In a piece for the Reuters blog AxisMundi Jerusalem, Erika Solomon argues that controversy over Jewish settlements is at the core of current discussions between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and European leaders. Solomon links to a Reuters article on its World news page by Allyn Fisher-Ilan which argues the same point. Despite the contentious headlines, "Settlement Freeze Still the Hot Topic" and "Settlements Seen Clouding Netanyahu's Europe Trip", neither piece actually provides any evidence that Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (also the "West Bank") is the central item on the agenda at these meetings or an impediment to ("clouding") discussions.
It is clear however, that for these two Reuters' correspondents, Jewish settlements are the topic. In a transparent appeal to authority for example, Fisher-Ilan cites a statement by the discredited group Peace Now that "more than 40,000 more homes [for Israelis] could be built under plans already ratified". Solomon, who parrots the same claim in her piece, goes on to suggest that, "even touchier than the settlement issue in the West Bank has been settlement building in East Jerusalem". Presumably to illustrate the sensitivity of the issue for all parties in the conflict, Solomon cites a previous Reuters story and video on the eviction of Arab squatters from homes in Jerusalem pursuant to an order by the Israeli High Court. Solomon's earlier story never mentions the fact that these families were evicted for failing over several years to pay rent or that other Arab families living in Jewish-owned homes in Jerusalem who do pay rent have not been similarly evicted.
It is Solomon's reference however, to "East Jerusalem" that is most tendentious. There is of course, no city of "East Jerusalem" but Reuters correspondents consistently and guilefully deploy the fictitious term in their stories in an effort to demarcate this area as separate from the rest of the city and by implication, outside of the domain of the state of Israel. Fisher-Ilan extends the fiction even further by referring to the area as "Arab East Jerusalem". (Note that there is no corresponding reference to "Jewish West Jerusalem"). That the eastern portion of Jerusalem is home to the most sacred of Jewish antiquities and 42% Jewish by population despite widespread ethnic cleansing by Jordan between 1948 and 1967, is to this writer's knowledge, never discussed by Reuters.