Editors upheld our complaint after we provided evidence demonstrating that between the late 1970s and 2016, there was not one president or secretary of state who labeled the settlements “illegal”. Rather, most – other than Ronald Reagan, who explicitly rejected the view that they were illegal – have characterised them as politically “illegitimate”, or an obstacle to peace, without taking a position on their legal status.
Whilst this blog takes no position on Israeli communities across the green line, we do take a strident position on holding British media outlets accountable to the accuracy clause of the UK Editors’ Code of Practice. So, over the past several days, we’ve pushed back against multiple outlets – including the Guardian, Independent, Economist, Telegraph and Financial Times – that have misrepresented longstanding US policy on settlements in the context of reports on the new US decision that they are not illegal.
Contrary to the Guardian’s claim that the new US declaration rejects the US legal position on the issue since 1978, the 1978 US State Department Hansell Memorandum they’re referring to, which maintained that settlements are illegal, was not the basis of 40 years of U.S. policy, a time period which includes Ronald Reagan’s policy which held that the settlements are not illegal.
Following our tweet, we contacted Daily Mail editors, who similarly amended the quote to remove the “settlers-only” roads claim.
Though the quote is still highly problematic, we’re glad that we were again successful in convincing editors that such propaganda about ‘racist roads’, which of course serve to amplify dishonest ‘Apartheid Israel’ smears, are completely counter-factual.
Whilst it won’t become clear for quite a while if the new guidelines will result in a continuation of this construction slow-down, it’s quite a commentary when far-left Haaretz frames the settlement policy of a ‘right wing’ Israeli government far more sympathetically than the Guardian.
The White House expressed the view that the overwhelming majority of settlement construction is not an impediment to peace. However, most UK media reports on the announcement instead focused on the muted condemnation of new settlements and construction beyond existing settlement boundaries.
Whatever one’s views on Israeli construction across the green line, the narrative often advanced in the UK media – of new settlements expanding at ‘a record pace’, eating away at ‘huge swaths’ of Palestinian territory and rendering a future Palestinian state nearly impossible – is, at best, extraordinarily misleading.
Are Israeli homes built across the green line only considered “illegal settlement construction” when the homes are built for Jews?
So, the number 463 includes only 50 new homes, 234 units in one new nursing home building and the legalization of 179 already existing homes.
Widely reported comments last week highly critical of Israeli construction in east Jerusalem by David Cameron, during Parliament’s weekly question-answer session, set off an Israeli media firestorm and a diplomatic row between Israel and […]
Within the growing body of work in the field of Comically Erroneous Political Comparisons, Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell just distinguished himself as a rising star. Here’s a Sept. 1st cartoon by Bell, an artist who […]
‘What can ‘forensic architecture’ reveal about the conflict in Gaza?‘, Guardian, Sept 1, focuses on the Haifa-born, London educated architect Eyal Weizman, evidently famous in some circles as the “chief proponent of […]
Yesterday, we posted about a Guardian report co-authored by Peter Beaumont which included a false and characteristically tendentious reference to the three Israeli youths abducted by Palestinian terrorists on Thursday night as “teenage settlers“. […]
Despite Economist claim, ‘fanatical settlement’ of Kochav Ya’ir is neither fanatical nor a settlement (UPDATE)
(See UPDATE on this post below) While the UK media (much like its US counterpart) often employ euphemisms – and often wild rhetorical somersaults – to avoid passing ‘value judgments’ on Palestinian […]
Our increasing commentary on Israel related coverage by sites such as The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, The Economist and the Irish Times is often helpful in properly contextualizing coverage at the Guardian. Regarding […]
The Guardian considers all Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria (The West Bank) and eastern Jerusalem to be “illegal” under international law. Though we’ve fisked the specious legal and political logic which inspires this […]
The Guardian recently posted a one and a half-minute video on their Israel page showing a recent interview with Shimon Peres. The clip, which, though dealing almost entirely with the Iranian nuclear […]
We’ve recently been noticing a slight improvement in the quality of reporting by the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent, Harriet Sherwood – a slight but noticeable movement towards greater balance in her characterization of Israel and […]
The demonization of Israeli “settlers” – those Israelis who live beyond the “Green Line” – is a narrative that is simply reflexive in much of the mainstream media. The Guardian represents an […]