- - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Business is booming in the international terrorism industry.

In just the past two weeks, the path of social disruption and death have spanned continents: Paris shut down when police were targeted on the Champs Elysees, more than 100 people killed in Afghanistan, and on Palm Sunday in Egypt, suicide bombers attacked churches and murdered dozens of Christians at prayer. Regardless of whether it calls itself Taliban, ISIS or other, terrorism is thriving.

Then to top it all off, the terrorism industry received a bonus from the New York Times, in the form of precious op-ed space offered to a convicted murderer, whose crimes were whitewashed in a bio identifying him as merely “a Palestinian leader and Parliamentarian.”

Who’s up next for an op-ed in the Times — a Taliban? An ISIS leader? A Boko Haram?

By supplying the stage and the huge megaphone, as well as lending its prestige and legitimacy to this convicted murderer, The NY Times provided “material aid and support” to a terrorist enterprise. The newspaper colluded with the op-ed’s author, Marwan Barghouti, in knowingly publishing lies under the thin cover of “opinion.” Even its own public editor, Liz Spayd, acknowledged that The Times discredited itself by omitting critical facts — that the author is a multiple murderer - and by its failure to fact-check the content of his writing.

But The N.Y. Times didn’t even need to check. It knew the facts well, as did Barghouti himself. They know that “occupation” is not the problem. They know that back in 1999 Israel offered the Palestinians both a state and a divided Jerusalem. There could have been a nearly 20-year-old Palestinian state by now. But instead of building a state, Barghouti, responded to the offer with a wave of terror under the banner of the Al Aqsa Martyr’s brigade, the terrorist wing of Fatah, the party that controls the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

So Barghouti is not in prison for expressing his views or for his wish for freedom. He is in prison for murdering innocent civilians and directing a campaign of terror aimed at destroying Israel’s existence as the Jewish people’s national home. Nevertheless, Israeli officials note that the conditions of his imprisonment compare very favorably to those of convicted terrorists in in other countries — in Turkey or France or the U.S.

The New York Times’ decision to sanitize a murderer’s reputation and publish his lies is part of a growing “radical chic” on the progressive left. The trend is reflected in the promotion of people like Linda Sarsour, an anti-Israel activist and advocate of Sharia law, who organized the women’s march on Washington in January.

In the midst of this trend to clean up ugly political actors in order to make them acceptable to Americans, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to visit the White House next week, on May 3.

Watch for it – you will find the spirit of New York Times-style whitewashing reflected in the media who will refer to Abbas as a “moderate.” How moderate is he? Abbas pays terrorists and the families of terrorists in prison, or who have been killed carrying out terrorist attacks. This moderate said on Palestinian Authority television in 2016, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.”

Abbas has called on Palestinians to participate in a “day of rage” this Friday, April 29.

Every terrorist group has its rationale, and its rationalization for violence. But there are no excuses for terrorism, whether in New York or Paris, Alexandria or Jerusalem.

No matter where one stands politically, whether on the right, left or center, the only weapons we have against terrorism are clarity of vision and the courage to call things as they are; not as what we wish them to be, not as what they ought to be, not as what we imagine them to be. Whether Taliban or ISIS, Hezbollah, Fatah or Hamas … killers of innocents go by many names but share common cause in bloodshed and pain.

Let’s stop rebranding murderers and their patrons and funders. These folks are not civil rights activists, they are not freedom fighters, they are killers who serve the hateful delusion that the fulfillment of their dreams requires the death and elimination of others.

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