Error: In his Washington Post column “The mirage of Mideast moderates” (Aug. 15, 2014) Fareed Zakaria—also host of Cable News Networks’ “Fareed Zakaria GPS” and a contributing editor to The Atlantic—wrote “In the Palestinian territories, Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, is indeed a moderate. But notice that the Israeli government and the West have happily postponed elections [emphasis added] in the West Bank year after year—because they know full well who would win.” Zakaria implicitly acknowledges that Hamas’ candidates may prove more popular among Palestinian voters than those from Abbas’ Fatah movement.
Leave aside Zakaria’s assertion of moderation on the part of Mahmoud Abbas, whose PA continues to honor terrorist murderers of Israelis and refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. That’s merely the columnist’s opinion, not a statement of fact. But CAMERA requested and obtained a Post correction, in print on the Op-Ed page and online, to Zakaria’s factual fumble that “Israel and the West postponed PA elections.” The online correction appears below:
Still, Zakaria couldn’t bring himself to make a clean revision. Compelled to dig at Israel regardless of facts, his revised column online reads:
“In the Palestinian territories, Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, is indeed a moderate. But notice that the Israeli government and the West have happily acquiesced [emphasis added] as the Palestinian Authority postponed elections in the West Bank year after year — because they know full well who would win. Moderates don’t do well in an atmosphere of despair and war.”
More likely, Israel and the West resignedly accepted Abbas and Fatah legislators’ continuance in office long after expiration of their terms because they suspected Hamas’ commitment to anti-Israel “resistance”—continued terrorism—and less systematic corruption than long exhibited by Fatah would prove popular with Palestinian voters. They did in 2006.
Zakaria’s anti-Israel “analyses,” superficial when not erroneous, are nothing new. See, for example, CAMERA’s “Fareed Zakaria Casts Hezbollah as a Model of Religious Tolerance,” Aug. 26, 2010). Apparently his global GPS is frozen on “kick Israel.”