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memri
September 17, 2001 No.
267

Terror in America (1) Palestinian Information Ministry Director-General: The Arab media are overly preoccupied with the terror attacks in the US; they must return to dealing with the Palestinian problem

Palestinian Information Ministry Director-General Hassan Al-Kashef was critical of the fact that the media coverage of the terrorattacks and their aftermath in the US was diverting attention from the Intifada and the Palestinian problem. In an article entitled"The Arabs neglect us in favor of humiliation and hypocrisy," published in the Palestinian Authority mouthpiece Al-Hayat Al-Jadida,Al-Kashef writes:

"Why are the Arabs acting like guilty parties? Why do [the Arab media] continue to give us this revolting flow of hypocrisy and obsequiousness towards the US? The Arabs condemned the New York disaster. The condemnation came from all official and popular circles. That's enough. [The condemnation] was real, not artificial. Why are the Arabs alone, of all the peoples and governments on Earth, need to be in such a position [of being accused], without trust and without honor?"

"The US is a superpower. I cannot justify or understand all this political and media preoccupation. What happened, happened. The US, the superpower, can handle the ruins of part of the Pentagon and the ruins of the two World Trade Center towers in New York [on its own], with all due respect to the sorrow of the victims' relatives."

"The Arab and Islamic political and media interest has veered from the daily Israeli tank and helicopter attacks on our soil. The Israeli oppressors invaded our cities of Jenin, Jericho, Gaza, and Qalqiliya with tanks and helicopters, and they continue to do so. We are averaging ten martyrs a day. The Israeli government has become an association of rabbis, advising us by day and killing us by night. The eyes of the Arab media remain riveted on the ruins of three buildings in New York and Washington. The [Arab] media are participating in the media blackout imposed on what is happening to us, on our land. [It is] we, [the Palestinians], who are the issue of the Arabs, and the first, foremost, and invariable issue of the decade, despite the occurrences of last Tuesday in the US, despite the earthquake in Turkey, despite the events in Indonesia, in Kosovo, and so on and so forth."

"The Arabs [and their representatives] have hit [rock] bottom in their self-abasement. They wallow in hypocrisy and humiliation. Proof of this is the [Arab media] silence regarding the attacks and the accusations directed at Arabs and Muslims in the cities of America and Europe. They [the Arabs and Muslims] are always accused, even when their innocence is proven. Oklahoma is an example [of this]. It would be enough for one Arab to have participated in what happened last Tuesday in New York and Washington for all the Arabs to be transformed into a fifth column of culprits subject to punishment, or forgiveness, from their American master!"

"If the airplanes' blasting into the World Trade Center towers in New York is considered terror carried out by a few individuals, the murder of Arabs by Israel and by American weapons and all the American killings of Arabs in Iraq, in the Sudan, and in Libya is official terror, and those responsible are the US and Israel. These are war crimes; these are crimes of mass destruction. What happened in Kana and in Al-'Amariya was not a mistake by America's smart weapons. There was no punishment for the terror against Arabs in Deir Yassin, in Kibia, in Sabra and Shatilla, in Bahr-al Bakr, and so on."

"If the US's suffering from the terror arouses all this rage, sorrow, and condemnation, and [results in] the mobilization of all the world powers, the small countries, and the medium-size countries, what should happen following the terror we suffer, from the country occupying our lands and killing [us]? What does the Israeli terror – supported by the full weight of the US for the past half-century – deserve? The Arabs trample their [own] rights and honor with feet trembling with fear of punishment for a crime they did not commit. This is the truth. The Palestinians should exclude themselves from this Arab situation, because they are fighters, not murderers, and because they are the victims of Israeli terror – terror in which the occupier Israel uses American weapons."[1]


[1] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Palestinian Authority), September 14, 2001.