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HRC Op-Ed Published in Le Droit: "Israel and Palestine: An Unjust Portrait?"

by Mike Fegelman

HRC Op-Ed Published in Le Droit: "Israel and Palestine: An Unjust Portrait?"

On November 1, the Ottawa-French newspaper Le Droit granted HonestReporting Canada op-ed space to refute baseless claims against Israel promulgated by an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa, Salah Basalamah on October 21.

To read HRC’s op-ed entitled: « Isra?l et Palestine: un portrait injuste ? > please see immediately below followed by our English translation and Professor Basalamah’s anti-Israel op-ed entitled: « Israel et Palestine : La perception et ses relais»

HRC a publi? un ?ditorial dans le journal LeDroit: « Israel et Palestine: Un Portrait Injuste? »

Le 1er novembre, le quotidien fran?ais Le Droit a accord? a HonestReporting Canada un espace de premier plan pour r?futer les all?gations sans fondement contre Isra?l, avanc?es  par le professeur agr?g? de l’Universit? d’Ottawa, Salah Basalamah le 21 Octobre.

Pour lire l’?ditorial de HRC: “Israel and Palestine: An Unjust Portrait”, voir ci-dessous, suivi de l’?ditorial  par le professeur Basalamah, intitul? : Israel et Palestine : La perception et Ses relais.

Le Droit: "Israel and Palestine:  An Unjust Portrait?" (November 1, 2011)

Salamanah (Israel and Palestine) laments that last week’s release of 477 murderers and terrorists from Israeli jails in exchange for the hostage Gilad shalit was presented in a light unfavourable to Palestinians.  An unjust portrayal, he says, which reflects “on the one hand, a ‘child’ who plays the soldier and on the other, the ‘Palestinians who have blood on their hands’ … The innocence and its opposite. It could not be more Manichean”.

By calling them “prisoners” and removing from them any stain of terror, Salamanah wishes to draw a moral equivalence between the release of 477 Palestinian terrorists and an Israeli soldier abducted in Israel and held in captivity for 5 years. He implies there is no difference between one hostage and hundreds of unrepentant terrorists who embrace murder and genocide.  As we have seen, hundreds of those released were serving life sentences for some of the most heinous murders of ordinary civilians, such as the mastermind of the 2001 bombing of the Jerusalem pizzeria which killed 15 souls, the murderer of 21 young Israelis as a discotheque in Tel Aviv or the suicide bomber that blew up 29 Jews celebrating Passover at a Netanya hotel.

Beyond the moral chasm separating the terrorists and Shalit, the world has witnessed the disturbing phenomenon in Gaza and the West bank of the jubilant hero’s welcome which awaited those released with balloons, ribbons and parades, and were treated to a holiday in Gaza’s five star hotel. Calling them “freedom fighters and holy warriors”, the so-called moderate Abbas declared that the PA will pay each murderer a reward, as it has been paying pensions to every Palestinian convicted and serving time for terrorism in Israeli jails. Yet, instead of lamenting the unfavourable light given these terrorists, Salamanah should ask why Palestinian society is celebrating terror.

Instead, he further laments Palestinian envoy to Canada, Sobeh Ali’s dressing down by the Harper government for tweeting a poem which at worst calls for the outright destruction of Jews and at best calls for the destruction of Israel using more elegant wording:  ‘destruction of Zionism through war’ (which is nothing less than a denial, through the method of war, of Israel’s right to exist and hence of Israel).  As we have seen through the example of Mahmood Abbas’ words and actions, terrorism is given legitimacy in Gaza and the West Bank. Seen in this light, Sobeh’s tweet is a natural corollary of the political and social climate in Palestinian society which deems this acceptable.

Yet, we are not in Gaza or the West Bank but in Canada. Canadians are able and willing to tell the difference between terrorists and civilians and the innocent and guilty. The media coverage which Salamanah disparages and which reflected “the innocence and its opposite”, was simply telling the difference.

Michelle Whiteman,
Quebec Regional Director
HonestReporting Canada



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