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October 10, 2012

UPDATED: LA Times Returns Quneitra to Israel

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This 1992 map, published shortly before Hanadi's birth, shows Quneitra on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights (University of Texas Libraries)

In a profile featuring Hanadi, a young Syrian woman who reportedly joined the Syrian rebel forces, The Los Angeles Times reassigns the Syrian city of Quneitra to Israel ("In Syria, a rebellion calls for revolutionary measures"). The article, which has no byline, states that 19-year-old Hanadi is "[o]riginally from Quneitra in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights."

This misleading formulation suggests that Quneitra is under Israeli rule, and that Hanadi spent her earliest days under Israel's thumb. While Quneitra is in the Golan Heights, and almost all of the Golan Heights has been annexed to Israel, Quneitra is not "Israeli-occupied." Israel returned Quneitra to Syria as part of a 1974 armistice agreement. So, for nearly two decades before Hanadi's birth, Quneitra had not been Israeli-occupied.

So why would the LA Times inject this gratuitous reference to Israel, one that has nothing to do with the internal Syrian situation, or the situation in Hamadi's hometown for decades, especially given that it only misleads? (Read more on media inaccuracies about Quneitra.)

The LA Times writer would not be the first who has trouble accepting that not every story about a Middle Eastern conflict warrants a mention of Israel.

Oct. 14 Update: CAMERA commends the LA Times for its prompt correction

Posted by TS at October 10, 2012 07:10 AM

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