AP Claims Rouhani Speech “Absent” of Anti-Israel Rhetoric


Courtesy of The Cartoon Kronicles.

(CAMERA) An AP story today opened by informing readers that “The Iranian president’s first speech to world leaders was absent anti-Israel rhetoric….” The problem is, Rouhani in fact leveled some of the harshest, most inflammatory anti-Israel slurs available during his U.N. speech yesterday, describing Israel as engaging in “brutal repression,” and as practicing something even worse than apartheid.

In language that differed little from the predictable anti-Israel venom often heard from Iranian leaders, Rouhani told delegates at the United Nations:

What has been — and continues to be — practiced against the innocent people of Palestine is nothing less than structural violence. Palestine is under occupation; the basic rights of the Palestinians are tragically violated, and they are deprived of the right of return and access to their homes, birthplace and homeland. Apartheid as a concept can hardly describe the crimes and the institutionalized aggression against the innocent Palestinian people.

More after the jump.
Much later in the piece, the AP reporter, Lara Jakes, did assert that Rouhani “briefly touched on what he described as Palestine’s depravation and subjugation.” But obviously this understated elaboration does not eliminate the need for an opening sentence that does not misinform.

It is also worth noting is that, while Jakes mentioned that Rouhani referred to “crimes the Nazis created toward the Jews,” she inexplicably omitted any reference to the more controversial part of his statement to CNN: “I have said before that I am not a historian, and that when it comes to speaking of the dimensions of the Holocaust it is the historians that should reflect on it” — an equivocation that virtually all other reports recognized was relevant to the story.

CAMERA had informed CNN of the errors and the omission and called for a correction. The first sentence has been fixed to say “The Iranian president’s first speech to world leaders toned down anti-Israel rhetoric…” and the other sentence was fixed to say that “Rouhani briefly criticized Israel for what he described as Palestine’s deprivation and subjugation.” By the time this article was posted in the Philadelphia Jewish Voice, the omitted holocaust statement was still not included in the article.