The popular press has been reporting on the recent release of 26 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, the second round of prisoners released as a “goodwill gesture” from the Israelis to the Palestinian Authority as part of the ongoing negotiations. By definition, these prisoners are terrorists. Terrorism is defined as the use of violence and intimidation to achieve some political goal and popularly understood as violence against civilians to achieve political ends.
Yet Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, considers these actions “the duty of resistance.” He said so in a 2005 interview on PA television. Palestinian Media Watch reports:
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas gave an interview to PA TV in 2005, just as the PA’s terror campaign (the Intifada) was ending. In that interview, Abbas explained that the PA sees all Palestinian prisoners, including those who targeted and murdered civilians, as legitimate fighters who should be released because when they committed their attacks, they were only following orders:
Abbas: “I demand [the release of] prisoners because they are human beings, who did what we, we, ordered them to do. We – the [Palestinian] Authority.”
Even when they killed – which Abbas refers to as “the duty of resistance” – they were fulfilling the PA leadership’s orders.
Here is the video of Abbas’ interview:
By Abbas’ own admission, then, the Palestinian Authority sent murderers to kill civilians, and he defended those terrorists as legitimate “fighters.”
This sort of doublespeak — condemnation of terrorism to a Western audience while legitimizing terrorism to a Palestinian audience — is glossed over or ignored by the media. Where is media coverage of Abbas’ legitimization of terrorists?
Nor has there been reporting on the victims of the grisly murders committed by the 26 prisoners who were released.
However, CAMERA has reported all the details, including the story of Isaac Rotenberg’s murder:
Holocaust survivor Isaac Rotenberg was born in Poland. Most of his family was murdered in the Sobibor death camp, but Isaac managed to escape and joined the partisans. After the war he tried to make his way by ship to mandate Palestine, but was interred by the British and sent to a detention camp in Cyprus until 1947. After his release Isaac arrived in pre-state Israel and fought in the War of Independence. He continued his work as a plasterer even after pension age and in March 1994 was at his place of work in Petah Tikva when he was attacked by two Palestinian labourers with axes. He died, aged 67, two days later.
In addition, the press hasn’t shown you pictures of the victims like:
Murdered by terrorists: Revital Seri, Isaac Rotenberg, and Ian Sean Feinberg
Instead, a lot of the photos that accompany the stories feature jubilant Palestinians celebrating the release of the murderers such as this one from The New York Times…
And this one from the Associated Press..
Only the Israeli, Jewish or niche press has reported that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared that “there will be no peace agreement with Israel until all prisoners are freed from Israeli jails. I will dedicate my life to releasing the prisoners.” In other words, a peace agreement depends on the release of murderers. This is the context in which Israel’s “goodwill gesture” should be reported.