The July 4th holiday having thrown the Monitor off schedule, this week’s column is placed in the capable hands of HonestReporting.com, which so far has received the most reader votes in the Monitor’s ongoing ‘favorite website’ poll. (Results will be published in August, so there’s still time to get your choices in.)
“Hijacking the Hudna,” a recent report posted by HonestReporting, follows:
HonestReporting is bewildered by recent media reports that are factually incorrect in describing the road map’s most basic points. The background: A key component of the road map is the uprooting of terror groups. The PA, however, rather than directly confront Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah, cut a deal with them on the side – a hudna, or tactical ceasefire. The hudna between the PA and terror groups sets an outrageous (and under-reported) condition for suspending Palestinian terror: Israel’s “release of all prisoners and detainees, Palestinian and Arab…without condition or restriction.”
Remarkably, Israel has been willing to release scores of prisoners as a goodwill gesture, and on Sunday the Israeli cabinet approved the release of an additional 300.
The PA’s reaction: PA minister Abdel Razek said the PA will stop implementing the road map peace plan and will halt all negotiations with Israel if Israel doesn’t release all of the Palestinian prisoners. And Radi Jarai, deputy PA minister, said “there is a hudna that has been announced and Israel has to fulfill its obligations in accordance with this agreement.”
Look what’s happened: The road map, accepted by both the PA and Israel to international fanfare, has been taken hostage by the hudna, an internal Palestinian deal that Israel never agreed to. The world media, in surreal fashion, have accepted this shift, allowing Hamas to set the terms for road map progress:
● The New York Times reported this week: “The release of Palestinian prisoners is just one of many demands placed on both sides under the Mideast peace plan, known as the road map.”
Actually, the road map says absolutely nothing about release of Palestinian prisoners. Only the hudna – which Israel never agreed to – demands a prisoner release. (The Times removed this line in a later edition, but the original edition is still in wide circulation – for example, on Yahoo
● Los Angeles Times: “Along with prisoner releases, the next important element in moving ahead with the ‘road map’ is the Palestinian demand that Israel withdraw from more of the West Bank.”
Again, prisoner releases are not a part of the road map. And according to the road map, the PA’s obligation to uproot terror is clearly “the next important element.”
● BBC: “Israeli officials say members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad are not included among those to be freed, a decision which could jeopardize the truce and threaten the entire peace process.”
Note the BBC’s logic: Israel’s refusal to immediately release over 6,000 prisoners (many of whom are convicted murders) jeopardizes the ‘truce.’ The BBC would have us believe that Israel, therefore, is the guilty party for the possible failure of the road map.
Stage One of the road map demands that the PA ‘arrest, disrupt, and restrain’ terror groups, eliminating their influence. How have those same terror groups not only wrestled control of the PA’s negotiations, but convinced the media that their outrageous demands are actually integral
to the road map?!
Associated Press twists the truth a complete 180 degrees, presenting the basic tenets of the road map as some kind of Israeli-American subplot: “Beyond policing the truce, Israel and the United States want the Palestinians to disarm and dismantle extremist groups…”
Israel and the United States? The road map is authored by the Quartet of the US, EU, UN and Russia. Abu Mazen and the PA agreed and committed to these terms. No, it is not just “Israel and the United States [who] want the Palestinians to disarm and dismantle extremist groups.”
Jason Maoz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org