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March 02, 2008

Christian Science Monitor Successfully Turns Up Down

No matter how many times I see it, I'm impressed with the ability of the US media to blithely rewrite history. Here's Ilene R. Prusher, Jerusalem bureau chief for the Christian Science Monitor, explaining why a Palestinian billionaire is trying to reconcile Fatah and Hamas:

Relations between Fatah and Hamas, hostile for a few years, were severed when Hamas overran the Gaza Strip last June in a violent coup. Militants connected to Hamas, which swept to power in a landslide election just over two years ago, attacked all security forces and posts in Gaza connected to Fatah.

Of course, many Palestinians say they've heard it all before. At an event to launch the initiative, members of the press wanted to know why this would be any different from the Mecca Accord, in which Saudi Arabia brought Fatah and Hamas to an agreement in February 2007, only to fall apart soon afterwards.

Here in the real world, things were almost 180 degrees the opposite: relations were severed because a faction of Fatah was planning to overrun Gaza in a violent coup. More importantly from the perspective of American readers is that this coup was funded and armed by the United States and its allies. Moreover, the main reason the Mecca Accord failed was the opposition of the Bush administration. Some details are here.

You never know whether people like Prusher just have no idea what they're talking about, or are consciously reshaping reality to keep their jobs.

In any case, some far superior reporting from the Real News on the current Israel/Palestine situation is below. You can donate to the Real News here.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at March 2, 2008 06:33 PM

Well, I give her points for "Hamas, which swept to power in a landslide election." From most US media reports, you'd never know there was an election, or that Hamas won it.

Posted by: SteveB at March 2, 2008 10:03 PM

YOUR MONEY POISONS THE HOLY LAND. ( and mine. sounds religious doesn't it?)The more money WE dump into that situation, the more WE poison BOTH sides. Pay one this week to bomb the guy you paid last week, working on the new guy next week. DIPLOMACY? CONDI RICE??? Walk away from the situation, QUIT POISONING them BOTH with YOUR money, QUIT giving them, BOTH, YOUR bad advice.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 3, 2008 01:13 AM

I assume that their editors tell them how to frame their pieces. The editors get directions from the management.

Posted by: abb1 at March 3, 2008 03:30 AM

Just the tiniest bit of cognitive dissonance in the article: if Hamas "swept to power in a landslide election", then why did they need to stage a "coup"? And, if Fatah lost the election, why were they still in control of the government's security forces?

Even for a paid propagandist, sometimes it's hard to keep the cracks from showing. It's like "Nation celebrates record wheat harvest" and "Man shot for stealing bread" showing up in the same issue of Pravda.

Posted by: SteveB at March 3, 2008 10:49 AM

Holy kamoley: The vertigo-inducing experience of being on the same side of an Israel-Palestine issue as David freaking Wurmser:

Within the Bush administration, the Palestinian policy set off a furious debate. One of its critics is David Wurmser, the avowed neoconservative, who resigned as Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief Middle East adviser in July 2007, a month after the Gaza coup.

Wurmser accuses the Bush administration of “engaging in a dirty war in an effort to provide a corrupt dictatorship [led by Abbas] with victory.” He believes that Hamas had no intention of taking Gaza until Fatah forced its hand. “It looks to me that what happened wasn’t so much a coup by Hamas but an attempted coup by Fatah that was pre-empted before it could happen,” Wurmser says.

Posted by: Nell at March 3, 2008 12:32 PM

Oops: last paragraph in comment above is also a quote from the VF article by David Rose.

Posted by: Nell at March 3, 2008 12:36 PM