Home Daily Brief Palestinian Authority's New Strategy in Delegitimizing Israel: ‘Terrorists’ Are Really ‘Political Prisoners’

Palestinian Authority's New Strategy in Delegitimizing Israel: ‘Terrorists’ Are Really ‘Political Prisoners’

by Michelle Whiteman

The Palestinian campaign to delegitimize Israel in the eyes of Western audiences could not be successful on its own merits, since erasing Jewish history in the Middle East, tracing Jewish geneology to apes and pigs or calling plainly for the annihilation of Israel– as commonly articulated to Arab audiences– offends Western notions of equality and justice. Enter the vocabulary of equality and justice, with libels of apartheid, genocide and war crimes, to achieve through the language of human rights what is anathema to human rights.

The Palestinian Authority is continuing its efforts to invert notions of equality and justice. In an attempt to normalize terrorist acts against Israel, Ynet News reports today that the Palestinian Minister for Prisoner Affairs, Issa Karaka, seeks a determination, through UN agencies, that terrorists held in Israel jails are not, in fact, terrorists.

As HRC noted last year, when a similar attempt was made by Radio-Canada reporter Ginette Lamarche to refer to terrorists held in Israeli jails as “political prisoners”, involvement in terrorist activity contravenes Israeli law, as it does in every democracy, because terrorism is a recognized crime under international law.

That the Palestinian Authority has adopted the term ‘political prisoner’ is unsurprising given the honour bestowed on prisoners in Israeli jails who have murdered Israelis. Feted with parades and regarded as heroes in Palestinian societies, released criminals are awarded salaries and other monetary compensation by the Palestinian Authority for their acts of “heroism”.

In Western societies, however, terrorism is condemned. The effort by the Palestinian Authority to redefine terrorists in international fora is but the latest manifestation of a campaign which seeks to redefine human rights by mocking the values which free, democratic societies hold dear.

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