Arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat addresses the UN. (AP/Marty Lederhandler) (AP/Marty Lederhandler)
Yasser Arafat

AP obscured the fact that arch-terrorist Arafat arrived at the United Nations armed with a gun. 

By: CAMERA and United with Israel Staff

In an article published last week about dramatic moments at the United Nations, mockingly titled “Laughter at Trump among a long line of shocking UN moments,“ the Associated Press concealed the most dramatic element of Yasser Arafat’s 1974 United Nations address – he brought a handgun to the plenum and even delivered the address while openly sporting the holster.

In his article, AP reporter Tamer Fakahany obscured the fact that Arafat actually brought his gun to the UN and wore the holster during his address, and instead highlighted the unprecedented nature of his appearance there as relating only to the statement: “Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. I repeat: Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.”

While the piece explicitly notes that Arafat wore a keffiyeh headdress, it leaves out the much more significant and historic fact that he wore a gun holster. According to an earlier AP report, he was forced to deposit the gun before mounting the rostrum.

AP Contradicts Itself

AP’s September 28, 2012 account of the same speech, titled “Some memorable props used by speakers at the UN,“ explicitly stated in the heading “Yasser Arafat brings his gun to the UN.” It also contained the key information omitted from last week’s report: “Arafat appeared wearing his gun belt and holster, reluctantly removing his pistol before mounting the rostrum.”

Moreover, an Associated Press photograph which appears alongside the 2012 item appears to show a holster on Arafat’s hip at the time he gave his 1974 speech.

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), a media watchdog, contacted the Associated Press about the misleading item by Fakahany, AP’s deputy director of global news coordination, on the day that it appeared last week.

The news agency neglected to amend the report to make clear that Arafat brought his gun to the UN and delivered his address while wearing the holster.