Showing posts with label false dilemma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label false dilemma. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reuters as mouthpiece for Amnesty International

In a video appearing on the Reuters website, correspondent Gabriella Podimane promotes a new calumny report by Amnesty International accusing Israel of failing to provide enough water to Palestinians living in the West Bank (also Judea and Samaria). The first item of note is the headline above the video:

Video: Claim Israel curbs Palestinian water

Well yes, to the extent that there are specific agreements in place between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on water supply and sewage, there are "curbs" (a check or restraint according to our Merriam Webster dictionary). Nothing nefarious here, particularly as the linked response from the Israeli Foreign Ministry points out that the Palestinians have effective access to nearly 50 million cubic meters of water -- twice the amount allocated in the agreement between the parties.

But let's move beyond the headline into the video itself and Reuters mendacious anti-Israel propaganda.

Podimane begins:

Palestinians collect their daily water supply in the occupied Gaza strip.

Incredible. Israel withdraws every soldier, every last Jewish resident, every trace of an Israeli presence in Gaza in 2005 -- well, except for the greenhouses subsequently looted by the Palestinians -- and Reuters is still robotically referring to the territory as "occupied".


But these people are used to severe water shortages.

As are Israelis. Due to limited resources, several years of drought, rapid population growth, and water exports to Jordan, Israelis too are suffering from a water shortage. For example, the Israeli Water Authority indicates that Israeli access to water is currently 149 cubic meters per person per year, down from about 500 cubic meters per person per year in 1967. (During this same period, Palestinian per capita consumption has risen from 86 cubic meters to 105 cubic meters per year).

The Water Authority also reports:

The Palestinians, on the other hand, have significantly violated their commitments under the water agreement, specifically regarding important issues such as illegal drilling (they have drilled over 250 wells without the authorization of the joint water commission) and handling of sewage (The Palestinians are not constructing sewage treatment plants, despite their obligation to do so. Rather, they allow the sewage to flow unheeded into streams, polluting both the environment and groundwater).

None of this is mentioned by Reuters.

To further illustrate the water constraints under which Israel operates and the corresponding consumption limitations both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs are subject to, consider this UNESCO academic study (freely available online) which compares "water footprints" around the world. For the period studied, 1997 - 2001, the average national water footprint per capita in Israel was approximately 30% lower than that in Russia, 40% below levels in the US.

This is clearly a problem which affects all peoples in the Middle East and which Israel has been trying to improve via desalination (which the Palestinians have rejected for political reasons) and water imports.

Reuters is quick to parrot a contentious report from Amnesty International but AWOL when it comes to basic fact-checking.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lies, damned lies, and Reuters reporting

In a story appearing today on the latest violent clashes between Palestinians and Israelis at the Temple Mount/al-Aqsa mosque compound, Reuters reverts to its traditional bias and selective reporting by omitting any mention of the incipient cause of the violence like Arab Muslim clerics inciting Muslims to "defend Jerusalem against Jewish conquest" (Haaretz) or Muslim youth "gathering rocks to throw and pouring oil onto the ground to hinder the access of security forces and the visitors" (Jerusalem Post).

Reuters correspondents and their editors do however, repeat one of their favorite canards about the cause of the last intifada:

A visit to the mosque compound nine years ago by Israeli right-wing leader Ariel Sharon was credited with sparking an Intifada, or uprising, by Palestinians. Five years of violence killed several thousand people and wrecked efforts toward peace.

Note the use of the weasel words "was credited" by Reuters' writers to evade responsibility for promulgating the slander themselves. As we have previously noted, Palestinian officials have acknowledged that the intifada was planned months in advance and not due to Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount. Here is what PA Communications Minister Imad Al-Faluji said in 2001:

"The Al-Aqsa Intifada emphasizes these principles and axioms. Whoever thinks that the Intifada broke out because of the despised Sharon's visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is wrong, even if this visit was the straw that broke the back of the Palestinian people. This Intifada was planned in advance, ever since President Arafat's return from the Camp David negotiations, where he turned the table upside down on President Clinton. [Arafat] remained steadfast and challenged [Clinton]. He rejected the American terms and he did it in the heart of the US."

Apparently, even a public Palestinian admission of culpability is not enough to shake Reuters off its anti-Israel agenda.

Reuters then goes on to deploy another of its favorite fallacies:

Palestinian officials have complained that Israel is tightening its grip on the Old City and Arab East Jerusalem.

As demonstrated, "Arab East Jerusalem" is both a fiction and racially-loaded term which rewards the Arab Legion for their efforts to kill and ethnically cleanse all Jews from the eastern portion of Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967. The Arabs of course, refer to the area this way because it asserts their territorial claims.

Reuters of course, accommodates them.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Don't know much about history; don't know much about geography...

We're big fans of Sam Cooke and nobody covers him better than Reuters. In an effort to elicit sympathy for the Palestinian Arabs while demonizing Israel, Joseph Nasr, Mustafa Abu Ganiyeh, Douglas Hamilton, and Jon Boyle deploy the classic propaganda techniques of appeal to poverty and appeal to pity and in the process, manage to completely mangle history and geography.

The Reuters' team suggest that Jewish "settlement began after Israel seized the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war" and refer to "five Israeli settlements on the nearby ridges and hilltops south of Jerusalem".  We wonder if they're referring to the Jewish community known today as Gush Etzion which was originally founded in 1927 by a group of Yemenite Jews and where residents were repeatedly victimized by Arab violence culminating in 1948, with a massacre at the hands of the Arab Legion.

Or perhaps their reference to Jewish "settlements" refers to Hebron, a town Reuters decribes as "proud to be considered a stronghold of Palestinian nationalism", but where history has recorded a Jewish community for more than 3,000 years -- interrupted in 1929 by the massacre of scores of Jews in Arab riots and which, under threat of further Arab violence, was evacuated of its remaining Jews by British troops in 1936.

Reuters, acting as arbiter, has also it appears, unilaterally determined the fate of Jewish communities east of the 1949 armistice lines asserting that these towns would either, "have to be handed over to a new Palestinian state or bought in land swaps elsewhere on the borderline".

No, they don't know much about history or geography but how fortunate for the Palestinians that Reuters correspondents fancy themselves as experts in international law.