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Media Analyses





CAMERA Op-Ed: Fatah Admits Its True Goals—But the Media Won’t Retweet


(Note: A version of the following Op-Ed appeared in the Algemeiner on Oct. 24, 2017)

Palestinian officials and groups that are often deemed to be “moderates,” have once again been very clear about their desire to destroy Israel and forswear peace. But many in the media won't report on it.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)—an umbrella organization for Palestinian groups headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas— recently tweeted: “Our goal is the end of Israel. …We don't want peace. We want war and victory.”

The tweet, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out, was inspired by a quote from Yasser Arafat, Abbas' predecessor.

The tweet was posted— and then quickly deleted—by the PLO's mission in Columbia. As of this writing, not a single major US news outlet has reported on the tweet.

The PLO, established in 1964, was a US-designated terrorist group until after the Madrid Conference inthe early 1990s. As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) noted in a February 2016Algemeiner op-ed, Arafat's decision to side with Saddam Hussein in the first US-Iraq War resulted in a loss of support from his Arab donors. This loss of crucial funds, coupled with the fall of its patron—the USSR—put Arafat and the PLO in a corner.

In response, the PLO agreed to the Oslo Accords, which created the PA, and allowed for Palestinian leaders to come to the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza.

In a September 9, 1993 pledge, Arafat promised that the PLO would cease all violence and terrorism. The Palestinian leader also swore, in a September 13 Declaration of Principles signed in Washington DC, to resolve all outstanding issues in bilateral negotiations with Israel. In exchange, the PA was both created and received support—financial and otherwise—from the US and European donors.

However, the PA—both under Arafat and Abbas—has repeatedly violated these promises. And the recent PLO tweet is but one in a string of limitless examples.

For example, in a September 16, 2017, interview on PA's Alfalstiniah TV, Fatah official Salwa Hudaib said: “I say, on my own behalf and on behalf of the Fatah movement, that we are not bound by the Oslo accords, because these accords no longer exist on the ground.”

During the interview, which was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Hudaib blamed Israel for the lack of peace and a Palestinian state—omitting the numerous occasions in which the Palestinian leadership has rejected US and Israeli offers for statehood in exchange for peace with the Jewish state.

In February 2016, PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki vowed, “We will never go back and sit again in a direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.” His comments, along with the PA's payments to terrorists, incitement to anti-Jewish violence, and persistent efforts to internationalize the conflict, all violate Oslo.

The media, however, consistently refuses to detail the track record of Palestinian terrorism, murder, incitement and rejectionism. Although the AFP detailed al-Maliki's 2016 statement, for example, many other news outlets—including The Washington Post and USA Today, failed to report them.

In another example, Israeli-Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh highlighted a recent statement by Abbas' deputy, Mahmoud al-Aloul, who said that Fatah doesn't recognize Israel—a direct violation of the Oslo accords.

As CAMERA has frequently pointed out, al-Aloul is an unrepentant terrorist, also known as Abu Jihad. His February 2017 appointment to be Abbas' number two was similarly ignored by many in the Western press.

Through their comments and actions, prominent Palestinian officials are violating Oslo on a daily basis — and blatantly calling fort he destruction of Israel.

And the media can't be troubled to report on it.


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