In October 2019, the Washington Post was justly derided for referring to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the terrorist group ISIS, as merely an “austere religious scholar.” But nearly three years later, the newspaper is referring to Palestinian terrorism as “violent resistance.”
The online version of the Post’s Sept. 20, 2022 report proclaimed, “Young Palestinians arm themselves for a new era of violent resistance.” The dispatch sought to highlight the growing threat of terrorism emanating from the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank (Judea and Samaria). But “violent resistance” is a euphemism—an inexcusable whitewash—for committing terrorism. The only “resistance” is to Jews living in social and political equality in their ancestral homeland.
Indeed, such terminology obfuscates the act of murdering and maiming Jews—or non-Jews, like American veteran Taylor Force, who was targeted by Palestinian terrorists in the mistaken belief that he was Jewish. The Post’s decision to employ it is outrageous. It is also highly selective.
CAMERA was unable to find any other instance of the Washington Post calling attacks by ISIS or al-Qaeda “violent resistance.” It seems that it is only reserved for those who prioritize murdering Jews.
Importantly, the phrase “violent resistance” is taken directly from the talking points that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) provides to journalists. The PLO, itself a former U.S.-designated terrorist group, is an umbrella organization that is led by PA President Mahmoud Abbas. The PLO’s official media routinely praises terrorist attacks and the PLO has steadfastly refused to quit paying salaries to terrorists. The PLO, as CAMERA has documented, also has a long history of threatening journalists.
To some news outlets, this history would mean treating claims by either the PLO or the PA with skepticism. But the Post, for all of its professed concern about the safety of journalists, sees fit to follow the PLO’s talking points.
It must be noted, however, that reporters don’t choose headlines. Editors and others often do. This is to say that Post reporter Shira Rubin probably didn’t choose the headline. But someone did. The Post’s dispatch had other troubling errors and omissions.
First, the newspaper claims that Jenin is “occupied.” As CAMERA has detailed, Israel has both legal and historic claims to Judea and Samaria, which has only been popularly called the West Bank for the last half-century or so. Indeed, the Jewish people are from Judea. That being said, the Jewish state does not, in any sense of the term, “occupy” Jenin, which is completely controlled by the Palestinian Authority per the terms of the Oslo Accords.
Secondly, the Post posits that dwindling hope for a Palestinian state is fueling the potential for violence. This too is but more excuses and whitewashing for those who seek to murder Jews. It is also ahistorical.
The Washington Post fails to mention that Palestinian Arab leaders rejected numerous U.S. and Israeli offers to create something that hasn’t ever existed: a Palestinian Arab state. Just in recent decades, Palestinian Arab leaders outright refused U.S. and Israeli proposals in 2000 at Camp David, 2001 at Taba and 2008 after the Annapolis Conference. The latter proposal included more than 93% of the West Bank, a capital in east Jerusalem and land swaps for the remainder. This offer served as the basis for additional proposals in 2014 and 2016. But Palestinian Arab leaders also rejected these.
In fact, the 2016 offer was made by then-Vice President Joe Biden—arguably making it’s inclusion even more timely and topic now that Biden is President. Yet, the Washington Post noted precisely none of these opportunities. Not a single one. This, as CAMERA has documented, is part of a long-running trend of the Washington Post; outright hiding the long-history of Palestinian Arab leaders rejecting a state of their own if it means living in peace next to a Jewish state. This history can even be traced back to the 1930s and the era of British rule—long before the recreation of the Jewish nation of Israel in 1948.
Indeed, Palestinian Arab terrorism can also be traced back to this time period. Amin al-Husseini, the founding father of the Palestinian Arab national movement and a future Nazi collaborator, played a key role in inciting anti-Jewish violence during the era of the British Mandate (1917-1948).
As CAMERA detailed in an April 14, 2020 essay in Mosaic Magazine, in April 1920 Husseini helped perpetrate a pogrom. Yet, this incitement to murder Jews wasn’t done in the hopes of creating a Palestinian Arab state. Rather, Husseini hoped that the area would become part of a Syrian kingdom ruled by Faisal bin Al-Hussein Al-Hashemi, who himself was born in what is today Saudi Arabia and who would later rule over Iraq. These pogroms were done to protest Jewish social and political equality.
Unfortunately, the Post omitted—as it has long done—relevant history and facts.
Shortly before the Post’s September 20th dispatch, CAMERA issued a press advisory and wrote several op-eds calling for news organizations to report the growing terror threat. The Post did so. And it even included important information about how Iranian proxies are helping to fuel the violence, noting that “a significant number of arms have also been flowing in from Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed group in Lebanon.” Further, the report noted that the PA “has the means to deal with these weapons, but not the will.” The paper’s focus on Palestinian political developments—long ignored by the Post—is also welcome. Ditto for noting that fifty-six percent of Palestinians “support armed attacks against Israelis,” according to a June poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. There’s a long history of the Post also ignoring such troubling statistics.
But ultimately, the newspaper’s well-worn habit of infantilizing Palestinians and offering apologetics for anti-Jewish violence diminishes any value that the report might otherwise provide. For shame.