Do you know what Israel does, when members of the Palestinian parliament do “things Israel does not like”?

Why, Israel arrests them, of course. Arrests people just because they do things Israel does not like. Can you imagine? No wonder Brits are so easily turned against Israel and her Jewish supporters, if Israel does undemocratic things like that!

Hmm. Does Israel really do that?

Why don’t be silly, of course she does. Or at least that’s what New York City’s The Forward recently asserted: that any time members of the Palestinian parliament “do things that Israel does not like” (sic), Israel simply arrests them. Here’s the proof: Thirteen Palestinian parliamentarians currently sit in Israeli jails, the piece by a senior Forward columnist goes on to complain, adding that “Students of colonialism have a term for this kind of arrangement: Indirect rule”.

The sole source provided by Forward for these sweeping and far-reaching assertions is an Al Jazeera story. And the primary example provided by Al Jazeera is the recently apprehended Khalida Jarrar. Jarrar, Al Jazeera says, is an unjustly arrested Palestinian who enjoys parliamentary status!

What details does Al Jazeera provide? Aha: Al Jazeera informs that Jarrar was a member of “PFLP”. This, Al Jazeera says, is a “political party” that “Israel” deems to be a terrorist organization.

But “PFLP” presumably refers to the so-called Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The Front may be a political party, but it is also without doubt a terrorist organization: The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, according to Wikipedia, took responsibility just 3 years ago for the notorious synagogue massacre in Jerusalem. In that unprovoked attack, four Jewish worshipers were slaughtered with axes, knives, and a gun – while they were in their prayer shawls, in a house of worship. A policeman was killed too. Seven more worshippers were injured.

Wiki also states that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is recognized as a terrorist organization indeed, but not just by Israel as Al Jazeera insinuates. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States and Europe as well.

Of course, at least one more member of the Palestinian parliament is indeed sitting in an Israeli jail: Marwan Barghouti. Although that might be because “legislator” Barghouti was convicted of 5 counts of murder.

The Forward cannot factually establish that even one Palestinian who enjoys parliamentary status has been arrested merely for doing something that “Israel does not like”.

The Forward certainly cannot assure us that 13 (!) such Palestinian parliamentarians currently sit in Israeli jails for no good reason.

The Forward has not even the remotest justification to publish as a sweeping generalization that “when members of the Palestinian parliament do things that Israel does not like, Israel arrests them”.

We’d be well advised to keep this sort of sub-standard performance in mind next time we read a load of media “facts” about Israel.