About his people, the late Palestinian intellectual, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, said this: “We’re mediocre, and in the end maybe that very mediocrity is what’s going to beat the Israelis, for all their brilliance.” Uncharacteristically candid, the professor was, however, understating the issue in a manner even less typical of his people’s habit. In the war of words, the Israelis have, sadly, been thoroughly defeated. The clod’s strategy has been effective—a victory lap is more in order.
“Arafat’s obsequious, clownish posturing,” as Edward Said—another Palestinian intellectual—described the chairman, is now ameliorated by a bevy of slick propagandists. Professor Abu-Lughod might have agreed, however, that their delivery is still more brawn than brains. Be it chief Palestinian Authority representative in the U.S., Abdel Hasan Rahman, or the beguiling legal adviser for the PA, Diana Buttu, the strategy they deploy is the same: unflinchingly repeat the staple lies again and again, while retaining a shot-with-botox facial expression.
And so the canard of a massacre or atrocities in Jenin was repeated even in the face of the discovery by Kadoura Moussa, the Fatah director for the northern West Bank, of 56 battle casualties. Not included among the dead was a corpse which—while being lugged by a group of Palestinian aspiring movie extras (staging one of those perennial “funerals” for the benefit of the uncritical, leftist media)—was dropped from the stretcher, only to rise from the dead and scurry away.
The Palestinian Jenin joust is reminiscent of the 1948 Dir Yassin libel. Dir Yassin was a village turned Arab base, where a fierce, Jenin-like battle ensued between the Israelis and the attacking Arab forces over the route to Jerusalem. As in Jenin, writes Samuel Katz in Battleground: Fact and Fantasy in Palestine, Arab fighters barricaded themselves among the villagers. One-third of the Israeli force was injured—some killed. Tragically, and in contrast to Jenin, many civilians did in fact perish in the crossfire.
Then, as today, Arab leaders were aided by British propaganda, with the result that the lie—according to which the Israelis had committed a massacre—grew over the decades like Pinocchio’s proboscis. Jews have expressed deep sorrow over the tragic events in Dir Yassin, something a local villager recorded in a Jordanian daily. Yunes Ahmed Assad recounted that, “The Jews never intended to hurt the population of the village,” and that “the Arab exodus from other villages…” was caused by “the exaggerated descriptions spread by Arab leaders to incite them to fight the Jews.”
Has there been any expression of regret from Palestinian leaders, the UN, and the news networks the world over—all of which orchestrated the massacre libel? Have the networks stopped indulging—and giving credence to—the embellishments of the Palestinians?
More obfuscation than lie is the mantra that the “occupation” is responsible for the homicidal bombers. Nowhere does Hamas (or, to the best of my knowledge, any Islamic militant group, including the factions sponsored by and operating under Arafat) promise to swear off violence when—and if—Israel retreats to the indefensible borders of 1967. These grisly killers are very clear about their agenda.
The 1988 Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) states:
“The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement [sic] Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered; it, or any part of it, should not be given up.”
“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
The Hamas seals The Covenant with a foreboding, pan-Islamic promise that “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
To use that cliché of in-betweenness, Israel is caught between murderous militants and a hard place. In their own words, “occupation” of the West Bank and Gaza is not the cause of the militants’ murder sprees—Jewish life in the land of Israel is. And nowhere do the militants, who have the run of the PA, promise to cease exploding innocent people if and when a retreat from Gaza and the West Bank is finalized. The Islamists tell us they will rest only when they conquer the land of Israel in its totality.
According to the Hamas Covenant, nothing less than the destruction of Israel as a Jewish State will do. So when Raghida Dergham, the bonny propagandist from the newspaper Al Hayat, repeats for the umpteenth time on Hardball that the depredations of the “Israeli occupation” are responsible for Hamas’ detonating of Israelis, she lies. Hamas’ own manifesto contradicts her.
©By ILANA MERCER
May 15, 2002