Wash. Post dispenses anti-Israel poison pills
In its Nov. 6 edition, the Washington Post features prominently a lengthy article by Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg about young Palestinian activists alienated from both Hamas and Fatah seeking a third way for the Palestinian cause. The article, with two accompanying photographs, takes up two third of the main world-news page ("Young Palestinian activists push their own agenda - Disenchanted with Fatah and Hamas, an embryonic group sees human and civil rights, not territory, as the basis of its struggle")
Greenberg pins his piece on an interview with a 22-year-old university student, Hurriyah Ziada, who apparently typifies this new wave of young Palestinian activists. Except it turns out that, far from being uninterested in territory, as the headline asserts, it turns out Ziada and like-minded Palestinians have very definite territorial aims in charting a new path for Palestinian politics.
As Greenberg himself acknowledges, their objective is "one state that would also include the area of Israel, with equal rights for Jews and Arabs, and Palestinian refugees allowed to return." Greenberg, however, fails to point out that this, in effect, would eliminate the Jewish state and that Israeli Jews would find themselves residents of an Arab/Muslim nation, depending on their Arab/Muslim masters for their "equal rights." So it turns out that Ziada's agenda actually meshes nicely with Hamas's prime objective -- a single state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean sea. Goodbye Israel. Greenberg just makes her aims seem more palatable.
Ziada, of course, is entitled to her opinions and to have them reported accurately by Greenberg. It's when he injects his own views that he crosses the line from objective reporting to pro-Palestinian propaganda. As when he dispenses some of his own anti-Israel poison pills. For example:
Poison Pill No. 1 -- When Greenberg quotes Ziada as telling him that she wants to visit "the village my family was kicked out from in 1948." Greenberg takes over and tells Post readers that she was "referring to the displacement of Palestinians in the war that accompanied the creation of Israel."
Who launched that war? Who was the aggressor? Greenberg won't say. It's just a war that popped out of the blue and "accompanied" Israel's creation. No fingerprints on any aggressor.
The historical truth, however, is quite clear -- and quite different. Israel declared its independence in 1948 in line with the UN's 1947 partition plan to create out of British Mandate Palestine a "Jewish state" and an "Arab state." Notwithstanding full international legitimacy thus accorded by the international community, Israel at its birth was attacked by half a dozen Arab armies intent on destroying it.
Greenberg, however, tosses this historical truth aside and substitutes a formulation, which clearly infers that Israel's creation was also its original sin. As he puts it, in 1948 Palestinians were displaced in a "war that accompanied" Israel's creation. Had it not been for a Jewish state legally emerging on the map of independent nations, Palestinians would not have been victimized. That's the anti-Israel poison that Greenberg, not just Ziada, injects into his narrative. It's a poison pill that directly targets Israel's very legitimacy.
Poison Pill No. 2 -- Greenberg links Ziada's agenda to Palestinian demonstrations in the West Bank against Israel's "separation barrier, which cut off many farming communities from their lands." This is not Ziada's formulation; this is Greenberg's way of describing Israel's security barrier. No mention that the barrier was erected to thwart terrorist infiltrations into Israel from the West Bank -- and has succeeded in doing so. Nor does Greenberg point out that there are special gates in the barrier, sufficiently wide to accommodate passage of farming equipment, to provide Palestinian farmers access to cultivate their land. Greenberg instead accepts Palestinian propaganda and victimization as his own narrative.
Such are the semantic tactics of the Washington Post's Jerusalem correspondent as he doses his copy with anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian poison pills.
Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers