Saturday, May 8, 2010

Reuters still confused as to when and why last Israel-Palestinian talks failed

For over a year, in story after story, Reuters had been attempting to make the case that the last round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians failed as a direct result of the Gaza war with Hamas in January of 2009 (Israel's "offensive" as Reuters correspondents like to characterize it).  We've noted nearly as often, that contemporaneous news reports from a variety of sources (including Reuters) reflect the fact that negotiations between the parties effectively ended two months earlier, following Mahmoud Abbas' rejection of Ehud Olmert's settlement offer; the Palestinians' unsuccessful effort to persuade the Quartet to issue a diktat for a Palestinian state outside of the 1949 Armistice Lines with the eastern part of Jerusalem as capital; and imminent national elections in Israel.

Of late, Reuters has been acknowledging that there have been no negotiations for 18 months -- taking us back to November of 2008, at least one month prior to the start of the Gaza war.  Yet old habits die hard;  here's Reuters correspondent Ali Sawafta conflating both truth and mythology in one story:
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) on Saturday approved indirect talks with Israel, clearing the way for the first negotiations in 18 months and giving a boost to U.S. peace diplomacy...
There have been no negotiations since December, 2008, when Israel launched an offensive in Gaza.
Reuters desperately wishes to make Israel and the Gaza war the whipping boy for the last round of failed talks but apparently doesn't recognize that their own counting gives lie to this notion.

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