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March 11, 2010

USA Today Fair and Balanced on Jerusalem

Readers searching for informative, fair and balanced reporting of the Arab-Israeli conflict over Jerusalem could find it March 11 in USA Today. An article (“Biden says Palestinians merit own ‘viable’ state”) compiled from wire service reports by apparently knowledgeable editors was remarkable for what it included. After reporting U.S. opposition to Israeli plans for new Jewish housing in eastern Jerusalem, USA Today informed readers that:

“East Jerusalem has had a presence of Jews and Arabs for centuries. It is the site of ancient Temple Mount and Western Wall, built well before the time of Jesus Christ and is Judaism’s holiest spot. It is also the site of the 8th-century Al-Aqsa mosque, revered by Muslims as holy.

“Today the area is roughly 57 percent Arab and 43 percent Jewish, according to surveys. Occupied by Jordanians for 20 years, East Jerusalem was captured by Israel in 1967 in its war against the armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan.”

In two paragraphs, five sentences total USA Today included much of the context essential for readers to begin to understand the clash between Arabs and Israelis, Muslims and Jews over Jerusalem, in particular over Temple Mount and eastern Jerusalem. This includes the antiquity and sanctity of Jewish claims, the multi-state threat Israel faced in 1967, and the sizeable Jewish minority in east Jerusalem neighborhoods today. Such context is conspicuous by its absence from much news media coverage of the topic.

Kudos to USA Today.

Posted by ER at March 11, 2010 04:21 PM

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