Sunday, August 30, 2009

Reuters continues to advocate for evicted Palestinian squatters

Nearly a month ago, Palestinian Arab squatters were evicted from a home in Jerusalem pursuant to an order by the Israel High Court. The squatters had failed to pay rent for several years.

Advocating for the evicted family, Reuters runs a human interest story replete with classic propaganda tactics, errors of commission and errors of omission that have become a Reuters' hallmark in their Middle East reporting.

Interspersed with a heart-tugging tale of the Arab family eating dates and chicken soup on the sidewalk in front of the home from which they were evicted, are all of the usual rhetorical devices:

"Their stone house in Arab east Jerusalem, in a district of consulates and trendy restaurants, is now home to Jewish settlers, who moved in as they were being kicked out on Aug 2... Israel annexed East Jerusalem after the 1967 Middle East war, a move never recognized internationally."

As we have pointed out in the past, there is not today and never has been a city formally recognized as "East Jerusalem". This however, does not prevent Reuters writers and editors from repeatedly deploying this misleading convention in a transparent effort to bifurcate the city in the minds of readers and deny Israeli sovereignty over the whole. The term "Arab East Jerusalem" is moreover, both factually incorrect and racially loaded. Imagine the repercussions for example, if a reporter writing for the Chicago Tribune were to refer to the "Negroid Southside of Chicago" or the "Caucasian suburb of Wilmette".

In reality, Jerusalem is a single city with Jews composing over two-thirds of the total population and 42% of the population in the east. This latter number would likely be even greater had Jordan not ethnically cleansed thousands of Jews from the Old City (whose families had lived there for centuries) after invading in 1948. To describe Jews now living in this area as "settlers" with its obvious colonialist connotation is both intellectually dishonest and morally repugnant.

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asserting a biblical claim to Jerusalem, has said Jews have a right to live anywhere in the city."

What Netanyahu has actually said, as in his speech at Bar Ilan University on June 14th 2009, is that the connection of the Jewish People to Jerusalem and the land of Israel has been in existence for more than 3,500 years. That claim is not only biblical but one that is fully supported by the archeological evidence (even as the Palestinian Arabs work to destroy that evidence).

"Israeli police who turned the family out of their home said they were acting on eviction orders issued by an Israeli court, which had upheld a settler organization's land ownership claim based on 19th-century documents."

Er, that would be the Israeli High Court which has just as frequently ruled in favor of Arab interests on matters involving property disputes -- even when Jews have been able to prove ownership of the property in question. As for the big, bad Israeli police, they have been known to ignore court orders to evict Arab squatters in the past when they thought it might provoke Arab riots.

"Settlers have moved into six other buildings. Armed men guard the stone houses where settlers have hoisted Israeli flags."

Replace "Israeli" with "Texas" above and one might think Reuters was describing a scene from The Alamo.

Coincidence, we're sure.


  1. Just got here from LGF. Great Job!

  2. Hi. It's an excellent website and one that is long overdue.

    Unfortunately, Reuters is as biased as it comes. I am an avid follower of Taiwan-China relations and the same historical falsehoods, omissions and blatant propaganda colour the reporting on that issue too.

    Keep up the excellent work and I will be sure to promote your site. This information needs to get out and hopefully some journalists will start reporting on the issue with actual objectivity and actually partake in research (Reuters, if you are reading wikipedia and your own past articles are not research).


  3. With the way that Reuters report, this should be an easy job.

  4. I've also just linked over from LGF and will save this link! Reuters SUCKS!!! -tm

  5. great work. G-d bless you

  6. Thanks for the supportive comments above.