September 25, 2011

Abbas UN ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Accusation, Refusal to Recognize Israel Absent From Press Reports

Friday at the UN (text here), Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of engaging in “ethnic cleansing.”

Earlier, in a speech to 200 supposed “senior representatives of the Palestinian community in the U.S.” (would that include Gaza flotilla organizers and Barack Obama pals Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn? Just askin’), Abbas declared, as relayed by, that “They talk to us about the Jewish state, but I respond to them with a final answer: We shall not recognize a Jewish state.”

Given that there would hardly be a point to covering Abbas’s speech if readers knew of the just-cited statements, it’s hardly surprising that the press is also in a non-recognition mode:

  • A search at the Associated Press’s national site on “ethnic cleansing” (not in quotes) returns nothing relevant.
  • In a review of several AP stories, I found no reference to Abbas’s non-recognition statement. In one instance, the AP brought up Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s mention of it: “[h]e reiterated in interviews with Israeli TV stations that the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state and that talks would first have to address security arrangements.”
  • Based on a search on “ethnic cleansing” (in quotes) at the New York Times, the last time the term was used in connection with anything was September 16.
  • A Google News September 22-25 search on “ethnic cleansing” (in quotes, sorted by date) returned 56 items (it looks like 108, but it’s really 56). None are original source, U.S.-based establishment media outlets.

Yes, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Palestinian terrorists of engaging in ethnic cleansing, but only after Abbas weighed in, and with an accuracy Abbas did not have:

For his part, Netanyahu accused the Palestinians of racism and ethnic cleansing in their call for a state with no Jewish settlers — “Judenrein,” in Netanyahu’s words, using the Nazi-era term.

“That’s ethnic cleansing,” he said.

He accused the Palestinians of wanting statehood but not peace. “The truth is, so far the Palestinians have refused to negotiate,” he said. “The truth is the Palestinians want a state without peace.”

We’re where we’ve always been, namely that meaningful talks can’t start until the Palestinians recognize Israel and renounce terrorism. They never have.

Frankly it all seems like a such a waste of media and diplomatic time and effort — unless the long-term goal is, through a long-term campaign of disparate treatment, to make Israel look like the obstacle to peace, when it isn’t and never has been. That’s seemingly what’s it’s been all about for at least 44 years since the 1967 war.

In case you’re wondering where all of this might be headed, an AP story’s headline this afternoon should give you an idea: “With UN bid, Abbas rises out of Arafat’s shadow.” Marvelous.

Cross-posted at


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