A headline about real ‘impediments to peace’ you won’t see at the Guardian

Harriet Sherwood’s latest report, ‘Palestinian hopes for two states ‘not possible, June 17, devotes 10 of 13 paragraphs to remarks by Israel’s Economics and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett at a Jerusalem meeting of “settlers” (Yesha Council’s annual Public Diplomacy Conference) that the two-state solution was hopeless.

An additional paragraph covered recent comments by Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon two weeks ago opposing a two-state deal, and another paragraph focused on Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s skepticism about the possibilities for progress in talks with Palestinians.  (The final paragraph deals with a general overview of European, Israeli and Palestinian views on the prospects that efforts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will be successful.)

In addition to the fact that Sherwood failed to provide a complete account of Bennett’s comments (see Yisrael Medad’s post on the meeting, here), missing from her report was any mention of the fact that the second largest party in Netanyahu’s coalition, Yesh Atid, supports a two-state deal, and that the minister tasked with leading negotiations, Tzipi Livni, is a committed supporter of the creation of a Palestinian state.

However, of greater significance than her myopic focus on the views of one minister, whose views on the peace process were already widely known, is the fact that Sherwood included no context about Palestinian views to balance her report – nothing about statements by Palestinian officials at odds with not only a two state deal, but to the existence of a Jewish state within any borders.  While there are hundreds of examples available of Palestinian leaders advancing rhetoric fundamentally at odds with peace and co-existence which Sherwood could have cited, here’s one mock Guardian headline which would accurately reflect a recent well-publicized example of Palestinian incitement and intransigence.


The story reflected in the fake headline above is based on a very real report by Palestinian Media Watch, and covered elsewhere in the media:

PA official, Jibril Rajoub…praised the use of violence against Israel. During an interview on a Lebanese TV channel [on May 2], the host referred to “the negotiations game” with Israel, and Rajoub expressed the view that negotiations are held because the Palestinians lack military strength: “I swear that if we had a nuke, we’d have used it this very morning.”

If you use the Guardian as your sole news source on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict you’d be forgiven for believing that the Palestinians had no responsibility whatsoever for the impasse.  Indeed, the paper almost completely fails to report important political dynamics which erode Israeli confidence, like the Palestinian Authority’s glorification of terrorists, as well as Mahmoud Abbas’s demand that Israel release over a hundred violent terrorists from Israeli jails as a precondition for talks to commence.

The Guardian’s reporting on the region fails miserably at recognizing the injuriousness of Palestinian incitement to peace building efforts, and seems completely disinterested in honestly communicating to its readers very real Israeli concerns that the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state may result in greater regional instability, not peace.

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