General UK Media

Why Abbas’s terror defense won’t change UK media’s narrative of a ‘moderate’ PA leader

In a speech just hours after a Palestinian terrorist rammed his car into pedestrians in Jerusalem earlier in the week, injuring 12 Israelis (including a 15-month-old baby), PA President Mahmoud Abbas referred to the last three months of Palestinian violence as a “justified popular uprising“.  This violence – shootings, stabbings and car-ramming attacks which have killed 22 and injured over 250 – stems, he claimed, from “the invasion of the Al-Aqsa Mosque”, a deceitful and incendiary charge used by Palestinian leaders for over 100 years to incite the murder of Jews.

This wasn’t the first time the Palestinian President implicitly endorsed terror.  In September, Abbas, during an interview on PA TV, explained that he “welcomed every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem”.

Of course, these comments shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone familiar with Abbas’s previous acts of rhetorical incitement, such as when he lied when claiming, on PA TV, that Israel “executed” a 13-year-old Palestinian boy – a teenage terrorist who was injured but, in fact, very much alive.

The media’s failure to focus on Abbas’s terror justification of course raise serious questions about double standards.

Whilst Israeli leaders are called out on far less egregious instances of inflammatory rhetoric and demagoguery, it seems clear that journalists, editors and contributors to UK news sites – wedded as they are to the narrative of a ‘moderate’ PA president – won’t substantively call out Abbas on his moral defense of attacks on Jews. 

Why? Because, if British media outlets were to take seriously Abbas’s recent statements, they’d need to question their broader assumption that Abbas is opposed to violence and represents a population of Palestinians interested in peace with the Jewish state.  And, if there is one common thread which characterizes the media’s institutional bias, it’s their collective failure to take Palestinians seriously as agents of their own fate. The Israel-Palestinian story, former AP Jerusalem correspondent Matti Friedman argued, mandates that Palestinians exist merely “as passive victims”.

Since they are the weaker party, this line of reasoning goes, holding Palestinians accountable for their moral failures and decidedly illiberal tendencies, such as endemic antisemitism and the glorification of violence, is “blaming the victim” – part of a political orientation which automatically assigns virtue to those in possession of less economic, social or political power. 

Abbas’s endorsement of antisemitic hate crimes won’t become a big story in the UK because it’s simply not part of the desired narrative about the conflict, nor consistent with the ideological assumptions which inform their facile David vs Goliath tale.


20 replies »

  1. Obviously the problem is the darn Jews that throw themselves onto ‘Palestinian’ knives and run into ‘Palestinian’ cars – just ask the Limey anti-Semites they will tell you that.

    The answer is that we must end the farce and deport the Jordanian colonists to Jordan and the Egyptian colonists to the Sinai

  2. I think that the best thing Israel could do would be to demolish this mosque and sterilise the site on which it is built. There would be no reason, then, for muslims to visit it.

    • @ john in cheshire –

      “… the best thing Israel could do would be to demolish this mosque and sterilise the site on which it is built …”

      … Thus confirming that far from “scaremongering” and “lies” the accusations against Israel were correct all along. Brilliant thinking as usual from the UKMW ranks!

      If Israel’s government truly wanted to combat the inflammatory rhetoric on this front, it should – at very least – have strongly denounced organisations like the Table Mount Institute, whose viral web postings (eg, video @–3#/ ) provide all the ammunition needed to illustrate a “sinister Israeli agenda” for Abbas & co; and it would long ago have called a halt to government funding and support for these irresponsible Third Temple idiots (see ).

      But not a peep of criticism or action from Israel’s leaders (or Adam Levick) about THEIR contribution to the incitement vicious circle. How odd…

        • @ John Kinory –

          Re: “So some poster says something on a blog, and Miranda launches into a spittle-flecked tirade…”

          For a kick-off, the Temple Mount Institute video isn’t the work of just “some poster”, but one which nets 14,500,000 results in a google search. (For perspective: “abbas al aqsa mosque” nets 379,000, while “abbas we welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem” a mere 3,530.)

          Would you – in all honesty – dismiss a similarly widely reproduced/discussed internet posting by a Palestinian organisation so lightly? And if you also knew that this organisation had received substantial funding from the Palestinian Authority (around £72,000 in a single year and god knows how much more in total) would you still have brushed it off as merely “something on a blog” by “some poster”?

          I think not – and that goes for @peterthehungarian and @Edward too.

          • Miranda, I’m in the US.

            I ran “Temple Mount Institute video” in Google – 688,000 results
            “Temple Mount Institute” 1,840,000 results

            Where did you get 14,500,000 results?

            “abbas al aqsa mosque” – 382,000 results
            “abbas welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem” – 6,540 results

            Abbas: “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem”

            • @ Edward –

              The exact words I used in the video search were “temple institute 3rd temple video” and having run it again, still get 14,500,000. The other two are now producing rather different results (perhaps because Abbas’s inflammatory comments are a fast-developing issue) but I don’t think they detract at all significantly from the point I was making.

              For the record: What I got on my second trawl of “abbas al aqsa mosque” was 385,000 – so obviously climbing steadily, though still a few million paces behind the 3rd temple video. Depending on how far I quoted Abbas’s precise words, the top figure I now got was 42,000 (quite a leap even on the doubling you found!) but, again, nowhere near a match for the incendiary reach of that bloody stupid Temple video – and highly unlikely to ever come close.

              • Miranda, In the US “temple institute 3rd temple video” gets:

                About 5,480,000 results (0.29 seconds)

                9 million fewer than your fevered Eurabian swamp.

                How many Infidels visited Mecca in 2015? Where is the tallest Christmas tree in Saudi Arabia?

      • In Miranda’s world a ranting of a blogger on the fringe and the words of the leader of the Palestinians are just the same.

        • A blogger is on the same threat level as the supreme leader of fascist Iran calling for death to America and Israel. Muslims in the UK openly threatening the UK and Europe with 9/11 scale attacks.

          Miranda looks for anything to hang her black pointy hat on.

      • Miranda,
        You are unhinged. How many organizations should Mahmoud Abbas’ gov’t be denouncing by your standard? Oh, wait a minute, it is his organization that is supplying much of the incendiary rhetoric. Do Jews have dirty feet or does he just have a dirty mouth?

  3. Adam,
    That was an accurate and well-written analysis. British media should be ashamed of selling out good and honest journalism for some trendy and false moralizing.

  4. In Guardian readership class we are taught to interpret comments from Abbas and other Palestinians in a culturally relativist way. Since lying, incitement and violent stupidity are big staple of their local culture, our instructor says we must respect such comments by ignoring them. Much like an adult ignores a child’s tantrum.

    In the same vain, since Israel is a white colonialist brown-people-oppressor like us, we must always take every single minutia of anything that comes from their Jewish occupying mouths with great care, and enhance the said thing until everything else in the visible universe has vanished. (see: Bibi-Mufti-gate)

    One day when you too are real Guardian readers you will understand. For now, I don’t expect you too.

  5. Fantastic speech from 1976 by a Jewish Italian artist on French TV in response to the horrific “Zionism equals Racism” vote by the corrupt and cynical dictatorship dominated UN General Assembly. This speech also reminds us that the more things change, the more they stay the same, as this speech could easily be given today in response to most of the nonsense coming out of the UN, the EU or any of the other apologists for Arab terrorism and rejection of Jewish self determination in the land of Israel.