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Media Analyses

Abu Marzook Vs. Bolton in the LA Times

Yet again, the Los Angeles Times gives a platform to Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook who argues that this September at the United Nations "Palestinians will chart their own course, and there is nothing that the United States or Israel can do to stop it."

John Bolton, whose Op-Ed is paired with Abu Marzook's, ably counters the Hamas man's claims. The former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. writes:

An aversion to reality can be a powerfully destructive force. . . .

First, neither the Security Council nor the General Assembly has the legal authority to declare statehood. The U.N.'s website says candidly that the world body "does not possess any authority to recognize either a state or a government." Attempting to ram such a declaration through is not merely improper but destructive of the U.N. itself.

Some, however, argue that there is precedent, citing General Assembly Resolution 181 of 1947, which endorsed a plan to partition the former British League of Nations mandate into Jewish and Arab states, and a "special international regime" for Jerusalem. They should read what the resolution actually says. Like all assembly resolutions, it is not legally binding. It simply "recommends" the partition plan in question, and "requests that the Security Council take the necessary measures" to implement it. The council never adopted the plan. Although the Jewish leadership accepted it, the Arabs did not, and a multi-front Arab assault followed. End of precedent.

(Palestinian Authority negotiator Nabil Sha'ath, who just threatened to push the U.N. to implement Resolution 181 should the bid for statehood fail, should take note.) Bolton goes on:

Second, whatever serious political work is done at the U.N. is done by the Security Council, where the veto of the five permanent members -- the United States, France, China, Britain and Russia -- gives them predominance.

(For more on the Palestinian attempt to achieve statehood through the U.N., see here.)

In his Op-Ed, Abu Marzook proves that even terrorists can be funny, writing, "Unlike Obama, we have consistently said the same thing to whomever we address." Arab leaders, and Hamas' are no exception, are notorious for saying one thing in English and another in Arabic. For instance, in Arabic, Hamas speaks of a plan to destroy all of Israel and replace it with a Palestinian state. In English, it speaks only of accepting a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. In Arabic, Hamas admits that 600-700 of its fighters were killed in Israel's Operation Cast Lead. In English, it claims that only 49 fighters were killed. In English, Hamas denies that it targets children. In its charter, in Arabic, it calls for the killing of every last Jew.
As for the Los Angeles Times' conduct, beyond the inexcusable publication of a terrorist's Op-Ed, the paper repeats an earlier disservice, misleading readers about Abu Marzook's past. Editors describe him as follows:

Mousa Abu Marzook is one of the founders of Hamas and its deputy political bureau chief. He was born in Gaza and lived in the United States for 14 years.

Understandably, given the unflattering headlines that the Assad regime has recently been racking up, the Times withholds from readers Abu Marzook's current place of residence -- Damascus. And after 14 years of life in America he didn't move to Damascus for the better hummus. The Washington Post, which in 2006 also shamelessly published an Op-Ed by Abu Marzook, at least disclosed to readers that he

was indicted in the United States in 2004 as a co-conspirator on racketeering and money-laundering charges in connection with activities on behalf of Hamas dating back to the early 1990s, before the organization was placed on the list of terrorist groups. He was deported to Jordan in 1997.

Abu Marzook, criminal and terrorist, is good for a few laughs today. The co-conspirator on racketeering and money-laundering and leader of an outlawed terror group lectures Los Angeles Times readers about "legal right[s] under international law" and "moral issues." But there's nothing funny about Times editors repeatedly giving space to an indicted criminal and terrorist while concealing his so-called "credentials."

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