Behind a Jon Donnison recommended article

Readers may remember that back at the beginning of February the BBC Jerusalem Bureau’s Jon Donnison recommended to his Twitter followers an “interesting” New York Times article headlined  “Academic Study Weakens Israeli Claim That Palestinian School Texts Teach Hate”. 

Writing in the latest edition of The Tower, Adi Schwartz takes a closer look at the content of the report upon which that NYT article was based.

“Almost every major news outlet zeroed in on the report’s finding of mutual culpability, producing headlines like the AP’s “Textbook study faults Israelis and Palestinians.” A more clearly political presentation of the study was found in the New York Times headline: “Academic Study Weakens Israeli Claim that Palestinian School Texts Teach Hate.” ” […]

“What I found isn’t pretty. The report is not only flawed, but also dishonest. It systematically exaggerates the faults in Israeli textbooks and downplays those found in the Palestinians’. Its methodology tends to distort the raw data rather than analyze it, usually to the detriment of the Israeli education system. Put simply, it makes every possible effort to create the impression that Israeli and Palestinian attitudes toward each other are the same, even when this is demonstrably untrue—according to the study’s own research data. It is no surprise that the State Department, which funded the study in its early phases, has endorsed neither the composition of the committee nor the report’s findings.”

Read the whole article here

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