Monday, May 16, 2005

Israel is Born--AP & Reuters Mourn

Media coverage of yesterday's Israel Independence Day provide some of the best examples you could find of the systematic anti-Israel bias that pervades the world press.

Only Israel's national day is defined by the people seeking to destroy that country. In story after story, beginning with CNN last night and continuing today, the pattern was the same: Palestinians lamenting that horrific day. Imagine July 4 coverage from the Al Qaeda perspective, or British national holidays covered from the IRA perspective, and you have the kind of bias in evidence today.

Much of the skewed coverage picked up a story by the always-reliable PA shill, Mohammed Daraghmeh of the Associated Press. Here's how it moved on the ABC website:

"Palestinians Lament Founding of Israel"
"Palestinian Rallies Mournfully Commemorate Day Israel Was Created 57 Years Ago"
"RAMALLAH, West Bank May 15, 2005 — With sirens and rallies, Palestinians on Sunday mournfully commemorated the anniversary of what they call "Al Nakba," or "the catastrophe" the uprooting of hundreds of thousands of their people with the 1948 creation of the state of Israel.

"While Israelis held barbecues, concerts and launched fireworks to celebrate the 57th anniversary of their independence Thursday according to the date on the Hebrew calendar Palestinians see the day very differently."

Here's how Reuters covered that awful day, in a story from its house Palestinian shill:

"Abbas: Refugee Redress Key to Peace"
"By Mohammed Assadi
"RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Sirens wailed on Sunday to mark Palestinians' "Nakba" (catastrophe) of 1948 and President Mahmoud Abbas said there could be no peace without redress for refugees uprooted by Israel's creation.

"Palestinians on foot and in cars stopped and stayed still for two minutes at midday throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip to mournfully commemorate the establishment of theJewish state as their own disaster.

"Thousands of Palestinians staging Nakba protest rallies said Israel's planned pullout from Gaza did not address what they called a refugee "right of return" to what is now the Jewish state, a demand it has long rejected as demographic suicide.

"Abbas, 69, who as a boy joined the refugee exodus, did not repeat 'the right of return' mantra but said advancing peace efforts beyond a tenuous ceasefire would require 'a just and agreed solution' for refugees and a state for Palestinians."

And so it went in story after story--Israel's founding through the eyes of its worst enemies, people who conveniently forget that this day they call the "catastrophe" actually commemorates a partition plan that would have created a Palestinian state far vaster than now contemplated. A good take on the amnesia and hysteria at work here can be found in a piece yesterday on the website of the Palestinian Media Watch.

This rewriting of history that you see everywhere, beginning with CNN yesterday and led by the AP and Reuters, is not just grossly biased-- it is simply lousy journalism.

UPDATE: A reader tells me that late on May 11 AP did indeed run a story on Israel's independence day from Israel. CBS's New York outlet picked up the story the following day, but the Palestinian-oriented version received much more pickup globally.

There's nothing wrong with a news outlet reporting the protests in Gaza--if that is not their only coverage of Israel Independence Day. What is wrong is blind adoption of the Palestinian amnesia and self-delusion implicit in that very word, "Nakba." It would not be a "Nakba" for those folks if their leaders had accepeted the 1947 UN partition plan. That's all it would take--one sentence saying, "Palestinian leaders in 1947 did not accept a partition plan that would have established an Arab state alongside a Jewish state, with Jerusalem internationalized." That's all--one sentence, to prevent their coverage of the "Nakba" from becoming an outlet for Palestinian propaganda.

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