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November 07, 2011

Wire Services Do PR for ICAHD

ICAHD report no homeland sm.jpg

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), whose director, Jeff Halper, calls for a one-state solution (read: the eradication of the Jewish state) and supports BDS and the Free Gaza movement, got a nice, albeit unwarranted, PR boost from Reuters and AFP. In particular, in an article about last week's release of a new ICAHD report, Reuters promoted the fringe group to "a prominent Israeli non-governmental organization."

ICAHD, which in the past has repeatedly disseminated wildly inaccurate misinformation, continues to do so with the release of its new report.

As AFP reports:

The group's report "No Home, No Homeland" accuses Israel of making it almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain building permits, with the Jerusalem city council granting just 18 for a population of 300,000 last year.

While the AFP did turn to Jerusalem municipality Stephan Miller for a response, the reporter failed to relay any of the specific rebuttal that Miller provided. Instead, the article includes a more general response, stating:

Miller rebuffed the allegations, saying the report contained "misleading facts, blatant lies and political spin about Jerusalem and lacks any connection to reality."

But the AFP failed to detail any of Miller's rebuttals. In communication with CAMERA, he relayed that the city granted more than 100 building permits to eastern Jerusalem Arabs in the last year -- not 18. Miller also points out that in 2010, 80 percent of the permit requests for Arab-dominated neighborhoods in Jerusalem were approved (versus 89 percent in Jewish-majority neighborhoods), a figure which belies ICAHD's claim that it is "amost impossible for Palestinians to obtain building permits."

The news services both uncritically report ICAHD's false claims about the options open to Arab growing Arab families. As Reuters reports:

"They have no other option than to leave East Jerusalem, build illegally or live in appalling, cramped conditions," said Emily Schaeffer, who authored the report.

Besides the fact that they actually can build legally, they can also move to Jewish-majority neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem, as thousands have been increasingly doing.

Moreover, the wire services eat up ICAHD's basic premise "Israel is forcing Palestinians out of East Jerusalem" in a process of "ethnic displacement." As AFP reports, lawyer Michael

Sfard said Israel was enforcing a deliberate policy aimed at controlling Jerusalem's demography and ensuring a Jewish-Arab ration of 70/30.

If that's the case, it's doing a pretty lousy job at it, considering that Jerusalem is now more Arab and less Jewish than it was following the 1967 war. According to the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, Jerusalem was 25.8 percent Arab in 1967. By 2009, the city's Arab population increased to 35.7 percent. Some ethnic displacement.

Posted by TS at November 7, 2011 05:15 AM


I won't be downloading any Pete Seeger music anytime soon. ICAD gets royalties from every play

Posted by: cy klebs. at November 8, 2011 11:59 AM

The info about ICAD came from the host of radio unnamable. ICAD gets a cut of Pete's royalties with every play.

Posted by: cy klebs. at November 11, 2011 02:37 PM

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