Palestine: the truth, the lie, and the press

In a rare self-exposure, CNN was criticized on air by editor of the Jerusalem Report, David Horovitz, who called CNN and the foreign press to task in distorting reporting of Israel vs Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization/Palestinian Authority.

According to Daniel Pipes in the Jerusalem Post, 2 recent polls indicate that given the opportunity, both Israeli Arabs and Palestinians living under the PLO/PA overwhelmingly (82%) prefer to live under Jewish, not Palestinian, rule.

As the title of a Globe and Mail news item puts it, "Some Palestinians prefer life in Israel: In East Jerusalem, residents say they would fight a handover to Abbas regime."

The article offers the example of Nabil Gheit, who, with two stints in Israeli prisons and posters of "the martyr Saddam Hussein" over the cash register in his store, would be expected to cheer the prospect of parts of eastern Jerusalem coming under PA control.

Not so. As mukhtar of Ras Khamis, near Shuafat, Gheit dreads the PA and says he and others would fight a handover. "If there was a referendum here, no one would vote to join the Palestinian Authority...There would be another intifada to defend ourselves from the PA."

Two polls released last week, from Keevoon Research, Strategy & Communications and the Arabic-language newspaper As-Sennara, survey representative samples of adult Israeli Arabs on the issue of joining the PA, and they corroborate what Gheit says. Asked, "Would you prefer to be a citizen of Israel or of a new Palestinian state?" 62 percent want to remain Israeli citizens and 14 percent want to join a future
Palestinian state. Asked, "Do you support transferring the Triangle [an Arab-dominated area in northern Israel] to the Palestinian Authority?" 78 percent oppose the idea and 18 percent support it.

IGNORING THE don't-knows/refused, the ratios of respondents are nearly identical preferring to stay within Israel - 82 percent and 81 percent, respectively. Gheit exaggerates that "no one" wants to live in the PA, but not by much. Thousands of Palestinian residents in Jerusalem who, fearful of the PA, have applied for Israeli citizenship since Olmert's statement further corroborate his point.

Why such affection for the state that Palestinians famously revile in the media, in scholarship, classrooms, mosques, and international bodies, that they terrorize on a daily basis? Best to let them explain their motivations in direct quotations.

Financial considerations: "I don't want to have any part in the PA. I want the health insurance, the schools, all the things we get by living here," says Ranya Mohammed. "I'll go and live in Israel before I'll stay here and live under the PA, even if it means taking an Israeli passport. I have seen their suffering in the PA. We have a lot of privileges I'm not ready to give up."

Law and order: Gazans, note Israeli-Arab journalists Faiz Abbas and Muhammad Awwad, now "miss the Israelis, since Israel is more merciful than [the Palestinian gunmen] who do not even know why they are fighting and killing one another. It's like organized crime."

Raising children: "I want to live in peace and to raise my children in an orderly school," says Jamil Sanduqa. "I don't want to raise my child on throwing stones, or on Hamas."

A more predictable future: "I want to keep living here with my wife and child without having to worry about our future. That's why I want Israeli citizenship. I don't know what the future holds," says Samar Qassam, 33.

Others raise concerns about corruption, human rights, and even self-esteem ("When the Jews talk about swapping me, it's as though they are denying my right to be a person"). These earnest views do not repudiate the vicious anti-Zionism that reigns in the Middle East, but they reveal that four-fifths of those Palestinians who know Israel at first-hand understand the attractions of a decent life in a decent country, a fact with important and positive implications.

With Arabs representing 1 out of every 5 Israeli citizens, where do the press get the notion that 'Palestinians' seek to be liberated from Israel's governance?

FrontPage Magazine's Jamie Glazov interviewed Roumania's former General Ion Pacepa (author of "The Arafat I Knew" in the Wall St. Journal) before Arafat died:

The PLO was dreamt up by the KGB, which had a penchant for “liberation” organizations. "Abu Ammar,” (Nom de guerre for Yasser Arafat) was built into a Palestinian leader by the KGB in the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day Arab-Israeli War.

In that war, Israel humiliated two of the Soviet Union’s most important allies in the Arab world of that time, Egypt and Syria, and the Kremlin thought that Arafat could help repair the Soviet prestige. Arafat had begun his political career as leader of the Palestinian terrorist organization al-Fatah, whose fedayeen were being secretly trained in the Soviet Union. In 1969, the KGB managed to catapult him up as chairman of the PLO executive committee. Egyptian ruler Gamal Abdel Nasser, who was also a Soviet puppet, publicly proposed the appointment.

Soon after that, the KGB tasked Arafat to declare war on American “imperial-Zionism” during the first summit of the Black International, an organization that was also financed by the KGB. Arafat claimed to have coined the word “imperial-Zionism,” but in fact Moscow had invented this battle cry many years earlier, combining the traditionally Russian anti-Semitism with the new Marxist anti-Americanism.

FP: Why has the American and Israeli leadership been deceived so long about Arafat’s criminal and terrorist activities?

Pacepa: Because Arafat is a master of deceit—and I unfortunately contributed to that. In March 1978, for instance, I secretly brought Arafat to Bucharest to involve him in a long-planned Soviet/Romanian disinformation plot. Its goal was to get the United States to establish diplomatic relations with him, by having him pretend to transform the terrorist PLO into a government-in-exile that was willing to renounce terrorism. Soviet president Leonid Brezhnev believed that newly elected US president Jimmy Carter would swallow the bait. Therefore, he told the Romanian dictator that conditions were ripe for introducing Arafat into the White House. Moscow gave Ceausescu the job because by 1978 my boss had become Washington’s most favored tyrant. “The only thing people in the West care about is our leaders,” the KGB chairman said, when he enrolled me in the effort of making Arafat popular in Washington. “The more they come to love them, the better they will like us.”

“But we are a revolution,” Arafat exploded, after Ceausescu explained what the Kremlin wanted from him. “We were born as a revolution, and we should remain an
unfettered revolution.” Arafat expostulated that the Palestinians lacked the tradition, unity, and discipline to become a formal state. That statehood was only something for a future generation. That all governments, even Communist ones, were limited by laws and international agreements, and he was not willing to put any laws or other obstacles in the way of the Palestinian struggle to eradicate the state of Israel.

My former boss was able to persuade Arafat into tricking President Carter only by resorting to dialectical materialism, for both were fanatical Stalinists who knew their Marxism by heart. Ceausescu sympathetically agreed that “a war of terror is your only realistic weapon,” but he also told his guest that, if he would transform the PLO into a government-in-exile and would pretend to break with terrorism, the West would shower him with money and glory. “But you have to keep on pretending, over and over,” my boss emphasized.

Ceausescu pointed out that political influence, like dialectical materialism, was built upon the same basic tenet that quantitative accumulation generates qualitative transformation. Both work like cocaine, let’s say. If you sniff it once or twice, it may not change your life. If you use it day after day, though, it will make you into an addict, a different man. That’s the qualitative transformation. And in the shadow of your government-in-exile you can keep as many terrorist groups as you want, as long as they are not publicly connected with your name.

In April 1978 I accompanied Ceausescu to Washington, where he convinced President Jimmy Carter that he could persuade Arafat to transform his PLO into a law-abiding government-in-exile, if the United States would establish official relations with him. Thereupon, President Carter publicly hailed Ceausescu as a “great national and
international leader” who had “taken on a role of leadership in the entire international community.”

Three months later I was granted political asylum by the United States, and Romania’s tyrant lost his dream of getting the Nobel Peace Prize. A quarter of a century later, however, Arafat remains in place as the PLO chairman and seems to still be on track with the Kremlin’s game of deception. In 1994, Arafat was granted the Nobel Peace Prize because he agreed to transform his terrorist organization into a kind of government-in-exile (the Palestinian Authority) and pretended, over and over, that he would abolish the articles in the 1964 PLO Covenant that call for the
destruction of the state of Israel and would eradicate Palestinian terrorism.

At the end of the 1998-99 Palestinian school year, however, all one hundred and fifty new schoolbooks used by Arafat’s Palestinian Authority described Israel as
the “Zionist enemy” and equated Zionism with Nazism. Two years after the Oslo
Accords were signed, the number of Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists
rose by 73% compared to the two year period preceding the agreement.

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