The Hasbara behind the release of Palestinian prisoners: debunking the MFA briefing

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Lundi 15 Décembre 2008

The Hasbara behind the release of Palestinian prisoners: debunking the MFA briefing
As always, when I read the Israel Foreign Affairs Ministry Press Briefing, I can't help but wonder how they do it. They lie through their teeth so much, that I hope the Ministry provides a really excellent Dental Care Program to its staff. In "Behind the Headlines: Israel continues prisoner release policy" we see the best worst that Israel has to offer the gullible masses… but first of course, remember, this is the stuff they feed to the news agencies, so why are you surprised that when the papers pick it up everything is so totally screwed and twisted? My deconstruction in RED.

In honor of the Muslim Festival of the Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha),

Do they really care? Why recognise a Muslim holiday unless they do it for political expediency… and get ready for it, the catch is coming up…

and as a confidence building measure towards the Palestinian Authority and its leadership, Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayad,

There’s the catch! It’s not for the Palestinian people, but as a favour to the Palestinian Authority and its LEADERSHIP, who, lest we forget, didn’t win the elections and are in power in a way that few consider legitimate.

the Israel government decided on Sunday, 7 December 2008, to release 230 Palestinian prisoners. The convicted prisoners who are serving sentences of varying lengths in Israeli prisons and are identified with either Fatah, the Popular Front (PFLP) or the Democratic Front (DFLP). The release is scheduled for Monday, 15 December 2008. 

That’s right, they are from Fatah and …. The PFLP and DFLP (just to make it look like it wasn’t giving the collaborationist party all the favours).
In accordance with the criteria set by previous government decisions
, none of the prisoners have blood on their hands,

Ok, so let’s see who the prisoners are and what the charges are. Hmm… no list around just yet.

and all belong to factions that support the Palestinian Authority and its leadership.

Would we expect ANYTHING else?

None are associated with Hamas or Palestinian Jihad.

No, of course not. These are selected for being killed, as the MFA seems to think is “policy”. Just take a look at the Media Summary that they issued yesterday. In an article, unfortunately only in Hebrew, written by Dan Margolit for the free Israeli paper HaYom, this is what we see as the fate that remains for leaders or militants associated with Hamas:

Yisrael Hayom says that, "The debate over the level of the military response" to Kassam rockets from the Gaza Strip "is connected to Gilad Shalit," and proposes the following: "As a first step, it would be wise to finally activate the Foreign Ministry and announce in the world's capitals that Israel will wait one month for the complete cessation of all firing at its communities. Public opinion should be prepared. At the same time, the crossings to the Gaza Strip must be closed without setting a target date… The Government will promise not to open them before a certain date even if Kassam fire halts immediately. Targeted eliminations against those responsible for firing Kassams and mortar rounds will be resumed, especially against the Hamas leadership. Ismail Haniyeh should face the same fate as Sheikh Yassin. And afterwards? In the meantime, Israel will have a stable government and it is possible that by then that discussion of the situation in the Gaza Strip will not have to be included on the agenda."

Right, my friends. THAT was released not on some fringe, fanatical “Kill them ALL” news source, it got the government stamp of approval. They seem to think that:

a)       they can “announce” (not consult with) the world’s capitals that Israel is setting a little tiny deadline before they go into full war regale. “Prepare the public opinion”, and that means, HASBARA BABES; get your galoshes on, cuz we have heaps of mud to dump over things like law, ethics, humanitarian consideration and facts;

b)       close the Gaza crossings (as if they aren’t already closed?) WITHOUT SETTING A TARGET DATE (keeping people in a state of siege that has no conditions), it is imposed because obviously, the World has been properly briefed as to the justice in doing that;

c)       they won’t open them EVEN IF Kassams are not fired. So, those naughty Palestinians can’t win for losing:

d)       basically force resistance movements into action, anything they do will be used as a pretext to – ASSASSINATE Hamas leaders, even ones who have been elected, and are not merely ideologues, can be picked off, (hey, the World Capitals know, so they can’t complain);

e)       nobody can talk about Gaza.

The list of prisoners to be released was prepared by the Israel Security Agency and the Ministry of Justice. The majority of the prisoners will be released via the Beituniya checkpoint in the West Bank, and a minority (19) via the Erez Crossing into Gaza.

Through this latest confidence-building measure - which addresses an issue of critical significance for the Palestinians - Israel seeks to intensify its continued dialogue with partners who are both committed to negotiations and diplomacy and opposed to terrorism.

There you have it in a nutshell, release more who are in the party that allows normalisation, which is not the majority view of the Palestinian community in the Occupied Territories and in the refugee camps and the Exile at large, and call it doing a favour to Palestinians. I am certain the families want and deserve to have their loved ones with them. I can’t blame them for their joy, and I am happy that prisoners are being released. It is the selection process that kind of… smacks of political expediency… for Israel alone, and for those who lick the arse of Israel just to stay in power in their citadel in the West Bank.

The prisoner release is being carried out within the framework of Israel’s ongoing policy of implementing confidence-building measures and strengthening the Palestinian Authority and its leadership, Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayad.

You already said that. But repetition is a Hasbara tool.

Israel is sending a message that political achievements can be attained only through negotiations, and that the pursuit of terrorism will achieve nothing. The graduated release of prisoners is an ongoing process, which to date has brought about the release of approximately 1000 prisoners who support the Palestinian Authority and its leadership,

I thought this was a goodwill gesture? Ah, author of this briefing, you kind of laid your cards on the table there, get them back to your chest.

alongside Israel-Palestinian security cooperation (such as the Jenin model), and other measures.

Right, they support all Palestinian “security” measures that take away the people’s security, but give Abu Mazen a private army.

The prisoners are being released in honor of the Muslim Festival of Sacrifice, and in deference to the high priority accorded to the prisoner issue in Palestinian society.

Oh come on, we already saw that you have two deuces!

It should not be forgotten that these prisoners have been convicted of participation in terror attacks against Israeli citizens, and the Government of Israel is not eager to release any of them.

Gosh, I thought you JUST wrote that those who pursue terrorism will achieve NOTHING. Or didn’t you say they had no blood on their hands? Remember, if you put a story out, stick to it at least in the same press release!

Indeed, there is a great deal of internal criticism in Israel regarding the government's decision to release these prisoners - especially in light of the standstill in negotiations for the release of the Israel soldier Gilad Shalit who was abducted by the Hamas two and a half years ago.

The pursuit of this policy, despite the domestic controversy, reflects the priority given by the Israel government to making peace with pragmatic Palestinians.

I thought you had to make peace with Palestinians, not just with those who you like and who are doing you favours. Happy Eid.

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Mary Rizzo is an art restorer, translator and writer living in Italy. Editor and co-founder of Palestine Think Tank, co-founder of Tlaxcala translations collective. Her personal blog is Peacepalestine.
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Lundi 15 Décembre 2008

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