The ONLY active voice for American Arab Journalists.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Pro-Israel bias undermines professional journalism at al-Jazeera International

Pro-Israeli editors seek to influence Al-Jazeera
By: Khalid Amayreh
From the Arab American News, Sept. 23, 2006

When the Qatar-based pan-Arab Al-Jazeera Satellite Television announced two years ago plans to launch Al-Jazeera International (AJI), many people around the world hoped the new satellite channel would provide a genuine alternative to the notoriously biased Western media, which often operates under Zionist influence.

The new channel, the launching of which has been postponed several times, will provide both regional and global perspective to a potential audience of hundreds of millions of English speakers.

AJI is the world's first English-language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East, with news management rotating around broadcasting centers in Athens, Doha, London, Washington, D.C., and Kuala Lumpur.

AJI has already attracted a number of luminaries in the world of TV broadcasting, including such people as Sir David Frost and Riz Khan.

However, it seems that disappointment may lie in wait for many of those who expected to see an international TV channel that is fair and objective and - especially - free from the usual Anglo-American (and Israeli) worldview.

In fact, there are already ominous signs showing that pro-Israeli sympathizers, some of them with a background in the BBC, are exerting control on the editorial policies of the new channel, all under the rubric of professionalism and journalistic standards.

This writer, who has been working for (which has now been incorporated into AJI) has discovered, by chance, efforts by some senior Western editors at AJI to minimize and avoid as much as possible the publication of articles, especially news and feature stories, portraying Israel in a bad light or otherwise exposing Israeli occupation practices against the Palestinian people.

This trend has become quite conspicuous lately., for example, failed to report important newsworthy events from Israel, such as the admission by an Israeli military officer that the Israeli air force dropped over a million cluster bomblets on Lebanon during the recent war with Hizbullah.

Similarly, a story quoting Eifi Eitam, head of a right-wing Israeli party, calling for the expulsion of Palestinians from the occupied territories, was left unreported, even after AJI was notified of the subject.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of similar examples, all showing that AJI is knowingly and deliberately avoiding serious coverage of the Palestinian plight, especially in its feature section which abounds with all kinds of stories covering various - and outlandish - subjects and events.
Earlier this year, one of the pro-Israeli editors contemptuously rejected a human interest story on a Palestinian college student from al-Najah University in Nablus who lost her right eye to an Israeli rubber bullet while on her way home from campus.

The senior editor, Vince Ryan, argued that the subject was not a priority and that would prepare a more comprehensive coverage of similar cases later. Of course, the promised coverage never materialized.

Eventually, thanks to intensive pleading by this writer, the article was posted. (See "Rubber Bullets menace West Bank",, 26 April 2006.)

Ryan apparently never forgave me my "audacity," as was evident from his subsequent behavior. In the third week of June this year, I submitted an article on Palestinian children and minors killed by the Israeli army and paramilitary Jewish settlers. The article was based on statistical information released by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

However, instead of thanking me for the article, Ryan, upon seeing it and without giving it a second thought, wrote to tell me that I was lying and that the information contained in the article was false. His vindictive and nervous tone was very telling and spoke volumes.

Unable to reason with the man, who never accepted even a single proposal - and I submitted many - from a series of feature articles he dismissed as "anti-Israeli," I turned to Russell Merryman, Editor-in-Chief for Web and News Media services at AJI, who is probably the most pro-Israeli employee in AJI today.

Instead of treating the matter professionally, Merryman launched a tirade against me, accusing me of lacking professionalism and violating al-Jazeera's professional ethics.

He argued that employing terms such as "martyrs" - even within a quote - was unprofessional (most Arab media employ the term in reference to Palestinians killed by the Israeli army). The same man readily approves quotes by Israeli army spokespersons and Jewish leaders vilifying Palestinians as "terrorists, murderers and thugs."

Finding he had no case against me, Merryman resorted to a red-herring, accusing me of creating confusion and turmoil at from the West Bank - from which I am barred from leaving by the Israeli occupation authorities! And after a brief email exchange, he told me I was fired.

I have written more than 300 pieces for Al-Jazeera's English website, probably more than anybody else, and never encountered any problem with previous editors. Indeed, Merryman himself, after starting work with Al-Jazeera's English website in 2005, praised my professionalism and experience as a journalist.

I don't know for sure why Merryman behaved the way he did. It is quite possible that he had been urged or cajoled by some of his Zionist friends to make sure that "anti-Israeli" articles were rejected.

But I have my suspicions, which I am sure will be vindicated one day.

It may be that he wanted to make AJI coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict a carbon copy of that of the BBC where he had spent several years as producer, presenter and news editor.

That would be a real disaster. Indeed, it was due to the BBC's cumulative coverage of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, at least in part, that a majority of British youths came to think that Palestinians were "the settlers" and Jews were the victims of the "Palestinian settler violence," as was revealed in a British opinion poll a few years ago.

Yes, of course, it is important to be neutral and impartial when covering international conflicts. But it is even more important to be honest when dealing with asymmetrical conflicts where one side is occupied and oppressed and the other is the occupier and oppressor.

Eventually, though somewhat belatedly, the Al-Jazeera administration became conscious, although I don't know to what extent, of the silent but real pro-Israeli lobby that was building-up quietly but steadily within AJI.

This build-up had two main manifestations: neutralizing Palestinian correspondents from Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, and the intensive reliance on reports by American news agency, the Associated Press, viewed by many as 'Israel's ultimate news agency.'

Needless to say, reports by this agency, whose Jerusalem offices are staffed by extremely pro-Israeli, Jewish-American zealots, never misses a chance to remind readers that Hamas is a terrorist organization and that Palestinian resistance fighters are actually terrorists. AP never ever remembers that timeless maxim that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter and that Israel itself is also viewed by hundreds of millions of people around the world as a terrorist state par excellence.

Seeking to rectify the situation before it was too late, Al-Jazeera's top managers appointed Ibrahim Hilal, an able Egyptian journalist, to make sure that AJI didn't drift too much away from the policies of the mother Arabic channel.

Hilal, under instructions from Al-Jazeera General Manager, Waddah Khanfar, asked Merryman to reinstate me as correspondent in Palestine. Merryman complied but only begrudgingly.

On 18 July, Merryman sent me a terse and condescending message, demanding that I apologize to him - I don't know for what - and warning that my performance would be closely monitored. He said he would commission me to write some pieces, but that he, and he alone, would decide when and how. He actually never asked me to write a single piece, despite the numerous newsworthy events taking place in Palestine.

I did propose to him that I undertake some feature stories on the situation in Gaza, the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah and how Israel was barring Palestinians from accessing food and work.

He wouldn't even reply to these messages.

Last week, Merryman decided to change the rules governing the editorial policies of The new rules make sure that "undesirable stories," (e.g. stories that expose Israeli brutality and racism against the Palestinians or those portraying Israel as a Nazi-like entity,) wouldn't find their way to

Merryman has already put this policy into effect. For the past three or four months, not a single feature story about the Israeli persecution of Palestinians, which of late assumed nearly genocidal proportions, appeared on Al-Jazeera's English website. This is while the site abounds with all sorts of stories about outlandish subjects.

Merryman claims he has received full authorization from Al-Jazeera General Director Waddah Khanfar, granting him full authority to decide what is posted on Al-Jazeera's English website.
I have sought to communicate my concerns about this grave trend - now permeating through AJI - to Al-Jazeera's top officials, some of whom have openly voiced their frustration and exasperation in this regard.

One official intimated to me that "Merryman views with utter contempt the way the Arabic channel is run."

Another told me that "this man and his friends want to turn Al-Jazeera into another Fox News or even another Jerusalem Post." The latter is Israel's main right-wing English newspaper, and a mouthpiece for the Jewish settler movement.

I am sure that this article will sign me off from Al-Jazeera. However, I am willing to sacrifice my own personal interest and lose the bulk of my income in the hope that al-Jazeera officials, particularly Chairman Hamad bin Thamer al-Thani and Managing Director Waddah Khanfar, will open their eyes and make sure that al-Jazeera International doesn't become a new weapon in the hands of the enemies of Arabs and Muslims.

For God's sake, don't let them hijack Al-Jazeera under the disguise of journalistic ethics.

Khalid Amayreh is a professional journalist and political analyst from Dura, 10 km south-west of Hebron in the West Bank. His writings appear frequently in Al-Ahram Weekly and Al-Jazeera.


Monday, September 18, 2006

TV Journalist killed in Iraq

IRAQ: TV correspondent murdered in Ramadi

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465­1004 Fax: (212) 465­9568 Web: E-Mail: Contact: Abi Wright e-mail: Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x-105

New York, September 18, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the murder today in Iraq of Ahmed Riyadh al-Karbouli, a correspondent for Baghdad TV. Six gunmen in two Opel cars shot the reporter/cameraman as he chatted with friends after midday prayers outside a mosque in the town of Ramadi, CPJ sources said.

Al-Karbouli, 25, had received numerous death threats from insurgents over the past four months warning him to leave the satellite channel. Baghdad TV is owned by the Iraqi Islamic Party, a major Sunni political group in the country. The party joined the U.S.-backed Iraqi government earlier this year.

“We deplore the murder of our colleague Ahmed Riyadh al-Karbouli and offer our condolences to his family,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “Journalists in Ramadi report under intolerable conditions without any protection to tell the world what is happening in this hotbed of the Iraqi insurgency.”

Ramadi, 70 miles (110 kilometers) west of Baghdad, forms the southwestern point of the “Sunni Triangle,” a focus of Sunni Muslim opposition to the U.S. presence in Iraq.

Many journalists with Baghdad TV have received death threats, including the channel’s other correspondent in Ramadi, a source at the station said.

Al-Karbouli worked at Baghdad TV for two years covering security and the plight of the residents of Ramadi. According to CPJ sources, his features offended some insurgents in Ramadi who felt he was criticizing them. A month ago, gunmen stormed into his house and threatened him in front of his family.

Baghdad TV has lost three other employees since June 2005; two of them were killed by U.S. forces in crossfire. In all, 80 journalists, including al-Karbouli, and 28 media support workers have been killed in Iraq since the war began on March 20, 2003, making it the deadliest conflict in CPJ’s 25-year history.

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nielsen releases data on Asian American viewership

AAJA Applauds Nielsen for Releasing Asian American TV Audience Demographics

SAN FRANCISCO (September 11, 2006) -- The Asian American Journalists Association applauds the decision by Nielsen Media Research to provide greater details on television viewers of Asian ethnicity in the United States.Nielsen tracks television-viewing habits of homes across the country. In their news release last month, the company acknowledged that although it had "previously released information on total Asian households, this is the first time that it has released information on national Asian demographics."

The demographics just released include gender, age and cities. Such information can be used by television sales executives and other professionals to target advertising to Asian American populations. In the long run, AAJA believes this can lead to greater presence of Asian American talent in television programs, advertisements or on-air news positions.According to the latest Nielsen audience report, Asians and Hispanic/Latinos are the fastest-growing national segments of the population, with television households for each increasing by 3.6 percent over the last year. The Asian American audience totaled 4,370,000.

"We are pleased to see that Nielsen is tracking and releasing information about Asian American viewers," said Stanton Tang, National Vice President for Broadcast at AAJA, which has been working with Nielsen Media Research over the last year to expand its reporting of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. "This new information provides economic clout to a segment of American society that is too often ignored by network news executives, entertainment executives and advertisers."

AAJA asks that Nielsen Media Research continue offering information about this vital audience, including greater information at the individual Designated Market Areas (DMA) level for use by local television stations.For more information and statistics on the Nielsen audience, see the report at:

About AAJAThe Asian American Journalists Association is a non-profit professional and educational organization with approximately 2,000 members today. Founded in 1981, AAJA has been at the forefront of change in the journalism industry.

AAJA's mission is to encourage Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) to enter the ranks of journalism, to work for fair and accurate coverage of AAPIs, and to increase the number of AAPI journalists and news managers in the industry.

AAJA is an alliance partner in UNITY Journalists of Color, along with the Native American Journalists Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and National Association of Black Journalists.

For more information, visit


AAJA Contact:
Janice Lee
AAJA Deputy Executive

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Feature on Arab American newspaper in San Antonio Texas

A Muslim Newspaper Begun After 9/11 Now Thrives

ColorLines, News Feature, Daisy Hernández, Sep 11, 2006

Six months after September 11, Sarwat Husain realized she could not be the sole spokesperson for her Muslim community in San Antonio, Texas. So she began a newspaper. Almost five years later, she freely distributes the paper throughout Texas—with paid subscribers in 25 cities across the country. The newspaper, called AL-ITTIHAAD, which means unity, is a compilation of articles relating to Islam and the local Muslim community.

Read full story at:

Organizing an Arab Journalists conference in Chicago for next year

Before Sept. 11, 2001, we had seven Arab American newspapers in Chicago. Within a few months of Sept. 11, all but one closed, forced out of business by repeated hate calls, racist complaints where newspapers were distributed and harassment of advertisers. The survivoer newspaper, al-Offok al-Arabi (The Arab Horizon) was confronted by their web press publisher (all small newspapers need a web press to publish tabloid or broadsheet sizes) and that publisher complained about the topics and the Arabic writing in the paper and refused to print them too. I helped the published at the time find a new web press and they managed to continue to stay in print.

Across the country, we had about 125 Arab American newspapers. Nearly 50 shut down, most permanently, a few resurfaced after a year or so. Today, we have about 85 regularly published Arab American newspapers in the United States.

Much of our success has come through the decisions by two professional journalism organizations to help us stand and survive as professional journalists who happen to be Arab American. The Asian American Journalists Association and the Society of Professional Journalists have both been very supportive -- I have to admit that the National Association of Black Journalists has been opposed to any outreach on our part and have never responded.

But the AAJA and the SPJ have both responded positively and have tried repeatedly to engage us as members in their organizations and allowing us to maintain our identity as Arab American Journalists (who happen to be both Muslim and Christian, by the way. Many Muslim journalists do not feel it appropriate to identify on the basis of religion as that feeds into the growing animosity towards religious extremism and the mixing of religion and politics. Keeping religion apart from politics is so important and NAAJA has worked hard to do that, although we accept membership from anyone who is a journalist, Christian, Muslim or Jewish.)

Anyway, check out both organizations. Arab American journalists SHOULD be members of both and should join. We have some members who are role models, like Anisa Mehdi a PBS producer and independent filmmaker and journalist in new York. She has been a member of the SPJ for years. And many Arab journalists came up to the NAAJA booth at the SPJ covention.

You also want to check out the new blog by the president of the SPJ, Christine Tatum, which is listed among the links on the side of this blog web page and show her support.

Networking and staying focused on professional journalism is a major factor in achieving success as Arab American journalists. We encourage you to associate yourself with professional journalism organizations and avoid those that are overtly engaged in partisan politics. The Middle East is important. But the best way to achieve peace and justice is through honest and accurate journalism that focuses on truth and facts not partisan politics.

Ray Hanania

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

PR: Sudanese terrorist murder journalist

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465‑1004 Fax: (212) 465‑9568 Web: E-Mail:
Contact: Abi Wright
Telephone: (212) 465-1004 x-105

SUDAN: Editor kidnapped and beheaded

New York, September 6, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists deplores the kidnapping and beheading in Sudan of a newspaper editor. Masked gunmen bundled Mohammed Taha Mohammed Ahmed, editor-in-chief of the private daily Al-Wifaq, into a car outside his home in east Khartoum late Tuesday. Police found his severed head next to his body today in the south of the capital. His hands and feet were bound, according to a CPJ source and news reports.

Mohammed Taha had previously angered Islamists by running an article about the Prophet Muhammad. He had also written critically about the political opposition and armed groups in Sudan’s western Darfur region, according to press reports. No group has claimed responsibility for the killing, Reuters reported.

Mohammed Taha, 50, was an Islamist and former member of the National Islamic Front. But in May last year, he was detained for several days, his paper was closed for three months, and fined 8 million Sudanese pounds (US$3,200), after he offended the country’s powerful Islamists by republishing an article from the Internet that questioned the ancestry of the Prophet Muhammad. Demonstrators outside the courthouse demanded he be sentenced to death for blasphemy. Sudan is religiously conservative and penalizes blasphemy and insulting Islam with the death penalty.

Six-months ago, unidentified assailants set fire to the offices of Al-Wifaq, badly damaging the building. The perpetrators were never identified, a CPJ source said.

“We condemn the brutal murder of Mohammed Taha Mohammed Ahmed,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “We call on the Sudanese authorities to find those responsible for the heinous act and bring them to justice.”

Several Sudanese journalists gathered at the Khartoum morgue to protest the murder and demand government protection for the press.

The Arabic-language satellite news channel Al-Jazeera said Mohammed Taha had fought many battles with the government and the opposition parties over his writings and made many political enemies. Because of the article about the Prophet he had received telephone threats from militant Islamic groups in Sudan.

Over the past month, freedom of the press in Sudan has been heavily curtailed. On August 30, Khartoum police beat Ibrahim Muhammad, a cameraman for the Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera, and seized his camera during a banned demonstration against rises in fuel and sugar prices, Reuters reported. On August 26, a court in El-Fasher charged Paul Salopek, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Chicago Tribune, along with his Chadian interpreter and driver, with espionage, illegally disseminating information, and writing “false news.”

Tomo Kriznar, a Slovenian freelance photographer was detained in Darfur on July 19 and sentenced on August 14 to two years in prison on what CPJ considers a spurious charge of espionage.

Read CPJ’s protest letter:

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ron Grossman's gross distortion of the Muhammad Salah case

Ron Grossman whitewashes the Salah persecution
By Ray Hanania

Ron Grossman is a reporter for the Chicago Tribune who has built his name not just on writing long features, but on exploring his Jewish identity and love for Israel.

The Middle East conflict is a longstanding war between Palestinian Arabs and Jews from Europe, the Middle East and even the United States.

Can a Jewish journalist with deep passions not only for his religion but also Israel write objectively about a case so nuanced as the political persecution of Mohammed Salah?

When you read Grossman’s lengthy perspective on the Salah case, the answer is "No."

This isn’t about being Jewish. It is about whether a journalist can be objective when the topic he writes about is so tainted by his personal biases. Can you imagine the uproar in the highly unlikely event that the CHicago Tribune would have allowed a Palestinian journalist to write on the same topic?

Yet Grossman penned an exhaustive report on Salah dripping with subtle pro-Israel references that not even a supporter of Salah could recognize him as being the obvious victim of Israeli torture who survived the Israeli Gulag only to face trumped up charges that will land him in the American prison Gulag.

First among Grossman’s flaws is his reporting that Salah was arrested by Israel and accused of supporting Hamas, an organization Grossman casually notes was designated by the United States as a terrorist organization too.

Of course, Grossman fails to point out that the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization did not come until almost three years later. In fact, that designation took place in 1995 and then officially detailed in a State Department report in 1997, partly in response to Hamas's resistance to the Olso Peace Accords. It was a political move. (Read 1997 designation story?) (Read 2003 supplemental report?)

But that's not all.

The fact is that Hamas did not turn to Suicide bombing as a weapon of resistance against Israel’s oppressive military occupation until May 1994, more than one year after Salah was illegally detained and made into a political prisoner when he was arrested by Israel’s secret service in January 1993.

The suicide bombing that took place in Afula was the direct result of the terrorism that took place a months before in Hebron when a prominent Jewish Chicagoan who maybe Grossman knew, walked into a Mosque in Hebron and gunned down 29 Palestinians while they were in prayer.


Most disgusting is Grossman’s gross attempt to whitewash Israel’s role in persecuting Palestinians and undermining Salah’s only hope for acquittal in the Federal prosecution now pending before him.

Grossman writes two passages at the very end that pack a powerful biased punch that read as if they came right out of a Shin Bet torture handbook to counter Palestinian claims they are victims of Israeli persecution, illegal imprisonment, prison torture, military abuse and even murder.

Grossman fires an Israeli dart through the heart of Salah’s defense, his only chance at acquittal in the biased, anti-Arab American courtroom:

To deprecate Salah’s defense that he was the victim of torture or that he was supporting a legitimate effort to cast off Israel’s brutal occupation, Grossman speculates that Salah’s defense attorney is basically arguing that might Salah’s case can be compared to the fight Americans waged against the British during the Revolutionary War.

And then Grossman stabs the argument in the back, writing in the very last paragraph of the Tribune magazine feature:

"So Mr. Salah," he [Salah’s defense attorney] might ask. "Do you mean to tell these jurors there’s no difference between Patrick Henry and a suicide bomber?"
Grossman’s writing here is a disgusting revelation into a hatred of the Palestinians. His feature in the Sunday magazine of the Chicago Tribune is an undisguised effort to smear Salah’s case.

Yes, if Salah was a foot soldier against Israel he had every right to fight the occupation as a resistor. He had every right to defend himself against Israeli military terrorism that has been documented by Amnesty International and many other Israeli and Arab and European agencies.

Yes, if Salah was some high-up member of Hamas, an organization that traces its roots back to Israel’s political efforts to create an alternative to the PLO. Israel did everything it could to help Sheik Ahmad Yassin found the Islamic Association in the 1970s in the Gaza Strip believing that a religious movement that put religion about Palestinian nationality might help to undermine the PLO and its leader Yasser Arafet.

Grossman acknowledges this fact in a wimpy passage that downplays the fact that if Hamas is a monster terrorist organization that Israel claims, it is Israel’s Frankenstein. Hamas and Hamas terrorism is the result of Israel’s making, caused by Israel’s terrorism against the Palestinians for more than half a century.

Ironically, an American-made Israel fighter jet fired a missile and killed Yassin as he was leaving prayers at a Gaza Mosque in his wheelchair. The murder of the paraplegic didn’t move Grossman to lambaste Israeli terrorism, even though that killing also took the lives of about nine civilians who happened to be standing nearby when Yassin was murdered.

And, when rereading much of what Grossman has penned lovingly about Israel, jadedly about Palestinians, you find that he heaped praise on the author of a book that celebrated the life of Barney Ross, a Jewish American boxer who, after serving in World War II sought to run guns and enlist from his U.S. Marine colleagues a resistance to fight in Palestine against the British and the Palestinian Arabs.

Ah, but Barney Ross is Jewish and he therefore has a right to run guns and resist British occupation.

Salah, on the otherhand, is a Palestinian Muslim and he has no right to resist occupation and help his people’s cause for justice and liberation.


Salah has argued to all who would listen – objectively – that he was imprisoned by the Israelis simply because he was stopped with money in his possession. Not hundreds of thousands as has been inaccurately reported but with about $97,000.

Every Palestinian knows that Israel will not allow Palestinians outside of the territories they occupy illegally to funnel money to their family friends and even their organizations, most of which were founded to build up activism against Israel’s occupation.

Occupations just don’t go away. They have to be pushed out. And that "pushing" can often be described by the oppressors – Israel – as "terrorism."

Almost every point Grossman tries to make is skewered towards strengthening Israel’s argument while underming Salah’s argument.

Another pathetic reference is made to Judith Miller, the lying cheating reporter who was exposed at the New York Times. Miller was brought in by the Israeli Shin Bet when Salah was being tortured to document his comments so she could then use the information, distort it into pro-Israel propaganda, and then use it in her campaign to undermine the Palestinians in the United States.

As it turns out, Miller’s reputation as an unethical journalist was exposed in the case involving the CIA wife of a White House aide who exposed President Bush’s lies about Iraq. Valery Plame’s cover was later blown intentionally by Bush’s underlings as punishment and Miller found herself neck deep in the journalism scandal.

Yet Grossman references Miller as if she were the champion of justice that too many American journalists, including Grossman, fail to be when the focus of their writing happens to be Israel.

Ron Grossman’s article on Salah is political. Rather than being an insightful look into a complicated case, it is clearly an effort to tilt the case towards Israel’s claims. Grossman even dilutes the accusations that Salah was the victim of torture.

If what happened to Salah was done to American soldiers imprisoned by any other country, we would be screaming that the harassment, sleep depravation for more than 53 days and more. He was placed in a cell with other hardcore members of Hamas who suspected he was a plant and naturally, one might want them to believe they were Hamas supporters in the struggle against Israel.

Muhammad Salah is a political prisoner who was tossed around for five years after he was forced to confess to being a Hamas supporter in the Israeli Military prison Gulag, where Palestinians are routinely tortured and forced to sign confessions that in any other court of law would be tossed out as worthless.

Now, he sits under the hail of lies and faces more time in the American prison Gulag as his case is distorted and twisted in a pro-Israel judicial system that has little concern about laws and more concern for political outcome.

Salah will never get a fair trial in our judicial system.

But I am most disappointed, but not surprised, that Salah can’t get a fair trial in the pro-Israel American news media.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning journalist and author. He can be reached at