Media Minimizes Latest Palestinian Post-Terror Celebrations

On Oct. 9, 2016, a Palestinian terrorist named Musabh Abu Sbeih murdered two Israelis, a 60-year-old grandmother, Levana Malihi and a 30-year-old police officer, Yosef Kirma, in a shooting rampage in Jerusalem. Sbeih, who wounded five others before he was killed by police, was immediately glorified by Palestinian officials and society for his actions. However, most major U.S. news media outlets failed to report the Palestinian post-terror celebrations.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a non-profit organization that monitors Arab media in eastern Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), revealed that Sbeih was heralded as a hero within hours of carrying out the attack by Fatah, the movement that dominates the Palestinian Authority (PA]. According to PMW, in two separate posts on its offical Facebook page on October 9, Fatah “referred to the murderer as a ‘Shahid,‘ an Islamic Martyr—someone who died for Allah—a status the Palestinian Authority presents as the highest achievement a Muslim can reach in life.”

The next day, Fatah posted a cartoon depicting a hand waving a machine gun from the top of the Dome of the Rock. In the corner of the cartoon, PMW said, “is a pool of blood and two helmets with Stars of David, symbolizing two murdered Israelis.”

As CAMERA has noted, many U.S. news outlets have referred to Fatah and its leader, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, as “moderates.” For example, The Washington Post, in a Aug. 13, 2013 article, referred to Abbas as “an elder statesman” with “moderate politics (“Washington Post Kerry Coverage Whitewashes Palestinian Arabs,” CAMERA, Aug. 13, 2013).” At the time it was widely known that Abbas had authored a Soviet-sponsored dissertation that minimized the Holocaust, rejected an Israeli offer for statehood in exchange for peace and given money and praise to Palestinian terrorists on several occasions.
Forgetting Fatah

The Post has continued to whitewash Fatah’s support of anti-Jewish violence. In the paper’s October 10, 2016 dispatch on the terror attack by Sbeih, reporter Ruth Eglash omitted Fatah’s honors and praise for the murderer (“Two Israelis, one a police officer, killed in Jerusalem by Palestinian gunman”). The Post pointed out that the murders were “cheered by Hamas as ‘heroic,’” but failed to note similar praise from Fatah. Hamas, a U.S.-designated Palestinian terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, competes with Fatah for power and control.

Other major U.S. news outlets, such as The Baltimore Sun, failed to report either Hamas or Fatah celebrating the murder of a grandmother and a police officer (“Israeli police: Shooting spree in Jerusalem kills 2, wounds 5,” October 10). In its coverage, USA Today said that Hamas leaders “welcomed the attack in a statement,” but similar to The Post, USA Today readers were not informed of Fatah’s praise (“Palestinian man shoots, kills 2 near Israeli police HQ in Jerusalem,” Oct. 10). USA Today reporter Jim Michaels quoted U.S. State Department’s vague condemnations of “the [Palestinian] statements glorifying this reprehensive and cowardly act,” but failed to mention Fatah.

Fatah and Hamas weren’t the only ones expressing blood-soaked glee. Images broadcast on social media by the Israeli government showed Palestinians handing out candy and food in a macabre ritual that is frequently repeated after every terrorist attack. As the website Israellycool pointed out, footage taken by the Hamas-affiliated Shehab News televison shortly after the murders, showed Sbeih’s mother receiving crowds of “well-wishers” in front of the terrorists’ house in eastern Jerusalem.

In a July 6, 2016 Washington Examiner Op-Ed (“Missing the Palestinian after-terror after party”), CAMERA pointed out that Palestinian celebrations of terror attacks against Jews are both common and commonly underreported by many in the U.S. media. Palestinian terrorists have been honored with, among other things, street signs, sports tournaments, honorary law degrees and firework displays. In the face of abundant evidence of Palestinian glorification of anti-Jewish violence—sanctioned by a Washington Post -declared “moderate”—it’s worth asking: Why do some prominent new outlets offer silence, instead of detailed reporting, when the murder of Jews is being ritualistically celebrated?

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