In the aftermath of the Mecca Agreement between Hamas and Fatah, designed to end Palestinian infighting, Palestinian representatives have appealed for recognition of a new unity government and the lifting of international sanctions.
The Guardian was only too pleased to give Damascus-based Hamas supreme leader Khalid Mish’al op-ed space. Predictably, Mish’al blames Israel and the West for the violence that has recently afflicted Palestinian society:
We firmly believe that it would never have happened had it not been for foreign intervention and the brutal sanctions imposed on our people by Israel and its allies. The crisis would not have existed had international and regional powers respected the results of last year’s democratic elections in Palestine.
Mish’al claims: “Now that Hamas and Fatah have agreed to form a national unity government, the international community has no excuse to maintain the siege against our people.” Is there really no excuse?
While Mish’al’s piece is notable for its anti-Israel rhetoric, it is even more notable for what is missing. Nowhere does Mish’al give any details of how the Mecca Agreement, which appears to be an internal Palestinian document to prevent civil war, will satisfy the three conditions put forth by the Quartet: recognising Israel, relinquishing violence and honouring previous agreements between Israel and the PLO.
While Israel and the international community have issued a lukewarm response to the Mecca Agreement at best, the bottom line – as Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan explained over the weekend, “Hamas’s position remains firm and unchanged: we will never recognize the legitimacy of the Zionist entity.”
Mish’al’s piece is titled: “Our unity can pave the way for peace and justice”. Rather, Mish’al continues to demonstrate his extremism by demonising Israel, which:
continues to deny millions of refugees the right to return to their homeland. It has defied international law by proceeding with the construction of the apartheid wall…
Mish’al’s “right of return” would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state, while the construction of Israel’s security barrier is meant to keep out the Hamas and other suicide bombers that have deliberately targeted Israeli civilians.
Mish’al also propagates falsehoods such as this:
Meanwhile, excavation resumed last week in the compound of al-Aqsa mosque, and on Friday the mosque, to which access is denied to Palestinians below the age of 45, was invaded by Israeli troops who wounded scores of worshippers.
(Read HonestReporting’s communique to see that there is, in contradiction to Mish’al’s claims, no excavation within the Temple Mount compound and there was no invasion of the mosque.)
The Guardian has given a platform for the extremism of Hamas. Please send your considered comments to the Guardian – firstname.lastname@example.org – explaining why Hamas remains the same terrorist organisation that it was prior to the Mecca Agreeement.
TRIBE AMBASSADORS VISIT HR
HonestReporting UK was delighted to welcome to Jerusalem four students from JFS and two students from King Solomon High School – the winners of Tribe’s Ambassador programme.
The programme, based on the original Israeli TV show of the same name, was an intensive course of Israel advocacy training, designed to prepare students for the realities of campus life in the UK. Students competed in a range of tasks which included giving an Israel advocacy assembly in a non-Jewish school, working with UJS on an Israel stand at LSE, addressing members of the House of Lords and creating media blogs. The winners were chosen by their peers as well as a judging panel which included David Kaplan, Managing Director of Tribe and Lorna Fitzsimons, Chief Executive of BICOM, as well as the schools’ headteachers and governors.
The reward for the winners was a six-day trip to Israel where they met with government officials, religious leaders and spent time with HR UK’s staff who challenged them to produce the communique above. The group was also joined at HR’s Jerusalem offices by Government Press Office head Danny Seaman who tackled the hot media issues and answered questions on some of the challenges of Israel advocacy.
HR UK looks forward to working with Tribe’s Ambassador programme in the future.
to media bias.