Saturday, February 19, 2011

Failure to fact-check the derangement of Mohamed ElBaradei

Continuing with our analysis of Reuters public relations piece for Egyptian wannabe leader Mohamed ElBaradei, Reuters correspondent Louis Charbonneau uncritically quotes the former IAEA chief in his assessment of relations between Egypt and Israel:
He added that relations between Egypt and Israel constituted an imperfect peace and could be improved.
"It's a pseudo peace," he said. "You cannot even publish an Arab book in Israel. You cannot have an Israeli book published in Cairo. That is a very narrow definition of what you call peace."
The claim that Israel does not allow the publication or distribution of books by Arab authors or in the Arabic language is utterly false.  Up to 2009, it was illegal to import into Israel books printed in Syria or Lebanon (not Egypt) due to the official state of war with these countries.  A bill introduced by the Israeli Parliament that year ended this British Mandate-era law.

Egypt however, does appear to have an issue with Israeli books:
Over his career, [Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk] Hosni has accumulated a long record of opposing exchanges with Israel, repeatedly saying normalization must await resolution of the Palestinian issue and warning that opening up to Jewish culture would be dangerous for Egypt. But his most notorious sally came in May last year, when he told an Islamist member of the Egyptian parliament that he would personally burn any Israeli books found in Egyptian libraries.
An "imperfect peace" indeed.

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