Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reuters giblets

Apologies for the brief hiatus in our posting; we have been traveling for the holidays and working to complete an academic study.  In our absence, the world continues to spin, as does Reuters, and there is always a rich illustration on hand of the latter.

In a story on the Israeli parliament approving legislation to require a two-thirds majority for any surrender of annexed land to the Arabs (or short of that super majority, a public referendum on the matter), Reuters correspondent Allyn Fisher-Ilan fabricates Middle East geography, violates the Reuters Handbook of Journalism, sanitizes Palestinian intransigence, resorts to name-calling, and ignores international law:
Palestinians want East Jerusalem as capital of a future state in the West Bank, but Israel sees it as a part of its undivided capital, and it could prove difficult to win Israeli public backing to relinquish even parts of the holy city.
Palestinian leaders have also said they would seek to hold a referendum on any deal with Israel. Trying to get an agreement with the Jewish state approved by a majority in Hamas-ruled Gaza or the Palestinian diaspora may also prove difficult.
As we've noted numerous times, there is no city of "East Jerusalem".  The term was fabricated following the invasion, occupation, and ethnic cleansing of all Jews from the eastern part of Jerusalem by the Arab Legion in the 1947-48 Arab-Israeli War.  Each time Fisher-Ilan tags the area as such, she is peddling a fiction and implicitly endorsing that act of ethnic cleansing.  (Even the Palestinian Authority makes no mention of "East Jerusalem" on its official website and genuine news agencies like the Associated Press do not capitalize the "e" when writing about the eastern district of the city).

Moreover, by exclusively referring to the larger geographical area with the Arab-designated term, the "West Bank", Fisher-Ilan is violating her agency's handbook of ethical guidelines which stipulates that Reuters correspondents provide readers with the dual names of any disputed territory -- in this case, Judea and Samaria.

Fisher-Ilan seeks to downplay Palestinian opposition to peace with Israel with the risibly understated suggestion that, "trying to get an agreement with the Jewish state approved by a majority in Hamas-ruled Gaza or the Palestinian diaspora may also prove difficult".  Yes, we've noted Hamas' inflexibility.

For a radical left-winger like Fisher-Ilan, we can almost understand her mild characterization of the Israeli Labour party as "left-of-center" but her personal political views do not excuse heavy-handed editorializing in referring to Jews who oppose surrendering land to Arabs pledged to destruction of the state of Israel as "far-right".  The same Jews who have rights to the land not simply by "biblical birthright" as Fisher-Ilan scoffs, but as mandated by international law -- something Reuters routinely ignores.

No comments:

Post a Comment