Guardian

Another Guardian journalist falsely claims that Palestinians have abandoned terror


Last month, we posted about a remarkably misleading claim by Harriet Sherwood in an article about recent investigations into the death of Yasser Arafat: 

Arafat was a man who divided the world: revered by Palestinians and their supporters, reviled by Israel and its allies. Nine years after his death, a portrait of him still hangs in most Palestinian homes. Nonetheless, the Palestinian people have inevitably moved on. Acts of violence, espoused by Arafat, are rare in the West Bank, and rocket fire from Gaza has dropped; instead, the Palestinian leadership has invested its hopes in diplomacy and negotiations.

We noted that her broad suggestion that Palestinians have largely abandoned Arafat’s ‘strategy’ of terrorism represented an egregious distortion based on empirical data detailing the quantity of terror attacks since his death.  Further, we argued, though such attacks have decreased overall in comparison to the height of the 2nd Intifada, this reduction can largely attributed to the construction of Israel’s security fence and more effective counter-terror measures – not an evolution in Palestinian attitudes towards terror.

In response to Sherwood’s specific claim that “acts of violence…are rare in the West Bank“, we cited a report by BBC Watch’s Hadar Sela which noted the following: 

“Statistics provided by the ISA [Israel Security Agency] for the months July to November 2013 shows that the number of terror attacks taking place in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] and Jerusalem since the renewal of direct negotiations between Israel and the PLO on July 29th has more than doubled“. 

Terror incidents since July, 2013.

Now, five weeks after Sherwood’s report, Guardian columnist Michael Cohen has made a similarly false claim about Palestinian terror. His Jan. 19th op-ed about current peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians included the following:

But with the head of Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas as supportive of a two-state solution as any Palestinian leader ever; with Hamas in a historically weak position and with Palestinians having largely turned their back on violence as a political tool the Palestinian leadership have stuck along with Kerry’s diplomacy even they are almost certain to get something less than a good deal.

In addition to statistics provided above which clearly contradict claims by Sherwood and Cohen that Palestinians have abandoned terror, report on Arab public opinion by Pew Global in September demonstrated that “support for suicide bombing and other violence aimed at civilian targets [is] widespread in the Palestinian territories“.  A full 62% of Palestinian Muslims believe that such attacks “are often or sometimes justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies”.

pal terrorism supportSuch obfuscations by Guardian journalists about the prevalence of Palestinian terrorism (and the overwhelming popular support for such political violence) are extremely injurious to their readers.  

Without taking into account the impact of such terror – particularly Israeli fears that, even in the event a final status agreement is reached, they’ll continue to be terrorized by sniper fire, bombings and rocket attacks – it’s impossible to honestly assess the root cause of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and consider the real factors impeding a just resolution. 

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45 replies »

  1. What does the Guardian have to earn by disseminating such blatantly false information? Why does Michael Cohen write a column containing information that can be confirmed as false by anyone who has google and a few minutes to spare to research speeches made by the Palestinian leadership? Why does he deliberately ignore the existence of Hamas and their insistence on continuing the terror against Israel come what may?

    He knows the bitter fact of Israel being the ultimate scapegoat as evidenced in his words “Anything less than a deal in these talks – no matter who is blamed for their collapse – will almost certainly lead to a very dark future for Israel.”. How can that statement co-exist with “I’m the only one with any confidence that the current peace talks will lead to a positive outcome..” when he deliberately omitted Hamas’s oaths not to abandon every last dunam of Israel.

    Does he think that his readership is plagued with senility, forgetting a sentence as soon as they have read it or does he believe that the Guardian audience is so bigoted, so warped, so prejudiced against Israel that they will reject anything that does not echo its theme of Israel the bad and Palestinians the angelic victims?

    • What does the Guardian have to earn by disseminating such blatantly false information?
      The Guardian is servicing the worst kind of Jew-haters in the English speaking blogosphere.. Every click of their loyal consumers brings them money what they desperately need – as it is well known money has no smell.
      Why does Michael Cohen write a column containing information that can be confirmed as false by anyone who has google and a few minutes to spare to research speeches made by the Palestinian leadership?
      Because they know very well that their faithful customers are not interested in context or truth, never would doubt their propaganda or research its content.
      As our guardinista de jour berchmans already stated very succinctly more than once: It must be so – it was in the Guardian.

      • “The Guardian is servicing the worst kind of Jew-haters ”

        When I was a kid a Jew- hater was a guy who supported the destruction of European Jewry. Now it is someone who disagrees on the placing of a boundary line.Thats what I call devaluation!

        • What a kid like you would have known about the destruction, was near zero. Boasting Paul, the antisemitic Website.

          • ” the antisemitic ”

            What are you like ? There are 50 thousand words in the Oxford dictionary and you use about 3 of them.

            Now listen I wasn t going to say this but it needs to be said. You know all about me you have read the series of articles I wrote for Op ed and the ten thousand posts for CIF. And you found two dodgy ones which I maintain you simply didnt understand .

            Are you sure you have got the right guy?

        • Smartypants, what do you think will happen if the guardian’s proposed actions (that go far beyond the frontier line) will be established?

          The death of european jewry also started with critique of jewish businesses being too rich and thus controlling europe.

          Sounds familiar?

    • Margie,

      You asked regarding this sentence:

      ““Anything less than a deal in these talks – no matter who is blamed for their collapse – will almost certainly lead to a very dark future for Israel.”.”

      It can be his perception, along with many others in Israel, that the status quo cannot carry on and if it does it will only weaken Israel.
      The usage of the word “very” describing the “dark future” is, in my opinion, way over the top.
      You must also need to review this sentence with the overall strategic losses the Arab spring created in our northern border and the potentialthat such shift will continue on our eastern border.

      Having an agreement will mean one less worry to think about at this troubled time.
      But this is just one potential explanation of the sentence.
      The other explanation is his hopefulness that the PA has much to lose with Hamas and PIJ joining forces with the remaining Al Qaeda rebels in Iraq and Syria, and soon to be Lebanon.
      It is not far fetched to believe the PA leadership see what is heading their way and assume they’d believe a strong Israel can mean a strong PA security forces.

      I cannot say if this is true but judging by their more secular approach it is not unbelievable to suspect they contemplate this.

  2. “such attacks have decreased overall in comparison to the height of the 2nd Intifada, this reduction can largely attributed to the construction of Israel’s security fence”

    The wall was started in 2002, when there were 55 suicide bomb attacks. By 2004 the wall was 20% complete and there were 14 attacks. 2007 saw 50% completion (still plenty of gaps), and just 1 such attack. It is pretty obvious that factors other than the wall were responsible for the near elimination of suicide bombs over this period.

    • It’s pretty obvious that before the Wall was built there were 55 homicide bombings.

      That’s all I need to know, Champ. You want peace? You want a Palestinian state? Don’t talk to me about it. Talk to yourself and those you support in their efforts for autonomy. POINT OUT the fact that 55 homicide bombing maniacs were attacking Israel BEFORE a very peaceful full-stop had been accomplished.

      Or am I to say, Wow, You Guys Are Awesome For Curtailing Violent Murder All On Your Own.

      What a fucking joke. GET OVER YOURSELF AND DO SOMETHING.

    • I love it. Sencar (how we’ve missed you … not) refers to stats which directly correlate a reducing number of suicide bombings with a perfectly corresponding expansion of the security fence … as evidence that NO SUCH LINK EXISTS.

      Genius. You couldn’t make it up!

      • If you can’t find a way through a wall with 80% gaps then you are a very inefficient terrorist yet there were 1/4 the number of attacks in 2004 compared to the peak in 2002. Your logic is a little lacking, Labenal.

        • Since Sencar obviously has no idea of the terrain, he imagines that all the ground is smooth and equally accessible. He sees it like in a movie where the gaps are nice little gateways specially made for people wearing chequered scarves and three day beards carrying unstable explosives to pass through.

          In fact, the ground is rocky and hilly and difficult to negotiate. Where it’s easy to pass there is a fence and a manned crossing, keeping out the nasties and their explosives.

          • The whole idea that the wall protects Israel’s security is dubious. Official Israeli sources estimate that 6000 Palestinians cross illegally every month – the vast majority to seek work. If job seekers can cross that easily why aren’t suicide bombers doing the same? The answer is obvious – there are few if any attempts of this type being made currently. The wall has nothing to do with it.

            http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4473355,00.html

            • “The whole idea that the wall protects Israel’s security is dubious. ”
              Really? Is it more dubious than calling a fence a wall?

            • The Antisemite sencar misleads deliberately. While there are no breaches through the segments of walls reported, the unlike greater border fence is still permeable. Nevertheless
              “Lieutenant Colonel Eli Jeno with the Givati Brigade said that “when an infiltrator is caught, he is released shortly, unless he is caught a third time, in which case penalties are hardly deterring, if at all.”
              Some 80.000s are illegally staying in Israel. They prefer Israel to Westbank, unsurprisingly.

            • The report to which sencar links is one which would NEVER appear in the Western press. Look at the pictures. A rather pathetic-looking barbed-wire fence snaking across barren land. This is the reality of the vast majority of the security fence, but the only pictures you’ll ever see in the MSM are of those few sections of high concrete walls in urban areas.

              Once again, the desire for a dramatic photo will nearly always outweigh the journalistic duty to give context and a balanced view of the reality.

        • Sencar:
          “…yet there were 1/4 the number of attacks in 2004 compared to the peak in 2002.”

          Now what happened in the peak of 2002???
          Maybe many terrorists in Jenin received a wake up call?

    • “It is pretty obvious that factors other than the wall were responsible for the near elimination of suicide bombs over this period.”
      As is mentioned in the article. Time to brush up on your reading professor.

    • Whilst I am thankful that suicide bombs have decreased, Palestinian violence takes many forms which are sadly ongoing; rockets, grenades, stone throwing, land mines, petrol bombs, raiding houses and stabbing families etc.

    • Sencar you are somewhat correct for a change.
      “It is pretty obvious that factors other than the wall were responsible for the near elimination of suicide bombs over this period.”
      The wall didn’t stop bombers alone but it did help a lot in getting rid us of these crimes.

      The other factors were renewed Israeli and PA cooperations since 2005.
      The Egypt Israel border fence also helped.
      Bibi’s economic plan with the PA also helped.
      I’d say that operation defensive shield also helped.
      It helped transform Jenin from a suicide bombers hub into what it is today.

  3. I suppose one can blame the Palestinians for the talks failing. After all, it is Palestinians who are building the settlements. Palestinians I hear are refusing to leave the West Bank for the sake of peace. How odd the world is blaming the Israelis. Even the Justice of Israel is blaming Israel for the tlaks failing. She compares the peace talk failing with the dam bursting. Does anybody see twriting on the wall or is it just me.

      • ” f*****g d*****t. ”

        When posters to this site decide if their intention is to try to tackle the Guardian’s absurd support for Brit wars ..yet horror at Israel’s wars ..or if they simply wish to shout ” Jobbies ” at people who disagree with them it is possible the site could be an effective weapon.

        Until then the Guardian carries on preparing the Brit public for more slaughter.

        • “When posters to this site decide if their intention is to try to tackle the Guardian’s absurd support for Brit wars.”

          For the umpteenth time Berchmans the purpose of this site is clearly set out at the top.
          Why must you continuously try to divert this site away from its purpose?
          Is it because you are unable to understand the ‘mission statement’ at the top?
          Or are you hoping you can stop the effective campaigning that Adam and this site have done to combat anti-Semitism at “The Guardian”?

          I am sure that I read somewhere you claimed to have made money by writing, so go on demonstrate your talents, set up your own website dedicated to ‘.tackle the Guardian’s absurd support for Brit wars’
          Or to put it as succinctly as possible, Piss Off you lying, boring Racist weasel!

          • “**** Off you lying, boring Racist weasel!”

            I resent this. I am one of the least boring people I know.

            PS your attempts to lay a glove would make more sense if so you could find someone in your own weight division.Until then you will continue get your arse skelped .

            • And your answers to the questions posed are what exactly, Berchmans?

              Are you trying your futile attempt to dodge answering again, very, very boring.

            • For those who are unaware of the term ‘skelped’ it means to spank.
              Spanking buttocks explains why Berchmans is no longer a social worker.

              Failed your CRB* check did you pervert?

              (*Criminal Records Bureau)

              • “Berchmans is no longer a social worker.”

                Do you ever stop being one ? First the difficult kids now the difficult adults ! Boom boom !

                • “Do you ever stop being one ?”
                  Berchmans you never stop being one boring, lying, Racist weasel.

                  Now Fly, fly little Tit your ‘posts’ like your attempts at humour are getting increasingly predictable and very, very boring

            • Yes. I imagine that it must seem strange to you Berchmans, that ‘strange’ people identify you as a rabid anti Semite posing as anti Zionist. Whole books are being written on the subject as we click.

              Basically, it comes down to obsession. If you claim to be anti Zionist but not anti Semitic, but you are obsessed negatively with Israel and obsessed positively with misogynistic homophobic violent and anti democratic enemies of Israel while claiming to be ‘progressive’, then you are a vile anti Semite.

              • .” If you claim to be anti Zionist but not anti Semitic

                I dont. I am a Zionist .I believe in a powerful and safe homeland for the Jews.

                • Yeah yeah. You keep saying that. But every other post you make is dramaticaly anti-Israel. If I said “I am a pacifist” while I put on an army uniform and shoot as many people as I can, who do you think is going to believe me?

                • “But every other post you make is dramaticaly anti-Israel. ”

                  Really? I never mean to be. I always state that the violence of the UK, Russia , US, Syria for a start are way way worse ..do you just not read these posts ? I abhor violence and consider that the only way Israel can maintain her present position is through extremes of violence.

                  Others here just accept this tension will go on forever . I dont know what the smoke is over there..I often suspect thats why the IDF went into the Bekaa valley by the way

    • “..blaming Israel for the tlaks failing.”
      How could anyone stand by and watch the ‘tlaks’ (sic) fail?

      “Does anybody see twriting on the wall or is it just me”
      Just you Dim Jim, just you.

  4. Hey Nazi Fritz – from where I sit I can see the writing on the Wall for the Zionist entity – if you cannot get your eyes tested – otherwise the thaw between the US and Iran will drown you. Remember 1997 when the current Israeli Prime Minister on the orders of Clinton had to eat humble pies and bow to the demands of the than King of Jordan – Much worse is at stake for the Zionist entity today as you know – In the end what matters is world opinion and the just demand of the Palestinians for justice – both are stacked against the Zionist entity –

    • “…from where I sit I can see the writing on the Wall..”

      Sadly Dim Jim although you may be able to see some writing, based on the evidence of your ‘posts’, it is extremely unlikely you will be able to understand what it means.

  5. Gerald oh well you know best it was for me to warn you of the pending danger – it is up to you whether you and racists like you take any notice – drown they will but –

    • “.. it was for me to warn you of the pending danger..”
      How very kind of you Dim Jim. Particularly so when you realise that you clearly struggle to read and write in the English language.

      “..and racists like you..”
      What kind of racist is that then Dim Jim?
      Go on enthral me Dim Jim with an exhibition of your razor sharp intellect (irony intended)

  6. Does Jewish attacks and Tag Meh’ir include in these statistics?
    I also read that the number of “lone wolf” style attacks by Palestinians has increased, so the cooperation between the IDF and the PA forces find it harder to identify potential attackers.

    I wonder if the attack on the commanding officer’s vehicle of YOSH is classified as a terror attack.
    The attack on the village last month was classified as a terror attack to the best of my knowledge.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4475410,00.html

    http://www.npr.org/2014/01/16/263093887/an-unusual-twist-in-recent-west-bank-clash

    http://archive.peacenow.org/entries/price_tag_timeline

    There is no question that tensions are high and incidents rise. So in effect the article is correct but it is also a little misleading about the challanges the IDF has to deal with.