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November 11, 2015 5:42 pm

Elle Publishes an Article That Slanders Israel, and No One Cares

avatar by Tamar Sternthal

A recent stabbing attack: Screenshot.

A recent stabbing attack in Israel. Photo: Screenshot.

In 2011, the popular fashion magazine Vogue dubbed Asma Assad, wife of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, “the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies.” But that happened long before the Syrian spring, and then the long, dark Syrian winter, claimed hundreds of thousands of Syrian lives.

Vogue was not the first magazine to lionize Asma Assad in this manner. In 2009, Elle, another fashion magazine, declared her the most stylish woman in world politics.

While it’s no longer fashionable to admire Ms. Assad, the whitewashing of Palestinian violence is currently in vogue at Elle. Thus, on October 30, 2015, Palestinian-American Karmah Elmusa described the recent round of Palestinian terror attacks on Israelis as follows:

After living under occupation their whole lives, and with no prospect of political resolution on the horizon, Palestinian youth have taken to the streets this month in protest. (“I’m longing for Palestine while living the American dream“)

Elle‘s misplaced admiration for Ms. Assad parallels Ms. Elmusa’s admiration for one Dr. Mads Gilbert, whom she lionized on Twitter a few weeks ago as a “true humanitarian.”
elmusa gilbert
 Who is this great humanitarian whom Elmusa regards with such high esteem? Norwegian Dr. Mads Gilbert expressed his support for the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States in an interview that he gave with the Norwegian daily, Dagbladet, in 2001. He stated:

The attack on New York was not surprising, after the policy that has led the West in recent decades. I am upset over the terrorist attack, but am equally upset over the suffering which the United States has created. It is in this context that the 5000 dead people must be seen. If the US government has a legitimate right to bomb and kill civilians in Iraq, then there is also a moral right to attack the United States with the weapons they had to create. Dead civilians are the same whether they are Americans, Palestinians or Iraqis.

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When asked by Dagbladet if he supported the terrorist attack on the US, he replied:

Terror is a bad weapon, but the answer is yes, within the context I have mentioned.

Given that a man who supports the 9/11 attacks is synonymous with “true humanitarian” in Elmusa’s mind, her grossly distorted characterization of the last several weeks of Palestinian violence is no surprise. Her skewed depiction of the Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces serves as the framing for the rest of her story about Palestinian victimization. Thus, she makes a specious allegation lacking sufficient detail to allow any fact-checking:

This is the country [the United States] that looked the other way when Israel sentenced my Palestinian cousin to nine years in prison for his role in a protest after the murder of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir. They came to his house in the middle of the night and took him away based on an anonymous tip. At age 22, he will spend the rest of his youth in a cell.

Without details like a name and a date, it’s impossible to determine why exactly her cousin was sentenced to nine years in prison. She says it was merely for “his role in a protest,” as if he were guilty of nothing more than marching and waving protest signs, but then again, she also obscures the stabbings, shootings, and rammings as “protest[s].”

If her cousin were actually sentenced to multiple years for his involvement in a terror organization, or for his role in carrying out attacks against Israeli civilians or soldiers, it wouldn’t be the first time that a media outlet would gullibly swallow claims that Palestinians were imprisoned for nothing more than participating in a protest.

As The New York Times infamously reported in 2011, Izzedine Abu Sneineh was arrested three years earlier at the age of 15 supposedly for “throwing stones and hanging Palestinian flags from telephone poles.” But, as The Times itself was compelled to note in a Dec. 21 print edition correction:

…the article misstated Israeli charges against one of the freed prisoners, Izzedine Abu Sneineh, who had been arrested three years ago at age 15. Israel had accused him of weapons training, attempted murder and possession of explosives — not throwing stones and hanging Palestinian flags from telephone poles.

Elmusa’s lyrical voice does not conceal her loose and free treatment of the facts.

And we brace ourselves for the status quo: American politicians will dismiss dead Palestinians as “terrorists,” while respectfully mourning each lost Israeli life. We live with the guilt that we are here, not there. The guilt that we can come and go as we please, while Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are barricaded into their homes, neighborhoods, or cities. Israel is flanked by water, but many Palestinians will never see the sea.

The implication that American politicians at large dismiss innocent Palestinian victims, fatalities or otherwise, as “terrorists” is utter nonsense.

Elmusa’s claims about travel are equally specious. Since Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Gazans have been able to freely travel throughout the Strip, aside from periods of acute violence, such as the summer of 2014, in which conditions were too dangerous to travel. And given that the Gaza Strip, like Israel, is “flanked by water,” Gazans regularly see the sea.

Palestinians from the land-locked West Bank, too, can travel from north to south within the West Bank. Evidence to the fact that they are not “barricaded into their homes, neighborhoods or cities” also is apparent in images of thousands of West Bank Palestinians visiting Tel Aviv beaches in for the holiday of Eid Al-Fitr last summer (Haaretz, July 20, 2015).
 Reuters beach
The spate of recent Palestinian attacks, many of them emanating from east Jerusalem neighborhoods, has resulted in the erection of barriers throughout those neighborhoods, and some of them have since been dismantled. Elmusa breathes not a word, though, about the Palestinian violence that led to those barriers.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Karmah Elmusa serves as communications manager for the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), though Elle does not disclose to readers that this is her position. According to IMEU’s web site,

the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) is an independent non-profit organization that provides journalists with quick access to information about Palestine and the Palestinians, as well as expert sources, both in the United States and in the Middle East. Both through its website and its staff, the IMEU works with journalists to increase the public’s understanding about the socio-economic, political, and cultural aspects of Palestine, Palestinians, and Palestinian Americans.

It is the Institute for Middle East Understanding that published Elmusa’s fawning interview with Gilbert. In one of its recent posts, IMEU sought “to increase the public’s understanding” by defending MSNBC’s use of egregiously misleading maps purportedly showing Palestinian loss of land. The network retracted its use of the erroneous maps, with anchor Kate Snow apologizing, “Last Thursday, in an attempt to talk about the context for the current turmoil in the Middle East we showed a series of maps of the changing geography in that region. We realized after we went off the air the maps were not factually accurate and we regret using them.” Elmusa still claims that those maps are correct.

But clearly these facts are not the picture that the IMEU, or Karmah Elmusa, an admirer of 9/11 terror supporter Mads Gilbert, would like readers to understand.

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