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August 13, 2015

Former NPR Reporter Asserts False Israeli-Palestinian Equivalence

Author Kai Bird’s review in The Washington Post of former National Public Radio (NPR) correspondent Sandy Tolan’s book The Lemon Tree (“The Middle East: A Land of Two Peoples,? June 25, 2006) failed to note the false Israeli-Palestinian equivalence that drove the narrative of Tolan’s book. In a July 9, 2006 letter published by The Post, CAMERA observed:

“Kai Bird's review of Sandy Tolan’s The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East (Book World, June 25), refers to two people. One is a Palestinian who ‘cannot relinquish U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194’, which resolves that 'the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live in peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so.' The other is an Israeli who ‘cannot accept that measure, which she believes means bartering with the Jewish character of the Israeli state.’

Resolution 194 (adopted in 1948) recommended ‘at the earliest practicable date’ the return of refugees who intended to live in peace with their neighbors in what became Israel in 1948, or their resettlement in Arab countries and compensation for damages or loss of property. The Palestine Conciliation Commission was instructed ‘to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees.’ But the ‘earliest practicable date’ never arrived. The Arab states, expecting to win the war they had begun by violating U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 (which called in 1947 for the partition of British-ruled Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab one), voted against Resolution 194. The refugees and their hosts rejected resettlement and compensation. Later, having lost, the Arabs began claiming that Resolution 194 had established a ‘right of return’ to homes inside Israel proper. The central figures in Tolan’s book remain symbolic, but in fact the Palestinian holds nothing to ‘relinquish’ and the Israeli is not obligated to ‘accept’ or ‘barter.’

Washington Director, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
Washington, D.C.?

CAMERA has previously documented biased reporting by Tolan (“NPR Bias Triggers New CAMERA Action,? Sep. 1998). The former correspondent, now an Associate Professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, seems to have continued to take the Palestinian narrative. His most recent book, Children of the Stone, focuses on Palestinian participants in the First Intifada who became musicians.

An April 28, 2015 talk by Tolan at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California to promote his new book was co-sponsored by supporters of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement Jewish Voice for Peace and American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). AMP was created in 2005 from the Islamic Association of Palestine—a propaganda arm of United States listed terror group Hamas. The Anti-Defamation League has noted AMP “seeks to delegitimize and demonize the Jewish state.?—Eric Rozenman

Posted by ER at August 13, 2015 01:27 PM


Great article below about Sandy Tolan's lies about Israel.
Sandy Tolan’s The Lemon Tree--Bias and Misinformation Cloaked as Fact
By Roberta P. Seid
The Cutting Edge News
January 26, 2013

Posted by: Barry Meridian at August 16, 2015 03:45 AM

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