When Washington Post reporter Scott Wilson did a stint as the paper's Jerusalem correspondent, he earned a well-deserved and well-documented reputation for anti-Israel bias, shading and spinning his copy to portray Israel in the darkest of hues while swallowing Palestinian narratives hook, line and sinker. Wilson spared no effort in writing lengthy up-close and personal features about the plight of Palestinians in Gaza, but studiously avoided chronicling the plight of Israeli residents of Sderot when they were prime targets of thousands of missiles launched from Gaza.
So it comes as no surprise that Wilson has lost none of his pro-Palestinian proclivities in his new incarnation as the Post's White House correspondent. In a dispatch from Jakarta, where he is covering President Obama's Asian trip, Wilson writes the following:
"The president's efforts to mend relations with the Islamic world were partly overshadowed by the reopening of a rupture between the United States and Israel.
"Obama criticized Israel for undermining two-month-old peace talks with new plans to build on land that Palestinians claim as their future capital. At a news conference, he said of the Israeli government's project to construct 1,300 apartments in East Jerusalem, 'This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations.'
"Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu responded by asserting that 'Jerusalem isn't a settlement -- Jerusalem is the capital of Israel."
"Israel's construction in the occupied eastern part of the city, seized by the Israeli army in the 1967 Middle East war, has infuriated Palestinians, who view the work as a slow erosion of their future state."
This kind of Wilson reportage, as usual, is riddled with anti-Israel, pro-Palestinians spins, such as:
--In the same news conference, President Obama also was critical of the Palestinian side for failing to hew to his agenda to get negotiations going again. But Wilson, ever an apologist for the Palestinians, fails to report that Obama told reporters: "I'm concerned that we're not seeing each side make the extra effort involved to get a breakthrough." Wilson's copy is devoid of any Obama unhappiness with the Palestinian side.
---Wilson falsely asserts that Israel has come up with "new" plans to build in eastern Jerusalem. In fact, these are previously announced and duly reported plans. The news peg for what Wilson grandiosely describes as a U.S.-Israel "rupture" is merely that Israeli authorities now have called for public comment on plans that have been in the mill for a long time. There is nothing "new" about these plans.
--Wilson describes these building plans as highly provocative because they involve construction in the "occupied eastern part of Jerusalem, seized by Israel in the '67 war." What he fails to report is that the apartments are slated to go up in entirely Jewish neighborhoods, notably in Har Homa, which boasts a population of 12,000 Jewish residents living on entirely Jewish-owned land, which was purchased by Jews after the First World War -- long before the 1967 war.
--Nor does Wilson report that when Israel reunified Jerusalem in 1967, in a defensive war against half a dozen Arab armies intent on destroying the Jewish state, it seized the eastern section from Jordan, which had captured it in a war of aggression against Israel in 1948. From 1948 to 1967, the eastern part of Jerusalem was illegally occupied by Jordan in direct violation of the 1947 UN two-state partition plan. During these 19 years, Jordan barred Jews from their most sacred Jerusalem shrines, yet didn't use its hold on eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank to set up a Palestinian state. The "international community: -- a favorite reference point in Wash. Post reportage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- never accepted or recognized Jordanian sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem. Wilson, however, erases all this history because it doesn't comport with his view that Jews have no inherent right to live in eastern Jerusalem, including the Old City with all its religious sites.
--Wilson also fails to point out that since the 1,300 apartments are slated entirely for Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, they will remain part of Israel under any rational, realistic two-state scenario.
--Wilson conveniently omits several salient points in Netanyahu's rebuttal -- that while for the last 40 years there has been construction throughout Jerusalem -- east and west -- this didn't hamper negotiations that led to Israeli-Egyptian and Israeli-Jordanian peace treaties. Also, that during the last 17 years, such construction did not prevent a lengthy series of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, including grants of extensive powers to the Palestinian Authority over the West Bank's major Palestinian population centers.
--Bottom line: Logic, reality, and factual history don't matter to Wilson. What solely matters is that Har Homa sits on land that the Palestinians want and that Palestinians are "infuriated" when Israel doesn't kowtow to all their desires. Palestinian wishes trump everything else, as far as Wilson is concerned.
Anti-Israel bias the Wilson way -- by commission and omission.