Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One year on, Reuters still lying about Mavi Marmara

In May of last year, İnsani Yardım Vakfı (IHH), a Turkish Islamist NGO with ties to various terror groups, sponsored and manned a flotilla to Gaza with the intention of defeating the Israeli weapons embargo of the Hamas-run territory.  The ship where the majority of IHH operatives were based, the Mavi Marmara, became the scene of a violent confrontation between Israeli naval commandos attempting to board the ship and passengers armed with knives, iron rods, and by some reports, pistols.  Following the incident and seizure of the Mavi Marmara, an inspection of the cargo hold revealed no humanitarian aid on board the ship.

In story after story on the incident last year, Reuters falsely characterized the Mavi Marmara as an "aid ship".  One year on, the agency is still doing so:

(Reuters) - Democratic governments cannot stop their citizens launching another pro-Palestinian flotilla to Gaza, Turkey's foreign minister said on Monday, a year after the storming of an aid ship by Israeli marines.
This, of course, is not accidental.  Reuters is attempting here, via deployment of the propaganda techniques of historical reconstruction, i.e., fabrication, and repetition, to implant in the minds of its readers the false notion that the Mavi Marmara was carrying humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Arabs.  In fact, as we noted above, it was chartered with the specific task of breaking a legal sea blockade so as to facilitate the flow of arms to the genocidal Islamists running Gaza.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood tells West what it wants to hear, Reuters parrots

Reuters has been sanitizing the history, image and doctrine of the Muslim Brotherhood since at least February when the group became a contender for power in Egypt following the downfall of Hosni Mubarak.  We noted that disturbing trend here, here, here, and here.

In its latest installment of Brotherhood-friendly propaganda, Reuters correspondent Yasmine Saleh admits that the Islamist group has become the dominant political player in Egypt but she uncritically parrots Brotherhood assurances that the group wants a "diverse" parliament after elections in September:
The Brotherhood, which has emerged as a powerful force after years of repression under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, has said it does not want a parliamentary majority, although rivals see it as well placed for a dominant position.
We cannot recall the last time a political party in any country did not wish to be the majority in the legislative body, but there you have it.

Even more troubling than Saleh's credulity with respect to the Brotherhood's modest electoral goals is this contradiction in terms.  Saleh writes:
The Muslim Brotherhood wants a diverse parliament after elections in September and is not seeking to impose Islamic law on Egypt, the head of the group's newly formed political party said in an interview.
Yet just eight paragraphs down, Saleh quotes the same Mohamed Mursi, head of the Brotherhood's Justice and Freedom Party:
But he said Islamic law could have a place in a civil state in Egypt, where about 10 percent of the 80 million population are Christians. "Islamic sharia guarantees the rights of all people, Muslims and non-Muslims," he said.
So Sharia law could have a "place" in Egypt but the Brotherhood is not seeking to "impose" it.  We see.  The most powerful political force in the country, a group committed by Charter to the strict implementation of Sharia law and one which very likely will hold a plurality if not a majority of seats in the legislative body, is not seeking to use that authority to legislate for Sharia.

Well after all, denial is a river in Egypt.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dan Williams sneers at Israel; selectively quotes military historian

One of the common propaganda devices employed by Reuters is called card stacking, or selective omission.  Here, the propagandist provides his audience with only the information he wishes known so as to lead the audience to a preordained conclusion, one of the propagandist's choosing.

In an Op-Ed ("Analysis" in Reuters parlance) about Israel's defense needs related to Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank"), correspondent Dan Williams first sneers at the suggestion that an international border drawn along the 1949 Armistice Lines is indefensible:
But no one will map it out. For while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused any return to the "indefensible" lines held before the West Bank's occupation in the 1967 war, the Israelis themselves have no ready alternative to hand.
Williams then goes on to quote a number of military and political analysts, citing their views on the question of how much land Israel might require to provide for defensible borders and how that defense might be arrayed.  Williams concludes with a second-hand citation from author and professor Martin van Creveld:
Military historian Martin van Creveld credited Israel's current containment of Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria to its superior arms and said these could be brought to bear in turning the kidney-shaped West Bank into a "noose" for any Arab invader.
"It is crystal-clear that Israel can easily afford to give up the West Bank," he wrote in the Jewish Daily Forward.
"Strategically speaking, the risk of doing so is negligible. What is not negligible is the demographic, social, cultural and political challenge" of maintaining the West Bank occupation.
What Williams doesn't tell readers, is that in the same article, van Creveld also acknowledged that any future Palestinian state based in Judea and Samaria would have to be demilitarized and that Israel would only be able to defend itself against terrorism emanating from Palestinian territory by means of a wall coupled with offensive military campaigns, like that of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

We don't claim to be military historians or experts in international law, but to our knowledge, no sovereign state has ever been long compelled to surrender the right to host a standing army.  That means under any agreement, the Palestinians can be expected to arm themselves under the banner of "national defense".

It also means that to defend its citizens against missile attacks, Israel might be required at any time to invade (sovereign) Palestinian territory.  As we recall, that was the situation in Gaza in 2008 and the international community did not exactly endorse Israel's campaign of self-defense.  How realistic is it to expect a different outcome, particularly with a sovereign Palestine, the next time around?

Perhaps Dan Williams can find a military historian to answer that question.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Freudian slip or wishful thinking?

It must be nice being the largest news agency in the world.  For Reuters, it means the power and conceit to be able to dictate to nations in which city their capital is located -- at least for Israel.

Last December, we noted Reuters formal placement of Israel's capital in Tel Aviv.  A little earlier today, in a story on Palestinian rejectionism efforts to win U.N. recognition, Reuters correspondents Ali Sawafta and Tom Perry attempted the same stunt.  Here's the way their story reads currently:
The Palestinian Authority (PA) headed by Abbas is dependent on financial support from international donors including the United States and the European Union.
It also relies on customs duties collected on its behalf by Israel, which triggered a financial crisis for the PA earlier this month when the Israeli government temporarily withheld the funds following a reconciliation deal between the rival Fatah and Hamas groups.
And here's how that second paragraph read before being revised:
It also relies on customs duties collected on its behalf by Israel, which triggered a financial crisis for the PA earlier this month when Tel Aviv temporarily withheld the funds following a reconciliation deal between the rival Fatah and Hamas groups.
Wily, aren't they?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Reuters, the definition of insanity

Well, it was just a week ago that Reuters correspondents were busy, en masse, misrepresenting President Obama's speech on the Arab-Israeli conflict.  We highlighted some of those misrepresentations here, here, and here.

Reuters correspondents demonstrate their sheer arrogance and unflappable commitment to deceive their audience by continuing, in several stories today, to misrepresent Obama's proposal for a negotiated peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians:
In a bid to break the deadlock, Obama said in a major policy speech last week that a future Palestinian state should be based on the borders as they existed on the eve of the 1967 Middle East, with land swaps mutually agreed with Israel.
No he didn't.  As we've noted too many times to recount, Israel had no borders prior to the 1967 war and, in conjunction with a territorial neck only 9 miles wide, this lack of recognized borders encouraged the surrounding Arab states to prepare an invasion in June of 1967.

Reuters is deliberately misleading readers by misquoting Obama, who actually referred to the 1967 "lines".

Nor is this simply a semantic distinction.  Reuters correspondents are attempting, via the propaganda technique of repetition, to implant the suggestion that, in rejecting the 1967 lines (actually 1949 Armistice Lines) as an international border, Israel is rapaciously seeking to expand its territory beyond an official "border" and devour land belonging to another country.

Of course, this is an utterly false allusion as there is no country east of the 1967 lines -- until one reaches Jordan.

So, we have a settlement offer of our own for Reuters, whose writers and editors frequently visit and comment on our site: when you guys get with the program and decide to write a straight story on the Arab-Israeli conflict, we'll give up the criticism and resume our day jobs.

Until then, talleyho!

Jerusalem is quiet

Yesterday, we noted how Reuters correspondents regularly coddle and serve as apologists for the Palestinians.  This is particularly the case with those Jerusalem Bureau staffers, whom we follow most closely.

Although the majority of Reuters correspondents writing on international affairs demonstrate suspiciously similar political stripes (extreme left-wing) and appear able to tightly coordinate their stories, occasionally we see interesting divergences.

For example, on Tuesday Tom Perry in Jerusalem was spinning madly on behalf of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, blaming U.S. President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for the failure of the peace process.  On Wednesday however, Perry's colleague in London, Matt Falloon, was quoting President Obama:
During the joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama added: "For the Palestinians to take the United Nations route rather than the path of sitting down and talking with the Israelis is a mistake."
Normally, Reuters Jerusalem correspondents leap at any opportunity to cite Obama with his insights into the root causes of the Middle East conflict and how best to resolve that intractable struggle.  But with Obama putting the onus squarely on the Palestinians in their refusal to negotiate with the Israelis (a repudiation of the Reuters Jerusalem Bureau pro-Palestinian campaign), Perry and his office mates have been strangely silent.  There has been no quote, no citation, no reference whatsoever to Obama's critical comments on Wednesday.

Must be jet lag.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reuters infantilizes the Palestinians

Much of the blame for the protracted nature of the Israel-Palestinian conflict can be laid at the door of Western journalists and their irrational desire to infantilize the Palestinian Arabs.  By treating the Palestinians like small children who can never be held accountable for their own choices and must be constantly coddled, the media provide sanction and succor for the most appalling behavior.

Take for example, Reuters correspondent Tom Perry who, for the better part of a year, has been serving as apologist for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as the latter refuses to sit down with the Israelis to negotiate peace.

Perry continues along that vein with an Op-Ed (masquerading as "Analysis") which once again excuses and provides political cover for Abbas' rejectionism:
Observers in Ramallah say addresses by President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have left the peace process in a deeper hole than before, and see no alternative to going it alone for the Palestinian leadership.
For President Mahmoud Abbas to back out now, with prospects of a resumption of talks on terms he could accept faint at best, would amount to political suicide by a leader seeking to leave some kind of legacy.
Abbas, 76, has built his career on the idea of negotiating the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel on land it occupies -- the "two-state" solution -- backed by world powers but now seemingly further than ever from becoming reality.
With the peace process at a standstill, his plan to seek U.N. recognition of Palestine in September has been criticized in Washington by both Obama and Netanyahu over the last week.
Palestinian observers were more skeptical than before about the chance of any resumption of peace talks.
"The Palestinians must go to the United Nations," said Samir Awad, a lecturer at Birzeit University in the West Bank. "I am sure Abbas will face great pressure, but I hope he will not yield, and will go ahead despite Obama and Netanyahu."
Aiming to exploit support for the Palestinians among many U.N. member states, Abbas has said he will go to the General Assembly if there is no breakthrough in the peace process.
Of course there will be no breakthrough in the peace process because there is no peace process.  And there is no peace process because, as we've noted, Abbas refuses to engage in one.  Though he has had a standing offer from the Israeli government to negotiate a final settlement of the conflict for nearly two years, Abbas is clearly more keen to deploy political pressure (going to the U.N. General Assembly) and the implicit threat of terrorism (reconciling with Hamas) to coerce Israel to surrender land and sovereign rights to its capital, and acquiesce to an influx of millions of Palestinian "refugees".  This is what Perry really means when he writes:
For President Mahmoud Abbas to back out now, with prospects of a resumption of talks on terms he could accept faint at best, would amount to political suicide by a leader seeking to leave some kind of legacy.
Perry dare not tell readers the truth about Abbas' sought-after "legacy" of course, so he justifies Abbas' intransigence by blaming President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu and simply ignores the fact that peace talks could resume any time the Palestinians agree to resume them.

That's called holding the adults accountable for the child's tomfoolery.   

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Netanyahu a hit; Douglas Hamilton depressed

One can almost see Reuters correspondent Douglas Hamilton reaching for his antidepressant medication following Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before Congress yesterday.  Hamilton writes:
Invited by the Republican opponents of President Barack Obama, Netanyahu won standing ovations as he extolled Israel's democracy and military self-reliance while rejecting any Palestinian state based on Israel's pre-1967 borders. 
Hamilton alludes to the notion that it was only Republican opponents of President Obama who cheered Netanyahu but of course, it was nearly everyone in the house:

The fact is, the American people and their representatives in Congress, both Republican and Democrat, support Israel in its quest and formula for peace which, notwithstanding Jeffrey Heller's false assertion, reflect significant concessions to the Palestinian Arabs.

Douglas Hamilton and the anti-Israel crowd at Reuters may have nothing to offer but raspberries for Netanyahu but at the end of the day, media propaganda will not end this ancient conflict.  Only Arab acceptance of a Jewish national presence in the Middle East can achieve that.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Reuters

In a story about the rise of Muslim extremism in the UK, Reuters correspondents Michael Holden, Stefano Ambrogi and William Maclean have no difficulty using the "T-word" and the "J-word":
On the frontline of the war against terrorism -- and Britain is undoubtedly a frontline -- private initiatives like Mahmood's hint at the failure of state-sponsored efforts to counter jihad. Almost six years on from a massive coordinated terror attack on London's transport system, the main nationwide programme to deter young men from extremism still hasn't moved past mistrust and suspicion. The one-year-old Conservative-led government now wants to tweak the policy. For some Muslims, the question is whether the state should even try.
Britain is on the frontline of the war against terrorism??  Please.  Israel is on the frontline; Britain is the terrified tot hiding behind.

And note the liberal use of the words terrorism and jihad absent scare quotes which always accompany Reuters reports of terror attacks in Israel (when their correspondents are not censoring the words entirely). 

Apparently, lethal attacks on civilians only constitute terror when it is your mate who is killed on the Piccadilly tube.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jeffrey Heller and the Palestinians think only Israeli national suicide a worthy concession

In a speech before Congress today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his willingness to embrace a Palestinian state.  He offered to accede to that state on land which is part of the Jewish ancestral homeland.  Land recovered in 1967 following a war waged against Israel by Egypt, Syria and Jordan that cost Israel nearly 4,000 casualties.  He implicitly agreed to the forced relocation of perhaps tens of thousands of Israelis from their homes in order to make way for that Palestinian state.

But for the Palestinian Arabs, who boast openly that they have made no concessions to Israel in negotiations over the years, and for Reuters Editor-in-Charge Jeffrey Heller, a permanent acolyte in the Palestinian camp, Netanyahu conceded not a thing:
But Netanyahu offered no concrete concessions and instead set strict limits on what Israel would accept.
As we used to say when we kids, get a job Jeffrey.

Jeffrey Heller, propagandist

What is the distinction between persuasion and propaganda?  We all use the former on a daily basis to influence and win others to our point of view.  There's obviously nothing unethical about that.  The propagandist however, goes one step further.  He uses specific rhetorical tricks -- lies, half-truths, omissions, emotionally-charged language -- to short circuit the critical faculties of his audience, to deceive and manipulate them into adopting his message.  That's unethical, particularly so when it's done by a professional journalist who commits to a policy of "integrity, independence and freedom from bias".

It's also what Reuters correspondents writing on the Middle East conflict do regularly.

Take this story by Reuters Jerusalem Editor-in-Charge Jeffrey Heller about today's upcoming speech before Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  Here are some of the rhetorical devices Heller uses to compel his readers to accept and adopt his (Heller's) anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian political plank:
"I will outline a vision for a secure Israeli-Palestinian peace," the right-wing Israeli leader said on Monday about his planned address to a joint meeting of Congress [...]
Heller characterizes Netanyahu as "right-wing", conjuring up images of a politician with extremist views.  Neither Heller nor anyone else at Reuters ever refer to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas nor other Palestinian leaders as "right-wing".  Indeed, Abbas is routinely referred to as a "moderate".  This of a man who is on record as stating: “At this present juncture, I am opposed to armed struggle because we cannot succeed in it, but maybe in the future things will be different".
Obama drew Israeli anger a day earlier when he said a Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip should largely be drawn along lines that existed before the 1967 war in which Israel captured those areas and East Jerusalem [...]
The phrase "occupied West Bank" is used so often by Reuters, we refer to it as a propaganda mantra.  As we've noted many times, the territory described does not belong to any sovereign state and cannot therefore, under the Geneva Conventions, be considered "occupied".  Moreover, the appellation "West Bank" was assigned to the territory by the Jordanian Arabs following their invasion and conquest in 1948-49.  As such, it is an Arab ethnocentric name which celebrates the ethnic cleansing of the ancient Jewish community that had been living in the region.  The Judeo-Israeli appellation for the territory is Judea and Samaria, a name Reuters correspondents are enjoined to provide as per their handbook of ethical guidelines.  That propagandists like Heller consistently ignore their responsibility in this respect is evidence of their intent to deceive their audience.
Peace talks are frozen, largely over the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Neither Obama nor Netanyahu have offered a concrete plan to try to revive them [...]
Heller puts the onus for suspended peace talks solely on the US (Obama) and Israel (Netanyahu).  There is no suggestion whatsoever of the Palestinians offering "a concrete plan to try to revive them".  In fact, Heller gives Palestinian President Abbas a complete pass on the stalemate, failing even to mention that it is he (Abbas) who has repeatedly refused to sit down with Israel in negotiations.  
[US Congressman] Cantor was referring to a unity deal last month between Western-backed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement and Hamas, an Islamist group viewed by the United States as a terrorist organisation [...]
Hamas is not simply "viewed by the United States as a terrorist organisation".  It is also officially declared as such by nearly the entire free world including Canada and the European Union.  Heller is attempting here to downplay the widespread recognition of this reality.
Speculation had been high in Israel that Netanyahu would offer new ideas on peacemaking to try to display flexibility and rally opposition to the Palestinians' plan to ask the United Nations to recognise a Palestinian state in September.
In his AIPAC address, Netanyahu reiterated his demand that Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state, a step they fear could impinge on their claim of a right of return for Palestinian refugees displaced by the Israeli-Arab conflict [...]
So you see, Netanyahu is inflexible and demanding, and the Palestinians fearful.
AIPAC's dominant voice in advocating for Israel has been challenged by J Street, a pro-Israel lobby founded in 2009.
J Street leaders have said the group provides a way for liberal American Jews critical of Israeli government policies to support the Jewish state.
Unlike AIPAC, the group supports President Obama's demand that Israel cease settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, while calling on the Palestinians to end incitement and violence [...]
Here, Heller is lobbying for the lobby group J Street.  While Heller asserts, sans evidence, that J Street is "pro-Israel" and describes a few of its political positions, he pointedly fails to report on a key position of its leadership, that is, if the Palestinian Arabs and Arab states will not make peace with Israel, then perhaps Israel "ain't a very good idea".  This too, just a bit unlike AIPAC.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wishful reporting?

On Thursday of last week, President Obama proposed that Israel and the Palestinians negotiate a border between them based on mutually-agreed changes to the 1949 Armistice Lines ("1967 borders"), a position not materially different from that of previous U.S. administrations and former Israeli leaders.  Here's how Reuters reported the news:
Egypt's U.N. envoy on Thursday welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama's support for a Palestinian state based on Israel's 1967 borders, though he said it lacked specifics on how to restart peace talks.
-- Louis Charbonneau, May 19, 2011
He [Obama] called for a deal resulting in two states, Israel and Palestine, sharing the border that existed before Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war.
 -- Jeffrey Heller, May 19, 2011
President Barack Obama on Thursday backed a key Palestinian demand on the borders of a future state with Israel as part of his vision for a Middle East peace deal and sought to shape political change convulsing the region. Obama’s proposal — a policy shift that effectively calls for a negotiated Israeli pullback to 1967 borders that existed before it occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem ...
-- Matt Spetalnick, May 19, 2011
U.S. President Barack Obama’s endorsement of a longstanding Palestinian demand on the borders of their future state sets the stage for what could be a tense meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday ...
-- Jeffrey Heller and Matt Spetalnick, May 19, 2011
Israel said the United States “does not understand reality” as its leader arrived in Washington on Friday after President Barack Obama endorsed a longstanding Palestinian demand on borders of a future state ...
-- Jeffrey Heller and Matt Spetalnick, May 20, 2011 
Hours before Netanyahu arrived in Washington for talks on Friday, Obama said in a keynote Middle East speech that any future peace deal with Palestinians would have to be based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war...
-- Crispian Balmer, May 20, 2011

Why did so many Reuters correspondents get it so wrong?  Because they heard what they wanted to hear and could so barely contain their gushing enthusiasm over what they perceived as a dramatic change in U.S. policy, one favorable to their precious Palestinians, they published a string of stories repeatedly misrepresenting Obama's words.

If Thomson Reuters were true to its Trust Principles, all of the above would be joining former Reuters Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Alastair Macdonald, at his desk job in London.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The definition of "chutzpah"

As we noted in our post below, Reuters continues to suggest that Obama "endorsed" Palestinian demands that Israel agree to surrender land thus returning the country to the 1949 Armistice Lines ("1967 borders").  We noted that Obama had said nothing of the kind.

Defining the word "chutzpah", Reuters correspondent Matt Spetalnick, who has led the false charge that Obama endorsed Palestinian demands on borders, now wants readers to believe it was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who misconstrued Obama's position:
Obama chided those who he said had "misrepresented" his position, a slap at Netanyahu, who had seized on the notion that he was being asked to return to 1967 lines while ignoring the president's stipulation there would be land exchanges.
Gee, perhaps Netanyahu got that notion reading Reuters' "analysis" of Obama's speech.

Memo to Matt: when you hit bottom, quit digging.

Reuters continues to fabricate

The most recent propaganda mantra repeated in a number of Reuters stories following President Obama's speech on his vision for a settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, is that Obama:
... endorsed a longstanding Palestinian demand on the borders of their future state.
But did he?

Here's what Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been demanding with respect to those borders:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday laid out his most specific demands for the borders of a future independent state, calling for a full Israeli withdrawal from all territories captured in the 1967 Mideast war [...]
In a television interview, Abbas said the Palestinians want to establish a state on 6,205 square kilometers (2,400 square miles) of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It was the first time he has given a precise number for the amount of land he is seeking.  "We have 6,205 square kilometers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip," Abbas told Palestine TV. "We want it as it is."  According to Palestinian negotiating documents obtained by The Associated Press, the Palestinian demands include all of the Gaza Strip, West Bank, east Jerusalem and small areas along the West Bank frontier that were considered no-man's land before the 1967 war.
And here's Obama's proposal:
We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.
This is essentially what Presidents Bush and Clinton before him supported, what former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered in 2008 (rejected by Abbas) and what many believe the Israelis are prepared to accept.  It is quite different from what the Palestinians have been demanding.

Only at Reuters could Obama's words be construed as an "endorsement" of those demands.

UPDATE 4:30 PM: Here's what Obama had to say today in his speech before AIPAC:
... since my position has been misrepresented several times, let me reaffirm what “1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps” means.

By definition, it means that the parties themselves – Israelis and Palestinians – will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. It is a well known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation. It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last forty-four years, including the new demographic realities on the ground and the needs of both sides. The ultimate goal is two states for two peoples. Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.
Reuters correspondents are so busy cheering for the Palestinians, they're not listening to the words being broadcast over the P.A. (Public Address not Palestinian Authority) system.

A comment from a former Reuters employee

The Global Editor of Ethics, Innovation and News Standards for Reuters, Dean Wright, recently stepped down from his position with the agency.  We commented on Wright's final online column here.  Over the weekend, we received the following comment from a reader:
Wright is wrong: I was bounced off Reuters fairly recently for not meeting their "standards." Well, I don't crop photos to fit a narrative. And unlike Dean Wright, I never worked for MSNBC - no paragon of objectivity and elevated standards. The threadbare default argument that certain language "offends" or fails to comport with "standards" is in itself code for bias and censorship. 
Plainly, I was removed from posting for my point of view, conservative. I've seen a trend in America the last many years that reveals leftists are generally the least tolerant and least disposed toward debate. Liberalism, the American left, is Marxist by nature. And it's all about control. When I come across intellectually dishonest vermin like Dean Wright, I find it affirming and actually vindicating that I pushed his buttons enough, tweaked his thin-skinned sensibilities to merit removal from his tiny parcel of the internet. But, like it or not, I am not chastened, nor am I restrained from speaking truth to power, albeit media power.
Wright and his ilk clearly do not realize that many of us who fail to meet his subjective "standards" have been dealing with leftist mental Lilliputians for decades. I studied in Boston, often taught by open Marxists and Harvard Ph.Ds (usually one and the same). I know the game. One thing I've found, when the heavy hand is used and intolerance applied, it signals frustration at being on the losing, ultimately soon to be irrelevant side. Truth is revealed from the airing of opposing opinion; its product and yield are there to be examined by the consumer of information. People are smart enough to see through the sophistry and subterfuge through their own intellectual capacity and common sense. It is always preferable to err on the side of more information than less, that is if truth is your goal. At Reuters, Wright is Wrong.
Any further comment would be superfluous.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

There are no "1967 borders"

As we've noted many times, there are no "1967 borders" for Israel.  There are only armistice lines, drawn in green ink on a map in 1949 to demarcate the point where Israeli and Jordanian armies suspended battle following the first Arab-Israeli war.  Those lines left Israel 9 miles wide at the neck and invited Jordanian shelling in 1967.  The armistice agreement incidentally, specifically stipulated that the green line was not to be viewed as an official border and that nether party would be relinquishing claims to disputed territory on either side of the line (Jordan ultimately did relinquish all claims to Judea and Samaria, aka the "West Bank").

That history doesn't prevent Reuters from continually misstating it:
In an unusually sharp rebuke to Israel's closest ally, Netanyahu insisted Israel would never pull back to its 1967 borders -- which would mean big concessions of occupied land -- that Obama had said should be the basis for negotiations on creating a Palestinian state. 
The misnomer of 1967 borders is more than simply semantic.  In discussions of how the remaining unallocated portions of the Palestine Mandate might be divided between Israel and the Arabs in a settlement of the conflict, it's critical to note that Israel has no recognized border with the Arab world to the East.  Absent some portion of Judea and Samaria being integrated into Israel, the country would remain 9 miles wide and vulnerable to future attack.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Allyn Fisher-Ilan uses her 3D decoder glasses to reveal Obama's secret message

In his speech on the Middle East yesterday, President Obama used the word "occupation" twice:
"For Palestinians, it has meant suffering the humiliation of occupation, and never living in a nation of their own."
"The dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation."
Note that the President of the United States (and former President of the Harvard Law Review) was careful not to indicate whose land was under occupation.  The reason being of course, that the sovereign status of the territories is officially in dispute and subject to negotiation.  Individually, both Jews and Arabs own land in Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank").

Note also that Obama specifically delineated the Palestinians as "never living in a nation of their own".  So much for the notion that their "country" was taken away from them with the Nakba of 1948.

So whose land, exactly, is under occupation?

The Arabs believe, and want the world to believe, that the Jews are illegally possessing their land.  To "prove" their case, they frequently display their house keys.  The Jews, on the other hand, hold the original title deed and modern rights to settle in the land. Those rights have been paid for many times over in blood, treasure, and toil.

The Arabs, on the other hand, have Reuters:
Obama's blunt language about the need to find an end to Israel's occupation of Arab land looked certain to be the crunch issue in his talks with Netanyahu.
Language so blunt, it was invisible to everyone but Reuters.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nakba Quackba

The last we visited with Reuters "special correspondent" Alistair Lyon, he was misrepresenting former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and libeling Israel.  Today, he reappears with a human interest story about those Palestinian Arabs living in Lebanon and their yearning to "return" to their "homeland":
(Reuters) - Like the crowds of Palestinian refugees who rattled Israel's border fences this week, Subhia Loubani yearns to return to the homeland she had to flee when the Jewish state was created in 1948.
Even though, unlike most of them, she has a brand-new house.
Loubani, 72, received a key last month to one of the first few homes built by UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, in north Lebanon's Nahr al-Bared camp, which was utterly destroyed in fighting nearly four years ago.
Still, she said, given a chance, "I'd leave the house and go to Palestine, my country. I can't forget Palestine."
Sunday's border protests, in which Israeli gunfire killed at least 13 people, were a reminder that the plight of 4.5 million Palestinian refugees, often ignored in interim peace deals, lies at the core of an Arab conflict with Israel that has reverberated across the Middle East and beyond for decades.
Of course, there has not ever been a country called "Palestine" and the overwhelming majority of the 4.5 million "refugees" to which Lyon refers have never stepped foot in the territory in which their grandparents and great-grandparents may have resided for two years between June 1946 and May 1948 (the official UNRWA definition of a Palestinian refugee).  But hey, the Arabs and their acolytes at Reuters never let the facts get in the way of a good ole appeal to pity:
"When I left Nahr al-Bared, I felt I was leaving Palestine again," said the elderly widow, recalling that collective trauma known to Palestinians as the Nakba, or national catastrophe, whose anniversary was marked by the border rallies on May 15.
Loubani, only four years old in 1948, says her father had carried her from the village of Saasaa across the frontier into nearby Lebanon and a future of blasted dreams and despair.
The word nakba also springs easily to the lips of Jihad Awad, 49, a shoe-seller among the first refugees to be rehoused. "There's no worse catastrophe than this," he said of his family's flight from Nahr al-Bared and their wrecked home.
Note that at 49 years of age, Jihad Awad was not born until fourteen years after the Arabs living in the territory fled following the advice of those like Azzam Pasha, secretary-general of the Arab League, who in preparation for the 1948 invasion of Israel notoriously boasted:
"This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the crusades".
Try as they may, Alistair and Jihad will not win any sympathy from us.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


After perhaps two to three decades of churning out anti-Israeli propaganda, is it possible to hold out hope that Reuters might ever break the addiction and take an honest, even-handed approach in its Middle East reporting?


Consider the latest piece from Palestinian parrot and Reuters correspondent Matt Spetalnick.  Speculating upon Barack Obama's upcoming speech on US Middle East policy, and in violation of the Reuters Handbook of Journalism, Spetalnick takes an entirely Arab-ethnocentric perspective on the Israeli-Arab conflict:
By laying out his own vision for a "reset" with the region, Obama aims to counter criticism that he has been slow and inconsistent in dealing with an unprecedented wave of popular revolts that have upended decades of U.S. Mideast policy. But even as he reaches out to a wider Arab audience, he is likely to disappoint many with what will be left out -- fresh U.S. proposals for breaking the impasse between Israel and the Palestinians and getting them back to negotiations.
Clashes on Sunday on Israel's borders, where Israeli troops killed at least 13 Palestinian protesters, underscored the depth of Arab frustration over the decades-old conflict, which remains a central preoccupation in the region.
Spetalnick uses the catachresis "protesters" to willfully mislead readers into believing that the Arab mobs, bused to the Syrian, Lebanese, and Gazan borders with Israel and encouraged to rush and infiltrate those borders, were simply "protesters" in deep "frustration" unable to cope with their "preoccupation" over the conflict.  Spetalnick is so programmed to toe the Arab line, he completely ignores any Israeli preoccupation associated with being a country 9 miles wide at the neck, one that has barely survived multiple wars of annihilation waged against it by its Arab neighbors, and whose civilian population is under daily threat of terrorist attacks.

That's what we mean when we write that Reuters is in perpetual violation of its Trust Principles and Handbook of Journalism promising "freedom from bias".

Spetalnick continues along this same vein with implicit jibes directed at former U.S. President George Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: 
Obama raised Arab expectations for a more active and even-handed U.S. role when he took office but the mood soured when he backed down from confronting Israel over settlement building in the occupied West Bank. His unmet pledge to shut the prison at Guantanamo also has drawn Muslim criticism.
While Obama is expected to recommit broadly to seeking Israeli-Palestinian peace in his speech and during talks with Netanyahu on Friday, there are no plans to seek major Israeli concessions for now. Nor has the right-wing Israeli leader given any sign concessions would be forthcoming.
Spetalnick again ignores any perspective other than that of the Arabs: the United States under Bush was not "active" or "even-handed" in its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict; Israel must be "confronted" over Jewish settlements in the "occupied West Bank"; all attention is on "the right-wing" Netanyahu to make concessions, etc.

There is no mention that George Bush was the first U.S. President to publicly call for a Palestinian state and to encourage democratic elections in the territories (which brought Hamas to power); no mention that Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") are entirely legal in international law; no mention that it has been Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who has consistently refused to make any concessions or even to engage in unconditional peace talks with Israel.

Spetalnick and Reuters are simply not constitutionally able to take an honest, even-handed approach in their Middle East reporting.  Constitutionally unable to "take no side; tell all sides".  Constitutionally unable to honor their Trust Principles or their Handbook.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Reuters: PR agency for serial killers?

Imagine for a moment, a media company in the late 19th century hired to handle public relations for Jack the Ripper.  What could the agency say to smooth over the heinous, irredeemably violent nature of the serial killer?

"His surgical style suggests he is a capable doctor and well-educated".  "He recognizes that times are changing and he must change with them".  "He has not tried to murder anyone in nearly three weeks".  "He has offered to consult with other serial killers on decisions of who is next to be butchered".  "He has agreed to limit his activities to East London".  "He is moving his office to Dubai". 

So it goes with that peddler of malodorous balms, Reuters Jerusalem Bureau Chief Crispian Balmer (curly-haired perfume peddler), in a risible piece intended to makeover the public image of the terrorist group Hamas:
(Reuters) - The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has felt the political winds shift across the Middle East and is bending with them, making peace with its secular rival Fatah and trying to cool its conflict with Israel.
Israel has ridiculed the idea that the Hamas leopard can ever change its spots, but analysts poring over a recent slew of interviews from the movement's senior leaders believe change is under way, wrought by upheaval across the Arab world.
Despite the fact it looks secure in its coastal stronghold, the Gaza Strip, Hamas last month reached out to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who governs in the West Bank, and agreed to a surprise unity deal to end years of fierce feuding.
By doing so, Hamas effectively renewed its commitment to a ceasefire with Israel. No mortars or missiles have been fired out of Gaza since the accord was announced on April 27 -- a rare period of calm on one of the region's most dangerous borders.
Hamas has also conspicuously failed to provide wholehearted support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who faces the worst civil unrest of his 11-year rule, despite the fact that he has harbored the Islamist group leadership for a decade.
The chilly relations have raised speculation that Hamas might move its main regional office out of Damascus, which would take the group further out of Shi'ite Iran's orbit. It would strengthen ties with administrations that have good relations with the West, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt.
Growing signs that the Islamist group is considering moving out first originated in the Saudi-owned pan-Arab al-Hayat daily, which cited unnamed Palestinian sources for its report.
"I think Hamas is serious this time. It is taking a chance and wants to be given a chance," said political analyst Hani Habib, who lives in Hamas-controlled Gaza [...]  "Concerning bin Laden, everyone knows Hamas has differences with al Qaeda ... especially (its) operations targeting civilians," Hamas leader in exile Khaled Meshaal told France 24 TV.
Meshaal has given more interviews in the past several weeks than he has done in the past several years, apparently eager to show the world exactly where Hamas stands on Middle East peace.
Although he stopped short of recognizing Israel, he repeatedly stated that he wanted to establish a Palestinian state along pre-war, 1967 borders, implicitly suggesting that Hamas was ready to accommodate the reality of Israel.
He also said that he would henceforth consult with more moderate Palestinian factions over how to confront Israel, suggesting that he would no longer attack without consensus.
Another Hamas official, Sami Abou Zuhri, told Le Monde daily that observers should not focus on Hamas's uncompromising 1988 charter, but rather judge the group on the words of its leaders. 
Let's cite again, one of Balmer's assertions above to illustrate the chicanery with which Reuters goes about its public relations duties:
Although he [Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal] stopped short of recognizing Israel, he repeatedly stated that he wanted to establish a Palestinian state along pre-war, 1967 borders, implicitly suggesting that Hamas was ready to accommodate the reality of Israel.
Meshaal has not said anything in his interviews with Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, nor any other media organization which even remotely suggests that "Hamas was ready to accommodate the reality of Israel".  This is a complete figment of Balmer's imagination, or fabrication, that the Reuters Bureau Chief wishes his readership to mindlessly swallow.

Here's what Meshaal actually said (as reported by Reuters on May 8th, 2011):
Meshaal said the international community must pressure Israel to recognize the Palestinians, not the other way around.
"Israel needs pressure. It is an occupier that would not get out by conviction or through dialogue," Meshaal said, adding that Egypt was only able to enter into peace talks with the Jewish state after the 1973 Middle East war.
"What is needed today ... is to have resistance in all forms, armed and public ones," he said adding that he intends to try to persuade Fatah to adopt his approach to force Israel to end its occupation. "Any occupier in the world never retreats voluntarily ... It only retreats under pressure and force."
And at the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation shindig on May 4th, 2011:
"Our aim is to establish a free and completely sovereign Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, whose capital is Jerusalem, without any settlers [Jews] and without giving up a single inch of land and without giving up on the right of return (of Palestinian refugees)," Meshaal told a ceremony in Egypt to endorse a reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah movement.
The "right of return" would of course, involve the settlement of nearly 5 million Palestinian Arabs in Israel and the demographic destruction of the state.  Note also Meshaal's reference to "Jerusalem" -- not East Jerusalem, nor Arab East Jerusalem, nor any other rhetorical fiction Reuters correspondents consistently employ to conceal the fact that the Palestinians demand Israel surrender the city of Jerusalem for a Palestinian capital and ethnically cleanse all Jews from the area.  And if Israel doesn't comply?  "Resistance in all forms, armed and public ones".

Crispian Balmer: always willing to take on the task of defending the indefensible.

UPDATE MAY 15TH, 2011: In a rare example of forthcoming reporting, Balmer's colleague Douglas Hamilton grudgingly acknowledges what has long been obvious to the rest of us:
But Islamist Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and which last month sealed a surprise reconciliation pact with its bitter rival Fatah, issued a warning that Palestinians would accept nothing less than return to all lands lost in 1948.
Spokesman Taher Al-Nono praised the "crowds we have seen in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon" as evidence of "imminent victory and return to the original homes as promised by God."
In an apparent contradiction of suggestions that Hamas might ditch its rejection of Israel's right to exist, he said there was no alternative to recovering all land lost in 1948.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bahrain expels Reuters reporter

The government of Bahrain has formally expelled Reuters correspondent Frederik Richter due to claims of biased reporting:
Frederik Richter, who has been based in the capital Manama since 2008, was told to leave within a week after officials complained Reuters had lacked balance in its reporting during the recent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
"Reuters regrets Bahrain's decision to expel its correspondent," Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler said. "We stand by Frederik Richter's reporting and we will continue to provide comprehensive and unbiased coverage from the country. [...]  Popular protests across the Arab world this spring have put authoritarian rulers under pressure, leading many to impose curbs on the media. Before Bahrain, Syria, Libya and Saudi Arabia had expelled Reuters correspondents in recent weeks.  The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called the intensity of recent repression and attacks on the media in the Middle East and North Africa unprecedented.
In Bahrain, several journalists have been detained since protests began in February which have pitched Shi'ite Muslims, who form a majority of the island's population, against the Sunni monarchy, which accused Shi'ite Iran of fomenting unrest.
Hmmm, across the entire Middle East, it seems Reuters correspondents are only free to editorialize in Israel.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Execrable card stacking

The last we visited with Reuters correspondent Louis Charbonneau, he was fabricating a statement by President Barack Obama to the effect that "Israeli settlements in territories it captured in a 1967 war are illegal".  Obama had not said this.

Charbonneau returns with a story about U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urging Israel to continue transferring tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority despite its new unity pact with Hamas, the terrorist group formally committed in word and deed to the annihilation of a U.N. member state (Israel) and the murder of every Jew in the region.

Does Charbonneau report any of the above so as to provide context for Israel's decision to freeze money transfers to the Palestinian government?  No.  He withholds all of that essential detail in favor of 12 lonely words:
Israel has condemned the unity pact as a "tremendous blow to peace."
Why is that Louis?  We haven't a clue.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Israel-hating radical left quotes the Israel-hating radical left

When a purportedly impartial reporter wants to publicly advance her personal ideology, the way to go about it, without risking her career, is to let others who share that ideology do the talking in her stories.

So it is with admitted radical leftist and Reuters correspondent Allyn Fisher-Ilan who interviews Jeremy Ben-Ami, director of the radical-left lobbying group, J Street:
Ben-Ami said he feared Netanyahu's labeling of a reconciliation pact between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah group and rival Hamas Islamists as a blow to peace may only further damage already-frozen diplomacy.
"I think now in the wake of the reconciliation there's a possibility that his whole case to the Congress might be ... not putting anything on the table," Ben-Ami said.
"In our meetings here we are urging, from our perspective, that the prime minister's initiative should be a serious plan," he said, adding that he thought Israel should wait to see the policies of a new Palestinian government before condemning it.
Ben-Ami said Netanyahu ought to present a deal along lines agreed in past years of negotiations, including proposed land swaps in exchange for settlement blocs Israel would keep.
"Put a proposal on the table that meets a bar of credibility, not a provisional state on 30 or 40 percent of the land, but a real state, and let them decide if they're serious about peace or not," Ben-Ami said.
J Street directors are on record as stating that if the Arabs will not accept a Jewish sovereign in the Middle East, perhaps it would be best if Israel did not exist:

Quite what one would expect coming from a group which suggests that Israel "should wait to see the policies of a new Palestinian government [Hamas + Fatah] before condemning it".

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Reuters forgets the lyrics

With the classic propaganda technique of card stacking, the propagandist carefully reports or "cherry picks" only the information he/she wishes to disclose to the audience, omitting entirely, essential facts and details which provide a more complete and balanced understanding of events and therefore interfere with the propagandist's effort to compel the audience to adopt a particular view.  Reuters has elevated card stacking to a rarefied art form.

In a story about a statement issued by Hamas kingpin Khaled Meshaal at yesterday's Palestinian shindig celebrating the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, Reuters correspondent Sami Aboudi wants his audience to believe that Hamas really, really wants Israel to (in the immortal words of John Lennon) "give peace a chance":
(Reuters) - Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal on Wednesday challenged Israel to peace, offering to work with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Egypt on a new strategy to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict.
But Meshaal, addressing a meeting in Cairo to announce a reconciliation agreement between his Islamist group and its secular Fatah rival, said he did not believe Israel was ready for peace with any Palestinians.
"We have given peace since Madrid till now 20 years, and I say we are ready to agree among us Palestinians and with Arab support to give an additional chance," Meshaal said, referring to the 1991 international Middle East peace conference that launched Israeli-Arab peace talks.
"But, dear brothers, because Israel does not respect us, and because Israel has rejected all our initiatives and because Israel deliberately rejects Palestinian rights, rejects Fatah members as well as Hamas...it wants the land, security and claims to want peace," he said.
Aboudi doesn't report of course, that at the same time Meshaal was waxing rhapsodic about peace and reconciliation, the co-founder of Hamas, Mahmoud al-Zahar, was singing a slightly different tune:
Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar said on Wednesday that Palestine is "hallowed ground" and that his organization will never recognize Israel.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Zahar said that Palestinians will not give up on their right to Palestine, while recognizing the rule of Poles and Ethiopians in their land.
Ain't harmony grand?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Reuters lies again

In its continuing efforts to disinfect Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in preparation for a Palestinian application for statehood in September, Reuters runs yet another in its farcical "Factbox" series.  Here's what the agency wants us to believe about Abbas:
Abbas, an opponent of political violence by the Palestinians, has spent decades trying to make peace with Israel. He has said he will not seek another term in a new ballot, which is already more than 3 years overdue. He was among the first Palestinians to initiate secret talks with Israelis in the 1970s. Almost two decades of peace talks did not yield a treaty, frustrating Abbas, who believes Washington was too partial to Israel.
And here's what Abbas himself has said publicly:
"[W]ith the will and determination of its sons, Fatah has and will continue. We will not give up our principles and we have said that rifles should be directed against the occupation…. We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation….”  January 11, 2007
“At this present juncture, I am opposed to armed struggle because we cannot succeed in it, but maybe in the future things will be different [...]  I had the honor of firing the first shot in 1965 and of being the one who taught resistance to many in the region and around the world; what it’s like; when it is effective and when it isn’t effective; its uses, and what serious, authentic and influential resistance is….  It is common knowledge when and how resistance is detrimental and when it is well timed….  We [Fatah] had the honor of leading the resistance and we taught resistance to everyone, including Hizbullah, who trained in our military camps.”  February 28, 2008
So there is reality.  And then there is Reuters.

Reuters: genocide = "armed struggle"

Reuters Jerusalem Bureau Chief Crispian Balmer needs both a math lesson and a lesson in ethics:
He [Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal] has promoted armed struggle against Israel and rejected peace negotiations, but said in an interview with Newsweek last year that if a two-state solution were ever brought about, his group would "respect the will of the Palestinian people."
In violation of the Reuters Handbook of Journalism and professional journalistic ethics, Balmer deliberately adopts the loaded, Arab-ethnocentric, and grossly misleading phrase "armed struggle" to characterize Hamas' stated intent to commit genocide against the Jewish people.  This, in an obvious bid to conceal the objectives of the Palestinian leadership so as to make them more palatable to gullible western audiences.

Balmer is of course, not fooling anyone even remotely familiar with Hamas and its aims.  But he may be successfully abridging his career with the world's largest news agency otherwise committed to a policy of integrity and freedom from bias.

UPDATE 2:50 PM  In another of Reuters fallacious "Factbox" series, this about Hamas and Fatah, propagandists Nidal al-Mughrabi and Mohammed Assadi repeat the "armed struggle" euphemism.  In this instance, they attempt to dupe readers into believing the two terror groups have forsaken violence for politics and peace:
It [Fatah] originally backed armed struggle to create a Palestinian state but later led peacemaking efforts with Israel for a deal to create a state in the West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as capital -- lands Israel occupied in 1967 [...]
Originally it [Hamas] concentrated on armed struggle against Israel, led by its armed wing the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, and on numerous social welfare programs. However, it soon got deeply involved in local politics.
The depths to which Reuters correspondents will stoop to deceive the public and advance their personal ideological agenda is truly astounding.

Palestinian reconciliation nears; Reuters goes into high-gear propaganda mode

Palestinian factions Hamas, Fatah and a host of smaller terror groups like Islamic Jihad are about to sign a reconciliation agreement in preparation for application to the UN General Assembly for statehood.  Concealing the objectives, tactics and bloody history of these groups and their leaders so as to facilitate that application is a tall order, but Reuters, with its pro-Palestinian and virulent anti-Israel agenda, is fully up to the task.  In the last 48 hours, Reuters has published, in both conventional story format and as part of its propagandistic "factbox" series, a number of pieces intended to obfuscate the implacably violent and totalitarian nature of these factions and their key players.

In a story on reaction to the killing of Osama Bin Laden by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, Reuters correspondent Nidal al-Mughrabi fabricates a "good cop/bad cop" scenario, portraying the latter as supporting a non-violent, negotiated settlement with Israel:
The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority supports a negotiated peace with Israel to obtain a state in territories the Jewish state captured in a 1967 war.
No evidence is provided for this assertion and in reality, both Fatah and the Palestinian Authority remain committed to the destruction of Israel.  As we noted yesterday, the Fatah constitution calls for the total eradication of a Jewish sovereign by violent means.  The Palestinian Authority is about to bring into government, the genocidal terror group Hamas, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who has refused to accept Israel as a Jewish state or to negotiate with Israel for nearly a year, has often reminded his interviewers that the Palestinians have chosen non-violence merely as a temporary strategic option in their effort to defeat Israel.

Al-Mughrabi even provides public relations for Hamas by suggesting that its public statements condemning the killing of Osama Bin Laden were offered merely as a sop to other Islamist groups in Gaza:
Political analysts in the Gaza Strip said Haniyeh was attempting through his remarks to cool tensions in the territory with al Qaeda-inspired Salafi groups. They consider Hamas too moderate and waged gun battles recently with its forces.
"Haniyeh took in his consideration the situation in Gaza and the strong presence of Salafi groups. It was an attempt to reconcile with them after the fighting," said analyst Hani Habib.
We'll take a look at other Reuters propaganda efforts in coming posts.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"The Palestinian Independence Movement"

That's how Reuters propagandist and serial liar Mohammed Assadi describes Fatah and Hamas in this story about the impending political reconciliation between the Palestinian factions.  For those not familiar with the immutable tenets of the two terror groups, here are a few salient extracts from the Hamas Charter:
For our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave, so much so that it will need all the loyal efforts we can wield, to be followed by further steps and reinforced by successive battalions from the multifarious Arab and Islamic world, until the enemies are defeated and Allah’s victory prevails [...]
The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!
And the Fatah Constitution:
Article (12): Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence [...]
Article (19): Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People's armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.
"The Palestinian independence movement".

As President Barack Obama might ask, "you think we're stupid?"

Musical harmony

When we last visited with Reuters correspondent Nidal al-Mughrabi, he was busy writing 4,000 years of Jewish history out of the Gaza Strip.  Today, he returns with a story of one day of Jewish history in the Gaza Strip:
(Reuters) - Classical musician Daniel Barenboim, a supporter of Palestinian rights, broke new ground Tuesday when he travelled to the Gaza Strip to conduct a concert.
Musicians from some of Europe's top orchestras entered the coastal enclave from Egypt via the Rafah border crossing amid tight security, to form the "Orchestra for Gaza" and play Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" and the Symphony No. 40 [...]
When introducing the event, Barenboim said the concert was taking place because "these are people who care about you, this is why we are here today."
Barenboim has become a controversial figure in Israel for his vocal opposition to its occupation of the West Bank, where he has performed on several occasions.
Since 1999, he has promoted Arab-Israeli cultural contacts and he leads the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, made up of young Israeli and Arab musicians which is based in Seville, Spain.
In 2008, Argentine-born Barenboim, 68, also took Palestinian citizenship and said he believed his status could serve as a model for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
"As you know I am Palestinian ... not (just) because I have a Palestinian passport and I am also Israeli, so you see it is possible to be both, but in order ... to have justice and peace we have to do many things.
"Our conflict is a conflict of two peoples who are convinced they have the right to live in the same little piece of land, therefore, our destinies are linked," he said.
"No people should be expected to live under occupation," Barenboim added as he received a standing ovation from the audience of academics, foreign guests and schoolchildren.
A poignant tale of an Israeli conductor's effort to bridge the hostile divide between Jews and Palestinian Arabs through musical performance.

Too bad a similar effort by a Palestinian conductor to perform for Jewish Holocaust survivors in Israel resulted in Palestinian officials disbanding the orchestra and banishing the conductor.

Ain't harmony grand?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Reuters still covering for Iran

Reuters has a long history of censoring the various findings of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with respect to Iran's nuclear program.  The IAEA concluded in October 2009 that Iran had acquired “sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable” atom bomb and the following month asked Iran to respond to evidence suggesting that Iranian scientists had experimented with an advanced nuclear warhead design.  Iran refused to do so.

Yet in story after story, Reuters correspondents choose to withhold this critical information from readers and instead revert to their standard propaganda mantra suggesting that only the United States, Israel, and the amorphous "West" believe Iran is developing nuclear weapons:
The United States and its Western allies suspect Iran is using its nuclear energy program as a cover to build bombs. Iran denies the allegation, insisting it needs nuclear technology to generate more electricity.
This key omission is of course, intentional, and reflects Reuters' efforts to conceal from readers the widespread and independently-held conclusion that Iran is indeed, aggressively pursuing the bomb.  Rather, the dispute is framed merely as a "he said/she said".

Nor does Reuters note, as we did in October of 2009, that based on the widening positive gap between electricity production and electricity consumption in Iran, it is absurd to suggest (or parrot) that Iran "needs nuclear technology to generate more electricity".

Why does Reuters, which clings to claims of being an unbiased and transparent news agency, continue to cover for the Iranian regime?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The "human rights" racketeers

One of the Reuters websites we follow is called AlertNet, trumpeted by Reuters as "the world's humanitarian news site".  Reuters publishes stories here written by its own correspondents, freelance journalists and the public relations departments of a myriad of international NGOs that specialize in everything from providing food assistance to "conflict resolution/monitoring" to "advocacy/lobbying/campaigning".  Publishing rights on AlertNet are free and unfettered for contributing members.

In a story published last month entitled "'Humanitarian vulnerability' of East Jerusalem Palestinians rising - UN", Reuters correspondent Megan Rowling constructs a carefully contrived propaganda piece featuring a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) accusing Israel of policies and practices which put Arabs living in the eastern portion of Jerusalem at risk:
"Although Palestinians are remaining in the city [Jerusalem], in the long term, failure to address these 'push factors' risks undermining the Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem," the report says.

East Jerusalem has traditionally been the hub for Palestinian social, economic and religious activity, and access to the city from across the Palestinian territories is essential to maintain Palestinian life there, said Maxwell Gaylard, the U.N. humanitarian and resident coordinator for the Palestinian territories, in a statement.

"As the occupying power, Israel is responsible under international humanitarian and human rights law for ensuring that the humanitarian needs of people under its occupation are met, including in East Jerusalem, and that Palestinian residents are able to exercise their human rights, including the right to freedom of movement, work, housing, health, education, and to be free from discrimination, among others," the report concludes.
It's fascinating that notwithstanding these "push factors" allegedly "undermining the Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem", the Arab population in Jerusalem has more than quadrupled since Israel liberated the city from Jordanian occupation in 1967.  Apparently, the free health care, education, access, and housing policies established by successive Israeli governments since that time, have not prevented the Palestinian Arab community from growing and prospering.

But frankly, we wouldn't expect the UN humanitarian and resident coordinator for the Palestinian territories, Maxwell Gaylard, to participate in the production of an accurate or candid report on the impact of Israeli policies on Palestinian living conditions.  After all, this is the same fellow who, in an effort to demonize Israel last year, overtly lied about the infant mortality rate in Gaza:
"The decline in infant mortality, which has occurred steadily over recent decades, has stalled in the last few years."

With its institutionalized anti-Israel agenda, and under the guise of advancing human rights, Reuters continues to uncritically parrot this reprehensible character and his wholly partisan committee at the UN.