The Los Angeles Times must take its readers for total morons. Last week, it depicted consistent, explicit and unequivocal Palestinian calls to massacre Jews and destroy the state of Israel as a struggle “for recognition and equality” (“Palestinians find new unity in struggle against Israel,” June 8. The page-one June 12 print headline was “United in strife, Palestinians hope for a new era; Activists say the Israel-Hamas war energized their quest for equality”).
Hamas’ record in recent weeks has been loud and clear. And there is not a word there about equality or social justice modeled after BLM. Nevertheless, The Times must have assumed that readers missed the following:
On June 5, Hamas MP Marwan Abu Ras said on Al-Aqsa TV:
Thus, my dear brother, massacring this enemy is a divine order. (The Quran says:) “So strike them upon the neck and strike them from every fingertip.” Striking the necks of this enemy is a duty according to the shari’a. Anyone who can massacre this enemy should not neglect this duty, because this enemy is the enemy of the Islamic nation (in its entirety). . . . It is our destiny to be on this land and to carry out this duty.
Abu Ras calls for massacre, not recognition.
On May 25, senior Hamas official in the West Bank Sheikh Jamal Al-Tawil stated on Palestinian Authority TV:
Our Palestine is uniting under the banner of the resistance and the Intifada. From Rosh HaNikra to Rafah, and from the water [of the River] to the water [of the Sea], our blood has blended together once again, and we — and you, oh families of the martyrs — have redrawn the map of Palestine, from the water [of the River] to the water [of the Sea], from one end to the other.
The mantra of Palestine from the river to the sea (and all the way north in Rosh HaNikra to Rafah in the south) denotes the elimination of the Jewish state. In other words, annihilation, not equality.
In a May 30 rally broadcast on Al Jazeera, senior Hamas official Fathi Hammad exhorted:
The Jews are a treacherous people. There can be no peace with the Jews. There can be no peace with the Zionists. The only thing we have for the Zionists is the sword. The only thing we have for the Zionists is the Ayyash 250 rocket. The only thing we have for the Zionists is the sword.
Hammad’s antisemitic quest is for violence and war. Not recognition and equality.
This is the same Hamas leader who days before the terror organization began firing rockets at Jerusalem and central Israel, said:
People of Jerusalem, we want you to cut off the heads of the Jews with knives. With your hand, cut their artery from here. A knife costs five shekels. Buy a knife, sharpen it, put it there, and just cut off [their heads]. It costs just five shekels. With those five shekels, you will humiliate the Jewish state. [All translations and clips from MEMRI].
A quick glance at MEMRI’s site reveals numerous more instances in the last number of weeks in which leading Palestinian figures (and not just Hamas) called for the slaughter of the Jewish people and the annihilation of the Jewish state: “Humanity will not thrive until the Jewish nation is annihilated. . . I mean the Jews living in Palestine“; “I think it is our duty to cooperate on all levels, in order to liberate the land and get rid of this cancer on our land” “We will pave the path of liberation with your body parts, and turn your skulls into stairs that will lead us to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and all the plundered villages and cities,” among other countless other chilling calls for massacre, ethnic cleansing of Jews, and the destruction of a state.
And yet, despite the vast pile of evidence demonstrating that the endgame of Hamas and its like-minded allies is the murder of Jews and destruction of the Jewish state, The Los Angeles Times casts the Palestinian “struggle” as a civil rights movement yearning for equality. Channeling B’Tselem’s narrative which falsely casts Israel’s very existence as apartheid and “Jewish supremacy,” Nabih Bulos reported:
For years, Palestinians have been subject to geographical and political divisions that have created vast differences between those living under the Palestinian Authority’s aegis in the occupied West Bank, under Hamas’ control in Gaza or under Israeli government rule as citizens of Israel, not to mention the Palestinian diaspora spread across the Middle East and beyond.
But the clashes in East Jerusalem, the sectarian violence in Israeli cities and the fighting in Gaza have narrowed those divisions, said Adrieh Abou Shehadeh, a Palestinian citizen of Israel who lives in Jaffa, outside Tel Aviv. Palestinians from all regions awoke to what they saw as a common thread running through their struggles: their quest for recognition and equality, and Israel’s resistance to it.
“What Israel did recently was its biggest strategic mistake: It showed Palestinians the reality, that it deals with all of us this way … that we’re all unequal,” said Abou Shehadeh, the founder and curator of Hilweh Market, a Palestinian artisanal boutique.
“Israel created a hierarchy for Palestinians from different places. But the way it dealt with us in this time, there was no difference. It showed us the cause is one.”
Mariam Barghouti, a Ramallah-based writer and researcher, agreed that the latest crisis has helped galvanize unity of purpose among Palestinians across the Holy Land.
Bulos was completely dishonest about that “unity of purpose.” Beyond falsely reporting that the newly unified Palestinian populations share the goal of “equality,” he further dissembled, claiming they have no problem with continued Jewish presence in Israel. The article’s concluding quote was:
“It’s not a function if the Jews stay here or not,” Saba said. “It’s whether they choose to live here as superiors or not. That’s what this moment has taught us.”
To the contrary, Hamas leader Ismail Haniya quite clearly expresses solidarity with Israeli Arabs on the basis of the shared desire to eliminate Israel, not on a shared acceptance of the continued Jewish presence in the land:
Indeed, Jerusalem unites us. Today, the geographical barriers within historic Palestine have been removed. The geographical barriers within historic Palestine have been removed. Today, Palestine is waging an Intifada from Rosh HaNikra to Umm Al-Rashrash [Eilat], and from Rafah to the farthest points to the North, East, and West of Palestine. Yes, they have thought that 70 years or more could kill the spirit of belonging of our people within the land occupied in 1948.
They thought that [our people] there would lose their identity, and would assimilate in the Zionist entity. They thought that they would forget their identity and their sense of belonging, but today, our people within the 1948 borders are the ones defending the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They are the ones waging an Intifada against the occupier and the settlers.
Today, brothers and sisters, some theories collapse and some are being rebuilt. The theory of coexistence between the two people within the 1948 borders – a theory they have been cultivating for 70 years – is being trampled underfoot today by our sons and brothers in Lod, in Ramla, in Umm Al-Fahm, in Nazareth, in Baqa Al-Gharbiyye, in the Galilee, in the Negev, in Rahat, in Beersheba, and in Safed… Let me reiterate: In Safed! In Safed! Safed is ours! Safed is ours! Safed belongs to us and to nobody else!
The headline “Palestinians find new unity” gives a false sense of spontaneity, when in fact Hamas quite deliberately cultivated the newly emerged Palestinian unity in an effort to boost its standing and influence following Fatah’s cancellation of the long-awaited elections (the first in 15 years). As Haaretz reported about the origins of the violence at the Temple Mount: “Police believe the clashes on the Temple Mount are led by Hamas operatives, and that they are linked to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to postpone the Palestinian parliamentary elections this month.”
Times of Israel’s Haviv Rettig Gur detailed Hamas’ role in violent riots among Israeli Arabs in mixed cities (“In rocket war ‘for Al-Aqsa,’ Hamas has already won the Palestinian leadership“):
Where organized Arab gangs roamed the streets, one found explicit and full-throated support for Hamas.
Hamas hasn’t hidden these efforts.
In a speech Tuesday, Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh declared that Palestinians in Israel were working in concert with those in the West Bank and Gaza to defend Al-Aqsa. “Gaza and Jerusalem and the 1948 areas [i.e., Arab Israelis] are moving together,” he said.
A cartoon pushed by Hamas on social media showed a three-pronged Palestinian defense of Al-Aqsa. The three stripes of the Palestinian flag were wrapped around three signs reading “Gaza” (on the left), “West Bank” (on the right), and “Lands occupied in ’48” at bottom.
חמאס מעודדת את התבערה בחברה הערבית בישראל, דבר המשקף שינוי מסוים באסטרטגיית התנועה. משך שנים נשמרה גישת השיח’ יאסין שהנחה להתחשב במציאות הייחודית של הערבים בישראל ולהיזהר מלסבכם בחיכוך עם המדינה. הפעם חמאס רואה בערבים בישראל ציר מרכזי במערכה נגד ישראל ומדרבנת להתנגשות עם השלטון. pic.twitter.com/wbk3Sw4I8f
— מיכאל Michael Milshtein/ميخائيل ميلشطاين (@michael_mils) May 12, 2021
As Michael Milshtein, the former director of Palestinian affairs in the IDF Intelligence Directorate, noted of the cartoon, “Hamas is encouraging the conflagration in Israel’s Arab community, marking a shift of sorts in the movement’s strategy. For years Hamas clung to the approach of [founder] Sheikh [Ahmad] Yassin, who instructed to be considerate of the unique situation of the Arabs in Israel, and to be careful not to entangle them in [Hamas’s] friction with the state.”
“This time,” Milshtein wrote, “Hamas sees in Israel’s Arabs a central axis of its broader campaign against Israel and is pushing it toward clashes with the authorities.”
Thus, contrary to The Times’ report, the new Palestinian and Israeli Arab solidarity did not emerge out of a social justice movement fighting alleged “apartheid” and “supremacy” on behalf of “equality,” but thanks to Hamas’ fomenting of and exploitation of violent events in order to gain influence and advance the terror organization’s quest to slaughter Jews and eliminate the Jewish state. In other words, Bulos remakes a terror organization calling for violence, ethnic cleansing, and Islamic supremacy into a civil rights movement pursuing the noble goals of recognition and equality.
At one time, the purpose of journalism was to keep us informed of “changing events, issues, and characters in the world outside.” This report does the exact opposite; after reading Bulos’ report, the news consumer is less – not more – informed of the events, issues and characters.