Sunday, September 27, 2009

Reuters referees clash at Temple Mount... Final score: Palestinians 234, Israel 15

Those figures represent the number of copy words Reuters apportions to the Palestinian and Israeli sides respectively, to present each perspective on the violent clash today in Jerusalem.

After devoting two paragraphs to unsubstantiated claims and implicit threats of violence by Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat, Reuters then editorializes:

"Sharon's presence at al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, triggered the second Palestinian uprising and dealt the biggest setback to peace efforts in years."

Although frequently parroted by Reuters, this notion has been demonstrated false; Yasir Arafat had been planning the intifada for months prior to Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount.

In the 5th paragraph of the story, Reuters' writers finally get around to admitting:

"The reasons behind Sunday's clash were disputed,"

and then proceed to quote the views of more Palestinian sources!

It's not until the 11th paragraph that Reuters graciously grants Israel its 15 words:

"Israeli police said it began when religious Palestinians angered by immodestly dressed tourists grew violent,"

which is then summarily dismissed by Palestinian sources in the next paragraph.

We then read:

"There was no further comment from Israeli authorities, who were observing the Yom Kippur silence."

Truly a dream come true for Reuters' correspondents. If they hurry, they might be able to run several more one-sided hit pieces before the end of the Jewish holiday.

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