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Media Analyses





Washington Post Features More Unopposed Palestinian Propaganda


The Washington Post’s Op-Ed page periodically presents anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian propaganda by outside contributors, with no equivalent counter-point. “One state is enough,” by Ahmed Moor (Sunday Opinion page, March 4) is the latest example.

 

The Post identifies Moor as “a contributor to al-Jazeera English and an organizer of the One State Conference taking place at Harvard University this weekend.” Don’t try to imagine the paper giving space to a contributor to Israel’s “Arutz Sheva” (Channel Seven radio, sometimes referred to as the station of the settlers’ movement) who was organizing a “Greater Israel” conference, let alone to a falsifier such as Moor.

 

CAMERA highlighted this particular bias in a study several years ago. The review found that “Washington Post Arab-Israeli commentary by outside writers is overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli or both.”  

 

The bias continues with Moor. An accompanying column, “Half a loaf in the Mideast,” by outside contributors Robert Malley and Aaron David Miller, does not bookend “One state is enough.” It deals not with whether the Jews are entitled to one state, or the Arabs to a 22nd, but the reasons for stalemate in Israel-Palestinian diplomacy.

 

As for Moor, being an anti-Israel propagandist enrolled at Harvard and a contributor to the English version of al-Jazeera apparently means he and his column could pass neither vetted nor fact-checked onto The Post’s Op-Ed page. “One state is enough” is tendentious throughout, but his “Israel’s Jewish Character is Subject for Debate,” a Sept. 30, 2010 essay for the Huffington Post Web site was an even nastier bit of historical revisionism.
  

In it Moor charged that Israel is a “race-exclusive state,” based on “ethnic cleansing” and reiterated the “Zionism-is-racism” obscenity. This would be news to Ethiopian Israeli Jews, among others, and to the many Arabs who remained in what became Israel in 1948 and whose numbers have increased by a factor of ten. The Huffington Post identified Moor as a “Palestinian-American freelance journalist.”

 

Imagine an “Israeli-American freelance journalist” getting Washington Post Op-Ed space to charge, even with history on his or her side, that:

 

* Arab leaders threatened genocide against Palestinian Jewry in 1948 and against Israel in 1967,

 

* Palestinian Arab national identity did not come into existence until after World War I and then without widespread support or recognition until after 1967, and

 

* Minority religious and ethnic equality under majority Arab-Islamic rule has been the rare exception, not the rule.  

 

Anti-Israel falsehoods can be asserted as uncontested facts on The Post’s Op-Ed pages. Truths critical of the “Palestinian narrative” go unpublished.

 

The paper permits Moor to claim, without rebuttal, that his “one-state” conference at Harvard was “informed by the uncontroversial view that all people are created equal.” This even though the conference had been exposed by CAMERA three weeks earlier as part of the campaign to deny only the Jews, out of all the nations, their national identity. “One state is enough” is a chain of manipulative clichés – to be blunt, lies – familiar to any who’ve followed anti-Israel propaganda. These include:

 

* Moor’s claim that as Jewish settlements have grown “Palestinians were penned into smaller and smaller spaces.” In reality, Jewish communities in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) comprise less than four percent of the territory, and Arab villages and towns continue to grow. Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and dismantling of settlements there goes unmentioned by the columnist.

 

* He refers to “the illegal settlements” when the League of Nations Mandate, Article 6 (supported by the 1924 Anglo-American convention and the 1945 United Nations Charter, Article 80) calls for “close settlement by Jews” on land west of the Jordan River. Like many anti-Israel polemicists, Moor also conveniently omits that an Arab state, with a Palestinian Arab majority – Jordan – has existed on more than three-fourths of Mandate Palestine for decades.

 

* The writer claims “Palestine has been colonized out of existence.” He never mentions Israeli-U.S. offers of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with eastern Jerusalem as its capital, in exchange for peace with Israel in 2000 and 2001, or the Israeli proposal of such an agreement in 2008. Palestinian Arab leadership rejected all three, the first two times with the terror war of the second intifada.

 

* He laments Israel’s destruction of “‘unauthorized’ wells and cisterns to secure Israeli hegemony over the scarce [water] resource.” In fact, water supplies available to West Bank Arabs have nearly doubled since Israel gained control of the territories from Jordanian occupation in 1967, and Israel supplies additional amounts beyond those agreed to in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in 1995. Destruction of unauthorized wells and cisterns is necessary to prevent damage to underground aquifers. (For more on water resources, see CAMERA Backgrounder here.)

 

* Moor alleges that “Israel controls the lives of 4 million people and deprives them of basic human rights ….” The estimated 1.5 million Palestinian Arabs in the Gaza Strip are “controlled” by Hamas (the Islamic Resistance Movement) and its increasingly repressive theocratic rule. The reported 2.5 million Arabs of the West Bank (contradictory figures from the Palestinian Health Ministry and Central Bureau of Statistics suggest the number may be significantly less) are under the daily civil administration of the Palestinian Authority. The PA is run by the often autocratic, inefficient Fatah (Movement for the Liberation of Palestine). Contact by residents with Israeli military and police is the consequence of Palestinian terrorism, unmentioned by Moor, aggression that necessitated Israel’s security measures in the West Bank.

 

* He claims “Palestinians living under apartheid” is the unacceptable cost of “preserving ‘Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people’.” Since Israeli Arabs enjoy full civil rights in the Jewish state, the “cost” must be due to something else. Perhaps Palestinian rejection of a Jewish state in any boundaries, as exemplified by Moor, is to blame. And the problem must be something other than “apartheid” – maybe the Islamic supremacism of Hamas and national intolerance of Fatah.

 

The Post indulges Moor’s crocodile tears about “thousands of years of Jewish suffering, persecution and genocide.” It lets him pose as “wonder[ing] whether Israel really can be the height of Jewish achievement,” and “whether permanent occupation is good for the Jewish people.”

 

The “occupation” will last as long as Palestinian Arabs refuse to make peace, and no longer. Meanwhile, Israel -- in science, technology, agriculture, the arts, medicine and yes, the military --has achieved more than any of the other post-colonial states that gained independence after World War II, and there have been scores of them. This includes the 21 countries of the Arab League.

 

Israel has thrived, even under relentless siege, and has maintained the Middle East’s only Western-style democracy while doing so. A counter-point column might have compared Israel’s scientific and high-tech boom, for example, to the lack of such development as noted by the U.N.’s annual Arab Human Development reports – if The Post had thought to solicit one.

 

Like the Harvard conference he helped arrange, Moor aims not for Palestinian Arab statehood or democratic equality – he is silent about daily life under Hamas and the PA, let alone for the Palestinian majority in Jordan. He and his collaborators are driven by hostility to Jewish sovereignty and democracy in any part of the historic Jewish homeland.

 

Moor’s hostility compels him to publish calumnies. What compels The Washington Post to assist him, and to run his smears absent rebuttal? The bias contrasts most unfavorably with the paper's Middle East editorials, including “Unresolved differences; The U.S. and Israel both seek – but don’t find – reassurances regarding Iran” (March 6). These continue to be generally thoughtful and balanced. So why the Op-Ed tilt?  

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