Saturday, August 21, 2010


In a story on the US asking the Israelis and Palestinians to formally resume direct peace talks in September, Reuters correspondents Douglas Hamilton and Andrew Quinn tell us of the dictates imposed on Israel by the Quartet:
The Quartet has repeatedly said Israel should stop building settlements in the West Bank and agree to a Palestinian state within the borders of land it has occupied since the 1967 Middle East war -- points the Palestinians view as a minimum guarantee of the terms of reference for the talks
We've boldfaced the word "within" because over the last several weeks, Reuters has been falsely asserting that the Quartet had insisted Israel agree to a Palestinian state "on the basis of the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war".  A state within those borders (or to be more precise, armistice lines) is obviously a horse of a different color and far nearer to the truth.  As Reuters almost never openly corrects its errors as prescribed by its Handbook of Journalism, we'll accept the new and improved language as an acknowledgment of Reuters being caught-out. 

Regrettably, correcting Reuters is a bit like playing whac-a-mole: dispense with one gnawing rodent and another quickly rears its ugly head.  In this case, note that while Hamilton and Quinn are quite certain of the Quartet's directives to Israel, they apparently haven't a clue as to anything the same world powers have requested of the Palestinians.  

So, let's have our own look at a few things the Palestinians have been asked to do and how they've responded:
Noting the significant progress on security achieved by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, the Quartet calls on the Palestinian Authority to continue to make every effort to improve law and order, to fight violent extremism, and to end incitement.
Improve law and order?  Check.

Fight violent extremism?  Check.

End incitement?  Check.

Yep, nothing -- nothing at all -- for Hamilton and Quinn to report on with respect to expectations the Quartet and the Israelis might have of the Palestinians going into peace talks.

No comments:

Post a Comment