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February 23, 2016

Reuters Relays Palestinian Claims as Fact


A Reuters article about the demolition of the homes of 2 Palestinian terrorists who murdered several innocent civilians -- Israelis, an American and a Palestinian -- adopted the Palestinian position about recent violence.

While the article presented both the Israeli claim that such demolitions serve as a deterrence to would-be terrorists and the Palestinian claim that the demolitions are collective punishment, when it came to explaining the recent wave of Palestinian terrorist stabbings, shootings, slayings and rioting, the article relayed the Palestinian position as fact, not claim. It asserted that:

The recent violence has been stoked by various factors, including a dispute over Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound and the failure of several rounds of peace talks to secure the Palestinians an independent state in Israeli-occupied territory.

This indirect shifting of the blame for violence onto Israel may be what the Palestinian leadership claims, but it is not what the Israeli leadership believes and is certainly not a given fact, as the article suggests. It is not an agreed upon fact that the failure of peace talks is what motivates terrorists to kill innocent cvilians, or that Israelis visiting the "al Aqsa mosque compound" has caused Palestinians to attack Israelis with knives and guns. Indeed, Israelis view the "al Aqsa mosque compound", otherwise known as "The Temple Mount," as the holiest site in Judaism and they cling to their right under the status quo to visit, just like members of any other faith. Israelis do not see this as the issue stoking Palestinian violence, despite efforts by the Palestinian leadership to claim it is.

Although the article's last paragraph notes that "Israel says young Palestinians are being incited to violence by their leaders and by Islamist groups calling for Israel's destruction." this is presented as a "claim" by Israel, unlike the earlier paragraph where the Palestinian position is presented as fact.

It is just these sort of subtle difference that can tinge an article with bias and skew the story toward one side's position.

Posted by RH at February 23, 2016 12:53 PM


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