Thursday, April 1, 2010

Reuters celebrates April Fools Day with a hoax story about Jerusalem

Well, another religious holiday has arrived and you know what that means: a sordid attempt by Reuters Middle East staff to malign Israel over its control of Jerusalem and associated Holy sites.  Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh, Erika Solomon and Douglas Hamilton handled the festivities last Christmas by having the temerity to quote that great guarantor of religious freedom, the PLO, alleging Israeli security measures had "fragmented" and "stifled" normal life in Bethlehem.  Reuters kingpin propagandist Tom Perry does the honors this year with more of the same calumnies:
But the number of Palestinian pilgrims has fallen to a fraction of its former level. Local Christians warn that centuries-old traditions are at risk of dying out. Israeli security measures, they say, have obstructed their access to Jerusalem and its holy sites, chief among them the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, revered as the site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus... Palestinians argue that such controls on their access to Jerusalem run contrary to Israel's claim that it respects freedom of worship in the city.
As it happens, there is an excellent op-ed appearing in the Jerusalem Post which compares conditions in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria (also, the "West Bank") under Arab control prior to 1967 with the situation today, and considers the sobering implications of dividing the city again:
There is also absolutely no empirical basis to believe that Arab rulers of Jerusalem will maintain the Israeli gold standard of unimpeded religious worship in the city. There is no Arab or Muslim country in the Middle East where Christians or Jews can freely operate religious institutions. Under Palestinian Authority and Hamas rule, Christians in the West Bank and Gaza have been hounded, terrorized and driven out. Christian Bethlehem is, effectively, no more. The Church of Nativity was defiled by Palestinian Muslim terrorists who turned it into an armed refuge in 2002. Who will protect the churches of Jerusalem from the same fate under Islamic rule?
JEWISH SYNAGOGUES and holy sites in Jericho, Nablus and Gush Katif have fared no better – they were burned to the ground while Palestinian police looked on. Under Jordanian rule, Jews were not allowed to reach their holy places in Jerusalem at all, while thousands of Jewish graves on the Mount of Olives were desecrated and the tombstones used to pave streets. How can this be prevented under Palestinian rule?

Read it all; compare with Tom Perry's purportedly impartial piece and decide for yourself whether Perry has an ounce of respect for the Reuters Trust Principles.

1 comment:

  1. I found many other problems with this piece: