Thursday, January 27, 2011

The fine art

Writing about the arrest of four Palestinians for the murder of an American woman and the attempted murder of her Israeli companion, Reuters correspondent Maayan Lubell asserts:
Palestinian attacks on Israeli citizens in and around the West Bank have become rare in the past few years. Stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have raised concern in the Jewish state that such attacks would increase.
Negotiations broke down last year over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's refusal to impose new curbs on settlement building in the West Bank, part of the territories where the Palestinians seek to establish a state.
Palestinian attacks have become "rare" perhaps relative to the heady days of the Palestinian intifada when over 1,000 Israelis were killed.  Still, scores of Israelis have been the victims of shootings, stabbings, and Palestinian bulldozer rage over the last few years.  The only thing preventing many more of these attacks has been the return to the territory by Israeli security forces.

Lubell doesn't explain any this of course, but does suggest that Palestinian violence may increase as a result of the fact that negotiations "broke down", which Lubell implies is Israel's fault.  That the Palestinians have doggedly refused to enter into peace talks with Israel absent further unilateral concessions by Netanyahu goes unmentioned.

We sometimes wonder whether there is a second Reuters Handbook, hitherto unknown and specifically authored for the agency's Jerusalem Bureau, which guides correspondents in the fine art of bullshit.

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