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Contentions

The Tangled Narrative

Yesterday the Palestinian peace partner’s military wing announced it was in mourning about Osama bin Laden and had joined the “deather” movement:

The Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Brigades said Tuesday they were mourning the death of Osama bin Laden, following announcements Sunday that he had been killed in a US raid, [Palestinian News Agency] Ma’an reported. According to a statement received by Ma’an, the group said bin Laden’s death “won’t stop our Jihad mission against injustice and occupation,” and added that they doubt the veracity of claims that the al-Qaida leader was assassinated.

Someone must have recognized these were impolitic things to say in the on-going run-up to September, when the Palestinian Authority plans to ask the UN to recognize a Palestinian state. So Ma’an reported later in the day that the Al-Aqsa Brigades denied making the statement Ma’an had earlier reported:

The spokesman of Fatah’s military wing on Tuesday denied issuing a statement marking Osama bin Laden’s death. Abu Uday of the Al-Aqsa Brigades said the group did not and had no plans to comment because bin Laden’s death was unrelated to Palestine. He said a statement received by Ma’an’s Gaza City office must have been forged as the armed group “doesn’t know anything about it.”

Good to have the “armed group” clarify that. But here’s the more interesting question: how could the Al-Aqsa Brigades issue a statement, much less retract one—or even have a named “spokesman”—since the PA announced in 2007 and again in 2008 that the Al-Aqsa Brigades had been completely dismantled?

The Palestinian news agency forgot to adhere to the “narrative”—central to the fiction that the Palestinians have built the institutions of a state—that the Fatah terrorist group was “dismantled,” replaced by professional police. As the old saying goes, when you substitute a narrative for truth, it is often hard to keep the narrative straight.



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