Monday, July 11, 2011

Jeffrey Heller forgets a little something

The Israeli parliament passed legislation today allowing parties to sue for financial damages when they are injured by boycott campaigns. In an eleven-paragraph story on the bill, Reuters Jerusalem Bureau Editor-in-Charge Jeffrey Heller devotes seven paragraphs to citing opponents of the bill, two paragraphs violating the Reuters Handbook by refusing to provide the dual names of politically disputed territory at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (Judea and Samaria/the West Bank), and one paragraph attempting to portray the Israeli government as extremist by employing a cheap political label.

What Heller fails to do in all eleven paragraphs, is report the truth. He tells readers:
Supporters of the bill said its reference to boycotts based on "geography" was aimed at countering calls in Israel and abroad for cultural and economic boycotts against settlements in the West Bank, occupied land Palestinians want for a state.
But the legislation has been written to protect not just those who are financially injured by boycotts aimed at settlements in Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") but also those who are injured by boycotts aimed at Israelis in Israel.  Absent such legal protections, Israelis would have little recourse against those who seek to eradicate the Jewish state via Nazi-inspired economic and cultural boycotts.

Heller misses the point of these boycotts -- and wants his readers to miss the same point.

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