Monday, October 26, 2009

Reuters, the illusionists

See if you can catch this masterful sleight of hand by Mohammed Assadi & Company...

Reuters quotes Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat speaking to Voice of Palestine radio:

The gap is still wide and Israel does not give a single sign of meeting its obligations under the road map, halting settlement activities and resuming negotiations where they left off.

I do not see any possibility for restarting peace talks in the near future, he said, in an assessment echoed by Israeli government officials.

Voila! The Palestinians blame Israel for the lack of peace talks -- and Israel agrees. There is no mention of the Israeli position (and de facto reality) that peace talks are suspended solely because the Palestinians have rejected them.

Having cited the Palestinian position that Israel has failed to meet its commitments under the Road Map and then making it appear as if Israel concurs, Reuters seeks to eliminate any lingering doubt in the mind of the reader by citing (in one-sided fashion) the Road Map:

The U.S.-backed peace "road map" of 2003, which charts a course to Palestinian statehood, commits Israel to halting settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.

Reuters makes no mention of Palestinian obligations under the Road Map until the 7th paragraph:

Israel also accuses Palestinians of failing to meet their road map commitments to curb violence and incitement against Israel, notably by Hamas Islamists who control the Gaza Strip.

Incidentally, note how in his statement to Voice of Palestine radio, Saeb Erekat (no stranger to ruse de guerre, bald-faced lies, and malicious propaganda) deliberately conflates "resuming negotiations where they left off" with Israel's responsibilities under the Road Map as if Israel is compelled by the latter to comply with the former.

An adroit maneuver ably assisted by the illusionists at Reuters.

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