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March 25, 2013

USA Today Gets It Mostly Right

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USA Today’s “Palestinians not optimistic about Obama’s agenda” (March 20) reminded readers that many Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem wouldn’t want to live in a Palestinian state. Overall, the article was a relatively rare example of a major news outlet including essential context in an Israeli-Palestinian report.

Reporters Michele Chabin and Vanessa O’Brien noted “a recent survey conducted by Pechter Middle East polls showed that 35 percent of East Jerusalem residents said that in any two-state solution, they would prefer to live in Israel, while 30 percent preferred to live in a Palestinian state.” In addition, the survey “showed that 40 percent would prefer to move to Israel if their neighborhood [of Jerusalem] became part of Palestine.”

While only five percent of Jerusalem Arabs have opted for Israeli citizenship since 1967, the number applying to change their permanent resident status to citizen is rising, one resident of eastern Jerusalem told USA Today.

The dispatch also:

* Refers accurately to Hamas, which targets Israeli non-combatants and takes cover among the Gaza Strip’s civilian population, as a terrorist group that desires to eliminate Israel instead of calling it a “militant” organization, and

* In the print edition correctly describes the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, not the adjoining Western Wall, as Judaism’s holiest site. The longer, updated online version muddies the language in this regard. (CAMERA has obtained numerous corrections from media that have erroneously termed the Wall the most sacred physical location for Jews.) By accurately describing the importance of Temple Mount to Jews, USA Today’s print report helps clarify why the site is a source of contention.

The article does err by saying that Israel’s West Bank security barrier and checkpoints “bar all but a few thousand Palestinians from accessing jobs, universities and hospitals in Israel.” The Israeli foreign ministry reports that last year more than 200,000 West Bank and Gaza Strip Arabs, patients and accompanying family members, were permitted to seek hospital treatment in Israel, and the Associated Press said recently that approximately 40,000 West Bank residents now are authorized to work in Israel, up from virtually none during the second intifada (2000 – 2005).

The newspaper commendably published a clarification in this regard in its March 25 print edition .

A reference to the “right of return for all Palestinians and their descendants to live in what is now Israel” should have been to the “alleged right of return …” No such right exists, as indicated by the early U.N. General Assembly resolutions on the subject, 194 (1948); 393 (’50); 394 (’50); and 513 (’52). That’s one reason Arab delegations voted against them at the time.

But overall, “Palestinians not optimistic about Obama’ s agenda” provides readers with important information routinely ignored in other major media. – Andy Wallin, CAMERA Washington research intern.

Posted by ER at March 25, 2013 12:38 PM

Comments

Zakaria in the Washington Post today,has published falsehoods he must know are not true. Israel has been willing to allow the Palestinians to create a state. Obama's suggestion that the Palestinians accept a state without final borders they; turned their noses up to. If there is an existential rejection of a Palestinian state that does not include Israel proper in a one state solution it is the Palestinians. In fact, last year at the Universities of Pennsylvania, Harvard among others, pro-Palestinian factions met to discuss an Islamic one state solution, behind closed doors, and without seats for anyone with an opposing point of view. The fact is and for some of the reasons Zakaria cited the Palestinians believe Israel's prosperity is the result of robbing them and they should have that wealth even though they continue to demonstrate they do not understand the abc's of nation building, or building an economy and any Palestinian state formed today is more likely to be another sharia Islamic nightmare. Palestinian representatives have since the beginning of discussion in the UN on what shape a state including Palestinians should look like offered a number of suggestions that would make a Palestine more viable almost all of the reports then and today have come back strongly recommending that they form part in a federation the most recent such suggestion offered a federation with Jordan. the notion that Islamist Palestinians could accept anything less than an Islamic state amid Islamic Revolutions is absurd. The Palestinians had close ties with Jordan, as part of TransJordan an English invention, and Arafat tried to take over the country. Arafat's legions went to Lebanon ahead of Jordanian tanks, and the presence of Fatah helped put the last nails in Lebanon's Confessional Government leading to decades of brutal civil war still not settled. Zakaria and Obama proffered look at recent history is not a bedrock on which the Palestinians can found a state. The Israeli's will quickly figure out what Americans have been learning these past 4 years, Obama is nothing but false dreams and talk.

Posted by: jeb stuart at March 28, 2013 12:04 PM

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