Media Denies Abbas Commitment to Disarm Terrorists

Denial of the Palestinian Authority anti-terror obligations as part of the Gaza withdrawal by Israel has become standard media practice, according to

As London reels from today’s attacks, and Israel continues with its painful Gaza withdrawal, observers are increasingly concerned about the day after ‘disengagement’ ― will Gaza become one big terrorist haven?

Abbas committing to the roadmap
‘without any reservations’ in
Aqaba, Jordan, June 2003

Unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority has done almost nothing to prevent this scenario, violating its signed commitment under the 2003 roadmap to ‘dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure’, while actually inviting Hamas into the halls of power. (Hamas turned down the offer.)

The western media, meanwhile, has completely failed to publicize that the PA has reneged on its commitment to dismantle terrorism. HonestReporting has previously noted isolated cases of this (here and here), but such reframing has reached a new level. It’s now become standard practice across all major media outlets to present the PA’s obligation to forcefully confront terrorist groups as a mere ‘Israel demand’ or ‘Israeli and American demand’ ― for example:

Associated Press (July 3): ‘The invitation to the Islamic groups is part of an effort by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to co-opt them instead of disarming them as Israel and the U.S. have demanded.’

Reuters (July 5): ‘Israel and the United States have demanded Abbas disarm and dismantle militant groups as part of a US-backed ‘road map’ to peace and a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank.’

AFP (July 5): ‘Abbas has so far resisted Israeli pressure to disarm factions such as Hamas.’

New York Times (July 4): ‘While Abbas seeks to co-opt Hamas and other armed factions, Israel says he should be confronting the groups.’

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An editorial in today’s (July 7) Washington Times indicates that the problem isn’t a lack of PA potential:

Lt. Gen. William Ward, the American soldier who four months ago was tasked with the responsibility to help the Palestinians rebuild their security forces.. told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that only about 22,000 of the 58,000 persons in the [PA] security forces actually bother to show up for work. But on paper, even 22,000 security officers should be quite capable of taking on Hamas and the other rejectionist groups. One reason the security forces have failed so badly, Palestinian Interior Minister Nasser Youssef candidly told the Palestinian Legislative Council recently, is that they include terrorists and gangsters responsible for creating the lawlessness that has enveloped the West Bank and Gaza.

The road map is an international agreement put forth jointly by the United States, European Union, United Nations, and Russia ― and signed by the Palestinian Authority. When journalists shift the obligation from a Palestinian commitment and international obligation to a mere ‘Israeli demand’ or a joint US-Israeli project, they become, in effect, complicit in the PA’s effort to shirk its own all-important commitments.

I never can understand what the media finds so sympathetic and appealing in terrorists who blow up subways in London, send in suicide bombers to kill innocent men, women and children in Israel and Iraq, and who hijack passenger airplanes and fly them into office buildings in New York. They are the ones who are positioned as oppressed victims in the western press, while the western democracies who are trying to prevent terrorism and keep their citizens safe are depicted as being aggressive oppressors.

Why would the media not hold Abbas accountable for living up to the obligation he agreed to that he would disarm and dismantle terrorist groups in the Palestinian territories? Why would they claim that this is an Israeli or U.S. ‘demand’ when it is part of the deal that Abbas agreed to? Why would they want Israel to put itself and its citizens in harm’s way by agreeing to withdraw from Gaza if the terrorist groups are going to have free rein to attack Israel at will?

I wish someone from the press would make a statement to explain all of this. If they just came out and said something like, “We hate the United States and Israel and Great Britain and we want to depict those democracies in the worst possible light because we love radical Islam and its supporters, and the reason we do is…….” at least we would know the reason. Right now it is perplexing.

(Linked to Outside the Beltway Traffic Jam)