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David Bedein


Michael Kuttner

 
SOFTBALL REPORTING: EXAMINING A NEWS INTERVIEW WITH PALESTINIAN PM FAYYAD

David Bedein and Michael Kuttner,posted Feb 4, 2013

On January 18, 2013, The Jerusalem Post magazine featured a parody of an interview with the non elected Palestinian Arab Authority Prime Minister Fayyad, http://themedialine.org/news/news_detail.asp?NewsID=36880

characterized by softball questions that provided Fayad with an opportunity to evade any response which might shine a light on inconvenient topics and expose his actual policies.

Instead of challenging the veracity of misleading answers, the Media Line interviewer allowed them to pass, depriving readers the access to real facts as opposed to the notions that Fayyad wanted to propagate.

Here are 20 questions which the interviewer could have asked Fayyad:

1: You define all areas taken by Israel in 1967 as illegally "occupied”. Who occupied this territory between 1948 & 1967? Was it not the Jordanians? Was their occupation legal? Where was the Palestinian Arab State then?

2: You assert that Jerusalem must be your Capital. Does your deliberate omission of the phrase "East" Jerusalem, mean that you will not be satisfied until all of Jerusalem is under your control?. In your position paper “Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State: Program of the Thirteenth Government - August 2009” available on the net at: http://www.geneva-accord.org/images/Offical%20Paper%20-%20Program%20of%20the%20Thirteenth%20Government,%20August%202009.pdf you are on the record as stating that you define ALL of Jerusalem as your capital. Can we presume that this remains your goal today? Please clarify.

3: You know that your opposition to E1 development is a red herring. Nothing is likely to be started there for quite some time. In the interim if you were serious you could negotiate a satisfactory solution. Why do you not do so?

4: Why, despite all the gestures made by Israel, including a 10 month settlement freeze, why have you not entered into any serious negotiations? Why are you refusing to deal with the democratically elected Government of Israel? Are you instead waiting for the international community to force concessions from one side only?

5: You admit that the absence of any elections by the PA needs to be addressed. Surely, you must acknowledge that blaming Israel for this state of affairs instead of admitting that democracy as it is normally defined may be absent from the Palestinian Arab experience, could be the root of the problem.

6: How do you respond to charges that mismanagement and corruption have led to the financial crises of the Palestinian Authority, an entity which has received more than 20 billion dollars in foreign aid since its inception?

7. Why blame the “occupation” and refusal of donor nations to bail you out? Why should the international community and indeed your fellow Arab regimes, continue to pour endless millions into your coffers when all this money achieves is the continuation of a bloated administration?

8: In your position, you endorse the absolute right of return for the five million descendants of Arab refugees who have wallowed in the indignity of UNRWA refugee facilities since 1949. You know that the “return” to villages lost in 1948 remains an illusion that will never occur. With humanitarian concerns of fellow Palestinian Arabs in your heart, why do not galvanize an international campaign to improve the living conditions of those who have lived in squalid refugee conditions for three generations, and give them the option to resettle in better conditions, instead of perpetuating “Palestinian refugee status” for yet a fourth generation?

9. In the light of the oppression of descendants of Palestinian Arabs who live in UNRWA refugee facilities in Syria, will you join in international efforts to rescue and resettle these Palestinian Arab people in distress?

10: Why are you so silent about the ongoing mass murders in Syria?

11: You express enthusiasm at the recent Fatah celebrations in Gaza, where Abbas spoke on a large video conference screen. Why do you omit the fact that Mr. Abbas used that occasion to exalt the actions of a dozen Arab “martyrs” who murdered Jews?
 
 
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