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June 07, 2017

USA Today Coverage of 1967 War Blurs Important Truths

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USA Today’s “50 years after Six-Day War, Israel-Palestinian borders are still fuzzy” (June 5, 2017) omitted important information about the “occupation” of territories seized by Israel during the 1967 war and the anti-Jewish violence that preceded it.

The report, by journalist and writer Noga Tarnopolsky, provides readers with some key details missing in media coverage elsewhere. For example, the article correctly noted that the “Green Line,” the armistice line that followed the Arab-initiated 1948 War against the Jewish state, is “temporary” and that “final borders [were] to be worked out in the future.” By contrast, other major media outlets, such as The Washington Post, have incorrectly implied that the “Green Line” is a recognized and established border (see, for example “The Washington Post’s Troubling Trend Towards Israel,” CAMERA, June 5, 2017).

However, USA Today fails to inform readers as to why final borders weren’t worked out: Palestinian and Arab rejection of peace with and recognition of the Jewish state, even at the cost of creating a Palestinian one.

As CAMERA has noted, the U.S. and Israel have extended numerous offers for a Palestinian state, in 2000 at Camp David, 2001 at Taba and 2008 among other instances. Palestinian leaders, refusing to so much as submit a counteroffer, refused each of them.

Indeed, as foreign affairs analyst Clifford May pointed out in a Washington Times commentary, shortly after Israel seized the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the 1967, from Jordan and Egypt respectively, it extended offers to return these territories—both of which had been occupied by these Arab nations since the 1948 War. Arab leaders spurned these offers at the subsequent Khartoum conference—a fact that USA Today omits (“The Six-Day War and the 50-year occupation,” June 7, 2017).

As May succinctly put it, the 1967 “war and the motive behind it”—genocide of the Jews and the destruction of Israel—“caused the occupation—not the other way around.”

USA Today has previously failed to note Palestinian rejectionism, as CAMERA has highlighted (see, for example “USA Today Omits Israeli Peace Offers While Covering ‘Peace Push,’” May 26, 2017). However, the omission of this pertinent information in a more than 1,500-word article on the “occupation” is stark. Particularly given that considerable portions of USA Today’s report focus on eastern Jerusalem—and the rejected 2008 offer would have given Palestinians a state with its capital there.

Elsewhere, the paper omits crucial context, claiming: “Israel does not treat East and West Jerusalem equally when it comes to spending on infrastructure. The western side gets the lion's share of improvements.” However, this too omits Arab responsibility. As CAMERA has pointed out (“The New York Times, the ‘Newspaper of Broken Record,’” Oct. 18, 2015), Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem often build illegally, without permits, creating infrastructure problems. Additionally, many Arab-dominated areas of eastern Jerusalem refuse to pay taxes or take advantage of their ability to vote in municipal elections; hindering their ability to address such issues.

Posted by SD at June 7, 2017 02:32 PM

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