Take this piece today, concerning the growing trend of antisemitism in post-"Arab Spring" Tunisia. It first describes the Ennahda party, which heads the country's new government, as a "moderate Islamic party", without any specific evidence to support this appellation.
The article then goes on to describe a recent incident in which videos circulated online showing crowd members - reported to be some 5000 in number - greeting Ismail Haniyeh, a top Hamas offical, at the airport in Tunis on Thursday, chanting “Kill the Jews” and “Crush the Jews.” It publishes unquestioningly the "condemnation" of Ennahda's leader Rashid al-Ghannouchi:
“Ennahda condemns these slogans which do not represent Islam’s spirit or teachings, and considers those who raised them as a marginal group,” Ghannouchi said in a statement.
Ghannouchi's words can be trusted about as much as those of a viper.
In an interview last year, Ghannouchi predicted triumphantly that the Arab Spring would lead to the "end of Israel" by 2027. He also alleges that "the Jews" are behind a global conspiracy to destroy Islam - classic Islamic antisemitic ideology, which goes back to the genesis of Islam.
And Mr. Ghannouchi has a long history of association with extremism and Palestinian terrorism. From 1988-92, the Islamic Committee for Palestine organised conferences and rallies in the United States that featured the leading lights of Islamic extremist movements throughout the world. One example of such a conference took place in Chicago from December 22-25, 1989 and featured Mr. Ghannouchi as a speaker. Its theme was “Palestine, Intifada, and Horizons of Islamic Renaissance” and other speakers included Abd Al-’Aziz Al’Awda, the “spiritual leader” of Islamic Jihad and Muhammad ‘Umar of Hizb Al-Tahrir, the Islamic Liberation Party.
In 2002, Mr. Ghannouchi co-signed a statement that said: “The bodies of the men and women of Palestine are shields against the Zionist agenda, which its greater target is to destroy the entire Islamic Ummah.” The statement was also signed by Muslim Brotherhood, Hizballah and Hamas leaders - all antisemites par excellence.
Forgive us, then, if we greet his latest proclamations with little more than a contemptuous chuckle.
The WaPo article goes on to gloss over the problem and history of antisemitism in Tunisia, which goes back a long time. In recent years, it most notably came to the fore in the Ghriba synagogue bombing of 2002, in which 21 people were killed and 30 injured. More recently, in February 2011, another synagogue was torched, with some observers noting the apparent lack of interest in the attack among the police and security services. And also last year, a Muslim mob held an anti-Jewish rally outside Tunisia's main synagogue, chanting the jihadist battle-cry, "Jews wait, the army of Muhammad is coming back," and "We'll redo the battle of Khaybar" - a reference to the slaughter of a peaceful Jewish farming community by Muhammad, as recorded by his earliest biographers, during which Jewish leaders were tortured for money and their wives raped. This same battle-cry has been heard during various anti-Israel marches around the Islamic world, including among those setting sail on the "Freedom Flotilla" that would later be attacked by Israel when it tried to breach the legally justified blockade of Gaza.
The Post leaves its readers with one last obfuscation in the final sentence:
Tunisia currently has a Jewish population of 1,500 Jews, but in the 1960s there were 100,000. Most left following the 1967 war between Israel and Arab countries, and Socialist economic policies adopted by the government in the late 1960s also drove many Jewish business owners out of the country.
Aside from the sombre demographic data, this passage is extremely misleading. The Jews just "left" following the Six Day War? Why did they leave? Precisely because of Islamic antisemitic persecution.
According to historian Norman Stillman, riots that took place on June 5th, 1967, resulted in most Jewish shops being looted, and the Great Synagogue was burned and desecrated. One eyewitness remarked: "It is the unanimous opinion of Jews one talks to that if there was any doubt previously, it is quite clear now there is no future for them in Tunisia." Just prior to these events, there were approximately 23,000 Jews in Tunisia. Within a year of this rioting, there were seven or eight thousand left. Many of them had fled to France to escape the Muslim depredations.
This WaPo article is just one of many that has appeared over the last year underlining the failure of the mainstream Western media to properly inform the public about the reality of what has been happening in the Middle East since the Arab Spring began.