New York Magazine, Fox News Libel Israel in PM Sharon Obituaries

(CAMERA) the passing of the former Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, has unearthed many old falsehoods.

Fox News

Conor Powell erroneously reported that Sharon entered the Al Aqsa Mosque in September 2000:

“His actions helped spark the second Palestinian uprising in 2000 when he pushed past security and entered the Al Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam’s most sacred places.”

Sharon never entered the Al Aqsa Mosque. He visited the Temple Mount — the most sacred site in Judaism, the third most sacred site in Islam, and the plaza upon which the Al Aqsa Mosque sits.

Nor did he “push past” security; the Israeli security was in place to protect him as he visited Judaism’s most holy site.

New York Magazine

Caroline Bankoff wrote that Israeli soldiers, not the Phalange militia, killed hundreds of Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatilla.  

“Occupied” Territories? Anti-Israel Media Bias Starts With Language

Former Israeli deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, explains the historical facts relating to the Israeli-Arab conflict. The video explains where the terms “West Bank,” “occupied territories” and “67 Borders” originated from, and how they are incorrectly used and applied.

— by Lee Bender and Jerry Verlin

Israel’s supporters concerned about anti-Israel media bias need to understand why decades of “letters to the editor” protesting inaccuracies in particular news articles have not made a dent.  

Anti-Israel media bias is not a succession of random misstatements. It resides in the very language: the consistently imbalanced terminology in which Arab-Israeli conflict news stories are told.

Unfortunately, we Israel supporters ourselves acquiesce, by using and accepting these terms unchallenged.  

Those terms for the land’s peoples, places, and historical and current events poison public perceptions of Jewish and Palestinian-Arab equities, and must be countered if we have any fair chance to stand up for our rights.  

Top 10 terms which mislead the public about Israel, and what the media fails to report, follow the jump.
Here are ten frequently used but highly misleading terms. All of them are individually inaccurate, and in combination paint a grossly prejudicial and unfair portrait of Israel.

  1. “West Bank”

    “Judea and Samaria” is not “the biblical name of the West Bank.” When the United Nations drafted its Palestine partition resolution in 1947, it did not use the term “West Bank.” It called it “the hill country of Samaria and Judea.”  

    As the former Israeli ambassador to the U.N., Yoram Ettinger, wrote:  

    In April 1950, the Jordanian occupation renamed Judea/Samaria as “the West Bank” to assert Jordanian rule and to expunge Jewish connection to the cradle of Jewish history. Until 1950, all official Ottoman, British and prior records referred to “Judea and Samaria” and not to the “West Bank.”

    They did it for the same reason that in 135 C.E. the conquering Romans renamed Jerusalem “Aelia Capitolina” and Judæa “Palestina.”

    Judæa’s Jews (who, by the way, were not “exiled” by Rome) refused to use the conqueror’s names for the land and its places. And, especially given that the Jordanian conquest lasted 19 years, not 1,900, we should not either.

  2. “Jewish and Palestinian States”

    The U.N. did not seek to partition Palestine into “Palestinian and Jewish states,” as the Western media has put it. The U.N. used “the Arab State” and “the Jewish State” terms over and over again. Nor did the U.N. call Palestine’s Arabs “the Palestinians,” but referred to Palestine’s Jews and Arabs as “the two Palestinian peoples.”

    The under-populated Palestine of 1948 had a population of perhaps a little more than a million Arabs, and well more than a half-million Jews. To speak of partitioning a place between a people bearing the name of that place and anyone else portrays one side as natives and the other as outsiders.

  3. “The Palestinians”  

    In renaming Judæa as “Palestine” in 135 C.E., the Romans were not referencing Yasser Arafat’s ancestors (Editor’s note: Unless the rumors about his Jewish ancestry are true.), but the by-then long-gone Aegean “Sea People” Philistines, who in Israelite times had invaded the eastern Mediterranean coast from the west, fought with the Israelites of Saul and David, and had been ultimately destroyed by the same Babylonians who had ended the kingdom of Judæa.

    Jews were the original “Palestinians”; today’s “Palestinians” should more accurately be referred to as “Palestinian Arabs.”

  4. Israel’s “1967 Borders”

    Formally recognized international borders have the permanence and gravitas that military ceasefire lines do not.

    The 1949 Israel-Jordan armistice agreement expressly delineated its “green line” as “dictated exclusively by military considerations” without prejudice to either side’s political claims.  

    The media habitually calls it “the 1967 line,” and even “Israel’s 1967 border,” to discredit any Israeli claims beyond what Abba Eban called the “Auschwitz lines,” that are 9-miles-wide at critical points.

    The historically correct term remains “the 1949 ceasefire line.” Even as such, it lost such significance when fighting resumed between Jordan and Israel in 1967.

    Israel captured (not “seized,” as the Western media often puts it) all of Palestine west of the Jordan River in 1967, and the post-war U.N.S.C. resolution #242 intentionally did not call for full Israeli return to the 1949 lines.  

  5. Israel’s “Creation” and “Founding”

    Israel was not “created” or “founded” in 1948, artificially and out of the blue. It was in fact re-established.

    The Jewish homeland is the one with the deepest of roots in the Milled East. The Jewish connection to the land of Israel, including continuous physical presence, remained unbroken from Rome’s destruction of Jewish Judæa in 135 through Jewish Israel’s independence in 1948, as the land’s next native state.  

    Every rulers in between: Romans-Byzantines, Persians, Muslim dynasties, Christian Crusaders, non-Arab Mamluks and finally non-Arab Turks, had been foreign invaders.  

    British historian James Parkes rightly wrote (Whose land? p. 266) that “those who had maintained a Jewish presence in The Land all through the centuries” wrote the Zionists’ “real title deeds.”

  6. “East Jerusalem, Traditionally Arab East Jerusalem”

    Over the course of the past 3,000 years, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of three native states — Judah, Judæa and Israel — all Jewish. A majority of Jerusalem’s residents have again been Jewish since the pre-Zionist 19th century Ottoman-rule times.

    Palestinian Arabs have not ruled Jerusalem for one day in history. Foreign Arab dynasties ruled it, much of the time under the thumb of the Turks, between 638 and 1099, and invading Trans-Jordan ruled part of the city between 1948 and 1967.  

    The media and much of the world seeks to restore and perpetuate that fleeting 19-year illegal Jordanian seizure, which ended almost half a century ago, as a separate “East Jerusalem,” as though it existed today.  

    The term “East Jerusalem” disregards over 3000 years of Jewish history and the unbroken Jewish connections to all of Jerusalem, especially where the Western Wall and Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest sites reside, along with the historic Jewish, Christian and Armenian, as well as Muslim, Quarters.

  7. “Jewish Settlements” versus “Palestinian Villages”

    The Western media misleadingly contrasts “Jewish settlements” in the “Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank” with nearby Palestinian “neighborhoods,” “villages,” and “towns.”  

    As documented in the recent Levy Commission report, Jewish communities beyond the 1949 ceasefire line are not “occupation” or “illegal.” Jews and Arabs have contesting claims to Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Moreover, Jordan has since renounced any claim to the “West Bank.”  

    The media actually says that the Arab presence in those areas is more valid than the Jewish one, despite that under international law, the Jewish claim is stronger.  

  8. “The Palestinian Refugee Issue”

    The media’s “Palestinian refugee issue” is a one-sided statement of a two-sided issue.

    In 1948 and years that followed, more indigenous Middle Eastern Jews were expelled from vast Muslim lands, where they had lived for thousands of years, and were forced to abandon their homes and businesses — mostly to Israel — than Arabs fled tiny Israel.  

    Israel absorbed the bulk of these Jews, while to this day “host” Arab countries, and the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Palestine itself, isolate Arab refugees’ descendants in “refugee camps.” (This is what “apartheid” really is.)

    And these Jews do more than that.  Together with the land of Israel’s ever-present homeland Jewish Yishuv, these Middle Eastern Jews, with roots going back to pre-Islamic biblical times, establish the bona fides of Israel as an indigenous Middle Eastern state, not the “European colonial Zionist entity” that Arabs and the “Islamic Middle East,” referencing Western media, would have Westerners believe.

    That does not remove these Israel-absorbed Middle Eastern Jews from the Arab-Israeli conflict’s refugee issue.  

  9. “Millions of Palestinian Refugees and Their Descendants” from “The War that Followed Israel’s Creation”

    A few years ago, the Western media repeatedly told the Western public about “millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants” from “the war that followed Israel’s creation,” or simply from “Israel’s creation.” This “millions” misstatement has resurfaced again this year.

    Given that:

    • Palestine’s entire partition-time population was well less than two million;
    • a good third of it were Jews;  
    • not all of Palestine’s Arabs lived in the part that became Israel; and
    • not all of them left,  

    this is a monstrously inaccurate claim mathematically.

    Those who did leave, exceeded in number by the Jews who left Arab lands, did so not in the context of Israel’s “creation” and “founding,” but of a partition-rejecting multi-nation Arab invasion for Israel’s destruction.    

  10. Recognition of Jewish State as a “New Stumbling Block”

    The media has characterized Israel’s insistence on being recognized as the Jewish state as a newly imposed peace process stumbling block, to divert attention from its building of “settlements.”  

    Demand for recognition of Israel as the Jewish homeland is not a new Jewish position: The U.S., as well as Israel, defines “the two state solution” as “two states for two peoples,” including a Jewish state. In 1947, British Foreign Secretary Bevin told the British parliament that for the Jews, “the essential point principle” was the establishment of a sovereign Jewish state.  

    The land of Israel as the Jewish homeland has been at the core of the Jewish people’s aspirations and Judaism, going back to Moses’ time.

What the Media Fails To Report

Unfortunately, the distorted media coverage is not confined to ignoring and mischaracterizing these historical facts.  

The media consistently fails to report, and deliberately suppresses, Israel’s many positive traits: things it has been doing for decades to help, assist and contribute to the betterment of the entire world (tikkun olam, “repairing the world,” including engaging in tzedakah, charity) with its high technological skills, agricultural knowledge, and humanitarianism.  

Under this envy of Israel’s success and miraculous survival in a sea of hostile Arab anti-democratic states, there is a deeper psychosis:

For now to expiate their guilt for the treatment and murder of one-third of world Jewry during the Holocaust, Israel can be viewed as the vicious ethnic-cleansing Nazis while the poor, “innocent” Palestinian Arabs, are the new Jews, who must be saved and defended.  

The besieged tiny Israel is a cultural oasis in its region: An open democracy that respects human rights, minority rights, women rights, gay rights, freedom of religion, press, education, and opportunity.  

Ignored by the media is its contrast to the culture of hatred and incitement inculcated by Palestinian-Arab society and officialdom, in children’s textbooks, schools, mosques and media, including “Temple denial” and denigration of the historic Jewish connection to Israel.  

The very charters of Palestinian Arabs’ structural institutions — the PLO and Hamas — are laced with Jewish homeland denial and bloody calls for Israel’s destruction.  

The Palestinian Arabs have always been “rejectionists”: They could have been given their own state, side-by-side next to Israel, in 1937, between 1948-1967, in 2000 or in 2008. Instead, they kept pursuing their real goal: Israel’s extermination.

The real debate about the Middle East is between anyone who recognizes that Jews have a right to a state, and those who wish to see this state destroyed. For 20 years, since the Oslo Accords, Israel has been trying to trade land for peace, only to have each offer of statehood for the Palestinian Arabs spurned.

The Palestinian-Arab culture of hatred for Israel and the Jews has made it impossible for even their most “moderate” leaders to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state, no matter where its borders might be drawn.  

The onus for true peace should be on the Palestinian Arabs.

Lee S. Bender and Jerome R. Verlin are the authors of Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed From A To Z

Israel 10 Years Ago: Imagine a Boston Bombing Every Week

(CAMERA) In a piece in The American Thinker, novelist Noah Beck writes sympathetically about the tragic Boston Marathon bombing, calling victims “the epitome of innocent.” He continues:

But imagine if this happened again next week, at a pizzeria, killing 15 diners. And again, a week later, on a bus, killing 19 passengers. Then at a discotheque, killing 21 teens. Then at a church, killing 11 worshipers. And so on, with a new bombing terrorizing us almost every week.

Israelis don’t have to imagine; they just have to remember. Between 1995 and 2005, each year saw an average of 14 suicide bombings, murdering 66 victims. Two thousand two was the worst year, with 47 bombings that slaughtered 238 people. That’s almost one Boston bombing every week. Adjusted for population differences, Israel’s victims in 2002 amounted to the equivalent of three 9/11s in one year. And these bombing statistics don’t include all of the shootings, stabbings, and other violent attacks by Palestinian extremists during those years.

Unfortunately, as Beck notes, “the incidents usually received only scant and perfunctory media coverage, if they were mentioned at all.”

Special Coverage: A Palestinian Died (Okay, and 6,000 Syrians Too)

(CAMERA) An Associated Press report published on April 1 noted that at least 6000 Syrians were reported killed in the civil conflict in March, the highest single month toll yet. During this same period, the main news item of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the death of a single Palestinian hunger striker, a convicted terrorist, in an Israeli prison.

According to a tally from a Lexis-Nexis media search, the New York Times published a total of 39 articles (news articles, editorials, and on its blog) in March that were mainly focused on Israel and the Palestinian conflict, plus an additional 24 on U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel. The Nexis search turned up 59 pieces — a substantial proportion were brief blog items — focused on the conflict in Syria.

More after the jump.
While acknowledging that The Times is not ignoring the Syrian conflict, considering the disproportionate toll in the two conflicts, 6,000 to 1, it is striking that the number of articles is of a similar magnitude. However, even more significant than the number of articles is the disparity in the depth of coverage. Here The Times continues to provide much greater amplification of the Palestinians plight in comparison to that of the Syrians.

In a month marked by accelerating slaughter in Syria, The Times chose to publish an 8,000-word cover story for its Sunday magazine (“Is This Where The Third Intifada Will Start?“), by Ben Ehrenreich, who has called for an end to the Jewish state and waxes poetically about the Palestinian “resisters” from a West Bank town engaged in sometimes violent protests. That story followed another extreme anti-Israel piece, a March 9 column by Joseph Levine arguing that “one really ought to question Israel’s right to exist.”

The Times might have noted — but of course, did not — that the tally of fatalities in the past month alone in Syria exceeds the total number of Israeli and Palestinian lives lost during the four most active years of the second Intifada (September 2000-September 2004).  

Official PA Daily Praises Hitler, Says 9/11 was an American Action

— by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Just before US President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel and the PA, the official PA daily chose to print anti-American hate speech along with pro-Hitler comments in an op-ed:

Our history is replete with lies… [including] the lie about Al-Qaeda and the September 11 events, which asserted that Muslim terrorists committed it, and that it was not an internal American action by the Freemasons.

The op-ed further implies that Hitler was greater than both Churchill and Roosevelt, who were “alcoholics”:

Churchill and Roosevelt were alcoholics, and in their youth were questioned more than once about brawls they started in bars, while Hitler hated alcohol and was not addicted to it. He used to go to sleep early and wake up early, and was very organized. These facts have been turned upside down as well, and Satan has been dressed with angels’ wings.

More nonsense after the jump.
The PA daily op-ed further asserts that negative attitudes toward Nazism are not objective but the result of the West’s victory:

Had Hitler won, Nazism would be an honor that people would be competing to belong to, and not a disgrace punishable by law.

Palestinian Media Watch has documented anti-US messages promoted by the PA. PMW has also documented the PA’s praise for the September 11 terror attacks.  

Here is more from the op-ed by Hassan Ouda Abu Zaher printed in the official PA daily:

‘History is a great lie written by the victors’ — said Napoleon Bonaparte, the source of dubious historical writing and father of Freemasonry in France. If so, is the history planted in us through TV and the standard educational curriculum indeed true? The source of this history is the West — the victor ever since the fall of Andalusia (Muslim Spain)! […] Our history is replete with lies, from lies about the corrupt [Caliph] Harun Al-Rashid, which ignore the sources indicating that he dedicated one year to pilgrimage [to Mecca] and one year to Jihad (i.e., he was a good Muslim), to the lie about Al-Qaeda and the Sept. 11 events, which asserted that Muslim terrorists committed it, and that it was not an internal American action by the Freemasons, which was mentioned in the Illuminati game cards ten years before it took place, and in over 15 Zionist and Freemason Hollywood-produced films in the 1990s. The method of repeating [the lies] over and over has authenticated false facts. Had Hitler won, Nazism would be an honor that people would be competing to belong to, and not a disgrace punishable by law.

No Mention in US Media for Discrimination Against Israeli Athletes

CAMERA has reported The New York Times‘ penchant for covering racism in soccer, especially where Israelis are concerned. In a Jan. 31, 2013 article about protests by Beitar soccer fans against the recruitment of Muslim players, bearing the headline “Some Fear a Soccer Team’s Racist Fans Hold a Mirror Up to Israel,” the “newspaper of record” used the event as an opening to indict all of Israeli society as racist.

In fact, The Times printed a second article in the span of ten days with the same false narrative — that because there are some intolerant Israelis, there is “a broad phenomenon of racism in all of Israeli society.”

Of course, this is an example of how Israel is held to a separate and unequal standard because, as CAMERA noted:
[Read more…]

Ben Dror Yemini Points out Anti-Israel Bias in Textbook Study

(CAMERA) Ben Dror Yemini delves into the controversial study of Israeli and Palestinian textbooks, and makes some interesting points:

Let’s leave aside the professor’s political opinions for the moment and examine the research itself. I obtained memos written by two members of the study’s Scientific Advisory Panel, Professors Amnon Groiss and Elihu Richter. While the research was still ongoing, these two scholars highlighted substantial methodological flaws and the “omission of more than forty significant texts” that appear in Palestinian school books. To be clear, the omitted texts are precisely those that contain the highest degrees of incitement (“invading snakes”; “the enemies that split open women’s bellies” etc. etc.) The demand that these texts be included was turned down with the excuse that it was not clear that the words referred to Israelis or Jews.

More after the jump.

And it only gets worse. When discussing negative portrayals of the “Other,” the study includes the mere mention in Israeli textbooks of the Farhud — the 1941 pogrom against Iraqi Jews — and the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics as examples of negative portrayals of the Arab side. What exactly are the study’s authors trying to say? That it is forbidden to mention these events? Or perhaps the books should be rewritten to state that “Muslim freedom fighters succeeded in striking Jewish criminals in Baghdad and Munich”? According to this logic, perhaps it should be forbidden to learn about the Nazis, since this creates a negative image of the Germans.

The Israeli textbooks, as the study notes, do mention the 1948 massacre by the Irgun militia at the Arab village of Deir Yassin (but not the majority of the pogroms that were carried out against Jews in Arab lands). In contrast, there is not a single instance of self-criticism on the Palestinian side. Not even of the Mufti Amin al-Husseini’s support for the Nazis. There is also no mention of the fact that when the Palestinian texts refer to bringing an end to the occupation, they mean, almost without exception, the occupation of ‘Greater Palestine’ from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Or to put it even more clearly: bringing an end to the State of Israel.

In the Israeli texts one finds humanizing descriptions of Islam and of Muslims, and a yearning for peace. The Palestinian texts are free of any such sentiments. Yet the report covers up and glosses over the complete contrast between the two educational systems.

Yemini also quotes the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education at Hebrew University explaining that they have “serious questions about the Council’s report methodological choices and about some of the texts and quotes omitted from its analysis. Likewise, we find it difficult to reconcile the wide gap observed between the quotes mentioned in the report and the conclusions derived from them.”

Be sure to read the rest of the illuminating piece at Times of Israel here.

Proposed Guidelines for Balanced Reporting on Israel

— Lee Bender and Jerome Verlin

For many years, the pro-Israel community has been deeply troubled by the inaccurate, unbalanced and misleading portrayal of Israel in the mainstream media, These negative views unjustly prejudice the public and do great harm to Israel.  The organizations and individuals joining in this document believe that adopting the guidelines and terminology below will lead to more fair and balanced reporting on Israel. We also cite specific instances from news sources that use inaccurate and misleading terminology and portrayals.


Misleading: “Two-state solution.” Accurate: “Two states,” meaning one Jewish, one Arab.
Since 1922 when the League of Nations’ Palestine Mandate recognized “the historical connections of the Jewish people with Palestine” and called for reconstituting the Jewish “National Home” in Palestine, international agreement has recognized Israel as the Jewish people’s state.  The Road Map’s “vision of two states” is meaningful only in the sense of an Arab state and a Jewish state.  There already exists an Arab state created out of the original Palestine Mandate – Jordan, which is on 78% of the land and has a population that is 70% Palestinian Arabs.  The Jewish State of Israel exists on the remaining 22% of the land- the very part of which this second Arab state would be created. A new “Jewish-free” Arab state alongside a “secular Israel” inundated with millions of Arabs descended from those who left in 1948, added to Israel’s 1.2 million Arab citizens, is a sham “two-state solution.”  There are 22 Muslim Arab states on a land mass over 600 times that of Israel, with an approximate population of 350,000,000, compared to 5,500,000 Jews in Israel, which is the size of New Jersey.


Misleading: “Arab East Jerusalem.” Accurate: “Jerusalem” or refer to the neighborhood by name.
For only 19 of Jerusalem’s 3,000 years existence was there an “eastern” and western “division,” and that was during the time Jordan illegally occupied it from 1948 until 1967 when it was ousted by Israel and the city was reunited. Jerusalem has been the capital of three Jewish states, but has never been the capital of any Arab entity. Jerusalem has had an ever-increasing Jewish majority since 19th century Ottoman rule.  Prior to the post-World War I Palestine Mandate, Palestine, including Jerusalem, was ruled for 400 years by non-Arab Ottoman Turks; before that for over 200 years by non-Arab Mamlukes; before that by European Christian Crusaders; before that from 636 to 1099 by foreign Arabs increasingly taken over by Turks; before that for over 600 years by European Romans, who in 63 BCE and 70 and 135 CE defeated the twice-independent native Jews, whose two Temples had successively stood in Jerusalem for a millennium, and the Romans’ European Christian Byzantine heirs. At best, Jerusalem is the 3rd holiest city in Islam, although it is not mentioned once in the Koran.  Reference to “Arab East Jerusalem” is misleading as it implies a genuine historical relationship. From 1948-67 when it was illegally occupied by Jordan, no capital or state was established, Jews were not permitted inside the Old City, ancient Jewish synagogues and institutions were destroyed and desecrated. Contrary to this Arab rule of Jerusalem, Israel respects and allows free access for all religions, and permits the Temple Mount to be administered by Muslim authorities (the Waqf).


Misleading: ” “Israel was created in 1948 because of the Holocaust.” Accurate: “Israel regained independence in 1948.”
Israel was not created because of the Holocaust, but is the natural fruition of continuous organized Jewish presence in the Biblical Land of Israel for 3000 years, pre-dating Islam by more than 1000 years. Labeling Israel as “founded in 1948,” whether or not expressly “because of the Holocaust,” inaccurately ignores both 20th century and pre-Zionist post-biblical Jewish homeland history, and echoes Israel’s enemies’ canard that “Israel was created because of a Holocaust that may have happened in Europe, so why should ‘The Palestinians’ suffer?”  Herzl published the Der Judenstaat in 1896 calling for a Jewish state, and the British Balfour Declaration of 1917, incorporated into the 1922 League of Nations’ Palestine Mandate, recognized a Jewish National Home in Palestine. The Yishuv, the Jewish people’s continuous organized presence in the land of Israel, holds one of the longest continuous homeland connections of a people to a place in world history.  Israel is the natural result of that presence.


Misleading: “The war that followed Israel’s creation.” Accurate: “The 1948 Arab invasion of Israel.”
Five Arab states’ armies – Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq – invaded Palestine to destroy Israel on the day Israel declared its independence as the British Mandate ended.  Mislabeling that multi-nation Arab invasion as “the war that followed Israel’s creation” without even naming the Arab invaders is a blatant a mischaracterization of what historically happened: the UN Partition-rejecting multi-nation Arab invasion. Egypt illegally seized and retained Gaza, and Jordan illegally seized and retained portions of Judea and Samaria (which became Jordan’s “West Bank”) and part of Jerusalem, for the next 19 years. The Arab rejection of Israel’s existence as the Jewish people’s reborn homeland continues to this day and is the root cause of the continued conflict. Had the Arabs not invaded and accepted the UN Partition Plan, they would have had their state alongside Israel this entire time.


Misleading: “Palestinian refugees from the war that followed Israel’s creation.” Accurate: “Refugees caused by the 1948 Arab rejection of partition,” or  “Descendants of Arabs who left during the Arab invasion.”
Multiple factors, including inducement and orders by invading Arabs, led to Arabs leaving the part of western Palestine that became Israel in 1948.  The number who left is contested, with Arabs claiming some 700,000, and Israelis (see, e.g., Katz, “Battleground,” p.23) some 400,000.  Long forgotten are that same era’s approximately 800,000 Jews who were forced to vacate their homes and businesses in vast Arab lands (many from Jewish communities dating back to pre-Islam antiquity.)  Tiny Israel absorbed the bulk of these Middle Eastern Jews, while the descendants of the Arabs who left tiny Israel remain today as “refugees.” These Arabs are unique among all the world’s refugees: their Arab brethren refuse to integrate and accept them into their vast lands; in addition, they have their own UN organization (UNRWA), and unlike every other refugee group, refugee status is not just limited to those who left but is also extended to their descendants and their descendants’ descendants.


Misleading: “Gaza is occupied and blockaded by Israel.” Accurate: “Hamas rules Gaza, bordered by Israel and Egypt.”
Gaza is not “occupied” by Israel, which unilaterally uprooted entire Jewish population of 9000 residents, in 2005. Gazans elected Hamas to be their government. Despite thousands of unceasing rocket and missile fire aimed at civilians in Israel from Gaza, Israel still supplies electricity to Gaza, allows in supplies, and even provides medical care to Gazans inside Israel.  What is largely ignored is that Gaza also has a border with the Arab country of Egypt, and thus is not “blockaded by Israel.”


Misleading: “The Israeli-occupied West Bank.” Accurate: “The West Bank,” or “Judea and Samaria.”
Under international law, portions of western Palestine beyond the 1949 ceasefire lines between Israel and the invading Arab armies are disputed, not the indisputable territory of a western Palestine Arab state that has never existed in history. Israel has the right to be in these portions of the former Palestine Mandate, captured in a defensive war, until such time as there is a resolution by the parties.  The Mandate had called for “close settlement by Jews on the land,” not excluding what became “the West Bank” of the kingdom of Jordan only in 1948 when Jordan invaded and seized it.  The historical names of these areas are Judea and Samaria.   Today, 95% of the Arab population of “the West Bank” lives in Palestinian Authority-administered areas.


Misleading: “Moderate” Abbas; “Hardline” Netanyahu.” Accurate: “:”Palestinian Authority President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu”.”
News reports labeling Israeli leaders as “hard-line” and PA leaders as “moderate” are not only subjective judgments not belonging in news articles, but are factually inaccurate. PA leader Mahmoud Abbas heads Fatah, the largest organization in the P.A.  Fatah’s charter includes the following: “Section 19: Armed struggle is a strategy, not a tactic. The armed revolution of the Arab Palestinian people is a crucial element in the battle for liberation and for the elimination of the Zionist presence. This struggle will not stop until the Zionist entity is eliminated and Palestine is liberated.” Fatah’s August 2009, General Assembly confirmed these positions. Abbas also financed the Palestinian terrorist assassination of Israeli Olympic Team members in Munich in 1972, and in his doctoral dissertation, later published as a book, he denied the Holocaust.  


Misleading: “Illegal Jewish settlements.” Accurate: “Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.”
Jews living on land contested between Palestine’s Jews and Arabs, on which the Palestine Mandate called for close Jewish settlement, is not illegal according to many legal authorities.  At best, the status of the land in question is disputed. The Road Map distinguishes between “settlements” and “settlement outposts,” small sites unauthorized by the Israeli government.  Calling settlements “illegal under international law” is a partisan position on an issue in legal dispute.


Misleading: “The Road Map calls on the Palestinian Authority to rein in militants.” Accurate: “The Road Map calls on the Palestinian Authority to dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure.”
Among the Palestinian Authority’s Phase I obligations in the Road Map is “confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure.”  Another:  “Palestinians declare an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism and undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere.”  Another “at the outset of Phase I” PA obligations:  “All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.”  Media references to the Road Map frequently cite only Israeli obligations, and when Palestinian obligations are cited they are often couched as “to rein in militants.”  Forms of the word “terror” appear 10 times in the road map, but “militants” are not mentioned once.


Misleading: “Israeli retaliation for rockets/missiles from Gaza.” Accurate: “Israeli defensive measures to prevent the rocketing of civilians.”
For years, Israelis in southern Israel have been subjected to a relentless rain of rockets, missiles and mortars from Gaza, in which they have 15 – 20 seconds warning.  Israel’s large Mediterranean coastal city of Ashkelon has also been hit repeatedly.  Israel’s responses have been surgical and targeted specifically against the attackers and the regime that allows them, not “retaliation” by indiscriminate tit-for-tat rocketing and mortaring Gaza civilian cities and villages.


Misleading: “Militants,” “Extremists,” “Gunmen” attacking civilians. Accurate: “Terrorists”; “Jihadi Terrorists”; “Islamic Terrorists.”
Dispatchers of mass-murder bombers of civilians in buses, restaurants, shopping malls, religious assemblies and the like aren’t “militants” anytime anywhere, but terrorists every time everywhere.  The U.S. government’s long held position is that Hamas, Hizballah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Islamic Jihad Group, amongst many others, are terrorist organizations and that acts of violence against civilians perpetrated by the these groups are acts of terrorism.  


Misleading: “The Palestinians.” Accurate: “Palestinian Arabs,” “Arab Palestinians.”
At this late date, no one expects the media or anyone else to cease referring to Arabs living in Palestine as “the Palestinians.”  Yet it is critical that Western publics understand that the region was not named “Palestine” with reference to today’s Arab “Palestinians.”  Eighteen hundred years ago, the Roman emperor Hadrian bestowed the name “Palestine” on former Judaea, to disassociate the land from the native Jews whom Rome had just defeated in two ferocious revolts.  The “Palestinians” whom Hadrian had in mind had been the Aegean “Sea-People” Philistines, who’d occupied the southern Palestinian coast during the era of the Jews’ first kingdom of Judah.  The Jerusalem Post, one of Israel’s leading newspapers was once the Palestine Post, and Palestinian Jews who fought alongside the Allies in World War II were known as Palestinians.  The late David Bar-Illan, editor of the Jerusalem Post and its “Eye on the Media” column, repeatedly cited Mandate era Jewish institutions that included “Palestine” in their title and actual aversions by Arabs to the term “Palestine.” The vast majority of Palestinian Arabs cannot trace their family heritage to the land back more than several generations; most came from elsewhere when the Jews made the land blossom and built cities and institutions.