Saturday, October 16, 2010

So few words, so many transgressions

In a story of just 83 words, Reuters manages to embed two propaganda devices and three violations of its Handbook of Journalism:
Abbas moots US recognise Palestine on '67 borders
RAMALLAH, West Bank Sat Oct 9, 2010 2:59am EDT
RAMALLAH, West Bank Oct 9 (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has told Arab leaders he may seek U.S. recognition for a Palestinian state taking in all of the West Bank should peace talks with Israel stay stalled, an aide said on Saturday.
The idea, raised during Arab League deliberations in Libya on Friday, would place new pressure on Israel to extend a freeze on construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied territory, without which Abbas has said peace negotiations cannot continue.
First, note the reference to Israel's "'67 borders" in the headline, a falsehood known as historical reconstruction.  In fact, Israel has no internationally-recognized border to the east because the Arabs rejected the UN Partition Plan creating a Jewish state and launched a declared war of annihilation against the country in 1947-48 ending in a stalemate and temporary armistice lines separating Israeli and Jordanian forces.  These armistice lines are what Reuters mendaciously characterizes here as the "'67 borders".

Second, Reuters refers to the disputed territory between Israel and Jordan as the "West Bank".  This Arab-designated term originated following the 1947-48 war when the Arab Legion conquered the territory and drove the 3,500 year-old Jewish community out of the area.  Israel's name for the area is "Judea and Samaria" and Reuters' failure to provide this alternative appellation reflects a violation of the Social Responsibility guidelines in the agency's Handbook.  Reuters' repetitive use of the term "West Bank" in the dateline, lede, and body of the article so as to drum the Arab-ethnocentric message into readers' minds is another propaganda technique.

Finally, Reuters reports that absent an extension on the freeze in construction of Jewish settlements, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said negotiations "cannot" continue.  Actually, Abbas and Palestinian officials have been quoted numerous times as refusing to continue negotiations unless the moratorium on Jewish building is extended.  By paraphrasing Abbas euphemistically, Reuters is willfully distorting Abbas' explicit position in an effort to relieve him of personal responsibility for terminating peace talks with Israel.  This reflects two further violations of the agency's Handbook, the use of euphemisms and a failure to reflect reality.


  1. Reading this blog makes one wonder whether the person behind it gets information from a mole in the Reuters Jerusalem bureau. The other alternative is that this blog is written by a correspondent from the Reuters Jerusalem bureau.

  2. No, i don't think so. It's just a guy with a very sharp eye holding Reuters up to it's own standards, and this very narrow focus reveals as much falsehood as LGF's revelation of Reuters' fauxtography . BTW Reuters' stuff on Israel is often tucked away at and elsewhere.

  3. Fauxtography! How clever! Maybe you're the guy with the "very sharp eye" ?