Discredited Qumsiyeh at Center of Davos Fracas

Mazin Qumsiyeh, a former Yale University associate professor of genetics, and co-founder and media coordinator for Al-Awda, the Palestinian Right of Return Coalition, frequently publishes Op-Eds relying on misinformation to make his case for the replacement of Israel with a “binational state.” According to today’s New York Times, Qumsiyeh is now at the center of an uproar at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos for penning a magazine article calling for an international boycott of Israel and accusing Israel of “apartheid” practices. The magazine, Global Agenda, is published by the forum and distributed to participants. The Times reports:

After a member raised questions about the article, the organizers removed the magazines from shelves at the conference center in this Alpine resort. The forum’s executive director, Klaus Schwab, said the article should not have been published and had slipped through the editing process.

 “There was an unacceptable failure in the editorial process, specifically an insufficiently short period for review of content, for which there is no excuse,” Mr. Schwab said in a statement. “The article is totally in contradiction to my own, and the forum’s, missions and values.

The New York Times article writes of Qumsiyeh that he is “an American citizen of Palestinian descent who frequently writes in support of Palestinian causes.” It does not mention that, aside from his extremist views which do not entail a two state solution, Qumsiyeh has also established a track record lacking factual credibility. In recent weeks, two media outlets were forced to print corrections of Qumsiyeh’s gross misrepresentation of fact.

On Nov. 1, 2005, after CAMERA informed the Providence Journal of egregious factual errors in an Aug. 21 Op-Ed by Qumsiyeh, the paper ran the following correction:

In his Aug. 21 column, “Illegal occupation of Palestine,” Mazin Qumsiyeh misstated the number of Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli settlers in the past four years. The figure is not 400 in the four years ending in August, as asserted by Mr. Qumsiyeh. According to the Israeli human-rights group B’tselem, only 22 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli settlers in that period. Perhaps more significantly, according to the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, only 27 Palestinians were killed by Israeli settlers between Sept. 28, 2000, and July 31, 2005.

Ten days later, on Oct. 11, the New London Day also published a correction after CAMERA and others pointed out an error in another anti-Israel Qumsiyeh op-ed. It read:

Mazin Qumsiyeh’s Oct. 8 column said that Israel gets 30 percent of U.S. foreign aid. In fact, Israel receives 12.6 percent of America’s foreign aid budget.

Responding to Schwab’s moves to remove the offending Global Agenda article from circulation, Qumsiyeh disingenuously retorts, “Why is free speech not allowed?”, as if free speech requires editors to print all that they receive, and as if free speech includes the obligation to disseminate factually inaccurate material and calls for the elimination of a nation.

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