Thursday, January 5, 2012

Reuters correspondents still peddling fiction to advance their ideology

A symbolic fiction is a propaganda technique whereby a false claim, endorsed by some reputedly respectable and disinterested party, is advanced by the propagandist (Smith, 1989).

Take for example the propaganda mantra peddled in over 200 Reuters stories within the last couple of years that Jewish settlements in the territories of Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") are illegal -- because the World Court says so.

In a story on the Israeli government issuing restraining orders against 12 Jews barring them from the territories, Reuters correspondent Allyn Fisher-Ilan (yes, that Fisher-Ilan) repeats the mantra:
Israel has built more than 100 settlements in the territory, which the World Court has ruled are illegal.
As we've noted here, here, here, and here, Reuters' reference and deference to the World Court, on the question of the legality of Jewish settlements, is irrelevant and deluded.  The court's opinion, actually on the legality of the Israeli separation barrier rather than Jewish settlements, is entirely advisory and non-binding. Fisher-Ilan may as well cite the Organization of Islamic Conference in its opinion on Jewish settlements (this may be her next recourse).

The only binding decision on the legality of Jewish settlements in the original territories of Palestine -- including the West Bank -- resides in the Mandate for Palestine, confirmed by the League of Nations on July 24, 1922, grandfathered across to the United Nations in 1946, and still legally operative today.  Article VI of the Mandate stipulates:
The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.
Reuters Jerusalem Bureau has, to our knowledge, never cited this exclusively authoritative resolution granting Jews the right to settle anywhere in historic Palestine west of the Jordan River.

For Reuters, symbolic fiction trumps tangible truth every time.

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