Friday, November 20, 2009

Reuters Tom Perry hits bottom, keeps digging

Earlier this week, we noted the serial misrepresentations, obfuscations, canards, logical fallacies, and patent propaganda deployed by Reuters' correspondent Tom Perry in an effort to makeover Palestinian terrorist mastermind Marwan Barghouti and to justify Arab violence.  In another story appearing on the Reuters website on Wednesday, Perry targets a New York state Assemblyman as well as American Jews for their interest in purchasing homes in the community of Nof Zion.

Here's Perry describing the visit to Israel by Assemblyman Dov Hikind:
He urged fellow American Jews to buy homes on occupied land rather than in traditional U.S. vacation spots...
... Palestinians, whose leaders declared this week's Israeli government approval for more settlement building near Jerusalem a killer blow to peace, reject Hikind's description of Nof Zion as "Israel", as it lies on occupied land they want for a state.
Beyond the use of uncited, inflammatory language to characterize Palestinian Arab reaction to Israel's decision to build in the Jerusalem suburb of Gilo, note how Perry also puts words in Hikind's mouth.  Hikind did not of course, refer to Nof Zion as being on "occupied land" and improbably would ever do so because in fact, the community is built on land that either remains unallocated as per international law since being surrendered by the Ottoman Empire or, as in a minority of cases, land that has been purchased from its previous Arab owners.

UPDATE 11/23/09: As Maurice Ostroff notes in today's Jerusalem Post, Gilo is built on land purchased by Jews prior to WWII and there is no suggestion that it belongs to the Arabs.

Perry then mendaciously asserts:
Hikind's active participation in the settlement policy that has seen Israel move close to a tenth of its Jewish population onto land captured from the Arabs in the 1967 war...
No one has "seen" Israel "move" its population onto captured land because Israel has not moved anyone.  As Perry himself admits, homes built in the disputed territories have been purchased by a significant number of immigrants from outside of Israel as well as by Israelis themselves freely choosing to live there -- just as people come to independent decisions to live elsewhere in the world.

Perry calls attention to:
... financial support from Americans, some benefiting from U.S. tax relief on charity, is a significant source of funding for West Bank settlements,
but makes no mention of the millions of dollars coming from US taxpayer-funded organizations like US AID that subsidize and support illegal Arab building in Jerusalem and the disputed territories ("West Bank").

In an effort to portray Jews who choose to live in the disputed territories as interlopers, Perry then gets confused:
Yet Palestinians in the city feel that is exactly what Israel and its international supporters are trying to do, displacing today's inhabitants with foreign-born Jews who claim an ancestral and religious right to land going back 2,000 years.
Recall just above, Perry was claiming that Israel had "moved" its population into the "settlements"; here he reverses himself and characterizes the community as composed of "foreign-born Jews".  (Over 70% of Israelis are native-born).  Penning propaganda can be bewildering.

Perry then attempts to make a case based on one-sided anecdotes that Palestinian Arabs are discriminated against by the Israeli building authorities:
Arabs complain that they are denied permission to build for growing families.

"The difference between us is clear," Darry said. "There are plans to build 900 housing units in Gilo, in order to accommodate their so-called population growth, while our growth is not taken into account, and we have to make-do with what we have. I have no idea where the Palestinians should go."
No line space is provided by Perry to allow for an Israeli perspective on these allegations including for example, this study by human rights lawyer Justus Reid Weiner which notes that the Jerusalem building authority, "has authorized more than 36,000 permits for new housing units in the Arab sector, more than enough to meet the needs of Arab residents through legal construction until 2020".

Perry finishes with an oft-repeated Reuters' canard:
Other Arabs in the city make complaints, endorsed by the United Nations and world powers, that they are unfairly evicted by courts from homes where ownership is in dispute, while Arabs have little chance of recovering property occupied by Jews.
As we noted here, eviction orders are typically handed down by the Israel Supreme Court following lower court decisions which can take years to wind their way through the system.  Even Palestinian advocates have great difficulty accusing the leftist High Court of unfairly favoring Israeli interests.  And the United Nations and "world powers" have never "endorsed" Arab complaints alleging inequity in the Israeli legal system.  Rather, they have issued pleas for the Israeli government to supersede Israeli law in deference to what they consider a higher priority: blocking Jews from living in the eastern portion of Jerusalem.

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