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June 30, 2013

CNN Creates Fiction on the Ground

In an erroneous headline and article last week, CNN falsely reports that Israel has approved an "East Jerusalem settlement."

CNN Har Homa.jpg

The first paragraph, like the headline, errs:

Israel approved Wednesday the construction of a settlement in East Jerusalem just before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is to visit the country on a peace mission.

Likewise, the sixth paragraph erroneously refers to "Wednesday's approval of a 69-unit settlement in East Jerusalem. . . . "

In fact, Israel did not approve the "construction of a settlement," nor did it approve "a 69-unit settlement in East Jerusalem." The clear -- and false-- implication of CNN's language is that Israel allowed the construction of a new settlement consisting of 69 units. The approval involved the addition of 69 units to Har Homa, a large, well-established neighborhood in Jerusalem which is presently composed of 5,500-6,000 homes. Thus, the addition of the 69 planned new homes constitutes an approximate one percent growth of a pre-existing community.

As the New York Times correctly reported:

The chief Palestinian negotiator condemned Israel on Thursday for moving closer to constructing 69 apartments in a Jewish neighborhood on territory seized in the 1967 war even as Secretary of State John Kerry arrived for a fifth round of meetings in his intensive push to revive Middle East peace talks.

In addition, CNN's wholesale adoption of tendentious language is noteworthy. First, reporters Kareem Khadder and Michael Martinez refer to Har Homa, a Jerusalem neighborhood over the pre-1967 armistice line as a "settlement." While Palestinians consider Har Homa a settlement, Israelis consider it a neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Second, the reporters paraphrase Palestinian Saeb Erekat, stating:

Palestinian chief peace negotiator Saeb Erekat called out to the world Thursday to stop Israel from building more settlement homes. Letting Tel Aviv get away with it, takes away any motivation for Israel to work towards peace, he said.

Erekat did indeed use the erroneous shorthand of "Tel Aviv" as referring to Israel's capital. But as an impartial news organization, CNN has an obligation to inform readers when a source that it quotes or paraphrases provides blatantly false information -- in this case, that Tel Aviv is Israel's capital.

Posted by TS at June 30, 2013 07:28 AM


CNN likes to quote liars.
The Lies of Saeb Erekat
December 14, 2010.

Posted by: Ken Kelso at June 30, 2013 08:10 AM

CNN is shameless when it comes to erroneous reporting. Like most of the mainstream media fiction supersedes fact.

Posted by: Ric at July 5, 2013 12:33 PM

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