I’m going to go out on a limb here a little bit but…I think JTA has once again been hoodwinked by some anti-Palestinian propaganda outfit (possible CAMERA or MEMRI). In an unattributed article based on an unspecified media source (nor does it attribute the quotation to any specific person–all of which are warning signs), JTA writes:
Hamas: Jews Out
There is no place for Jews in the Holy Land, Hamas said.
As Israel marked the 60th anniversary of a U.N. vote approving the creation of a Jewish state alongside an Arab state in what was then British Mandate Palestine, Hamas called Thursday for the 1947 General Assembly Resolution 181 to be rescinded.
“Palestine is one indivisible unit and we will not cede one inch of its soil,” the Palestinian Islamist movement said in a statement, referring to what is now Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
“Palestine is an Arab and Muslim land, from its river to its sea, and there is no place in it for the Jews.”
…In an apparent snub to Hamas’s maximalist rhetoric against Israel, [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas [said at Annapolis]: “The time of extravagant promises by one rival trying to outbid another must pass, and not return. Now is a moment of truth, not of illusion.”
Who in Hamas said this? What “statement” does this article refer to? As my friend Sol Salbe wrote to me, this smells of a rodent.
People’s Daily Online reports what may be the same story but the text quoted is quite different. In addition, People’s Daily notes that the statement was distributed as an unsigned “leaflet” distributed to the news media, making it a less than credible representation of the official views of Hamas:
Islamic Hamas movement on Thursday renewed its rejection to United Nations Resolution No. 181 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its adoption, calling it a “resolution of partition.”
The resolution, issued in 1947, a year before Israel was born, called for the establishment of two states on the lands of historic Palestine, one Jewish and one Arab.
“Palestine is one unified geographical unit, and can never be partitioned or sliced by resolutions or agreements,” said a Hamas leaflet sent to the press on the occasion of the anniversary, stressing “there is no compromise on the Arab and Islamic characteristics of Palestine.”
The movement, which has been ruling Gaza Strip since June 14, held the UN responsible “for issuing the unfair resolution 181 which divided Palestine and for the suffering and pain our people had passed over the past 60 years.”
“The resolution legalized the partition of the lands of Palestine between its legal residents, who were expelled out of it by force, and the illegal new comers of Jews and Zionists,” said the Hamas leaflet.
To a dyed in the wool anti-Palestinian these statements may appear so similar as to make any distinctions meaningless. But an important point of journalism is to be precise. While I agree with neither Hamas statement, the second version in no way claims there is no room in Palestine for Jews. And in fact, Hamas’ official position has been and continues to be that Jews are welcome to live in a unified Palestinian state. Again, this is not a view I share. But it is a far cry from calling for the elimination of Jews from Palestine or Israel as JTA claims Hamas believes. If we disagree with Hamas can’t we at least do so and quote them accurately? Is it necessary to twist and distort their views to make them appear even more heinous than they are?
Personally, I think JTA is the victim of a faulty MEMRI-type mistranslation (at the least). So I challenge the editors to document this story further or repudiate it. If they cannot document a legitimate source and legitimate translation I’d like to know who was their original source. A few weeks ago they were “had” by Mort Klein who fed them a fake Desmond Tutu “quotation.” I think it’s entirely possible that unlike The Who, who said “we won’t get fooled again,” JTA has been.