Hamas will never recognize Israel, Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday at a rally to mark the 23rd anniversary of the militant group's founding.
"We say it with confidence as we said it five years ago when we formed our government, and we say it today: We will never recognize Israel," Haniyeh told a crowd in Gaza City numbering tens of thousands.
Given that no non-expert in the world knows anything about which party won which election in Azerbaijan, Bolivia or Croatia, and the only reason they do know anything about Hamas is because of its relationship to Israel, this is arguably the part of the story that ought to interest non-Israeli media outlets, too.
The Washington Post simply downloaded the story filed by AP, about the size of the Hamas rally and how popular the party may be. At the very end of the item we learn that Hamas gave out a press release:
In a message distributed to media Tuesday morning, Hamas said it remains committed to destroying Israel, bringing back Palestinian refugees and seizing control of Jerusalem's holy sites.According to Haaretz this was the message of the main speech at the rally, given by the Hamas Prime Minsiter Ismail Haniyeh, not some press release. So which was it? It's a significant difference, one might think.
"Anyone who gives up these rights is a traitor," it said - an apparent dig at Hamas' rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who favors a peace agreement with Israel.
According to the BBC, Haniyeh said it at the rally. However, the BBC also tucks this in at the end of the item, after carefully insinuating that Hamas merely doesn't like the Israeli occupation of the West Bank
"Today, on the anniversary of its establishment, Hamas stresses that it is committed to the principle of reconciliation," Mr Haniya told throngs of supporters who filled the streets of Gaza City, waving green banners.
"Reconciliation is a must so that the Palestinian people recover their unity in confronting the occupation," he said.
Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the 1967 Middle East war. It withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005, but heightened its blockade on the territory after Hamas came to power in 2007.
No mention of the well known fact that in Arabic, the occupation can easily mean any Jewish sovereignty anywhere in what the Palestinians regard as their land in its entirety. If this isn't such a case, how does the BBC know? And if they know, don't we deserve to know how they know?
The Guardian simply doesn't report on the event. Nothing. Tens of thousands of Gazans demonstrating in the middle of town, speeches, a major spectacle - not newsworthy.
Sadly, the New York Times comes off worst in this little experiment. Not only is there no mention of the event, when I wrote "Hamas" into their search engine the most recent item I was offered was about a fairy tale. About two weeks ago Ismail Haniyeh apparently told some foreign reporters that if there's ever a referendum about a peace deal with Israel among all the Palestinians world-wide, and the result isn't to the liking of Hamas, Hamas will accept the verdict. Of course, there's no reason to expect millions of Palestinians with limited civil rights scattered over various Arab states to vote for an agreement that will leave them there with no Right of Return, so one might expect a reasonable reporter to spell out that Haniyeh isn't risking much with his statement; but in the meantime he's just said what he really thinks, in Arabic, before a large rally, and the NYT doesn't find it newsworthy.