Palestinians in Gaza prepare firebomb balloons to be released into Israel. (Flash90/Abed Rahim Khatib) (Flash90/Abed Rahim Khatib)
MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS

Newsweek editors never checked Palestinian op-ed claims of ‘non-violent resistance’ that totally ignored violence like rocket attacks and car rammings.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

A report Tuesday by the watchdog group HonestReporting found that a recent supposed ‘op-ed’ in Newsweek was full of factual errors that the magazine’s editors apparently didn’t even bother to check if they were true or not.

HonestReporting analyst Akiva Van Koningsveld checked out Newsweek‘s February 11 opinion piece by Palestinian writer Muhammad Shehada, who pushed the claim that Palestinians are using “nonviolent resistance.”

Titled “Israel Criminalizes Nonviolent Palestinian Resistance—Then Calls Us Terrorists,” the article starts off describing Isso Amro as a “human rights defender” who allegedly “committed his life to nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience.”

That sounds great and pulls at the heart-strings of those sympathetic to the Palestinians, but it totally ignores the fact that Amro is a well-known anti-Israel propagandist who was convicted on several counts of violent protest.

In the Newsweek article, Shehada claims Amro was indicted by Israel “for nonviolent resistance,” but he fails to mention that Amro was charged with incitement, taking part in riots, attacking soldiers and civilians, and interfering with Israeli security operations in the area.

Amro was convicted on six counts, including assaulting a private security guard, not your standard “resisting arrest” normally associated with non-violent protests. The activist has also posted on social media calling for a “third intifada.” Given that in the first two intifadas the Palestinians unleashed violent waves of suicide bombings, shootings and stabbing attacks that killed 1,400 Israelis and wounded thousands more, it is hard to understand how Amro’s call for a third intifada is “non-violent.”

“In other articles, Shehada seems to excuse attacks perpetrated by terrorist groups. For example, he has justified the launching of incendiary balloons towards southern Israel by calling them “distress signals,” while criticizing the Jewish state for defending its citizens against the real threat that they pose,” Van Konigsveld writes.

Furthermore, Van Koningsveld notes, Shehada misled Newsweek readers with inaccurate or downright misleading claims. The editors apparently didn’t bother to check whether Shehada’s claims were true.

Newsweek not only allowed this writer a platform in the form of a lengthy op-ed to defend a controversial Palestinian activist, but also failed to fact check the inaccurate claims he made in the piece,” Van Koningsveld concludes.