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February 21, 2018

Time Headline Errs on Settlement Growth

When picked up an AP story about settlement growth, it chose to run its own headline: "Jewish Settlers in the West Bank Surged Since President Trump Took Office, an Israeli Settler Leader Says."

time settlement growth trump.jpg

The headline, though, is wrong, as the text of the AP article itself makes clear.

Citing a pro-settlement activist, the article asserts that "the West Bank settler population reached 435,159 as of Jan. 1, up 3.4% from 420,899 a year earlier. The settler population has grown 21.4% in the last five years."

In other words, according to the article's main source settlement growth in 2017 was 14,260, which is slightly less than growth over the prior four years, on average.

If 435,159 settlers on Jan. 1, 2018 represents a 21.4 percent increase over five years earlier, as the article claims, that would mean there were 358,450 settlers at the start of 2013. (That puts the pro-settlement activist and the anti-settlement organization Peace Now essentially on the same page.) The jump from 358,450 to 420,899 between 2013 and 2017 represents an increase of 62,449 (17.4 percent), or an average of 15,612 residents per year — a greater number, and a greater yet percentage, than the supposed "surge" since January 2017.

AP's original headline, "Israeli settler leader says settlements grew rapidly in 2017," is somewhat better than Time's alternate headline, but still wrongly suggests that 2017's growth was "rapid" relative to earlier years. It was not.

Feb. 23 update: After communication from CAMERA, corrected the headline. It now accurately notes that "settlements continued to grow in 2017."

corrected Time settlement growth.jpg

Posted by GI at February 21, 2018 03:31 PM


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