Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Selective amnesia, Part III

Continuing with our analysis of Reuters' mendacious "Timeline: Path to new Israel-Palestinian talks", we move into the last two decades of events Reuters considers key to understanding the history of the Middle East conflict.
1988 - After a year of Intifada (uprising), exiled PLO leader Yasser Arafat, widely acknowledged as speaking for Palestinians, renounces "terrorism" and accepts Israel's right to exist.
As is their custom when referring to Palestinian violence, writers for Reuters bracket the word terrorism in scarequotes so as to express their scorn for the notion that suicide bombings in Israeli restaurants and discotheques could reasonably be classed as, "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes" (definition of terrorism from our desktop dictionary).  Reuters has no difficulty however, employing the term terrorism in unqualified fashion when citing references to Israeli actions.  This asymmetric handling betrays Reuters partisanship in the conflict and also represents a violation of the Reuters Handbook of Journalism.

Reuters continues:
2003 - U.S. President George W. Bush sponsors the "road map to peace," binding both sides to curbing violence and Israel to halting Jewish settlement on occupied land.
The Road Map does not simply bind both sides to curbing violence.  It specifically stipulates that:
Palestinians declare an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism and undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere.
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. 
Needless to say, the Palestinians have failed or refused to comply with nearly all of the above.

Reuters then completely mischaracterizes the nature and outcome of negotiations between former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas:
December 2008 - After year of desultory talking, Abbas quits negotiations when Olmert launches offensive on Hamas-run Gaza.
Apparently, Reuters correspondent Bernd Debusmann and Bureau Chief Alastair Macdonald were catching some winks when Olmert offered Abbas 97 percent of the West Bank (also, Judea and Samaria) during these "desultory" negotiations.  And talks effectively ended when Abbas refused the offer -- not as a result of the war in Gaza.

March 5 - Conscious of Palestinian public frustration, Abbas accuses Israel of trying to sabotage peace process by provoking protests at flashpoint Jerusalem mosque. Dozens hurt in clashes.
We examine Reuters distorted reporting and dissemination of Abbas' agitprop here.

No comments:

Post a Comment