Hanan Ashrawi, the Palestinian spokeswoman widely lauded in
the West as a voice for peace and moderation, has endorsed the murder of
Israeli soldiers and civilian settlers, stating that the army of
occupation and the settlers have become legitimate and select targets of
Palestinian resistance. (AP, November 15,
Ashrawi, the founder of a Palestinian human
rights group, also characterized the recent fighting as a situation in
which the political rhetoric has been replaced by field action.
This is not the first time Ashrawi has uttered statements
wildly at variance with her image in the West as a peacemaker. In 1996, for
example, in a radio interview in Arabic, Ashrawi used similar threatening
means of retaliation and confrontation do the Palestinians possess?
ASHRAWI: We have various
means... [W]e prepared an integral plan for this confrontation. We still have
field capabilities ... (Paris Radio Monte Carlo, August 30, 1996, FBIS
Ashrawi has even defended the group Hamas, which has killed
hundreds of Israeli civilians in suicide bombings and other attacks. According
to Ashrawi, Hamas is a legitimate component of the Palestinian political
spectrum, and she doesnt think of Hamas as a terrorist group.
We coordinate politically ... the people we know and talk to are not
terrorists. (UPI, April 30, 1993)
Despite Ashrawis support for violence and terrorism,
Western journalists regularly proclaim her virtues. Leslie Stahl of
60-Minutes, for example, has lauded Ashrawi as a Palestinian who
has been at the peace process longer than almost anyone.
(60-Minutes, December 11, 1994)
When will journalists hold Hanan Ashrawi accountable for her
words? Only when viewers and readers hold those same journalists similarly