In the four days or so since the killing of five people in Itamar, the Huffington Post has published a grand total of two articles about it, both news. One was about the attack itself, the second was about Abbas condemning it. Not one Huffington Post blogger had written anything about the story until Daoud Kuttab came along, making clear to us exactly what he thought:
“The brutal and inhumane killing of the Fogel family in Itamar is unacceptable and indefensible. No matter what anyone might say about the illegality of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, murder is murder and murder of civilians irrespective of the circumstances must be denounced and rejected at all levels.
Palestinians do want an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza. Jewish settlement activities is a major hurdle to Palestinian national aspirations. But all Palestinians fighting for freedom and independence should denounce this barbaric act against an Israeli family of five. The independent state of Palestine should not be built on the blood of innocent civilians.”
(That last sentence got him into trouble with Ali Abunimah, by the way) Mr. Kuttab starts off very strong. Unlike certain other bloggers, he didn’t try to duck the issue or only pay lip service to condemning the attack. And unlike other posters, he didn’t try and pretend that it was a disgruntled migrant worker or some other kind of conspiracy theory BS. Notice also how he called them an “Israeli family” instead of “settlers.” The BBC could stand to learn something from him.
Unfortunately, something this good could not last so long. Mr. Kuttab spends the body of his article talking about the settlement issue: The “1967 borders,” whether or not Hamas will recognize them, the Quartet, “the Wall,” international law vis a vis the settlements, the UN Security Council, and so on and so forth.
He had an important opportunity here to really educate his readers as to why this attack happened. He has written in the past that the Palestinians must seek internal changes for them to get what they want, but that did not happen here. This was a perfect chance for him to speak out against the plague of infectious hatred that has characterized Palestinian society for so long. Instead, he took the easy road and wrote just one more article about the settlements. Snoozer. That being said, I can’t entirely blame him for his decision. Speaking out against the Palestinians, especially if you are one and live there, can be intimidating, especially when that criticism goes right to the foundation of their culture. Still, this is an important article by Huffington Post standards, and deserves attention.
Oh, but good luck finding this article on the World page, though. It’s gone, baby gone.