What the Media Won’t Tell You About ‘Palestinian Prisoners’

Harriet Sherwood’s April 9, 2013 Guardian report, about efforts by John Kerry to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, discussed concessions demanded of Israel by Mahmoud Abbas before he’ll agree to resume negotiations, and included this passage:

The Palestinians also want the release of 123 political prisoners who have been in jail since before the Oslo accords were signed almost 20 years ago, and for Israel to present a map showing proposed borders. [Emphasis added]

After CiF Watch complained to the Guardian readers’ editor – demonstrating conclusively that the pre-Oslo prisoners were all convicted of violent/terrorist-related crimes and can not honestly be characterized as “political prisoners” – the language in Sherwood’s report was revised to note that it is only the Palestinians who view them as “political prisoners”.

However, use of such euphemisms and biased terminology is only part of a larger problem involving the mainstream media outlets’ whitewashing of the terrorist acts and violent crimes committed by ‘Palestinian prisoners’, who often fail to mention the crimes at all or significantly downplay the degree of violence.

The following report on the media’s highly misleading (often ideologically motivated) coverage of the ‘Palestinian prisoner’ issue includes data released by Israel’s Ministry of Justice on the pre-Oslo prisoners – detailed information which has been translated from the original Hebrew and is being published for the first time exclusively at CAMERA.

74 replies »

  1. I had opposed the death penalty for many years, but I’ve softened that stance. Israel’s needs to start trading corpses of terrorists instead of terrorists as “goodwill gestures.”

    • I couldn’t disagree more. I am proud of the fact that Israel treats its avowed enemies with more humanity and has higher values than its said enemies do.

      I am also fundamentally opposed to the principle of the death penalty.

      • Labenal when you write “I am also fundamentally opposed to the principle of the death penalty” there was a time when I would have agreed with you. However although I still find the idea of arresting someone, putting them on trial and if found guilty executing them wrong. I do agree with the Metropolitan Police Service’s “Operation Kratos” (or whatever they call it these days), after all if a suicide bomber is about to kill people and they can be stopped by shooting them then so be it.
        I am more concerned with the right to life of the potential victims than I am with the ‘human rights’ of a ‘wannabe’ suicide bomber. If anyone walks into a café or onto a bus with a bomb strapped to them then they have made their choice, to quote the unofficial motto of the SAS “Big boys games, big boys rules”
        There are some who would regard the action of the Police or security service in shooting a suicide bomber on the spot as a form of capital punishment by the state, maybe it is maybe it isn’t, sadly it is sometimes necessary.

        So I am still opposed to the death penalty, but not always.

        • Gerald, shoot to kill (or neutralise), someone is not death penalty.
          Death penalty is after the guilty party can harm no more.

          The first shooting attempt should be to the lower body parts if the the threat is harsh but not extreme.
          When the threat is above that than the shots should be aimed higher up to remove the threat.

          Saying that, we are talking about someone who committed acts of murder already, therefor killing him may not bring anyone back.

          The dilema is purely economical.
          How much does it cost us to keep him/her alive vs how much does it cost us to kill him/her.

          Releasing a threat back to society after a long sentence should be after evaluation that he will not repeat his offence.

          I am happy that Israel does not use the death penalty because I believe it gives people the chance to repent.

      • I respect your opinion Labenal, however I also believe that terrorists exploit your humanity at the cost of lives. There is no limit to how low our enemies will stoop to try to kill us.

        • Thanks Michael and Gerald. I agree that there are no depths to which terrorists will stoop and that they exploit our humanity (just look at the abuse someone like Abu Qatada has made of the British legal system for over a decade) – I just don’t think that means we have to match them low for low. Gerald – when I say I am fundamentally opposed to the death penalty, I do not mean that I oppose the power of the police and/or security services (within the usual safeguards which operate in a civilised society) to take lethal action to prevent loss of innocent life. Different matter altogether.

          • We could even go better Itsik. I don’t know if this is true, but a friend of mine claims that Muslims don’t get their 72 virgins if their corpses come in contact with porcine fecal matter. Need I elucidate?

            • I once read somewhere of a plan (I don’t know how serious it was) to line the inside of Egged buses with such material so that any Islamist who wanted to blow themselves up on a bus would know that their body would be thus made impure.

              Sounds good to me!

    • Israel could start by returning the bodies of 100s of Palestinians seized in the 1990s.

      Or digging up all the mass graves around the country.

        • I wouldn’t pay much attention to what he bleats.
          He’s a notorious Nazi-sympathizer — our “Nick”…

  2. “pre-Oslo prisoners were all convicted of violent/terrorist-related crimes and can not honestly be characterized as “political prisoners””

    Many of the pre-Oslo prisoners were convicted of violent acts aimed at Israeli soldiers. Given that they were in effect an armed resistance to enemy occupation it is not unreasonable to term them ‘political prisoners’, or perhaps ‘prisoners of war’.

    It is interesting to contrast the thirty years plus served by these prisoners with the treatment of Israeli Jews convicted of killing Arabs. Typically they benefit from pardon or some form of very early release. Life sentences never amount to more than a fraction of the terms served by Arabs who have killed Israelis. You can find a link to Adalah’s recent analysis of the contrasting treatment of Arab and Israeli killers here, under the heading ‘Palestinian Prisoners’ Day’:

  3. Wasn’t Israel founded by Jewish terrorists? Who became Israel’s leaders?

    And what about the request for Israel to define its borders? Is it that acceptance of the notion of defined borders would demonstrate a lack of ambition?

    • At Jordan’s insistence, the 1949 Armistice Line, that constituted the Israeli-Jordanian boundary until 1967, was not a recognized international border but only a line separating armies. The Armistice Agreement specifically stated: “no provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims, and positions of either Party hereto in the peaceful settlement of the Palestine questions, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military considerations”

      • The Green Line was not initially recognised as an international boundary, but it became one in 1950 when Jordan, quite legally and properly, annexed the West Bank.

        It is idiocy of the highest order to to claim that the annexation was illegal – unlike the claimed annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel. That’s been very thoroughly and universally condemned as not meeting any of the requirements.

        • Your idiocy never stops, does it Nick? If Arabs do it, it’s legal, if Israel does it, then it’s illegal. You really don’t need to read any news, not that it would do much good. All you need to do is find out which position Arabists and libero-fascists favor and then right supporting drivel.

        • “..but it became one in 1950 when Jordan, quite legally and properly, annexed the West Bank.”
          Beware of the trolling Nsnick.

    • Wasn’t Israel founded by Jewish terrorists?
      It wasn’t, and you know this if you have the slightest idea about Israel’s history. Maybe you have not…

    • What has this got to do with the Guardian’s misleading reporting? The point is that these Palestinian prisoners are violent terrorists, not “political prisoners”.

      I guess you must be one of those stupid middle-class lefties who can’t get it through their thick skulls that these Palestinians are not romantic freedom fighting radicals, but but vicious greedy killers and racists.

    • “Wasn’t Israel founded by Jewish terrorists? Who became Israel’s leaders?”

      A pretty lame attempt at diversion. However, since you opened up the can of worms, you also draw a false parallel. Terrorists try to kill as many people as possible in order to instill terror among the population, hence the name.That wasn’t the aim of the Palmach. You could point to Dier Yassin however, the Irgun and the Stern Gang were considered fringe groups. In contrast to that, all Palestinian terrorist organizations try to inflict as many civilian casualties as possible. Even the Stern Gang wouldn’t do anything as repugnant as setting off secondary bombs to kill rescue workers. Unfortunately, in their zeal to demonize Israel, libero-fascists like you try to look for any possible angle, much like your terrorist heroes would look for any angle to kill Jews, killing their own infants in the process.

      “And what about the request for Israel to define its borders? Is it that acceptance of the notion of defined borders would demonstrate a lack of ambition?” If Israel has the territorial ambitions that you imply, why has it shrunk in size since 1967. The stupidity of libero-fascists is really funny sometimes.

    • Does Malcolm only speak with bumper sticker thoughts? How can Malcolm write so well when he can’t even open a book? And how is it that Malcolm’s comment brings absolutely nothing to the conversation? Is it true, therefore, that he is as mindless as the typical Israel bashing dipshit?

      • No Jeff.
        Britain was in existence before the English, or their Anglo-Saxon ancestors, came to these shores. Who became England’s leaders? The question I would ask is What has become of England’s leaders? Or Where are England’s leaders?
        As someone born and bred in Britain the lack of leadership, moral and political, in this country is a cause for concern.

      • By the way Jeff wasn’t George Washington and his criminal gang a bunch of terrorists who rebelled against their lawful King?
        I seem to remember they had their own ‘BDS’ group as well, something to do with tea and Boston Harbour.

        • Exactly. This “The Promise” fetish of looking back to the birth pangs of the modern State of Israel is yet another example of so-called “liberals” applying one rule to Israel (for some strange reason) which they fail to apply to any other country in the world, many of which were created as a result of war, conquest, rebellion or revolution which often involved acts by the “victorious” side of dispicable brutality far worse than even the worst excesses of the Stern Gang..

          • I recall an editorial in the German left-wing paper taz a year or two ago addressing this very issue (i.e. critics of Israel) and pointing out that most countries/states etc. in human history were born via bloodshed in one way or the other.

          • What Jew-hating hypocrites demand is total perfection from Jews. A blatant and ridiculous double standard. Don’t look at the bloodshed in Pakistan or the many African indepence wars (going on to this day, who are magnitudes worse than what happened during the I-P conflict. If some non-Jew was killed, then Israel isn’t legitimate. It’s nauseating, intellectually banckrupt and also suicidal as lessons from history are not being learned.

          • Well…yes, many countries were indeed “created as a result of war, conquest, rebellion or revolution”. However Palestinian resistance fighters are still somehow placed in a different category to Jewish terrorists.The Jews won – so they’re OK. Palestinian fighters haven’t a chance of winning in the forseeable future – so they are branded as terrorists and murderers.

            • ” However Palestinian resistance fighters are still somehow placed in a different category to Jewish terrorists”

              sencar did you write that sentence to see if you could plummet to lower depths of credibility and knowledge than your soulmate and fellow anti-Semite ‘Nick’ ?

              • In terms of morality there is clearly no difference between the bombers of the King David Hotel and, say, the 1975 Savoy Hotel bombing in Tel Aviv. Both killed innocent civilians to a political end. If you think differently, please specify why.

                • I’ll step in for Gerald, though the rank of your moral degradation is well known:
                  The King David Hotel was the seat of the British Military High Command in Palestine.
                  King David’s tenants received a thirty minute warning, before the bombing was carried out.
                  The attack on the Savoy, a residential edifice, was in the heart of a civilian area, aimed at civilians, and civilians alone.
                  It was designed to inspire and evoke Terror. It was an act of savagery.

                • There is no evidence whatsoever of the terrorists giving a warning before the bombing – which is something they never did.

                  And why would it make any difference anyway? Al-Qaeda warned the US in 1998 of what it was doing and what would happen!

                • And the lying continues, eh, troll?
                  This is what the British government has stated:

                  It is often stated that the British authorities have always denied that a warning was sent. However, what the British Government said, five months after the bombing, once the subsequent inquest and all the inquiries had been completed, was not that no warning had been sent, but that no such warning had been received by anyone at the Secretariat “in an official position with any power to take action.”…

                  Al-Qaeda, you Fascist twit, is a terrorist organisation precisely because it attacked civilians. The King David Hotel was a military compound/HQ.

                • “In terms of morality there is clearly no difference between the bombers of the King David Hotel and, say, the 1975 Savoy Hotel bombing in Tel Aviv.”
                  There is a huge difference. You don’t see it. That’s your problem.

                • Nick,
                  You have clear documented evidence that AQ warned the WTC that it would be attacked around 9AM on 9/11 2001? I’ll bet it came straight from the horse’s a__.

            • “The Jews won-”
              Sencar, I agree with that part of your comment.

              “Palestinian fighters haven’t a chance of winning in the forseeable future – so they are branded as terrorists and murderers.”
              Their idea of what winning means is the problem, not the solution.
              They’re branded as terrorists and murderers because that’s what they are and what they do. You can add blood lusting Jew haters on to that without being in danger of over stating.

              • sencar refers to “Palestinian fighters”.
                Those who specifically target civilians – and there have been all too many cases in recent years of innocent Israelis as well as Jews elsewhere being killed – are rightly “branded as terrorists and murderers.”

    • Yes, it was founded by terrorists – though their connection to Judaism was tenuous and they seem to have hated the Palestinian Jews as much, maybe more than they hated the Muslims and the Christians.

      As for borders … they put them in their DoI and confirmed them three times in 1948 and 1949, they were to be the partition lines UNGA Resolution 181.

      Israel has never annexed anything beyond those lines – except an invalid and wholly condemned claim to have taken East Jerusalem.

      • “Yes, it was founded by terrorists – though their connection to Judaism was tenuous”
        Nick treats us to some authentic Nazi humor.

      • The Golan Heights were in a way annexed to Israel as per the Golan Heights Law in 1981.

        The Golan Heights was under Israeli military administration from 1967 to 1981. In 1981, Israel passed the Golan Heights Law,[14] which applied Israeli “laws, jurisdiction and administration” to the Golan Heights. Although the law in effect annexed the territory to Israel, it was not formally annexed.[94] The area was administered as part of Israel’s North District.

        • There are set rules for annexing territory – it must be the wish of the people there (a principle going back to Texas joining the US) and the neighbouring states must recognise the change of borders.

          Neither principle applies to the Golan – where, in addition, Israel has been ordered to get out. 6 times.

          I love it when the Zionists announce that Jordan illegally annexed the West Bank where, despite a great deal of bitterness towards Abdullah, and threats not to accept it, the whole thing was neatly tied up with string in 1950.

          Compare that with the claimed annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel – fails on both important counts … and condemned, 6 times by the relevant legal body, the rullings of which Israel has pledged to respect!

          • ‘Nick’ I still haven’t seen you explain how you can claim over on BBC Watch that Syria is law abiding, yet the UNHRC have published a report which shows numerous breaches of international law and war crimes by the Assad regime.

            Will you now join the rest of the international community and condemn the breaches of law and war crimes committed by the Assad regime in Syria?
            Or will you continue with your de facto support of a regime condemned by the UNHRC?

            • I condemn the atrocities perpetrated by forces/supporters of the Assad regime (which I strongly suspect are what started this mess).

              I call on the Assad regime to conduct the proper transparent investigation required by law.

              Failing which, I support the international community investigating what happened and putting out arrest warrants for those members of your forces who have done these things or have covered them up.

              However, at the present time, I don’t know of any (significant?) UN resolutions that Assad, his regime or any of his supporters are in breach of.

              Do you know of any such breaches?

              If you know of such breaches will you condemn them and call for the perpetrators to face justice?

              If Syria fails to cooperate reasonably with these investigations, would you support measures taken against it, starting with an arms embargo?

              • However, at the present time, I don’t know of any (significant?) UN resolutions that Assad, his regime or any of his supporters are in breach of….
                You don’t “know”, do you? How about this General Assembly resolution, which demands(!) Assad step down?

                It welcomes the establishment of the Syrian National Coalition, the main opposition group, “as effective interlocutors needed for a political transition” and notes “wide international acknowledgment” that the group is the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. It also strongly condemns President Bashar Assad’s regime for its escalating use of heavy weapons and “gross violations” of human rights.

              • “I condemn the atrocities perpetrated by forces/supporters of the Assad regime (which I strongly suspect are what started this mess).”

                So, ‘Nick’ are you now going to retract the ludicrous comment you made over on BBC Watch about Syria and compliance with international law?

              • You only condemn Assad and Israel? Everyone else is a freedom fighter right?

                Why do you ignore the fact that Russia blocks action at the UN against Syria.

            • PS – I’m not sure why you’ve ignored what went before, the story of how the Jordanian annexation was completely legal and uncontentious, whereas Israel’s claimed annexations cannot possibly be accepted and are in fact hotly condemned.

              • the Jordanian annexation was completely legal and uncontentious
                Only through my Zen power-of-the force did I manage to retract a gob of tea just before it hit my keyboard.

          • Show a link to the survey of people, Arabs AND Jews of wishing to be annexed to Jordan.

            There is no “order” because that implies binding resolutions.

            “Neatly tied up” according to your agenda.

            Again, Israel is the sovereign in Jerusalem, much to your libero-fascist chagrin.

            • It is true that there should really have been a referendum in the West Bank, and in the rush, various community leaders simply claimed to be speaking on the behalf of all Palestinians. However, its true, they had “polled” their constituents, they spoke on their behalf and there was no dissent.

              At a meeting in Jericho in Dec 1948, Jordan was asked to make sure the schools functioned, the roads be mended and measures taken to fight crime. I imagine they’d started even before they were asked.

              It took until May 1950 to hold a meeting in Cairo of the Arab League (the Zionists claim it was very bad tempered) at which it was accepted that responsibility for the “trusteeship” would be vested in Jordan.

              Nobody protested, in fact nobody had the smallest objection to it. Israel had proposed this solution on Oct 6th 1948 and the US told the Jericho Conference that it approved of Jordan’s annexation.

              Compare that with Israel’s action claiming East Jerusalem, which has been repeatedly condemned by the UNSC and every nation in the world.

              • This is not a source. Show a source becasue what you did was as usual showing bits and peices which twist the real meaning. Arab propoganda at its best.

              • Hey, nick-Nazi, are you upset that u were banned from elderofzyon and harrysplace? I bet you are. Sooner you’ll be banned from here too and you´ll have barf your anti-Semitic filth elsewhere. Loser.

              • More unsubstantiated rumor. If your last statement would be correct, the US Congress would not have passed a law requiring the embassy to be moved to Jerusalem and it has.

              • “…it was accepted that responsibility for the “trusteeship” would be vested in Jordan.
                Nobody protested, in fact nobody had the smallest objection to it”
                ‘Nick’ if as you claim “NOBODY protested, in fact NOBODY had the smallest objection to it”, why does Wikipedia have the following entry;
                “The Arab League condemned the Jericho Conference, and the Syrian press considered its resolution a violation of self-determination. Iraqi prime minister Nuri as-Said called upon King Abdullah to hold his moves towards annexation which succeeded in delaying the implementation of the Transjordanian plans of unity for a year and a half. Hajj Amin al-Husseini protested against King Abdullah’s measures, declaring them null and void and calling to boycott them”

                So ‘Nick’ is this another example of your ignorance or another of your lies?

                • All those protests were put aside and the Arab League eventually (ie after the 18 months mentioned) declared that the West Bank be administered as if it was a part of Jordan.

                  Were there protests from anyone at the time? Of course not, Israel had suggested this result in Oct 1948 and the US accepted it in Dec 1948!

                  Meanwhile, there is a serious illegality, the attempt by Israel to annex East Jerusalem.

                  Israel’s claim has been condemned by every nation in the world – see United Nations Security Council Resolution 252 of 21 May 1968, UNSC 267 of 3 July 1969, UNSC 271 of 15 Sept 1969, UNSC 298 of 25 Sept 1971, UNSC 465 of 1 Mar 1980 and UNSC 476 of 30 Jun 1980.

                  Why? Simple. East Jerusalem is a) Territories ‘acquired’ by war. b) The annexation was not via a treaty or agreement. c) East Jerusalem is still “territories occupied”.

                  • Wrong again Nick.
                    1. The Arab League does not have the power to declare anything except their own resolutions.
                    2. East Jerusalem was acquired by Jordan through war, therefore it is just as illegitimate. Jordan has relinquished any and all claims to East Jerusalem.
                    3. The UN resolutions are not binding.

                • Why? simple. Because it was done by Israel, Everything Israel does is wrong according to people like you. not only that but you do invent new history and new facts.
                  War with Jordan was a war of self defense. Israel only entered the West Bank after repeated Jordanian artillery fire and ground movements across the previous armistice lines. Jordanian attacks began at 10:00 a.m.; an Israeli warning to Jordan was passed through the UN at 11:00 a.m.; Jordanian attacks nonetheless persisted, so that Israeli military action only began at 12:45 p.m. Additionally, Iraqi forces had crossed Jordanian territory and were poised to enter the West Bank. Under such circumstances, the temporary armistice boundaries of 1949 lost all validity the moment Jordanian forces revoked the armistice and attacked. Israel thus took control of the West Bank as a result of a defensive war.

                • ‘Nick’ in your post of JUNE 8, 2013 @ 12:23 PM you wrote, and I quote “Nobody protested, in fact nobody had the smallest objection to it”

                  Now in your post of JUNE 11, 2013 @ 7:32 AM you write, and again I quote “All those protests were put aside”

                  So on June 8th you claimed ‘NOBODY protested’ but by June 11th you ‘ALL those protests were put aside’
                  Even for a pathological liar you are not consistent. Therefore I am forced to the conclusion that you are an idiot as well as a pathological liar.
                  As an act of Christian charity my advice to you, and your controllers, is to stop letting you post as you are only embarrassing yourself. Far better to have you do something more at your intellectual level, for example play with a balloon on a stick.