Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oh no; another Reuters "FACTBOX"!

Following Israel's announcement that it intends to build additional homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, housing authority officials writers at Reuters publish one of their fallacious "FACTBOX" series on Jewish communities beyond the Green Line (the armistice line following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war).  As usual, the "factbox" is anything but -- containing a host of falsehoods, unsupported assertions, bandwagon propaganda, and the logical fallacy of appeal to authority.  Reuters begins with its first "fact":
Israel dismisses international findings that the communities it has been building since the 1980s in the West Bank, on land occupied by the Israeli military since 1967, constitute a violation of international law.

Note the vague reference to "international findings"; no authority is identified because in reality, no body with the power to decide on international law has found Jewish communities beyond the Green Line to "constitute a violation of international law".  As we have demonstrated, these communities are, in fact, entirely legal in keeping with United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Reuters then goes on to conflate Jews living in communities in Judea and Samaria (also, the "West Bank") with Jews living in Jerusalem:
Some 200,000 of the half million settlers live in East Jerusalem and adjoining areas of the West Bank that Israel annexed to its Jerusalem municipality in a move not recognized by world powers.
Jews of course, lived in and around Jerusalem for over 3,000 years until they were ethnically cleansed by the Arab Legion in 1948 but for Reuters, they were, are, and always will be "settlers".

Reuters not only lumps together as settlers all Jews living beyond the 1949 Armistice lines, it attempts to pigeonhole them for choosing to live in these areas:
Many settlers living in enclaves nearest to the cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem cite cheaper housing costs as a motive. Others see themselves as pioneers exercising a biblical right of Jews to lands they call Judea and Samaria.
For Reuters, it couldn't possibly be the case that Jews are living in these communities to be closer to family members or to work or that they are simply exercising their rights according to international law.  It must be due to government incentives or religious fervor.

Then there is the padded Palestinian population figure to give weight to Arab claims to territory beyond the Green Line:
The Palestinians, who number some 3 million in the West Bank and East Jerusalem...
As demonstrated here, the number of Arabs living in these areas has almost certainly been inflated by Palestinian authorities in an effort to build a case for a separate Palestinian state and to boost foreign aid. 

Reuters then trots out a complete falsehood:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition is backed by pro-settler parties who want to keep much of the West Bank under any peace deal.
In fact, the current Israeli government is composed of and supported by political parties which favor a two-state solution where the Palestinian Arabs could be expected to receive between 90% and 97% of territory comprising what is commonly referred to as the West Bank.  Political parties which oppose ceding land to the Palestinians generally also oppose Natanyahu.

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