Thursday, December 3, 2009

Douglas Hamilton demonizes Israel for same residency policy in effect across Europe

There's a war raging in the Middle East but it's only rarely a shooting war between the Arabs and Israel.  Most of the time, it's a propaganda war being waged by news agencies like Reuters against Israel.  Our site is devoted to exposing this rabid propaganda and calling attention to Reuters' serial violations of its own Handbook of Journalism and the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

In a notable example of anti-Israel propaganda, Reuters' correspondent Douglas Hamilton, citing an Israeli "rights group", writes that:
Israel stripped Palestinians of Jerusalem residency status last year at a faster rate than at any time in the history of the Jewish state
The reason for this "stripping" of residency?  Well, it is only in the 17th paragraph of a 19-paragraph story that Hamilton finally discloses:
Palestinians in East Jerusalem have permanent resident status but Israeli law says it may be revoked if they spend more than seven consecutive years outside Israel, or take foreign residence or citizenship.
Oh, how demonic!  Permanent residency status may be revoked if an individual (the law does not discriminate between Arab and Jew) lives abroad for more than seven consecutive years or receives foreign residency.  We're sure the irony is lost on Doug Hamilton that many countries on his home continent of Europe have similar or much more draconian policies when it comes to terminating the residency of those who leave the state for an extended period.  In France for example, it's two years.

Hamilton exploits this bit of melodrama to launch a hatchet job on Israeli policies in Jerusalem replete with the usual mischaracterizations, errors of omission, and pernicious canards.  For example, Hamilton writes:
The United Nations, the United States and the European have criticized Israel's policies in Jerusalem, which include the eviction of Palestinians from homes whose ownership they cannot prove...
Hamilton attempts to paint these evictions as nefarious acts but of course, the reason these Palestinian Arabs "cannot prove" ownership of the homes from which they have been evicted (a marginal number) is because ownership has been definitively proven before the Israel Supreme Court by Jewish families with Title to the properties going back generations.  For Hamilton and Reuters, justice in a liberal democracy is anathema if it conflicts with their pro-Palestinian agenda.

In a nearly hysterical pitch, Hamilton parrots Palestinian claims:
The Palestinians say Israel's aim is to get rid of as many Palestinian residents as possible from East Jerusalem, to reduce their presence in its eastern districts and undermine the claim to half of the Holy City as capital of their future state.
And Hamilton cites a Haaretz article which ostensibly quotes an EU report which purportedly claims:
the Israeli-run municipality was depriving Palestinians of needed building permits...
Note that Hamilton is feeding readers a completely unsubstantiated third-hand claim while failing to provide any balance from an Israeli perspective.  For example, just two weeks ago, the paper Arutz Sheva reported:
The Jerusalem Municipality is plowing ahead with plans for construction of more than 5,000 housing units in Arab neighborhoods. These include the following:
  • A master plan for the Tel Adasa neighborhood in northern Jerusalem, where 2,000 new housing units are planned.
  • A master plan for the Arab a-Sawahara area for a new housing compound with 2,500 units that is currently being prepared for discussion at the local council and district council levels.
  • A master plan for the Dir el-Amud and Al-Muntar areas in Beit Safafa in southeastern Jerusalem, currently in advanced planning stages.
  • A construction plan for 172 housing units and public buildings at the Jabal Mukabar neighborhood, which has completed the mandatory waiting period and will soon come up for additional discussion and approval in the district council.
If Israel is trying to "get rid of as many Palestinian residents as possible from East Jerusalem", she's obviously doing a lousy job of it.  For Reuters however, facts are an inconvenient thing.

Facts are simple and facts are straight
Facts are lazy and facts are late
Facts all come with points of view
Facts don't do what I want them to
Facts just twist the truth around
Facts are living turned inside out
Facts are getting the best of them 

-- lyrics from "Crosseyed and Painless", Talking Heads

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