Speech Defect

Dear HonestReporting Member,

On Sunday evening, Yasser Arafat delivered a 25-minute speech on Palestinian television, calling for an end to all armed attacks against Israelis.

Over the ensuing few hours, Palestinians militants fired a mortar shell at a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip, and shooting attacks were reported at IDF troops throughout the territories.

Then on Monday, a roadside bomb went off near Nablus; Palestinian gunmen shot and wounded two Israelis near Ofra; other Palestinians seriously wounded an Israeli motorist in an ambush shooting attack near Neveh Tzuf; another mortar was fired at a Jewish settlement in Gaza.

Did Palestinians miss the TV speech?

On Monday evening, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and PFLP all announced they will ignore Arafat’s call to end armed operations against Israel.

Furthermore, Israel Radio reported that a senior official in Arafat’s Fatah faction declared that Arafat’s speech did not prohibit the continuation of Palestinian attacks against either settlers or Israeli soldiers.

HonestReporting asks all members to monitor their local media, and respond to any false attempts to give Arafat credit for his “words,” while Palestinian “deeds” do not match up.

In composing your response to the media, we recommend incorporating points from the Jerusalem Post’s excellent analysis: “Defeated Arafat Declares Victory,” by Barry Rubin, online at:

One interesting point to consider: In his speech, Arafat referred to Palestinian attacks as “terrorist activities.” Now that even Arafat himself characterizes Palestinian activities as such, shouldn’t BBC, Reuters and CNN do the same?

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.

HonestReporting.com =========== UPDATE =======

Yasir Arafat’s Dec. 16 speech calling for a halt to suicide bombings was received with great skepticism. Even the rabidly pro-Palestinian Suzanne Goldenberg of the UK Guardian wrote: “The impact of Mr Arafat’s message was blunted by the fact that none of his previous calls to end attacks on Israelis have been matched by a concerted effort to crack down on suicide bombers and gunmen.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,619782,00.html

Indeed, a mere two days later, Arafat has fulfilled the prophecies and reneged on his call to stop violence. At a speech in Ramallah (Dec. 18), Arafat unleashed a torrent of anti-Israel incitement:

“We with the help of God will meet next time in Jerusalem, because we are fighting in order to bring the victory to our prophets, every baby, every child, every man, every women, and every older person, and all the youngsters, we will sacrifice ourselves for our holy places, and we will establish the guard on them, and are prepared to give 70 of our martyrs for every martyr of theirs in this campaign, because this is our holy land. We will continue to fight…” (translation by IMRA)

HonestReporting asks all members to contact their local media and ask for the publication of a report on Arafat’s latest incitement speech.