How is the Washington Post different from the BBC?

As readers are most likely aware, the BBC frequently uses the term “Palestinian land” to describe places in Area C of Judea & Samaria with a very recent example having appeared in the September 1st report discussed here.Error

In fact, the BBC’s ‘style guide’ has a section titled “Palestinian Land”:

“This phrase has become more widely used by politicians and broadcasters to refer to the Occupied Territories, for example to explain why the construction of settlements is considered illegal by the UN.

Critics of the phrase say it is not strictly accurate because, for example, the West Bank was captured from Jordan in 1967.

The BBC Governors considered this issue in a complaint which was referred to in the programme complaints bulletin of July 2004. Their decision was that, although the complainant objected to references to “Palestinian land” and “Arab land”, these terms “appropriately reflected the language of UN resolutions.” “

In other words, even though the final status of Area C is – according to agreements signed by Israel and the internationally recognized representatives of the Palestinian people – subject to negotiations between those two parties, the BBC nevertheless elects to define the district as belonging to one party alone before those negotiations have even begun.

The Washington Post recently published an article which also referred to “Palestinian land” and our colleagues at CAMERA contacted the newspaper, pointing out that the area in question is:

” . . . disputed territory. Its status is to be resolved by negotiations anticipated by U.N. Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian interim accords, the 2003 international “road map” and related diplomatic efforts taking 242 and 338 as reference points. The co-authors of resolution 242, U.S. Under Secretary of State Eugene Rostow, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Arthur Goldberg, and British ambassador Lord Caradon made clear at the time and subsequently that Jews and Arabs both had claims in the territories, no national sovereignty over the territories had been recognized since the end of Ottoman rule and negotiations would be necessary to resolve competing claims.”

Readers can see the result of that correspondence here.

Would that the BBC were as committed to journalistic accuracy and impartiality. 


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