Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Facts? What Facts?

In its Cut & Paste at the bottom of today's letters page, The Australian sarcastically advises the authors of an article in yesterday's Age not to "let facts get in the way of propaganda." Yet its editorial on the same page contains the following sentence:

"The Fateh regime of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (whose term expired in January but who shows no sign of standing down) maintains an uneasy truce with Israel on the West Bank." (Obama's opportunity for Middle East peace: The threat of a nuclear armed Iran can kick start talks, 2/6/09)

What? Had I missed something? Had the Israelis and Abbas' 'freedom fighters' just downed smoking weapons and begun eyeballing each other across the barricades instead? Steady on... Here's that same "uneasy truce" in The New York Times:

"Palestinian Authority forces clashed with Hamas militants in the West Bank early on Sunday, leaving 6 dead in the bloodiest such encounter in 2 years... Hamas officials accused the West Bank authorities of collaborating with Israel and the West, and betraying the Palestinian national cause. Israeli officials pointedly declined to comment, not wanting to be seen by West Bank residents as being too closely tied to the Palestinian Authority. But Israeli soldiers control the West Bank, and Palestinian security forces coordinate their actions with them." (6 die as Palestinian Authority forces clash with Hamas, Ethan Bronner, 1/6/09)

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