Friday, October 28, 2011

Tom Perry lifts his pen; count the lies

It's another day and another deceit for Reuters propagandist Tom Perry who offers us his unique brand of "analysis" on the current state of Middle East peacemaking as orchestrated by the Quartet (Russia, the EU, the UN, and the US).  So, let's see where Perry seeks to mislead his audience this time:
The immediate obstacle [in the way of negotiations] is the standoff over Israel's expansion of Jewish settlements on the land where the Palestinians aim to found an independent state. World powers view the settlement as illegal under international law.
Er, no.  The immediate obstacle is the utter refusal of the Palestinians to engage in good faith peace talks without dictating the outcome of those talks by obtaining in advance of them, extraordinary unilateral concessions from Israel in the form of, 1) a termination of Jewish settlements on land promised to the Jews in resolutions adopted by the League of Nations and United Nations, and 2) a commitment by Israel to accept a Judenrein Palestinian Arab state on all land, including Jerusalem, liberated by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

And "world powers", like the United States, emphatically do not view Jewish settlements on this land as illegal in international law.  Indeed, as noted above, Jewish settlements in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") are entirely legal in international law.
In Israel, there has been a swing to the political right, a shift helped by the last Palestinian uprising. Add to that the fact that half a million Israelis have now settled in the would-be Palestine, and hopes for a deal seem far fetched.
Ah yes, that euphemistic and nebulous Palestinian "uprising", aka the Palestinian terror war, that killed over 1,000 Israelis in suicide bombings and shootings.  A bit more journalistic transparency in this respect might enable readers to better apprehend the reasons behind that "swing to the political right" in Israel.

Perry's reference to "would-be Palestine" includes the city of Jerusalem, a city built by the Jews over three-thousand years ago and only ever sovereign to the Jewish nation.  Jerusalem, a city where Jews maintained a community despite successive waves of invasion, conquest and occupation until 1967 when it was finally liberated from Arab colonization that had sought to obliterate any Jewish connection to the land and its holy sites.
The deal [to exchange Israeli Gilad Shalit for over 1,000 Hamas terrorists] disheartened Palestinian leaders in the West Bank who, unlike Hamas, oppose armed conflict with Israel and believe peace talks are the way to end the conflict.
This is a double bald-faced lie from Perry.  First, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas celebrated the release of the Hamas prisoners by paying them stipends.  Secondly, as we've noted dozens of times, Abbas, his Fatah party, and the PLO remain committed in word and deed to the destruction of Israel via armed violence.
A [Jewish] settlement freeze was a requirement of a 2003 peace plan, drawn up by the Quartet and known as the road map for peace.
"If the Quartet is going to play any credible role, it must really be able to enforce the terms of reference, and the compliance with these terms of reference, particularly those that have led to an agreed text, like the road map," said Nabil Shaath, a veteran Palestinian official.
No mention by either Shaath or Perry of Palestinian obligations under the Road Map, like disarming and dismantling all terrorist infrastructure, something the Palestinians have completely failed to do.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Douglas Hamilton lies on behalf of Palestinians

In a story on the release by Hamas of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and the anger of Israelis who have seen the killers of their loved ones go free in the swap, Reuters correspondent Douglas Hamilton attempts to justify Palestinian terrorism by blatantly lying about its raison d'etre:
But Gaza militants, claiming triumph over the Zionists, say their "victory" will spur them on to seize more Jewish hostages, in order to liberate all Palestinians imprisoned over the years in the cause of ending Israeli occupation in lands the Jewish state took in a 1967 war.
Did those Gaza "militants", aka Hamas terrorists and their operatives, actually say this?


In fact, Hamas is not driven by a commitment to end Israeli "occupation in the lands the Jewish state took in a 1967 war", but by a clear commitment, conveyed consistently in word and deed, to liquidate the Jewish state and kill or ethnically cleanse the land of its Jewish inhabitants.

Since Hamilton has apparently missed this message, here are a few choice quotes from Hamas officials:
"We have liberated Gaza, but have we recognized Israel? Have we given up our lands occupied in 1948? We demand the liberation of the West Bank, and the establishment of a state in the West Bank and Gaza, with Jerusalem as its capital – but without recognizing [Israel]. This is the key – without recognizing the Israeli enemy on a single inch of land. ...
"Our plan for this stage is to liberate any inch of Palestinian land, and to establish a state on it. Our ultimate plan is [to have] Palestine in its entirety. I say this loud and clear so that nobody will accuse me of employing political tactics. We will not recognize the Israeli enemy. " -- Mahmoud Al-Zahhar
"Hamas "must lay the foundation for a tomorrow without Zionists." -- Mahmoud a-Zahar
"Israel is based only on blood and murder in order to exist, and it will disappear, with Allah's will, through blood and Shahids [martyrs]." -- Yussuf Al-Sharafi
"This is Islam, that was ahead of its time with regards to human rights in the treatment of prisoners, but our nation was tested by the cancerous lump, that is the Jews, in the heart of the Arab nation... Be certain that America is on its way to utter destruction, America is wallowing [in blood] today in Iraq and Afghanistan, America is defeated and Israel is defeated, and was defeated in Lebanon and Palestine... Make us victorious over the community of infidels... Allah, take the Jews and their allies, Allah, take the Americans and their allies... Allah, annihilate them completely and do not leave anyone of them." -- Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Bahar
"We will not betray promises we made to God to continue the path of Jihad and resistance until the liberation of Palestine, all of Palestine. . . So be assured doctor Ayman, and all those who love Palestine like yourself, that Hamas is still the group you knew when it was founded and it will never abandon its path." -- Official Hamas Statement
"[Hamas will] never recognize the legitimacy of the Zionist state that was founded on our land." -- Khaled Mashaal
There isn't a field mouse in Dubrovnik that doesn't recognize the Hamas Mission.  Only liars and propagandists who work for the largest media company in the world have the arrogance and stupidity to believe they can deceive the public into believing that Palestinian terrorists are interested merely in "ending Israeli occupation in lands the Jewish state took in a 1967 war".

Count Douglas Hamilton in that group.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crispian Balmer defines the word "bias"

Thomson Reuters maintains a corporate governance charter called the Trust Principles.  Amongst other commitments to high ideals and lofty ethical values, the Trust Principles affirm:
That the integrity, independence and freedom from bias of Thomson Reuters shall at all times be fully preserved.
It's Reuters systematic failure to uphold its commitment to freedom from bias that we often focus on at RMEW.  And here's a prime illustration...

In an op-ed on the Shalit deal, misleadingly labeled as "Analysis" so Reuters can syndicate the de facto opinion piece to hundreds of other media outlets, Jerusalem Bureau Chief Crispian Balmer asserts:
The Palestinian Territories are split geographically and ideologically, with Gaza run by Hamas and the occupied West Bank run by President Mahmoud Abbas, who wants peace with Israel.
On what does Balmer base his claim that Abbas wants peace with Israel?  On the specious argument that, "Abbas has led Palestinian negotiating efforts for years".

To that we say, so what?

Abbas has frequently boasted that in his "negotiating efforts", he has made no concessions to the Israelis, and never will.

Is that evidence of someone who "wants peace with Israel"?


On the other hand, Balmer relies on anonymous "critics" (a violation of the Reuters Handbook of Journalism) to claim:
His [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] many critics allege he has no intention of ever concluding a broad treaty, despite his often-repeated calls for talks.
So notwithstanding the fact that Abbas has refused to compromise in peace talks with Israel and is currently refusing even to negotiate, Balmer endorses him, unequivocally, as a man who wants peace.  At the same time, Netanyahu, who has already made unprecedented concessions to the Palestinians and repeatedly calls for peace talks, is cynically cast by Balmer as someone who does not want peace.

A perfectly logical argument -- coming from a partisan masquerading as an independent journalist.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pigs fly: Reuters quotes Abbas claiming "Jerusalem" as Palestinian capital

We've devoted a great deal of ink here at RMEW noting Reuters persistent propaganda campaign to play down the Palestinians' demand that Jerusalem be wrestled away from Israel, via violence or political pressure, and made their own sovereign capital.  Reuters correspondents perennially conceal this Arab objective by referring to Jerusalem with the ahistorical misnomer "East Jerusalem", or worse, with the racist epithet, "Arab East Jerusalem", so as to suggest that there are actually two cities or that the Arabs really only want their fair share of the one city.

This charade on the part of Reuters is difficult to sustain when the Palestinians themselves, are so upfront about their strategic goals, frequently admitting they will not end hostilities until they control Jerusalem and its holy sites -- including Jewish holy sites.

In a story written or contributed to by practically the entire Jerusalem Bureau staff, Reuters finally comes clean:
Abbas is shunned by Hamas as pawn of Israel and its Western allies but has angered Israel and the United States by shunning long-stalled negotiations and seeking direct United Nations recognition of Palestinian statehood. He used the occasion to assure supporters: "You will see the results of your struggle in the independent state, with its capital Jerusalem."
The truth will out, but we're betting inclusion of that quote by Abbas was an oversight that will not soon be seen again in a Reuters story.

Reuters suggests Shalit may find liberty "tough"

In a story about Israeli Gilad Shalit, just released by his Hamas kidnappers after five years in captivity, Reuters correspondents Ori Lewis and Maayan Lubell suggest Shalit may find it difficult coping with liberty again:
Psychologist Rivka Tuval-Mashiach told Israel's Channel 2 television that Shalit would need time to absorb the fact he has become such a huge public figure during his prolonged absence.
"Initially, Gilad is not aware that he is the property of the entire country and he does not know that the entire country knows who he is. But he will need a bit of time and mostly a lot of quiet and warmth from his close family," she said.
"He will need to be given time even to the physiological changes of light and darkness, not to be afraid to speak. We don't know if he suffered violence or was tortured, but even in the first instances after he was back in Israel we saw that his frozen state thawed a little, with a first smile."
Though Lewis and Lubell mention that Shalit was held "incommunicado" (nicely sanitized), they don't explain that the reason we don't know if he suffered violence or was tortured is because, in violation of all human rights norms, Hamas refused to allow Shalit visits by the Red Cross (or any other humanitarian organization).  Lewis and Lubell do however, want us to know:
The Islamist group Hamas has said it treated Shalit well during his captivity.
Well, that's a relief.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tom Perry still peddling lie that Mahmoud Abbas committed to peace

Serial liar and Reuters propagandist Tom Perry still wants his readers to believe that, unlike Hamas, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is committed to peace with Israel:
Abbas strongly opposes any form of violence by the Palestinians and his security forces in the West Bank cooperate with Israeli security forces.
This is a running propaganda mantra appearing in scores of Perry's stories, one that is completely uncoupled from reality.  Here's Mahmoud Abbas, speaking to the Jordanian paper, al-Dustur, three years ago:
“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.”
And here's Abbas offering Palestinian support for an Arab declaration of war against Israel just a few months ago:
"I have said more than once that if the Arabs want war - we are with them."
Having lied about Palestinian tactical goals, Perry then lies about Palestinian strategic goals:
But peace talks with Israel have, by his [Abbas] own admission, hit a dead end while Jewish settlements continue to expand in the West Bank, consuming territory seen by Palestinians as central to their goal of a viable state.
First, Jewish settlements have definitively not continued to expand in Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank"), "consuming territory".  Other than a handful of tiny outposts disclaimed and frequently destroyed by the Israeli government, settlements have not expanded laterally in many years.

Secondly, the Palestinian goal, often admitted in Arabic and occasionally in English, is not a "viable state" but a Judenrein one (ethnically cleansed of Jews), as a stepping stone to the demographic conquest (destruction) of Israel.

Perry further misleads readers with the notion that Abbas' attempt to wrestle away Israeli-won land, including the city of Jerusalem, by breaching the Oslo Peace Accords and applying for statehood to the UN reflects a "peaceful" approach to settling the conflict:
"Abbas made the most peaceful move you can imagine: going to the United Nations. And yet he got this brutal political response by Israel and the United States," the Palestinian official said. "That's also a negative message to the public about the productivity of this peaceful approach."
Then, there's the obligatory propaganda on the 2008-09 Gaza War between Hamas and Israel:
That war had a lopsided outcome in favor of Israel. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed while 13 Israelis lost their lives.
So, approximately 1,400 Palestinians (over 700 of which were Hamas terrorists) were "killed", while 13 Israelis "lost their lives" -- undoubtedly due to tripping over their shoelaces while running toward shelters to escape the thousands of Hamas rockets raining down on them.

Perry finishes up by citing, uncritically, an official employing the Palestinian euphemism for the eradication of Israel:
"I think the prisoner swap comes at a good time. It reaffirms the power of resistance at a time when all Palestinian groups are adopting non-violent resistance," he said.
Sure, all Palestinian groups are adopting non-violent resistance.

Perry really ought to cut down on the Arab Kool-Aid.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

And now, for something not-so-different

We devote most of our line space here at RMEW to an analysis of Reuters use of propaganda in its Middle East reporting.  But it doesn't end there.  Indeed, dubious journalistic practices crop up anywhere Reuters correspondents seek to inject their ideological leanings into their work.

Take for example, this story published on Thursday of this week following reports that billionaire financier George Soros may have funded, in part, the current "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations.  Reuters correspondents Mark Egan and Michelle Nichols lead with the headline:
Soros: not a funder of Wall Street protests
Technically, the colon indicates that Soros is disclaiming responsibility for funding the protests, i.e., Soros is the one doing the talking.  But read with a less careful eye, the headline appears to be an objective and definitive finding (which as we will see, it is not).

Indeed, the first story paragraph reasserts the notion that Soros is (absolutely, positively) not responsible for funding the protests:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - George Soros isn't a financial backer of the Wall Street protests, despite speculation by critics including radio host Rush Limbaugh that the billionaire investor has helped fuel the anti-capitalist movement.
It's not until the third paragraph that Egan and Nichols tell us from whence they derive this conclusive truth:
Soros spokesman Michael Vachon said that Soros has not "funded the protests directly or indirectly." He added: "Assertions to the contrary are an attempt by those who oppose the protesters to cast doubt on the authenticity of the movement."
Ah, so it's simply a spokesman for Soros doing the disclaiming.  Thank you for that clarification.

Egan and Nichols then go on to map the much-reported relationship between Soros and the Tides Foundation (Soros has given $3.5 million to Tides) which has, in turn, donated $185,000 to the anti-capitalist group Adbusters, that has acknowledged inciting the Wall Street demonstrations.  But the Reuters correspondents seek to support their thesis that Soros has had no hand in the funding of the protests by again parroting Soros' own spokesman:
Vachon said Open Society specified what its donations could be used for. He said they were not general purpose funds to be used at the discretion of Tides -- for example for grants to Adbusters. "Our grants to Tides were for other purposes."
Of course, the reality is that money is fungible; for every dollar donated to Tides by Soros for "other purposes", a dollar donated to Tides by other sources is freed-up to be given to Adbusters.

Egan and Nichols fail to point out the obvious, but then that would distract from their propaganda campaign on behalf of George Soros.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tom Perry gloats with his brothers in arms

Reuters propagandist Tom Perry writes about Hamas "stealing the thunder" from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for successfully blackmailing negotiating the release of over 1,000 prisoners in exchange for Israeli Gilad Shalit.  Here's how Perry describes these Palestinian prisoners:
Though lacking Saadat and Barghouti, the swap will resonate with Palestinians, who regard the 6,000 or more prisoners held by Israel as national heroes and freedom fighters.
From a domestic perspective, the timing comes at a good moment for Hamas. A hunger strike among Palestinian prisoners whose demands include an end to solitary confinement is making daily headlines in the Palestinian media.
Not once in his 700+ word piece does Perry balance his parroting of Palestinian rhetoric with a mention of the crimes committed by these prisoners, including the 400 serving life sentences for murder.  This is a blatant violation of both the Reuters Trust Principles and the agency's Handbook of Journalism:
As Reuters journalists, we never identify with any side in an issue, a conflict or a dispute. Our text and visual stories need to reflect all sides, not just one [...]  Similarly in a political dispute or military conflict, there are always at least two sides to consider and we risk being perceived as biased if we fail to give adequate space to the various parties.
Perry suggests Palestinian prisoners have been on hunger strike to demand an end to solitary confinement but in fact, there are only about 20 Palestinians in solitary -- those convicted of the most heinous crimes.  The rest are demanding they be able to take university courses and receive Arab TV channels.

Perry then rehashes his insipid lies about

1) Mahmoud Abbas:
But credibility matters to both. Abbas, 76, a believer in peace negotiations despite a deadlock that has lasted over a year, has enhanced his standing in recent months, showing a more defiant approach toward Israel and the United States.
Sure, the man who refuses to negotiate is a "believer in peace negotiations".

2) The raison d'etre of Hamas:
Hamas' critics, meanwhile, say the movement has been facing a credibility crisis, struggling to reconcile its commitment to armed struggle against Israel with the responsibilities of governing Gaza, where it seized power from Abbas in 2007.
Hamas stated commitment is to genocide of the Jews.  Can't allow that unattractive reality out of the bag, eh Tom?

3) The risible notion that Hamas has been trying to prevent violent attacks on Israelis:
They [Hamas critics] have pointed to a contradiction between Hamas' words and deeds as it has sought to rein in militants whose rocket attacks into Israel have drawn punishing reprisals.
Several hundred Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks have originated from the Gaza Strip in 2011 alone.  There is absolutely no "contradiction between Hamas' words and deeds".

But then, you knew that; didn't ya' Tom?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Palestinans seek "National Heritage" status for Jewish, Christian Holy sites; Tom Perry fails to see irony

Reuters correspondent Tom Perry, who took a much-deserved holiday after penning a series of arduous Palestinian love fests and anti-Israel polemics in the run-up to the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN, returns to tell us:
The Palestinians will seek World Heritage status for the birthplace of Jesus once the U.N. cultural agency admits them as a full member, and will then nominate other sites on Israeli-occupied land for the same standing, an official said.
Perry is apparently oblivious to the supreme irony associated with present-day Palestinian Arabs nominating as their own historical treasure, the birthplace of Jesus, a Jewish rabbi who lived in Roman-occupied Judea two-thousand years ago, a time when there were no Palestinian Arabs.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A reader reply to Reuters

When we were kids, network television stations would occasionally broadcast an editorial on some current and controversial issue.  The editorial was clearly identified as such and the station would subsequently broadcast a responsible reply from someone in the community who disagreed with the position of the station editors.

As Reuters regularly demonstrates, those days are over.  Not only is there no line space provided for formal replies to Reuters many editorials and opinion pieces on the Middle East conflict, Reuters is not even transparent enough to acknowledge that the vast majority of stories published on its websites and syndicated to hundreds of newspapers and media outlets around the world are, in fact, opinion pieces.  Indeed, they reflect the deeply-held ideological views of the Reuters correspondents, editors, and likely, managing editors, responsible for those stories.

The Elder of Ziyon website posted today, a video produced by British polemicist Pat Condell entitled "The Great Palestinian Lie".  Condell's views are controversial, and this video is no exception, but then again, at least with Condell, the audience knows it is getting opinion -- not opinion masquerading as news.  That marks a refreshing difference with Reuters.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Money (that's what they want)

In a transparent appeal to pity, Reuters correspondent Ali Sawafta cries us a river for the Palestinian Arabs who are facing a deep-freeze in US taxpayer funds totaling $200 million due to their decision to thumb their collective noses at a negotiated peace deal with Israel.

Sawafta's piece winds its way through all of the humanitarian projects that will allegedly suffer as a result of the cash shortfall including water infrastructure, medical training, and hospital equipment.  Nowhere in his story of course, does Sawafta mention that hundreds of millions of dollars in American aid has been funneled to paying the salaries of Hamas terrorists in Gaza or Palestinians doing time in Israeli prisons for murder.

And the Palestinians are clearly annoyed:
"Some parties in the Congress stood not only against the interests of the Palestinian people but also against any possibility of achieving growth for a people under occupation," Economy Minister Hassan Abu Libda said. 
"It was strange, and I expect the decision will be viewed negatively by Palestinian public opinion and it will influence the entire credibility of the United States," he added.
So, we've taken a special request for the Palestinians, courtesy of Barrett Strong.  Enjoy.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Maayan Lubell counts Jewish attacks on Palestinians; mute on Palestinian attacks on Jews

Reuters correspondent Maayan Lubell, who wouldn't know honest journalism if it knocked her flying, scrupulously counts the number of alleged Jewish "price tag" attacks against Palestinian property involving graffiti and the legendary uprooting of olive trees.  Without telling us exactly how many such incidents occurred in 2010, Lubell reports that attacks have "risen by 57 percent in the first seven months of 2011 compared with the same period last year" (from 14 to 22?).  She also solemnly informs us that Israel's security service, the Shin Beit, has said these incidents have “terrorist aspects”.

Though vandalism and arson are serious crimes and should be punished accordingly, we are frankly fascinated with Reuters fastidious attention to detail when it comes to reporting on alleged Jewish property crimes but near silence on the matter of the 178 Palestinian terror attacks involving rockets, mortars, knifings, and other sundry methods aimed at murdering Jews, in August alone.

Apparently, Lubell cannot count higher than the number of her fingers and toes.

101 Dalmatians

One of Reuters' popular propaganda mantras -- a false, fabricated, or misleading construct appearing repeatedly in the agency's stories -- has made its 101st appearance:
U.S.-brokered peace talks collapsed a year ago after Netanyahu refused to extend a 10-month limited moratorium on construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs did not passively "collapse"; they were unilaterally terminated by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.  Reuters correspondent Dan Williams and Editor-in-Charge Jeffrey Heller are prevaricating here, and in an effort to suggest that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was responsible for the failed negotiations, employ a logical fallacy known as post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore, because of this).

Those pups reproduce like mad, don't they?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Reuters: Muslim Brotherhood is "spiritual guide" for Hamas

Reuters reports that officials of the Obama administration have met with members of the Egyptian chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood.  If true, this would be a break with long-standing US policy to shun contacts with the Brotherhood, although there was an announcement in June that such contacts would now be permitted.  With no hint of irony, Bureau Chief Edmund Blair writes:
The contacts may unsettle Israel and its U.S. backers. The Brotherhood renounced violence as a means to achieve political change in Egypt years ago. But groups like Hamas, which have not disavowed violence, look to the Brotherhood as a spiritual guide.
Blair is prevaricating here.  Per its own founding doctrine, the Brotherhood is an Islamic jihad group, committed to waging warfare to liberate what it considers Islamic lands and to rid the world of secular laws and governance.

And Hamas does not see the Brotherhood simply as a "spiritual guide'; Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood.

Nice try though, Edmund.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Orwellian inversion

In a story about the Iranian government hosting an anti-Israel "conference" in Tehran, Reuters correspondents Ramin Mostafavi, Hashem Kalantari, Robin Pomeroy, and Alistair Lyon turn the world on its head:
As leader of a country under a long-standing threat of military action from Israel and the United States, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned the Jewish state and its allies to expect "paralyzing blows" that a NATO missile shield could not prevent.
Note how the Reuters crew frame the potential for conflict as one where the US and Israel are threatening Iran and Iran is simply defending against that threat.  There is no mention whatsoever of the Iranian government's many precipitating threats, veiled and explicit, to see Israel annihilated.

Even a brief mention of Iran's nuclear program is deliberately misleading:
Iran is pursuing a nuclear program that the United States and Israel say aims to produce atomic bombs, a charge it denies.
This is a propaganda mantra appearing repeatedly in Reuters stories on the matter.  Of course, it is not merely the US and Israel that "say" Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons; it is the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency that has compiled extensive evidence of the same.