Thursday, June 4, 2009
By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth
"......So, given their influence on world opinion and the vital importance of the settlement issue in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, can readers depend on the news agencies to provide fair coverage? The answer, sadly, is: no.
Even on the most basic fact about the settlers -- the number living on occupied Palestinian territory -- the agencies regularly get it wrong.
There are about half a million Jews living illegally on land occupied by Israel in the 1967 war. Give or take the odd few thousand (Israel is slow to update its figures), there are nearly 300,000 settlers in the West Bank and a further 200,000 in East Jerusalem.
Sounds simple. So what is to be made of this fairly typical line from a report issued by AFP last week: “More than 280,000 settlers currently live in settlements dotted throughout the Palestinian territory that Israel captured during the 1967 Six Day War”?....
It is the duty of reporters to remind their readers of the internationally accepted understandings about the settlements. They should not forget that international law, and possibly now the White House’s vision of peace, requires the removal of 200,000 settlers in East Jerusalem too."