View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, May 04, 2004

The Washington Post's Experts 

In the last couple of weeks, the Washington Post's Molly Moore has firmly established herself as a babe in the woods of Middle East and Israeli politics. Last week, Ms. Moore tried to build a case that the targeted killings of Hamas leaders actually would make that genocidal organization more dangerous. Yes, and bombing the train tracks leading to Auschwitz would have made the Nazis more vindictive, too.

In today's paper, she concentrates on Israel's uncertain political situation, resulting from Likud's defeat of Sharon's Gaza pullout plan. I'll focus on the biases of the analysis in another post, but for now, I'd like to look at her sources.

In the Hamas article, Ms. Moore says:

"The worst thing is a headless Hamas," said Eyad Sarraj, a prominent Palestinian psychiatrist and human rights advocate who has closely monitored the role of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. "A headless Hamas means too many heads, too many agendas. Then you can't control exactly what happens."

You can bet that if a "prominent Palestinian psychiatrist" is also described as a "human rights advocate," it's not the human rights of suicide bomb victims he's worried about. Indeed, Mr. Sarraj is the author of this apologia in Time magazine. It's probably one of the most dishonest things Time has every published since the death of Henry Luce. A justification of murder that can only come from a violent distortion of history, its publication condemns both Time for its publication, and the Post for the uncritical acceptance of its author as a neutral authority.

"The new generation of leaders thinks in only one way -- the military wings," said Imad Falouji, a Palestinian legislator and former Hamas member who has authored a book about the organization. "The new policy is more dangerous for Israel than ever before. Now there is only a military policy; there is nothing political now."

No mention of what party he's from. Imad Falouji is the famous legislator who remarked that the second Intifada had been meticulously planned during the Summer of 2000, and was in no way a spontaneous popular reaction to Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount.

Here are the citations from today's article. See which one doesn't fit:

  • Asher Arian, a senior fellow with the Israel Democracy Institute
  • Shimon Peres, a former prime minister and leader of the opposition Labor Party
  • Yehoshua Mor-Yosef, spokesman and political secretary of the Yesha Council, Israel's primary settler organization
  • Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat
  • Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian political analyst

    Harmless enough, a Palestinian political analyst. Except that Mr. Barghouti is the brother of Marwan Barghouti, jailed leader of Fatah's Tanzim, and lead organizer of the current intifada. Mustafa himself is a popular speaker both in the territories and abroad, and tightly connected to the International Solidarity Movement.

    In short, the Post is now in the habit of quoting Palestinian terrorists and terrorist sympathizers without disclosing these connections. If Ms. Moore is aware of them, she has no business omitting them. If she wasn't aware, well, her sloppiness has now been corrected.

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