Puncturing the Disinformation Campaign of Hamas and Fatah

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas joined numerous heads of state at the January 11 anti-terrorism rally in Paris. Hamas, for its part, also condemned the murderous attack on Charlie Hebdo. Such displays, writes Bassam Tawil, are meant solely to cast dust in Western eyes:

Hamas should be the last to denounce assaults on journalists and free speech. Its security forces in the Gaza Strip continue to arrest and intimidate Palestinian journalists on a regular basis. Both [Hamas and the Palestinian Authority] have a long history of simultaneously denouncing terrorist attacks abroad while at home doing their utmost to suppress and punish any freedom of expression. Palestinian journalists have been frequently targeted by Palestinian Authority security forces for posting critical remarks on Facebook or for writing stories that reflect negatively on Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian officials. . . .

Hamas, ironically, which has carried out hundreds, if not thousands, of terror attacks against civilians over the past 27 years, was quick to issue a statement condemning the killing of the French journalists. In its statement, published in French, Hamas said it “condemns the attack against Charlie Hebdo magazine and insists on the fact that differences of opinion and thought cannot justify murder.” Hamas, however, was extremely careful not to condemn the terror attack on the kosher Jewish supermarket in Paris—because Hamas believes that attacks against Jews are legitimate. . . .

Hamas and Fatah are once again trying to fool the Europeans and the rest of the world by pretending to be on the side of those who oppose violence and terrorism. This is happening at a time when both groups continue to condone terrorism and glorify terrorists.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Charlie Hebdo, Fatah, Freedom of Speech, Hamas, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority

As Hamas’s Reign of Terror Endures, the International Community Remains Obsessed with Jews Living in the Wrong Places

On Thursday, foreign ministers of the G-7—the U.S., Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy—along with the EU, made an official “statement on the situation in the West Bank,” an area where they are very concerned, it appears, that too many Jews are dwelling. In particular, the G-7 condemned Israel’s decision to grant municipal status to five ad-hoc villages built without proper permits. Elliott Abrams comments:

I can see “condemning” murder, terror, kidnapping, and “rejecting” that legalization. Indeed in the next sentence they “reject the decision by the government of Israel to declare over 1,270 hectares of land in the West Bank as ‘state lands.’” Building houses should not be treated with language usually reserved for murder.

The statement then added complaints about the Israeli settlement program more generally, and about Israel’s decision to withhold some tax revenues it collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Why does Israel ever withhold such funds? Sometimes it is in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack. Sometimes it’s domestic politics. But it’s worth remembering something else: the Taylor Force Act, which became law in 2018 and stated that the “Palestinian Authority’s practice of paying salaries to terrorists serving in Israeli prisons, as well as to the families of deceased terrorists, is an incentive to commit acts of terror.” Until those payments cease, most forms of aid from the U.S. government to the Palestinian Authority may not be made. The payments continue. It is not clear if the State Department is pressuring the Palestinian Authority to end them.

Such moral considerations are entirely absent from the G-7 statement. The statement may be correct when it says, “maintaining economic stability in the West Bank is critical for regional security.” But it should be obvious that ending the pay-for-slay program and rewards for terrorism is even more critical for regional security. It’s a pity the G-7 did not find time to mention that.

The statement, it’s worth noting, appeared on the U.S. State Department website.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Europe and Israel, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy, West Bank