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July 16, 2021 11:35 am
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Associated Press Transforms Convicted Terrorist Into ‘Palestinian Lawmaker’

avatar by Gidon Ben-zvi

Opinion

An aerial view of the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In a July 13 piece titled, “Israel bars jailed Palestinian from daughter’s funeral,”  the Associated Press (AP) described Israel’s refusal to:

let a prominent jailed Palestinian lawmaker attend her daughter’s funeral, despite a campaign by activists and human rights groups for her to be released on humanitarian grounds.”

However, basic journalistic due diligence would have quickly revealed that Khalida Jarrar, is, in fact, a convicted terrorist.

Meanwhile, Suha Jarrar worked for al-Haq, a highly controversial organization with ties to the US-designated terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), of which her mother was a member. Al-Haq has asserted that terrorists have a “right” to receive salaries from the Palestinian Authority.

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The AP’s distortions were reprinted by influential outlets such as The Washington Post, ABC News, Yahoo, and CBS News.

Note the vagueness of the Associated Press headline: Israel bars jailed Palestinian from daughter’s funeral. While the AP thereafter refers to her as a “Palestinian lawmaker,” it fails to note Jarrar’s history of using her status as a former legislator to cover up her involvement in various illegal activities.

Moreover, it is simply bizarre for the AP to open its coverage of Jarrar by referring to her as a ‘lawmaker.’ After all, the Palestinian Legislative Council in which she served has essentially been defunct since 2007  —  after the Hamas terrorist group ousted the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority from the Gaza Strip — and was officially dissolved in 2018.

When the AP eventually gets around to reporting on Jarrar’s link to PFLP, the connection is remarkably unspecific, as if she is little more than a fan of the terrorist outfit:

Jarrar was sentenced to 15 months in 2015 on charges of incitement and membership in the PFLP. She has also been held for months at a time in what’s known as administrative detention, under which Israel detains Palestinian suspects for lengthy periods without charge.

Left unmentioned is that following her release from prison in 2017, Jarrar was placed in administrative detention because Israeli security officials accused her of resuming work on behalf of the PFLP. As such, Khalida Jarrar is much more than an average “Palestinian.”

She is a convicted terrorist responsible for, among other attacks, the murder of a 17-year-old Israeli girl.

In 2019, Jarrar was again arrested in the wake of a PFLP-directed terror attack that killed Rina Shnerb near the West Bank Jewish community of Dolev. The Shin Bet security agency specifically identified Jarrar as head of a 50-strong terrorist cell that carried out the murder.

Despite the fact that Khalida Jarrar has blood on her hands, she was portrayed in glowing terms by AP. Moreover, the wire service fails to note that al-Haq is a leading proponent of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that cloaks its ultimate aim of dismantling the Jewish state in “human rights” rhetoric.

Indeed, it was an active participant in the 2001 Durban World Conference against Racism, which adopted the strategy of promoting the complete international isolation and demonization of Israel through boycotts, legal attacks, and other forms of political and cultural warfare.

The Associated Press should be held to account for its apparent willingness to act as a public relations outfit for a convicted terrorist and an anti-Israel organization.

Gidon Ben-zvi is a contributor to HonestReporting — a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

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