Wash. Post bends truth on settlements, covers up Abbas's anti-Israel incitement

Amid unrelenting anti-Israel incitement by Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority, including glorification of suicide bombers and teaching children that Palestine will encompass all of Israel, an Israeli family of five -- both parents and three children -- are brutally murdered in their beds by one or more terrorists who managed to infiltrate Itamar, a Jewish town in the West Bank.

Israel's response -- definitely  not an eye for an eye -- eschews any spilling of Palestinian blood.  Instead the government approves plans for construction of 500 homes within West Bank towns and suburbs that will remain part of Israel under any conceivable two-state solution.  Building these homes will not involve a single additional plot of Palestinian land.

But that's not how the Washington Post reports the juxtaposition of a heinous murderous rampage in Itamar -- four-year-old Elad Fogel's throat was slashed, 3-month-old Hadas was stabbed through the heart -- and Israel's response of moving ahead with long-delayed additional housing within the confines of Maa'leh Adumim, Ariel, the Etzion bloc and Kiryat Sefer -- communities that already are, in effect, integral parts of Israel.

The Post instead runs an article by Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg that leaves a grossly erroneous impressions that Israel's response will involve not a few hundred more homes within existing "settlements," but actual expansion of such "settlements" -- a grab of Palestinian land.  The headline, in large type at the top of the front page of the Post's "World" News section, blares "Israel to expand settlements in wake of killings -- New Units In West Bank -- Approval follows stabbings of five in home" (March 14, page A6).

"Expand settlements" is the headline's key formulation of what Israel's plans portend -- a huge stretch from actual confinement of new homes within existing Israeli towns

Greenberg accentuates this erroneous impression when he gets around to explaining what the building plans will involve.  Typically, he turns first to Palestinian officials, who charge that Israel "continues to expand settlements" and is "swallowing up land they seek for a future state."  Never mind that the building plans don't swallow any land for any future Palestinian state.  A Palestinian lie goes unchallenged by Greenberg.

It is not until the second sentence in the next paragraph that he cites an Israeli spokesman's explanation that the new construction would be "in large settlements that he said were expected to remain part of Israel in any future peace accord."

First, the Palestinian lie; then an Israeli refutation.  Both are given the same weight. 

In contrast, the New York Times -- often unfriendly to Israel -- in this instance gives its readers a clearer, more straightforward account of Israel's new building plans.  The Times doesn't spin these plans as "expanding" Jewish settlements.  Instead, right in the lead, it emphasizes that these will be "new housing units within the populous West Bank settlement blocs."  And a couple of paragraphs later, it re-emphasizes that the housing units will be built in ''areas of the West Bank that Israel intends to keep under any permanent accord with the Palestinians."

Greenberg's article also is flawed by pro-Palestinian spins when he deals with anti-Israeli incitement by the Palestinian Authority.  Prime Minister Netanyahu, he reports, linked the deadly attack to "what he called" anti-Israel incitement in Palestinian media, schools and mosques.  One would have thought that by now the full range and scope of anti-Israel incitement by the PA has been thoroughly documented to the point where it's more than an allegation by Israel's prime minister.

While avoiding his own verification of such incitement, Greenberg gives more weight to crocodile tears shed by a couple of Palestinian newspapers -- "We are against killing children, Jewish or Palestinian, and we condemn such acts."

Again, Greenberg swallows Palestinian propaganda, while staying away from reporting the plenitude of anti-Israel incitement under the aegis of Mahmoud Abbas.
Amid unrelenting anti-Israel incitement by Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority, including glorification of suicide bombers and teaching children that Palestine will encompass all of Israel, an Israeli family of five -- both parents and three children -- are brutally murdered in their beds by one or more terrorists who managed to infiltrate Itamar, a Jewish town in the West Bank.

Israel's response -- definitely  not an eye for an eye -- eschews any spilling of Palestinian blood.  Instead the government approves plans for construction of 500 homes within West Bank towns and suburbs that will remain part of Israel under any conceivable two-state solution.  Building these homes will not involve a single additional plot of Palestinian land.

But that's not how the Washington Post reports the juxtaposition of a heinous murderous rampage in Itamar -- four-year-old Elad Fogel's throat was slashed, 3-month-old Hadas was stabbed through the heart -- and Israel's response of moving ahead with long-delayed additional housing within the confines of Maa'leh Adumim, Ariel, the Etzion bloc and Kiryat Sefer -- communities that already are, in effect, integral parts of Israel.

The Post instead runs an article by Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg that leaves a grossly erroneous impressions that Israel's response will involve not a few hundred more homes within existing "settlements," but actual expansion of such "settlements" -- a grab of Palestinian land.  The headline, in large type at the top of the front page of the Post's "World" News section, blares "Israel to expand settlements in wake of killings -- New Units In West Bank -- Approval follows stabbings of five in home" (March 14, page A6).

"Expand settlements" is the headline's key formulation of what Israel's plans portend -- a huge stretch from actual confinement of new homes within existing Israeli towns

Greenberg accentuates this erroneous impression when he gets around to explaining what the building plans will involve.  Typically, he turns first to Palestinian officials, who charge that Israel "continues to expand settlements" and is "swallowing up land they seek for a future state."  Never mind that the building plans don't swallow any land for any future Palestinian state.  A Palestinian lie goes unchallenged by Greenberg.

It is not until the second sentence in the next paragraph that he cites an Israeli spokesman's explanation that the new construction would be "in large settlements that he said were expected to remain part of Israel in any future peace accord."

First, the Palestinian lie; then an Israeli refutation.  Both are given the same weight. 

In contrast, the New York Times -- often unfriendly to Israel -- in this instance gives its readers a clearer, more straightforward account of Israel's new building plans.  The Times doesn't spin these plans as "expanding" Jewish settlements.  Instead, right in the lead, it emphasizes that these will be "new housing units within the populous West Bank settlement blocs."  And a couple of paragraphs later, it re-emphasizes that the housing units will be built in ''areas of the West Bank that Israel intends to keep under any permanent accord with the Palestinians."

Greenberg's article also is flawed by pro-Palestinian spins when he deals with anti-Israeli incitement by the Palestinian Authority.  Prime Minister Netanyahu, he reports, linked the deadly attack to "what he called" anti-Israel incitement in Palestinian media, schools and mosques.  One would have thought that by now the full range and scope of anti-Israel incitement by the PA has been thoroughly documented to the point where it's more than an allegation by Israel's prime minister.

While avoiding his own verification of such incitement, Greenberg gives more weight to crocodile tears shed by a couple of Palestinian newspapers -- "We are against killing children, Jewish or Palestinian, and we condemn such acts."

Again, Greenberg swallows Palestinian propaganda, while staying away from reporting the plenitude of anti-Israel incitement under the aegis of Mahmoud Abbas.

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