USA Today’s Spectacular Dismissal Of Palestinian Violence


This USA Today piece has to be seen to be believed. It claims that palestinians have learned from their “non-violent” protests on the Temple Mount – which are non-violent if you ignore all that pesky violence.

Since the creation of the Jewish state seven decades ago, disputes between Israelis and Palestinians seem to begin and end with physical force and violence.

Let me stop here for a second. Note the passive construction of the first sentence – disputes between the two side entail violence. No mention of which side invariably starts the violence. Oh, and no mention of the fact the same side has started the violence well before the establishment of Israel seven decades ago.

Yet a recent confrontation over Israel’s security checkpoints at a Muslim holy site in East Jerusalem came to a resolution following a largely peaceful protest by thousands of Palestinians — and that outcome has not been lost to them.

I’ll interject here again. The journalist here is describing all the protesters as “palestinians”, even though they were also Israeli Arabs.

It was “the beauty of non-violence,” proclaimed Mustafa Barghouti, leader of the moderate Palestinian National Initiative party.

Note here the word “moderate” being deliberately used to describe the PNI, even though it supports the palestinian “Right of Return” to flood Israel, as well as the “right to resist occupation.”

The Israelis “wanted to provoke us, they wanted to create a clash, but now they know we are non-violent, we are organized and we’re keeping the initiative in our hands, not in their hands.”

Who’s provoking whom?

Now all the way down here, an admission there was violence after all.

The daily protests were not free of violence. In fact, several hundred Palestinians regularly threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli security personnel. But they were a minority compared to thousands of Palestinians who protested against the metal detectors that Israel installed around the al-Aqsa mosque through peaceful prayers in the streets.

The confrontation began July 14, when three Israeli-Arab gunmen killed two Israeli police officers standing guard outside the revered plateau that Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims refer to as the Noble Sanctuary.

The fact (assuming it is one) that a minority of the total number of protesters were violent is irrelevant if the absolute number (several hundred) was so high!

The esplanade that contains the al-Aqsa mosque — the third holiest site in Islam, and the Dome of the Rock, where Muslims believe Muhammad ascended to heaven — is the same place where the ancient temples of Jerusalem stood before their destruction.

Why no mention here that this is the holiest site in Jerusalem, especially after mentioning its holiness to Muslims? I think I know the answer.

In response to the shooting of the police officers, the Israeli government installed metal detectors and infrastructure for security cameras at each entrance to the esplanade. Although many Israelis considered the security devices unobtrusive, Palestinians objected to them as encroachment in an area they consider their sovereign territory.

For 10 days, tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers refused to pass through the metal detectors and conducted Friday prayers in the streets, with sporadic violence at the fringes of the mass demonstrations.

Again with the attempt to minimize the very real violence.

During the course of the standoff, seven Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli police. In addition, three Israeli family members living in a West Bank settlement were slashed to death by a 19-year-old Palestinian who had written Facebook posts threatening violence in reaction to the steps Israel took at al-Aqsa.

By the 12th day, Israel withdrew its electronic security devices rather than face a second Friday of massive resistance.

On Friday, July 28, the peace held and the prayers took place at the mosque.

“These two weeks have been incredible,” said bookshop owner Mahmoud Muna. “Some of the Muslims going to pray are there for the first time,” not because they’ve found religion, but because they’ve found a cause.”

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz described “the euphoria that has swept East Jerusalem since the successful battle against the metal detectors positioned at the Temple Mount entrances.”

Anwar Ben Badis, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said the protests proved to be “an excellent example of how to lead a civilian struggle.”

Israeli authorities, however, take exception to descriptions of non-violent demonstrations. Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld noted that at most of the prayers-in-the-street protests, several hundred Palestinians threw “rocks, explosive bottles and firecrackers aimed directly at police, endangering their lives.” Authorities responded with water cannons, stun grenades, rubber bullets and police on horseback to quell the attacks.

Aaron Miller, a former U.S. Middle East peace negotiator for both Democratic and Republican presidents, also objected to calling the protests non-violent. “We haven’t seen sustained or truly non-violent protests where tens of thousands of Palestinians would march to checkpoints or mass in Jerusalem day after day,” Miller said. “This isn’t pre-independence India under (Mahatma) Gandhi.”

Again, the article contains an admission that there was violence. Yet the headline and initial paragraphs would have you believe otherwise.

Yet for some Palestinians who want to end the cycle of violence that has stalled their long quest for an independent state, the East Jerusalem protests mark a step toward the kind of peaceful resistance they believe is the only way to prompt Israel to acquiesce to their demands.

The “Palestinian Gandhi” is already here, Zaha Hassan, a Palestinian-American human rights lawyer and former counsel to the Palestinian Authority, wrote in a weekend column in Haaretz.

“Every little West Bank girl crossing a checkpoint to get to school is a Rosa Parks,” she wrote. “Every prisoner on hunger strike is a (Nelson) Mandela, and every Gazan, surviving despite the dehumanizing conditions, is a Palestinian Gandhi.”

And the report ends on this peaceful note, giving the impression that the palestinians truly want peace and oppose violence, which could not be further from the truth, as I demonstrate on here each and every day.

Meanwhile, the journalist who wrote this slanted piece prides herself on knowing how journalists should report.

Judging by this piece, I’d say she knows as much about proper reporting as those protests were “non-violent.”

Not much.

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A lawyer by education, David Lange - founder and managing editor of Israellycool - found his calling in advocating for Israel and the Jewish people. He is available for public speaking engagements.