Thursday, March 29, 2012

For Reuters, Israel is Arab territory

The Reuters Handbook of Journalism, a set of ethical guiding principles for the agency's reporters, specifically proscribes against taking sides in a conflict:
We must be on alert for language that could imply support for one side of a conflict, sympathy for a point of view, or an ethnocentric vantage point.
When it comes to reporting on the Middle East conflict however, Reuters correspondents long ago, tossed aside any adherence to these principles.

Take for example, Reuters many references to the city of Jerusalem.

Both the archaeological record and contemporaneous historical works, like that of Flavius Josephus, attest to Jerusalem's history as a city built and governed by the Jews for centuries prior to the Roman conquest.

For a mere 19 years of the city's 3,000 year history, Jerusalem was divided.  Between 1948, when the Arab Legion conquered the eastern part of the city, ethnically cleansing the area of its Jewish communities, and 1967, when Israel liberated and reunited the city, Jerusalem was bifurcated by barbed wire into Arab east and Jewish west.  19 years -- of a municipal history spanning three millennia. 

For Reuters however, an agency deeply committed to the Arab worldview and thus, hostile to Jewish nationalism, Jerusalem remains divided into an amorphous region currently controlled by Israel characterized as "west" (small "w") Jerusalem; and a clearly defined city, home to 3,000 years of historical and sacred Jewish relics and a population which is today roughly 50 percent Jewish, but which, according to Reuters, rightfully belongs to the Arabs: "East Jerusalem" (capital "E").

(Reuters correspondents also frequently take a less surreptitious route in their support for Arab interests by referring to Jerusalem straightforwardly as Arab East Jerusalem).

Thus, does the agency sustain the illusion of an Arab capital, forged from invasion and conquest, in the heart of the Jewish national home.

In this Reuters story about the Zivotofsky family, whom the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled may sue to compel the U.S. State Department to list their son's birthplace as Jerusalem Israel on his passport, note how the agency artfully handles the east/west issue:
Palestinians want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, as capital of the state they aim to establish in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, alongside Israel. [...]
Zivotofsky was born on Oct. 17, 2002, in a hospital in west Jerusalem. His U.S.-born parents moved to Israel in 2000. Because his parents are U.S. citizens, Menachem is also a U.S. citizen.
"East Jerusalem": capital in-waiting for the Palestinian Arabs.

And "west Jerusalem": no-man's land.

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