Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hamas leader Khaled Meshal, never said “kill Jews” in Gaza speech

We continuously read or hear on the TV about the threats Arabic or Muslim leaders (that aren't in cahoots with Halliburton or Chevron) make towards Israel.  The Zionist regime is always portrayed as the victim, the Palestinians, or Iranians, the aggressors. Anti-semitism along the lines of European anti-semitism is the cause of  Palestinian actions; they just hate Jews.  Comparing Palestinians to European anti-semites and Nazis is ludicrous. We share this from the Electronic Intifada as a perfect example of how the western media, even a paper with a liberal bent, distorts what is actually said and why it is important that translation of language is meticulously researched before publication.  In these cases its intentional but either way, it's crucial.

Workers must bear this in mind when we read or watch what the mass media tells us.  It lies about us, about a strike, it surely lies about events like the Palestinian struggle for justice. We always hear that Hamas, one of the few democratically elected governments/leaderships in the Middle East, doesn't  accept that Israel has a right to exist when the real issue is which Israel are we talking about?

(Hatem Omar / Maan Images)

UK’s Observer adds “kill Jews” to Hamas leader Khaled Meshal’s Gaza speech when he did not say it.

Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Sun, 12/09/2012 - 06:01
In its report on Hamas leader Khaled Meshal’s speech in Gaza on Saturday, The Observer, the Sunday sister paper of The Guardian, quoted Meshal saying the following words:
We don’t kill Jews because they are Jews. We kill the Zionists because they are conquerors and we will continue to kill anyone who takes our land and our holy places … We will free Jerusalem inch by inch, stone by stone.
This however is a blatant mistranslation. What Meshal actually said is:
We do not fight the Jews because they are Jews. We fight the Zionist occupiers and aggressors. And we will fight anyone who tries to occupy our lands or attacks us. We fight those who fight us, who attack us, who besiege us, who attack our holy places and our land.
Can you see the massive difference? To an untrained ear the Arabic verbs for “kill” and “fight” could sound the same because قتل – to kill – and قاتل – to fight or combat – come from the same root. But to any fluent Arabic speaker there is no ambiguity at all in what Meshal said as the clip below shows.

Resistance “a means not an end”

The Observer painted Meshal’s speech as “uncompromising” and most other media called it “fiery.” I even heard someone on the BBC World Service say it was little changed from Hamas’ founding charter.
I have not seen any reports pointing out this passage in Meshal’s speech
Resistance for us is a means and not an end. I am speaking to the whole world through the media. If the world finds a means, without resistance or bloodshed, to return Palestine and Jerusalem to us, and the right of return, and to end the Zionist occupation then we welcome it. We tried you [the world] for 64 years and you have done nothing. So if we resort to resistance do not blame us. If we found another way without war we would have seized it, but the history of nations shows that there is no victory or liberation without resistance, without battles, without sacrifice.
This is a theme Meshal has spoken about before, including in a speech in 2009 where he used almost identical words.
Meshal, while covering the bases, praising resistance and rebutting Mahmoud Abbas’ recent assertion that only the West Bank and Gaza are “Palestine” while the rest is “Israel,” was reaffirming Hamas’ longstanding openness to dealing with the world politically, rather than solely through armed resistance.
But if you read The Observer, you would think he said “kill Jews” where he said no such thing.

Update, 9 December

The Observer replaced the word “kill” with “fight” and added this note to its article: “This article was amended on Sunday 9 December 2012 to correct a mistranslation in a quote by Meshaal.”

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