The Times Does Gaza: Oh, No You Don’t, Ismail Haniya

Jan 28 2013 / 9:41 pm

By Steve Breyman

It’s a news article! It’s a news analysis! It’s an op-ed! The Times’ is at it again in Gaza. Fares Akram’s recent piece about Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s visit to the Strip can’t quite make up its mind about what it is. It’s clear, however, what it isn’t: straight-up reportage of a foreign leader’s visit to the world’s largest open-air prison.

Akram tells us that Razak came to Gaza for a few hours (along with his wife and foreign minister) in order to lay the cornerstone of a technical college his government is funding, and to sign an agreement to rebuild the prime minister’s office, bombed to smithereens by Israel last November. So far, so good (if you ignore Akram’s description of the November slaughter as a “bloody conflict;” bloody for whom?).

But Akram can’t simply report this, and move on to his next assignment. He must, in a piece not labeled as analysis or opinion, interpret the statements of Ismail Haniya, Hamas prime minister, as at odds with those of Razak. The Malaysian came on a “humanitarian mission,” whereas Haniya considered it an “Islamic declaration for breaking the Israeli siege on Gaza.” Akram cannot imagine that the two interpretations might be closer than he paints them.

There can be no good news for Hamas (or Palestinians more generally), according to the Times. When Razak makes the expected call for Palestinian unity (opposed only by Israel and the United States) before his hosts, Akram counters with Mahmoud Abbas’ view that the visit “constitutes a harm to the Palestinian representation, boosts the division, and does not serve the Palestinian interests.” How this might be so Akram fails to explain.

The Times did not appreciate the October visit to Gaza of Qatari Emir bin Khalifa al-Thani, or the November visit—in the midst of the aerial bombing—of Egyptian Prime Minister Qandil either.

Akram reports another of Haniya’s statements to ensure readers got the message of outrage: Razak’s visit was “a Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim” response to Netanyahu’s campaign visit to the Western Wall. Haniya claimed the Western Wall, called Al Buraq in Arabic, was an “Arab and Islamic wall,” and that “Jerusalem is Islamic.” Incensed yet? How dare Haniya try to score points against Israel on the back of Razak’s visit! Only Israeli politicians get to be vile nationalists, demagogues and theocrats!

Tiresome, isn’t it?

-Steve Breyman taught his first social movement course while a University of California graduate student in the late eighties. He contributed this article to Contact him at:

Posted by on Jan 28 2013 . Filed under Articles, Commentary . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 . You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Comment

Please insert the correct number.

+ 8 = 17

The Free Zone | Blog

  • October 9, 2015

    Videos Emerge Showing Israeli Police Shooting Palestinian Woman 'Execution-Style' (VIDEOS)

    A number of videos emerged online on Friday, showing Israeli police shooting a Palestinian woman, Isra' Abed, 28, at a bus station in Afula in the north of Israel. - In one video shot through what looks like a glass window of a truck or a bus, a woman in white clothes with a black bag is seen amid shouting armed men, allegedly Israeli police officers. While the person in white seems to be holding her hands up, gunfire... More →
  • October 9, 2015

    Netanyahu Admits Failure of Security Measures to Stop 'Aattacks'

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted security measures have failed, saying that there was “no quick fix for a spate of Palestinian ‘lone-wolf’ attacks that the Jewish state has faced in recent days.” He asked Israelis to remain vigilant. - In a press conference yesterday, along with Minister of Defence Moshe Yaalon, Public Security Minister Gildan Erdan, and army officials, Netanyahu claimed that... More →
  • October 9, 2015

    Seven Palestinians Shot Dead and 65 Injured by Israeli Forces in Gaza

    Seven Palestinians were killed and 65 others were injured Friday after Israeli forces opened fire at a demonstration in eastern Gaza, a medical official said. - “Five Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire during clashes with Israeli forces in al-Shujaiyeh neighborhood east of Gaza City,” Ashraf Al-Qedra, spokesman of the Gazan Ministry of Health, said. - At least 65 others were injured after Israeli forces... More →
  • October 8, 2015

    Photo of Wissam Faraj, Shot in the Heart in Shufat

    Wissam Faraj, 20, was shot in the heart with an explosive, or “dum dum,” bullet and died during clashes which broke out during an Israel army raid on the Shufat refugee camp in occupied East... More →
  • October 8, 2015

    Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian in Shufat Refugee Camp Raid

    A Palestinian youth was killed and six others injured, including one critically, during an Israeli raid in East Jerusalem's Shufat refugee camp on Thursday, medics said. - Locals said Israeli forces raided the camp and attempted to break into the home of Subhi Abu Khalifa, who had earlier stabbed an Orthodox Jewish man in Jerusalem. - Wissam Faraj, 20, was shot in the heart with an explosive, or "dum dum," bullet and... More →
Support Palestine Chronicle
Support Palestine Chronicle
"The Palestine Chronicle is a beacon. History, witness, analysis and ways forward are here, written with authority and humanity. Long may it publish." — John Pilger.
Subscribe to Newsletter
Enter your email address to subscribe to our mailing list.
Chief Complaint
Return: A Palestinian Memoir
Idea of Israel
Disclaimer RSS Feed Contact us Donation Popup
© Copyright 1999-2015 All rights reserved
Powered By MediaSeniors