Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The new year, same as the old year

Of one thing we can be certain: Reuters correspondents have not made any New Year's resolutions giving up their addiction to injecting anti-Israel propaganda into their stories.  In a piece on Russian President Dmitry Medvedev canceling his visit to Israel, Douglas Hamilton tosses in this bit of vintage 2010 boilerplate:
Direct talks began in September between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and [Palestinian President] Abbas. But the process foundered in a matter of weeks over Israel's refusal to extend its freeze on building at Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Like his colleagues at Reuters, Hamilton blames Israel, and only Israel, for the collapse of negotiations.  There is no mention of the fact that Abbas tarried for nine and a half months of the original ten-month building moratorium, trying to extract further unilateral concessions from Netanyahu before agreeing to talk.  No mention of the fact that Abbas told his party that he would not make a single concession in negotiations with Israel.  And no mention of Abbas' adamant refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, as did the United Nations 63 years-ago, in exchange for a Jewish construction freeze in the territory.  These are glaring omissions clearly intended to mislead and manipulate readers into adopting Hamilton's personal pro-Palestinian political views and as such, they represent an egregious violation of the Reuters Handbook of Journalism and the company's Trust Principles.

Hamilton also adds to the three-year running total of 1,130 Reuters stories (over one per day) employing the propaganda mantra, "occupied West Bank", so named in part, following Israel's liberation of the territory from Jordanian occupation in 1967 and in part, following Arab ethnic cleansing of Jewish communities from the territory in the previous Arab-Israeli war.  Hamilton sycophantically serves Arab interests in this regard, refusing to balance the "West Bank" designation with Israel's appellation for the territory, Judea and Samaria.  This, a violation of Reuters social responsibility commitment:
We must be on alert for language that could imply support for one side of a conflict, sympathy for a point of view, or an ethnocentric vantage point. We should, for example, provide the dual names of disputed territories. We must not parrot any loaded expressions used by our sources, except in quotes and official titles. Generic references to a specific country as “the homeland” for example, are unwelcome.
In 2009 and 2010, Douglas Hamilton repeatedly demonstrated his contempt for the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles and professional standards of conduct for a purportedly unbiased news agency.  The question at hand, is whether Reuters will enable him to continue to display that contempt through 2011.

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