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Sunday, October 07, 2012

Time magazine's infomercial for Mahmoud Abbas - and Hamas

You know how the Palestinian Arab leaders are frustrated about how Western media attention has been on Egypt, Libya and Syria instead of them?

Apparently, this malaise extends to frustrated mainstream media reporters like Time's Karl Vick who spend their lives covering the Palestinian Arab leaders. Their reliable front-page stories are being pushed back, and they want the spotlight no less than their Palestinian Arab idols.

So the newly marginalized Vick managed to get an exclusive interview with the equally irrelevant Mahmoud Abbas, and Time allowed Vick to write a 3000 word paean to Abbas's "leadership" which sweeps everything negative under the rug and to try to restore the corrupt, intransigent PA back to prominence.

The article is filled with deceptions like this:
Missiles still fly out of Hamas-controlled Gaza from time to time, but according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which tallies every reported incident on occupied territory, most violence in the West Bank is now committed by Israeli settlers against their Palestinian neighbors rather than the other way around. There have been spectacular exceptions, including the March 2011 slaughter of five Jewish settlers in their West Bank home. But month by month, the Palestinians tend to be the victims of violence rather than the perpetrators.
OCHA does not track all violent incidents - they only track incidents that result in injuries. So the vast majority of Palestinian Arab firebombs and stone throwings, which are really daily events in the territories, are simply not counted because Israelis have armored cars and buses and fenced communities in Judea and Samaria.

Another knowing deception:
Abbas' 2011 U.N. bid so irked Israel and Washington that each held back vital funding to Abbas' Palestinian National Authority (PA), the Palestinian transitional government. The revenue shortfalls wreaked havoc on the Palestinian economy. By September, people were burning tires in the streets to protest not Israel's 45-year military occupation but the PA itself.
The PA economy's woes have nothing to do with temporary withholding of some aid a year ago; it is from paying tens of thousands of people to not work in Gaza, paying families of suicide bombers, and other questionable economic policies of the PA.

If you read between the lines and know anything about the conflict, you can see Vick contradicting himself:
Abu Mazen himself spends more and more time abroad, flying on a chartered jet provided by the United Arab Emirates, a statesman without a state, relentlessly grooming an image of a peaceful people denied a homeland in foreign capitals.
Without me even having to point out the polls proving that they are still anything but a peaceful people and how they really want to destroy Israel in stages, Vick goes on:
If Abbas retires, as he frequently says he wants to, he will leave with no clear successor. Polls show Palestinians would elect Marwan Barghouti, a charismatic Fatah militant not currently available; he's serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison. In recent months, Palestinian business leaders have talked up Khaled Meshaal, a notion that speaks volumes about the changes roiling Palestinian politics. Since 1996, Meshaal had held the most senior position in Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, long the face of Palestinian terror.
So the "peaceful people" would overwhelmingly choose terrorists as their leaders!

But Vick needs to soften Hamas' image, so he adds this amazing fact:

Earlier this year, however, Meshaal endorsed the Abu Mazen approach. While reserving the right to violent resistance and not renouncing the Hamas Charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel, Meshaal said the time has come for negotiations with Israel and nonviolent protest in the spirit of the Arab Spring. "Now we have a common ground that we can work on--the popular resistance, which represents the power of the people," Meshaal said.
So after seeing Arab governments fall from nonviolent resistance, Meshal now adds that to his arsenal of weapons to destroy Israel - and Vick reads this as Hamas moderation and a victory for Abbas' ("peaceful") approach!

Once you know that the goal of both Fatah and Hamas is the destruction of Israel - whether by using violence, politics, demographics, legal tactics, public relations or clueless magazine writers - then the switch from one tactic to another is not nearly as important as understanding the end goal. Vick purposefully ignores the goal and praises the means, which is frankly insane. But that insanity gets described this way:
To have a leader like Meshaal, whose organization dispatched numerous suicide bombers to kill Israeli civilians, adopt the Abu Mazen approach was still a remarkable philosophical victory for Abbas.
Vick ignores the fact that last week Islamic Jihad held a massive rally in Gaza celebrating terror, and Hamss didn't only condone it - they sent one of their leaders to participate. But thst's not the face of Hamas that Time readers are seeing.

He ends off with:
Whatever new governments emerge from the Arab Spring, they are unlikely to be more understanding toward Israel than the bookish moderate who, when asked last October why he was going to the U.N., replied with one word: "Hope. All the time we give them hope."
Meaning that Vick completely misunderstands the Arab Spring. Abbas' current relative moderation, as far as it goes, is not reflective of his people. and if a Palestinian Arab spring emerges - and the anti-Abbas protests have already started - he will be replaced by someone more in line with the people's will, meaning someone more violent. Which means that any "peace" is illusory if the people prefer terror. Israel's peace with Egypt is holding for now, but it has weakened considerably after their revolution; a Palestinian Arab revolution will in all likelihood bring in something worse. That is not a reason to make a fake peace agreement now - it is reason to be wary of making agreements with leaders who don't represent their people.

This is basic, but it is beyond Karl Vick.