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January 23, 2013

The ABC’s of a Misleading News Brief


The ABC network has failed thus far to respond to CAMERA’s request for a correction to a misleading news brief about Israel building "new settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, on land considered to belong to the Palestinians." The brief was read by “Good Morning America? (GMA) news anchor Ron Claiborne on Dec. 1, 2012.

This is the body of CAMERA’s letter to ABC/GMA:

I am writing on behalf of CAMERA concerning a misleading news brief aired at 7:05 AM on the ABC GMA broadcast of Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012:

RON CLAIBORNE: “The U.S. is criticizing Israel's decision to build new barriers to a potential peace deal. Israel says it will build new settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, on land considered to belong to the Palestinians. The announcement was a quick response to the United Nations vote to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state.?

An accurate phrasing of this news brief would be:

“Following the U.N. General Assembly vote to recognize ‘Palestine’ as a non-member observer state, Israel’s government announced plans to construct 3000 housing units in the West Bank and in Israel’s capital of Jerusalem. The U.S. is criticizing this decision. The West Bank is in dispute as is a part of Jerusalem. These areas are considered by the Palestinians as part of their hoped-for future state.?

In fact, while some argue that Jewish communities in the West Bank and in part of eastern Jerusalem are a hindrance to peace, it is erroneous to assert that they are “on land considered to belong to the Palestinians? since this implies that a sovereign Palestinian Arab state existed at some time in the past in the land that is at issue. But there never has been a sovereign Arab state in Palestine or Israel. Moreover, basic international law in this case, the League of Nations' Palestine Mandate, Article 6, calls for "close Jewish settlement" on the land west of the Jordan River. Article 6 is incorporated by Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, sometimes referred to as "the Palestine article." The United States endorsed the mandate, including Article 6, in the 1924 Anglo-American Convention.

The West Bank is not sovereign territory of any country, but rather land disputed by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Part of Jerusalem (which has never been the capital of any nation except Israel) and the West Bank were illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967, when Israel took control as a result of successful self-defense in the 1967 Six-Day War. As Eugene Rostow, a co-author of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 (1967), the keystone of all subsequent successful Arab-Israeli negotiations pointed out, 242 does not require complete Israeli withdrawal. Rather, the status of the territory, to which Jews as well as Arabs have legitimate claims, is to be resolved in negotiations as called for in the resolution and by U.N. Security Council Resolution 338 (1973). Meanwhile, Jewish villages and towns built in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria, the ancient homeland of the Jewish people) since 1967 are no more illegal than areas built since then in previously existing Arab villages and towns.

We urge ABC to correct the misleading news brief of Dec. 1, 2012.

Thank you in advance for your follow up on this matter.

Media entities often mislead the public on the matter of “settlements? failing to recognize that the opposition to Jewish communities in Jerusalem and the West Bank can only be legitimately made on political grounds; to do otherwise is legally without basis.

Should a response be forthcoming from ABC, it will be posted here.

Posted by MK at January 23, 2013 02:19 PM


I no longer will read the la or ny times or listen to abc, cbs or nbc while they editorialize anf do not report the news. I just wish integrity and honesty would still be considered necessary in journalistic circles.

Posted by: Gwrn zeller at January 24, 2013 11:34 AM

Gwen, that's all very well, but you could have more impact if you took the time to identify the advertisers on those media and looked up their CEOs.

Then you send a strong letter/email stating that you will not buy their products as long as they continue to advertise on (station)(newspaper) that misrepresents facts about Israel. Give some facts.

Send copies to the station manager/editor.

Money talks. The advertisers wet their pants if enough people take the trouble to educate them.
They don't want problems with their stockholders.

You only need to do this work once. Save the information to use next time you need to contact these ignorant/prejudiced broadcasters AND the advertisers paying their bills.

Share the info with your friends and help them write/email as you do.

Posted by: Hypatia at January 27, 2013 03:08 AM

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