Home Media Action Alerts2006 Press Pervert Prisoners' Plan (May 31, 2006)

Press Pervert Prisoners' Plan (May 31, 2006)

by Mike Fegelman

Press Pervert Prisoners’ Plan  

May 31, 2006

Dear HonestReporting Canada subscriber:

 

Abbas: Endorses Plan

Canadian media have given extensive coverage to a “Prisoners’ Document” that convicted Palestinian terrorists drafted and includes calls for renewed violence against Israel. But in a surprising twist, the media described the document, which Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas endorsed and presented as an ultimatum to Hamas, as a “peace plan” drafted by “respected prisoners” jailed for “resisting Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.” 

The Background

The document (see here or here) contains 18 points, two of which contain blatant calls for violence against Israel. Using the term “resistance” — standard Palestinian language for violence, including acts of terror, against Israelis — articles 3 and 10 of the document affirm:

“3. The Palestinian people’s right to resistance and upholding the choice of resistance by all means, and concentrating the resistance in territories occupied in 1967, alongside political action and negotiations and diplomatic work, and continuing popular resistance against the occupation in all its forms, places and policies, and giving importance to expanding the participation of all sectors, fronts, groups and public in this popular resistance.

10. Working to form a united resistance front called the “Palestinian resistance front” to lead and carry out the resistance against occupation and to unify and coordinate the resistance action and form a unified political reference for it.”

The prisoners who authored the document were convicted of crimes including financing, planning and engaging in terror activities that left a trail of dead:

  • Marwan Barghouti, Fatah-Tanzim leader, is serving five life sentences for attacks that killed a Greek monk and restaurant patrons;
  • Sheikh Abdel Khaliq al-Natsche, senior Hamas leader, ran a network of charities that directly funded Hamas’ “military wing”;
  • Sheikh Bassam al-Saadi led Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Jenin branch;
  • Abdel Rahim Malouh, formerly No. 2 in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, helped plan the murder of Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi;
  • and Mustafa Badarne recruited dozens of Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine members to attack against Israeli soldiers and civilians.

Barghouti: convicted murderer

The Whitewash

The most recent and surprising instance in which major Canadian media overlooked these points occurred in a May 30 Globe and Mail editorial. In it, the Globe’s editors (see here or here) astonishingly referred to the document as:

a peace proposal championed by respected Palestinian leaders currently behind bars in an Israeli prison.”

The Globe editorial ran just a couple of pages from an article by the Globe’s Middle East correspondent, Mark Mackinnon, who described various aspects of the document but again failed to inform readers of the document’s call for “continuing popular resistance against the occupation in all its forms, places and policies.”

And on May 27, the Globe carried an analysis from the New York Times Service that in blatantly one-sided terms described the document’s drafters as:

“prisoners jailed for resistance to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.

The Follow-Up

To its credit, the Globe printed a letter from HonestReporting Canada complaining about the sub-standard coverage. The Globe maintains that the missing background information has been included in past articles. However, by declining to print a clarification, the Globe has treated the issue as a matter of opinion, rather than as a question of fact — and thus failed to set the record straight. 

How You Can Make a Difference

  1. Write an original and polite letter to the Globe and Mail. Express your concern that the newspaper has not set the record straight — by clarifying that the document’s authors are terrorists and that the document calls for renewed violence.

  2. Email your letter to the Letters Editor at letters@globeandmail.ca.

  3. Forward a copy of your communications to action@honestreporting.ca.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to fair and accurate
media coverage of Israel and the Middle East

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