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November 04, 2009

Washington Post: Still Wearing Palestinian Goggles

The headline read “U.S. hope dims for high-level Israeli-Palestinian talks over state.” Missing from the November 4 Washington Post article was a subhead cautioning readers: “So do hopes for accurate Post Arab-Israeli coverage.”

One error of commission, two of omission, and a misleading, unclarified quotation from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton undercut the 18-paragraph dispatch. It was filed by Post staff writer Karen DeYoung in Cairo and Jerusalem Bureau Chief Howard Schneider in Amman.

The Post:

1) Writes of Palestinian rejection of Israel’s proposal to limit “construction on Arab land [emphasis added] ....” Most construction of Jewish communities in the West Bank has taken place on property that was state land under Ottoman, British, Jordanian and Israeli rule. Under the 1922 League of Nations Palestine Mandate (Article 6), the 1945 United Nations Charter (Article 80), and 1967 U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, Jews have the right to settle in the West Bank, and Israel is not required to withdraw from all of it. The Post, which dogmatically avoids acknowledging the above international law, erroneously declares the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem to be Arab land.

2) Says “Abbas and Arab leaders quickly made a settlement freeze — agreed to by Israel in the 2003 ‘road map’ negotiating framework initiated by the West but never fully implemented — a condition for talks ....” The Post omits that implementation of the “road map” was to be reciprocal and phased. Israeli commitments hinged on Palestinian measures, barely attempted, to end anti-Israeli terrorism and anti-Israel, anti-Jewish incitement.

3) Notes Arab skepticism about Clinton’s positive view of Israel’s offer to exercise “‘restraint’ in the rest of the West Bank” while allowing unlimited construction in East Jerusalem and the completion of up to 3,000 [authorized] housing units ....” The newspaper does not tell readers that from 2008 to the present there has been virtually no new construction, no settlement expansion and no new settlement authorization. Except for building in Israel’s capital and limited construction inside existing settlements, what The Post doubts is “restraint” essentially amounts to an Israeli freeze.

4) Quotes Clinton as saying that Israelis and Palestinians “‘came very close’ to agreement” just before her husband, President Bill Clinton, left office in 2001. Diplomats usually tailor remarks to their audiences. But in July, 2000 the Palestinian leadership rejected an Israeli-U.S. offer of a West Bank and Gaza Strip country, with eastern Jerusalem as its capital, in exchange for peace with Israel. Instead, Yasser Arafat launched the terror war called the second intifada. In January, 2001 Arafat’s Palestinian Authority rejected another Israeli-U.S. proposal for a West Bank-Gaza Strip state. The intifada continued. The two sides had not come “very close”; rather, the Palestinian side violently rejected sweeping Israeli-American proposals.

Recall the goggles theaters distributed to audiences for the early, fuzzy 3-D films? The Washington Post still wears the Arab version when covering Israeli-Palestinian news.

Posted by ER at November 4, 2009 05:19 PM

Comments

The U.S. news media very rarely note the anti-Semitic incitement on Arab TV and in Arab schools. It is as if this phenomenon is too politically incorrect to mention, because, for whatever bizarre reason, since the 70's, the Arabs are supposed to play the part of the victims.

It is simply taboo, as so many things now are. Few have the courage to speak of it.



As someone who has lived in Rwanda, I know where this type of propaganda ultimately leads.

Posted by: Ezra Ben-Shalom, Editor of Jewish State at November 11, 2009 09:05 PM

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