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December 13, 2010

AP Multiplies Number of Palestinians Displaced to Jordan

How many of the roughly 600,000-700,000 Palestinians who fled their homes during the Arab-Israeli war found refuge in the Jordan?

If you guessed 1.8 million, you should re-read the question, a bit more closely this time.

Mathematical impossibility notwithstanding, the Associated Press insists that 1.8 million Palestinians displaced after 1948 live in Jordan, along with an unknown number of their descendants. As AP's Jamal Halaby put it in an article about clashes between Bedouin and Palestinian fans of rival soccer teams,

There is a long history of violence between supporters of the two teams, stemming in part from the decades of tension with Jordan's large Palestinian population, which includes an estimated 1.8 million refugees displaced after Israel's 1948 creation and their descendants.

Whether a result of bad English or bad faith, readers are misled. In fact, the 1.8 million figure includes descendants of the displaced. The language remained unchanged even after AP was informed of the problem.

Posted by GI at December 13, 2010 11:15 AM


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