Posted by on August 12, 2014 in Blog

By Nadeem Istfan
Summer Intern, 2014

The overused argument that “Hamas calls in its charter for the destruction of Israel and the elimination of the Jews” to validate Israel’s aggression towards the people of Hamas-controlled Gaza often goes unmatched with equally disturbing rhetoric from the Israeli side.

Last Sunday, on the CNN show “Reliable Sources”, AAI President Dr. James Zogby and columnist S.E. Cupp spoke about what the media often omits when reporting the current conflicts in the Middle East. Dr. Zogby challenged Cupp’s claims that the media consisently and wrongly omits exposing Hamas’ main objective to destroy the Zionist state by stating that the Likud charter is comparable to the former and even less frequently recited.

Durning the segment, Zogby claimed that each time Benjamin Netanyahu is discussed in the media, "we would have to say, for example in the Likud charter, there is a total claim for the entire land of Israel," to fit S.E. Cupp's point.

Although the Likud Charter does not explicitly endorse violence and ethnic cleansing, it rejects the creation of a Palestinian State west of the Jordan River (all of historic Palestine), rejects of division of Jerusalem, and promises to continue developing settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. In short, the Likud Charter assures that the Palestinian people will never achieve self-determination in their homeland.

As the document states, "A unilateral Palestinian declaration of the establishment of a Palestinian state will constitute a fundamental and substantive violation of the agreements with the State of Israel and the scuttling of the Oslo and Wye accords. The government will adopt immediate stringent measures in the event of such a declaration."

Zogby also called to attention the horrific words of Knesset deputy speaker Moshe Feiglin who has called for "deporting Palestinians of the Gaza strip into places unknown," destroying all built up areas in Gaza, and finally annexing Gaza permanently. S.E. Cupp’s lack of awareness of the alarming propaganda from Israeli political entities further confirms that an omission bias exists for both sides of the conflict.

Hamas’ anti-Semitic rhetoric cannot be ignored, as it calls for ethnic cleansing, but neither can the platform of the incumbent Likud party or that of its even more extreme allies. Extremists, both Israelis and Palestinians, have significant power in their respective political institutions and both use rhetoric and poltiical documents to institute their platforms and positions.

The recent actions of the Likud-led government and Hamas have made the possibility of the two-state solution highly unlikely and more difficult to achieve. The increasing illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the ethnic cleansing of Bedouins have made a future Israeli annexation of Area C of the West Bank probable. At the same time, Hamas’ persistent rocket fire on Israeli towns has created even more skepticism among Israelis that an independent sovereign Palestinian state can lively peacefully alongside Israel. At the end of the day, the actions on the ground may be more impactful than language in charters.

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