Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The latest Reuters propaganda mantra

Repetition is a propaganda device designed to:
drum the message into the target audience's subconscious by repeating keywords or phrases over and over until resistance to the message weakens. The target audience eventually accepts the message often without even realizing it. Adolph Hitler emphasized the need for repetition in propaganda.
This technique forms one of the cornerstones of Reuters Middle East reporting.  As an example, a phrase like "occupied West Bank" -- which reflects a biased political view and violates the Reuters Trust Principles and Handbook of Journalism -- has appeared in over 1,600 Reuters stories over the last couple of years. 1,600.

The latest propagandistic phrasing to be adopted by Reuters and repeated in scores of stories on its website goes something like this:
The settlements are on territory captured by Israeli forces from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war and are deemed by the World Court to be illegal, a finding disputed by Israel.
As we noted here, the reference to the World Court is irrelevant to the question of the legality of Jewish settlements as the court's rulings are merely advisory and non-binding.  One could just as well argue that settlements are illegal because the Organization of the Islamic Conference deems them so.  In fact, Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria are entirely legal as per international law enshrined in the UN-adopted and never-abrogated Mandate for Palestine:
The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.
Reuters truncated characterization of the settlements as being "on territory captured by Israeli forces from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war" reflects an attempt by the news agency to suggest that the land properly belonged to the Jordanian Arabs which of course, is not accurate.  Jordan invaded and conquered this portion of the Palestine Mandate during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and its occupation of the area was never recognized internationally.  Jordan then ethnically cleansed the territory -- including the eastern portion of Jerusalem -- of all Jews living there.

With these key omissions, Reuters is willfully distorting the historical record.  By repeating the distorted message in scores of stories, the agency is demonstrating its intent to compel its audience to accept, uncritically, a propagandistic mantra.

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