We often complain that the Guardian’s reporting on Israel – even when not in violation of the accuracy clause of the Editors’ Code – is consistently tendentious. That is, most of their straight news stories (reports as opposed to op-eds), by the intentional use of biased language or through obfuscatory prose, implicitly promote a particular point of view within the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
The Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent Peter Beaumont provided an excellent example of such ‘views as news’ reporting in a story published on May 4th titled ‘Israel’s foreign minister resigns, throwing coalition in doubt‘.
Here’s the penultimate paragraph in Beaumont’s report:
Lieberman was unusual in the world of international diplomacy in not having his residence in the country he represents, instead choosing to live in a settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, which Palestinians claim for their future state.
The Guardian is quite well-known for its tireless efforts to delegitimize Israeli communities – such as Judea and Samaria (The West Bank) and east Jerusalem – which lay outside 1949 armistice lines. Their reporters and commentators almost always refer to this disputed territory as “illegal” while not even bothering to cite a source for this putative adjudication. Indeed, those reaching this determination do so based on highly specious legal reasoning.
However, Beaumont’s claim goes even further, in suggesting not only that the city where Lieberman lives (Nokdim in Gush Etzion) is “illegal”, but that it represents a city outside of Israel. By implication, the more than 380,000 Israelis who reside in Judea and Samaria similarly do not in fact live in the Jewish state.
Of course, this is the Guardian, a media group which used to actually claim (as a fact) that Tel Aviv was Israel’s capital. So, we’re not terribly surprised by Beaumont’s latest trick. However, we were curious as to the roots of his claim and, sure enough, were able to locate remarkably similar wording in a November 2014 PLO propaganda memo.
We’ll let you consider the professional implications of this curious rhetorical and ideological ‘convergence’ between the Guardian journalist and one of the parties in a long running regional conflict he’s tasked to cover.