UK Media Watch

Evening Standard omits fact that “acclaimed Palestinian writer” was also a PFLP terrorist

The Evening Standard published a review of a play being performed at Finborough Theatre in London called Returning to Haifa.

Here’s the opening paragraph:

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the state of Israel, and with it the tumult of the end of the British Mandate for Palestine and the uprooting of so many Palestinians. This elegiac new play, adapted from the 1969 novella by acclaimed Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani (killed in 1972 by a Mossad car bomb) traces the impact of that time and its aftermath on one Palestinian family. It’s worth noting that this adaptation was originally commissioned by New York’s Public Theater, who subsequently abandoned the planned production after political pressure.

As we noted in a tweet earlier to the journalist, in addition to being an “acclaimed Palestinian writer”, Ghassan Kanafi was also a high-ranking member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group. Kanafi was the right hand man to the group’s leader George Habash and met with members of the Japanese Red Army who murdered 26 people in the Lod Airport Massacre in 1972. 

PFLP was responsible for a number of terror attacks, including hijackings, suicide bombings and the murder of Israel’s tourism minister in 2001.

This element of Kanafi’s background would of course explain why he was “killed in 1972 by a Mossad car bomb”, and likely why New York’s Public Theater “abandoned” their planned production of the play.

We’ve lodge a complaint with editors over this omission.

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