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December 10, 2019

AP Distorts: Bethlehem 'Almost Completely Surrounded'

Over two years after improving inaccurate language falsely citing Israel's security "barrier surrounding the biblical city" of Bethlehem, the Associated Press once again misrepresents.

AP's Joseph Krauss and Mohammad Daraghmeh wrote yesterday ("Palestinians in Bethlehem look beyond religious tourism"):

Bethlehem itself is almost completely surrounded by the barrier and a string of Jewish settlements

The Peace Now map shown below clearly shows where the barrier exists (solid red line) or is planned (dotted red line) on the northern and western sides of Bethlehem. On the south east, there are the settlements (solid pinks blocks) of Tekoa, Nokdim and Sde Bar. To the north and west of this block of settlements there are significant stretches with no barrier and no settlements. (The block with red lines, dubbed Givat Eitam, due south of Bethlehem, is slated for Israeli construction, according to Peace Now's map.)

PeaceNow Bethlehem.jpg

In December 2016, AP's Isma'il Kushkush accurately referred to "the concrete barrier that surrounds part of Bethlehem."

Given that neither the barrier nor settlements abut significant portions to the east and south of the city, AP's description of Bethlehem as "almost completely surrounded by the barrier and a string of Jewish settlements" is unfounded.

Dec. 11 Update: "Times of Israel Corrects AP Error on 'Surrounded' Bethlehem"

Posted by TS at 07:27 AM |  Comments (0)

Variety Redraws Israel's Map

"Variety is the most authoritative and trusted source of entertainment business news," boasts its web site but readers should not have any expectations about the accuracy of its geopolitical coverage. A May 2019 movie review which just came to our attention erroneously placed the northern Israeli city of Nazareth in "Palestine."

Asserting that movie director Elia Suleiman, "the eternal observer, trusts his audience to know the facts," Variety's Jay Weissberg gets the facts wrong, erroneously reporting: "'Heaven' begins in Palestine -- Nazareth, to be precise . . . " ("Film Review: 'It Must Be Heaven,'" May 24, 2019).


Nazareth is a city in northern Israel, within the undisputed pre-1967 boundaries of the country. It is not in "Palestine," the West Bank or the occupied territories, as this United Nations map makes clear.

un Israel.jpg

Hat tip: Tomer Ilan

Posted by TS at 04:12 AM |  Comments (0)