The April of My Discontent Ruth King

The New York Times has a new op-ed contributor named Marwan Barghouti. In a column entitled “Why We Are on Hunger Strike in Israel’s Prisons”–-a screed to make Thomas Friedman proud– he explained:

“Palestinian prisoners and detainees have suffered from torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, and medical negligence. Some have been killed while in detention. According to the latest count from the Palestinian Prisoners Club, about 200 Palestinian prisoners have died since 1967 because of such actions. Palestinian prisoners and their families also remain a primary target of Israel’s policy of imposing collective punishments.”

The Times described Barghouti as a “Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.”

Oops! The Times somehow forgot to mention that Marwan Barghouti is a terrorist serial killer whose savagery earned him five life sentences.  It’s like describing Jeffrey Dahmer, the cannibal serial killer, as a “culinary innovator.”

Confronting a storm of outrage from readers, on April 17, the Times clarified: “This article explained the writer’s prison sentence but neglected to provide sufficient context by stating the offenses of which he was convicted. They were five counts of murder and membership in a terrorist organization. Mr. Barghouti declined to offer a defense at his trial and refused to recognize the Israeli court’s jurisdiction and legitimacy.”

Some good came from all this. On April 20, the Mayfair Hotel in London canceled a screening of Marwan: A film about the life and struggle of Marwan Barghouti, which the Palestinian Mission in the UK has been promoting and when the Mission transferred the showing to the Copthorne Tara Hotel, it canceled as well.

The New York Times must like the name Barghouti. Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the BDS movement and author of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights is also a favored contributor. In a January 2014 op-ed he explained “Why Israel Fears the Boycott” listing the usual litany of lies and accusations. In May 2015 he wrote an op-ed “Israeli Extremism Will Encourage Global Boycott” quoting a poll by J Street to bolster his bias. On March 16th, 2017 in a letter to the editor, he compares BDS to the civil rights movement, quotes a questionable Brookings Institute poll on American support for sanctions against Israel, and spells out the agenda of BDS:

“Since its inception in 2005 by the Palestinian grass-roots civil society coalition, B.D.S. has consistently called for ending Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem; granting full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel, who are discriminated against by dozens of laws; and recognizing the United Nations-stipulated right of Palestinian refugees to return to lands from which they were forcibly displaced during Israel’s establishment in 1948.” He could have said it in one sentence: BDS calls for the end of Israel….period! And has anyone told him that Gaza is not “occupied” since 2005?

In other news from The Times Bret Stephens, an articulate, cultured journalist and strong supporter of Israel (despite periodic lapses into the two-state delusion), has left The Wall Street Journal for The New York Times, where he will be the token pro-Israel writer in that swamp of Israel-bashing “calumnists.” Too bad.

Other mainstream papers contribute to anti-Israel bias by ignoring relevant stories.

To paraphrase George Berkeley about a tree falling in the woods, if the media doesn’t report it, did it happen?

In France, on April 3, an Orthodox Jewish woman, Sarah Halimi, a doctor aged 66, was thrown out of a window to her death by an African neighbor who shouted “Allahu akbar!”  The mainstream media ignored it.

Sarah Halimi

On April 21 a speeding car driven by an Arab rammed into a bus stop at the Gush Etzion bus stop injuring an elderly man. The Gush Etzion spokesperson said the incident marks the second such attack in the last month. Earlier this month, Sgt. Elchai Teharlev was killed in a car ramming attack while guarding a bus stop just outside the West Bank settlement of Ofra.

The mainstream media ignored these events. Maybe they did not happen?

Elchai Teharlev

To add to my April discontent, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis arrived in Israel on April 21. Tucked into his diplomatic pouch is a history of anti-Israel sentiment. As Caroline Glick reminds us: in 2013, speaking at the Aspen Institute, Mattis said that the US must make the establishment of a state run by Fatah terrorists—on land Israel controls, that it requires for its national security and that it has sovereign rights to—a key US goal. In his words, “We’ve got to find a way to make the two-state solution that Democrat and Republican administrations have supported. We’ve got to get there, and the chances for its starting are starting to ebb because of the settlements and where they’re at, they’re going to make it impossible to maintain the two-state option.”

Glick continues: “Lest we give in to the temptation to believe that Mattis’s ignorant, tautological thinking was simply a function of his service in the Obama administration, during his Senate confirmation hearings as President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as Defense Secretary, Mattis doubled down. When asked point blank to name Israel’s capital, Mattis refused to acknowledge that Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Instead, he stunned lawmakers when he proclaimed that Tel Aviv is the capital of the Jewish state.”

Then there is the case of General Herbert Raymond McMaster who is President Trump’s National Security Adviser. He has reportedly told his staff that the term “radical Islamic terrorism” was not helpful because terrorists are “un-Islamic” and in 2014 he proclaimed: “The Islamic State is not Islamic.” Huh? That is some national security advice. Do you feel safer?

So far one is heartened by the appointments of Nikki Haley and the sober assessments of Rex Tillerson.

But the worst news comes from Israel’s Foreign Ministry, which reports that since September 13, 2015, Palestinian Arab assailants have carried out 1,754 stabbing attacks, 113 attempted stabbings, 143 shootings; 58 vehicular ramming attacks, and one bus bombing. Forty-eight people were killed in these attacks and 713 injured, including four Palestinians.

The fingerprints on all these crimes are those of Mahmoud Abbas who names streets, monuments, and buildings for those who commit these attacks, supports their families with hefty financial rewards, and promotes vicious hatred of Jews in textbooks, sermons and speeches.

And guess who is coming to dinner at the White House on May 3? You guessed it, Arafat-in-a-suit, Mahmoud Abbas.

The purpose is “peace processing” based on all the failed efforts of every administration since 1967.

As David Hornik, whose article can be read in full in this Outpost, writes “Several times, failed diplomacy has precipitated a wave of Palestinian terror. This is a large risk to take in the absence of any reasonable hope of gain.”

Many reluctant liberals who support Israel (yes there are some) voted for Trump specifically because he rejected the failed policies of the past and promised to move America’s embassy to Jerusalem.

Does this herald a redistribution of Clinton/Bush mistakes with respect to Israel?

The outlook is ominous. Stay tuned.

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Article by Ruth King

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Editor: Rael Jean Isaac
Editorial Board: Herbert Zweibon, Ruth King

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