Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Reuters Finally Publishes a Balanced Story

Reuters seems to be on the right track to getting a story about revenant Jews in Yesha (aka "settlers") - "Settlers build on private Palestinian land: report"

First, they start off with:

The left-wing group Peace Now said 32.4 percent of the land held by Jewish settlements in the West Bank was privately owned by Palestinians.

Note: "left-wing". Good.

Then, they point out:

An earlier report by the same group estimated the figure at 40 percent.

Ah, an error by those lefties! Excellent.

Of course, if I was still publishing COUNTERPOINT, I'd headline the story: Peace Now Recants Earlier Claim

The Associated Press has this headline:

Military database released to Peace Now shows little land seized from Palestinians to build largest West Bank settlement

and they note:

The new numbers are vastly smaller than numbers Peace Now issued in a November report based on leaked information.

Seems there's a gang up on PN.

Proceeding, Reuters points to the reliability of the report, highlighting a conflict between their figures and their sources claims:

Peace Now said it based its new findings on the database of Israel's military-run Civil Administration in the West Bank.

The Civil Administration said in response: ``We were disappointed to see that despite the clarifications made by the Civil Administration ... the most recent report is still inaccurate in many places, thus misrepresenting the reality concerning the status of the settlements.''

The Civil Administration disputed the way Peace Now defined the boundaries of many settlements.

So, whom do you trust?

Do I begin to trust Reuters now?

What has Peace Now done to anti-settle media bias?



Dror Etkes, Peace Now's settlement expert, said if the original information it published was inaccurate, then the military was to blame for refusing to release the database until the court ordered it to do so after the November report.

Asked whether the military might have altered its database after the original report was released, Etkes replied, "It's not impossible, but I can't prove that."

UPI, however, completely ignored PN's wrong data and the issue at hand and saves the foreign media from me thinking that its bias was beginning to be corrected:

Report: Israel illegally on some land

JERUSALEM, March 14 (UPI) -- A rights group is calling for Israel to publicly explain why it allowed settlements to be built in the West Bank on land privately owned by Palestinians.

The Peace Now group released data provided by the Israeli government on Wednesday that suggests 32.4 percent of the occupied land is private and mostly Palestinian owned, a New York Times correspondent reported from Jerusalem.

Dror Etkes of Peace Now said the group wants Israel's attorney general to investigate. "There's no way the state prosecutor can be indifferent to lawbreaking on such a scale," Etkes said.

In response, Shlomo Dror, a spokesman for the Civil Administration, which gave the group the data under a court order, said the issue is complicated and still under review. He said one of the problems is centered on the variety of ways the land was registered in the past by the Ottomans, British and Jordanians, the Times said.

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