Writing about the upcoming Israeli elections from a Palestinian point of view (is there any other?), AP reporters Joseph Krauss and Mohammed Daraghmeh interviewed a number of Palestinians, beginning with Barhoum Saleh, a seemingly very nice Palestinian auto mechanic who lives in Mas’ha. In Unable to vote, Palestinians shrug off Israel’s elections, Krauss and Daraghmeh inform readers that Saleh won’t be able to vote in the Israeli election, despite the fact that it might have a great impact on his life:
Saleh is among the 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank who have no voice in choosing Israel’s next government and no control over whether it decides to annex part or all of the occupied territory, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to do. With the peace process having sputtered to a halt a decade ago, they also have little hope of getting a state of their own anytime soon.
Krauss and Daraghmeh go on about Israeli checkpoints and restrictions without explaining what made them necessary, instead bemoaning that Salah “needs an Israeli permit to visit the beach a half hour’s drive away.” They do not mention even once Palestinian terror attacks, such as innumerable and deadly suicide bombings, or the recent knife intifada, or Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza, or Hamas attack tunnels from Gaza into Israel.
Imagine if these AP reporters – or any reporters – asked Mr. Saleh or other Palestinians questions like:
- Do you think it was a mistake for the Palestinians to reject UN Resolution 181, that would have created a Palestinian state 71 years ago? The Jews accepted the compromise resolution, but the Arab states and the Palestinian leadership rejected it and instead launched a genocidal war against the newly declared state of Israel, killing 6000 people, over 1% of Israel’s population. Additionally, had the Arab states and the Palestinians chosen peace rather than war, there would not have been a single Palestinian refugee.
- Do you think it was a mistake for the Palestinians and all the other Arab states to reject Egyptian President Sadat’s Palestinian autonomy plan under the 1978 Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel, which was brokered by US President Jimmy Carter?
- Do you think it was a mistake for the Palestinians under their leader Yasir Arafat to reject the Clinton Parameters, presented by US President Bill Clinton at the culmination of peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel in 2000? Israel accepted the proposal, which would have created a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, ended the occupation, and given the Palestinians control of the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. Arafat rejected Clinton’s plan and instead started a new uprising, or intifada, leading to the deaths of over 1000 Israelis in various terror attacks, mostly suicide bombings of civilian targets like restaurants, buses and shopping malls. Had Arafat accepted the proposal, the occupation would have ended and a Palestinian state would have been created 19 years ago.
- Do you think it was a mistake for the current Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, to reject the peace proposal of Israeli Prime Minister Olmert in 2008, which would have created a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza and ended the occupation 11 years ago, with Palestinians getting a part of Jerusalem and a limited “right of return”?
More details about the various peace proposals rejected by the Palestinians can be found in Palestinians Rejected Statehood Three Times, Claim Frustration — with Israel.
For AP or other reporters to ask questions like these would require them to act like real journalists, rather than pro-Palestinian activists. Any reporter who fails to ask such questions is either unaware of the basic facts, or is a propagandist. Either way it is inexcusable.