Abbas’s meeting with the Israeli press was one of his more impressive appearances of recent years. He was at ease, sharp, confident (not always the case) and good-humored.What was disappointing was that even Israeli journalists seemed reluctant to ask him hard questions (I have a list of dozens of them), and when he answered the few that were halfway decent, they didn't follow up showing his lies.
Abbas came well-prepared for the Israeli reporters’ critiques. “They say that I incite (against Israel)? Okay then,” he said, and proposed the convening of the long defunct joint Israeli-Palestinian-American committee on incitement. He did not deny that there is incitement, but proposed an ostensibly simple mechanism to deal with it: “Let the American representative (on the committee) decide what to do about incitement. And let them show me where exactly I incite.”The amount of incitement on official PA media outlets in recent months has been documented very well by Palestinian Media Watch. So is the amount of incitement on official Fatah websites and social media, all under Abbas' control. The idea that reporters didn't come prepared with specific examples to counter his claim is unconscionable.
He was also asked why he had accused the Jews of desecrating the Al-Aqsa mosque with their presence. He claimed to have been referring only to those who go to the compound to stir up trouble.Let's go back to Abbas' official Wafa news agency, were we have read news stories like this:
Tens of settlers, under Israeli forces’ protection, desecrated on Sunday Al-Aqsa mosque yards, according to witnesses.Is this "desecration" according to Abbas? Do they have "filthy feet?" And how does he know that they were 'settlers," anyway? Are all religious Jews "settlers?"
One of the guards of the mosque told WAFA “settlers’ entry to the yards started early morning by small groups and continues till now.”
Once again, reporters seemed so star-struck by the Holocaust-denying Abbas that they let him off far more than they would have treated any Likud politician. Questions about corruption in the PA, about why the PA doesn't seem to support the Palestinian city of Rawabi, about why there are still "refugee camps" in the areas of British Mandate Palestine - none of them were asked.
Societies depend on journalists to do their jobs. In this case, the Israeli reporters fell far short.
UPDATE: Here is the video of the meeting, can anyone determine if there are any good questions and evasive answers?
Lahav Harkov of the Jerusalem Post thought that the Channel 2 reporter asked some good questions, including two from my list.
@elderofziyon I thought @usegal asked good Qs, from what he said on air. Abbas dodged em, but in a presser u dont always get a follow-up— Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) January 24, 2016
@elderofziyon @usegal If I remember correctly, he mentioned questions 3 and 14 from your list https://t.co/BceoSjbtUU— Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) January 24, 2016
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