Monday, October 12, 2009

The Heller dessert topping

Following the numerous errors of commission and errors of omission which went into his cake-baking effort earlier today, Reuters' Jeffrey Heller seeks to ice his cake with a report on Binyamin Netanyahu's policy speech at the opening session of the Israeli parliament.

After quoting Netanyahu as saying:

"There is no alternative to Palestinian leaders showing courage by recognizing the Jewish state. This has been and remains the true key to peace",

Heller retorts on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs with:

"He [Netanyahu] made no mention of a main issue holding up a return to talks on Palestinian statehood -- building in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank that Palestinians say must stop in accordance with a 2003 peace "road map."

While Heller takes note of that which he believes was conspicuously missing from Netanyahu's comments, we take note of what was conspicuously missing from Heller's editorial, namely, that the Palestinian Arabs have failed to meet their commitments under the same Road Map plan. As a reminder, the Road Map stipulates that at the outset of Phase I:

All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel,


Rebuilt and refocused Palestinian Authority security apparatus begins sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. This includes commencing confiscation of illegal weapons and consolidation of security authority, free of association with terror and corruption.

Not only has the above not occurred but at its most recent party congress, PA President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party officially endorsed the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades as the "military wing" of the party. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is a terrorist group designated as such by the US, Europe, and Canada.

Heller also continues to insist (on behalf of the Palestinians) that Jewish settlement-building is "holding up" peace talks but as we noted the obvious here, the decision on whether or not to return to negotiations rests entirely with Mahmoud Abbas. No one and no thing is preventing him from doing so.


  1. You're quite right: describing this as an issue which is "holding up" talks is editorialising. A more neutral way of putting it would have been to say something like "Palestinians refuse to return to talks until ...."

  2. Joe in Australia

    Thanks for your comment. In the many articles we have examined, we almost never see Reuters hold the Palestinians accountable for their (frequently poor) decisions and behavior. Rather, Reuters' writers serve as perennial apologists, advocates, and spokespeople for the Palestinian cause.