Whitewashing a Palestinian minister’s murder

Ziad Abu Ein

By Jamal Kan

Israel has just committed another high-profile murder in the West Bank, killing 55-year-old Ziad Abu Ein, a minister without portfolio in the Palestinian government. According to the BBC, he “was among dozens of foreign and Palestinian activists taking part in a protest against land confiscations”.

Abu Ein was in charge of monitoring Israeli activities related to the annexation wall and the construction of Jews-only colonies in the occupied West Bank.

What happened

He joined local and international protesters, armed with olive saplings, to commemorate International Human Rights Day. They had planned to plant the symbols of peace on land owned by the Palestinian village of Turmus Aiya, which is earmarked for annexation to the Jews-only colony of Shiloh.

“There was no provocation or stone-throwing, no violence by the protesters. Straightaway, the soldiers used tear gas and stun grenades on people.” (Reut Mor, Israeli eyewitness)

The Israeli occupying troops were waiting for the olive saplings’ invasion led by Abu Ein. According to Reut Mor an Israeli, who took part in the march, “There was no provocation or stone-throwing, no violence by the protesters. Straightaway, the soldiers used tear gas and stun grenades on people.”

Moments before he was murdered and standing in the middle of a group of Israeli soldiers, the minister spoke live to TV reporters, “This is an occupying, terrorising army… We came here to plant trees. We are peaceful. No one was violent, yet we were attacked brutally by this terrorist army.”

Ziad Abu Ein’s confrontation with Israeli Wehrmacht soldiers, moments before his murder 

According the AFP and Reuters photographers at the scene, Israeli soldiers grabbed Abu Ein before striking him with their rifle butts on the neck and chest. The Israeli military issued its usual statement, typical of the type it makes following the army’s slaying of civilians, changing only the name of the deceased, claiming that it is already investigating the incident. Looking at its long history, however, Israel uses the investigation to provide a legal cover to justify murders and to mute international calls for an independent probe.

The real Israeli sentiment regarding the incident came from Lieutenant-Colonel (retired) Meir Indor, who was less inhibited when he declared that Abu Ein’s death “leaves Israel with one less enemy”.

Israel’s propagandists spring to action

Meanwhile, Israel’s yellow journalism started a character assassination campaign against the minister and a public relations blitz to absolve the army of the murder.

Several stories were seeded and picked up by Zionist reporters throughout the world and by gullible journalists, without authenticating the veracity of reports.

…Israel’s yellow journalism started a character assassination campaign against the minister and a public relations blitz to absolve the army of the murder.

One such story, picked up by the BBC, was intended to whitewash Abu Ein’s murder by claiming that “…he had a health condition that may have contributed to his death”. Another report in the Jerusalem Post claimed that the victim was a member of the “Revolutionary Council, commonly known as the Abu Nidal terrorist organisation”.

Abu Ein was a senior member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, led by Mahmoud Abbas. Western journalists lacking command of the Arabic language to differentiate between two similar names, ended up wittingly or unwittingly repeating the Israeli lies without verification.

But this is just a prototype of how Western readers are inculcated daily by the Zionists’ yellow journalism.


A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper. The version here is published by permission of Jamal Kanj.

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