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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Guardian publishes Hamas lies

Today, The Guardian published an op-ed by Hamas leader Khaled Meshal. Setting aside the incongruity of a Western newspaper publishing the words of a terrorist who shares the same murderous ideology as Al Qaeda and whose organization's charter is unapologetically anti-semitic, we are also treated to an article that is filled with real lies - not only the half-truths one would expect. For example:
For six months we in Hamas observed the ceasefire. Israel broke it repeatedly from the start. Israel was required to open crossings to Gaza, and extend the truce to the West Bank.
Hamas violated the cease-fire agreement from the start by smuggling weapons continuously. This was the major reason why Israel never fully opened the crossings, although it eased the restrictions significantly. In addition, the cease-fire was meant for all terror groups, not just Hamas, and Hamas encouraged rocket attacks by Islamic Jihad and other groups since the beginning of November.

The West Bank was never part of the agreement, period.
It proceeded to tighten its deadly siege of Gaza, repeatedly cutting electricity and water supplies.
Israel did not cut electricity nor water during the six months.
The collective punishment did not halt, but accelerated - as did the assassinations and killings. Thirty Gazans were killed by Israeli fire and hundreds of patients died as a direct effect of the siege during the so-called ceasefire.
Both false. From the PCHR I count 22 alleged deaths in Gaza during that time period: 4 during the initial shaky couple of weeks when there were still rocket attacks, 6 during the operation in November to destroy the kidnapping tunnel, and the other 8 during the rocket barrages that followed - and nearly all of the 22 were terrorists. As far as the "hundreds of patients" dying, I followed that from the beginning and it was a complete fiction where doctors from Gaza would regularly announce that certain patients died because of the "siege" when pretty much all of them would have died anyway. Israel never blocked sick patients unless they also posed a security risk, and Israel allowed hundreds of patients from Gaza to be treated in Israel during that time, as well as before and after the "truce."
When this broken truce neared its end, we expressed our readiness for a new comprehensive truce in return for lifting the blockade and opening all Gaza border crossings, including Rafah. Our calls fell on deaf ears.
This one is an egregious lie. Hamas explicitly and repeatedly rejected the truce extension, as The Guardian itself reported.
No rockets have ever been fired from the West Bank.
Another lie. They have rarely been fired, but quite a few have been built there.
What is being visited on Gaza today was visited on Yasser Arafat before. When he refused to bow to Israel's dictates, he was imprisoned in his Ramallah headquarters, surrounded by tanks for two years. When this failed to break his resolve, he was murdered by poisoning.
Another Arab fantasy.

Most of the rest of the article is obvious Hamas spin, but that is acceptable for an op-ed (if still reprehensible for a newspaper to allow a terrorist to write on its pages to begin with.)

What is not acceptable is including these lies. A casual reader would understand that the views are slanted but he would expect a major newspaper to vet out clear fabrications. Meshal just managed to spread unabashed falsehoods, which is far worse than just opinion.

This is simply unethical journalism on the part of the Guardian.