What is it about the Mideast that makes a journalist’s natural skepticism go completely awry? When Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu publicly advocates for peace and negotiations with the Palestinians, the default reaction of many media is to cast aspersions on Netanyahu’s intentions, effectively accusing him of being underhanded or even untruthful.
But what happens when Palestinians make public statements of intent that don’t fit with the accepted narrative of Israel as the obstacle to peace? The media ignore such statements and rarely publish the story.
But what if Palestinians are actually telling the truth?
Take this video below of Fatah Central Committee Member Abbas Zaki interviewed on Al-Jazeera on September 23, 2011 (translated by MEMRI):
According to Abbas Zaki, an agreement with Israel based on the 1967 borders is merely part of a phased plan to destroy Israel in its entirety and such a policy must not be spoken about publicly.
The settlement should be based upon the borders of June 4, 1967. When we say that the settlement should be based upon these borders, President [Abbas] understands, we understand, and everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go.
If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall – what will become of Israel? It will come to an end.
If we say that we want to wipe Israel out… C’mon, it’s too difficult. It’s not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don’t say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself.
And what about Hamas, the elephant in the room that nobody seems to take seriously? No Western media published the comments of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Iran on October 2:
The Hamas leader said negotiations were a “mirage,” and only through armed resistance could Jerusalem and “the land” be liberated. He urged Palestinian negotiators not to make any settlements given their failure to “restore the rights” of the Palestinian people, including the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
So if the “mainstream” Fatah are advocating the end of Israel rather than peace with Israel and Hamas are consistently restating their overt desire to destroy Israel by force, why are the media failing to report on these?
Perhaps the media should stop speculating about Netanyahu’s intentions in regard to peace and start reporting on the Palestinians’ very real desire to destroy Israel.