Mainstream media outlets are reporting that Abu Mazen condemns the August 19th bus Arab terror massacre, conveying the impression that the PA condemns the massacre.
However, most significantly, the Arabic language official Palestinian Authority Radio, Palestinian Authority TV and Palestinian Authority newspapers did not carry any real condemnation from Abu Mazen or any other official from the Palestinian Authority yesterday.
Dr. Michael Widlanski, who recently completed his Ph.D. on the subject of the Palestinian Authority media, and who was formerly a reporter for the Israel bureau of The New York Times and the bureau chief of The Atlanta Constitution, listened to and recorded the radio newscasts of the PA radio station on the day following the bus massacre.
The PA radio anchor led newscasts throughout the day by saying that "The Israelis are describing yesterday's operation as a terrorist attack." He then went on with other news of the day.
Dr. Aaron Lerner, the director of IMRA news agency, www.imra.org.il, asked Dr. Widlanski to comment on the reaction of the PA to the bus bombing yesterday in Jerusalem. The following are his observations: "If the Palestinian Authority, or as they term themselves, the Palestinian leadership, had any intention to convey a message of real condemnation of these attacks, they would call them attacks."
The bombing of the bus yesterday is universally termed in the Palestinian press "amaliyya al Quds" - "the Jerusalem operation," rather than as an "attack" or a "terroristic attack." By the way, the "peace process" is also termed the "peace operation" by the Palestinian media.
The "condemnation" broadcast by Voice of Palestine radio never condemned the perpetrators. Interestingly, the reports all act as if the identity of the attacker is not known.
It should also be noted that the reports did not begin with the news of the attack and its "condemnation". They opened with comments about the "horrible" things that the Israelis were doing (i.e. the "racist fence"). And yesterday morning the top story was the Israelis "invading" the Temple Mount.
Voice of Palestine also ran very cheerful music after the bus attack - as they did after the recent Rosh Ha'ayin/Ariel attacks. It was unusually light music - as they would play on a holiday.
Meanwhile, Al Quds, the official newspaper of the Palestinian Authority, also ran an interesting editorial cartoon - two colored star bursts going off before cameras labeled Baghdad and Jerusalem."
The time has come for the press to learn from the mistakes of the Oslo process.
For almost a decade, the media has tended to mislead the public by ignoring the Arabic language broadcasts and telecasts of the official Palestinian Authority media, whose radio news content is directly controlled by Arafat and Abu Mazen.
Even the Jewish Telegraphic Agency fell into the trap, when the JTA"s Gil Sedan reported in his dispatch of August 20th that Abu Mazen "vehemently condemned the bombing, [and] reportedly ordered PA security services to arrest those responsible." Sedan, who knows Arabic, could very easily have checked with the Arabic language PA TV, PA radio and PA newspapers, where he would have heard an entirely different message from the Palestinian Authority.
What a totalitarian entity communicates for foreign consumption means very little. What matters is what that entity communicates to its own people in its own language. And what the PA is communicating bodes a dangerous future for innocent Israelis.