan to sow infighting to prevent the dreaded inheritance. The expulsion and flight of Jews from the Arab world, Abbas insisted, was all part of a scheme by Israeli prime minister David Ben Gurion.

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