Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The art of the paraphrase

In a story on a meeting today between Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu and Jordanian King Abdullah where the two discussed direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Reuters correspondent Suleiman al-Khalidi writes:
Netanyahu has publicly stated he wants direct talks to start as soon as possible. [Mahmoud] Abbas wants to know in advance what shape and size of a future Palestinian state Israel is prepared to discuss, and whether it is ready to withdraw from the Jordan Valley and entrust security there to a third party.
As we've noted several times, this is classic Reuters obscurantism intended to shield us from the harsh reality of Abbas' actually very clear dictate:
"We continue to insist that any negotiations with Israel be based on recognition of 1967 as the future borders of the Palestinian state".
In other words, with respect to the shape and size of a future Palestinian state, for Abbas there is nothing to "discuss".

So, we'll make it easy for Reuters correspondents.  The next time they decide to paraphrase Abbas on the subject, just cite him as saying "my way or the highway".  That will be far closer to the mark.

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