In the Middle East “News” Has Become “Opinion”

In Frontlines by Dan Calic

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When we watch, listen or read news are we entitled to get objective reporting? To such a question most might say yes news should be objective. In other words it should be unbiased, neutral, non-partisan. Yet is that what we are getting?

In far too many situations we are not.

A glaring example of lack of objectivity is coverage of the conflict between Israel and those identified as “Palestinians.”

Let’s take a closer look at this situation and drill down a bit on some popular terms used by media.

Palestinians

It may surprise some to know that prior to 1967 the term “Palestinians” referred to Jews who lived in their ancient biblical homeland, which the Roman Emperor Hadrian renamed “Philistia.”  This term is Latin for “Philistine,” which became transformed to Palestinian. Contrary to rumor there is no connection between the ancient Philistines and today’s so-called “Palestinians.”

So who are todays “Palestinians?”

After Israel’s rebirth in 1948 many Arabs became displaced due to a variety of circumstances, not the least of which was their desire to destroy the fledgling Jewish state. After Israel defeated the surrounding Arab nations who conveniently ignored UN resolution 181 calling for one Arab and one Jewish, many Arabs ended up nationless in no-man’s land.

Subsequently, Israel successfully staved off another attempt to annihilate it in the Six Day War of 1967. As a result victorious Israel took control of additional land, and the plight of these Arabs became more visible, thanks in part to widespread media coverage and a campaign waged by the leader of the recently  formed PLO- Yasser Arafat.

After the Six Day War the defeated Arab nations refused to repatriate their Arab brethren. In his effort to gain exposure and empathy Arafat renamed these displaced Arabs “Palestinians.” A revisionist cottage industry was born and took root, without regard to its accuracy.

In point of fact there has never been an indigenous people known as “Palestinians.” It’s “fake news.”

Occupation or Occupied Palestinian Territories

This typically refers to the land west of the Jordan River, up to the so-called “green line,” which includes the eastern portion of Jerusalem.  

For anyone familiar with the Bible this land is known as Judea & Samaria. It is part of the ancient homeland of the Jewish people. The Bible also makes clear in several places the land was given to Abraham and his descendants- the Jews. In an attempt to delegitimize the Jews, some say both Arabs and Jews are children of Abraham. However, twice in the Bible (Genesis 17:20/21 and Romans 9:7) the promises of God are specifically confirmed through Isaac.

Yet, in spite of Scripture’s historical account, the so-called “Palestinians,” claim Israel is illegally occupying their land. In point of fact, Israel fought defensive wars in 1948 and 1967. During the 1967 war Israel captured the land west of the Jordan River, which had been illegally occupied by Jordan since 1948. Yet where were the cries of “occupation” during this 19 year period? International law states that any territory captured in a defensive war belongs to the victor. In this case that means Israel.

Thus it is factually incorrect (“fake news”) to define this land as “occupied Palestinian territories.”  Using such terminology is not news, its opinion. Many refer to this same area as the West Bank. This also delegitimizes Israel’s’ right to the land. I understand why some may refer to it as such, however using terms such as “Occupied Palestinian territory,” can be seen as offensive to many, and renders any media outlet referring to it as such from being seen as objective.

East Jerusalem

First off, there is no such city as “East Jerusalem.” Jerusalem has a 4,000 year history. During this time it has always been known as Jerusalem. “East” Jerusalem is yet another example of a term used to delegitimize the rightful claim the Jewish people have to their ancient and eternal capital city. The Old City is located in the eastern part of Jerusalem, which the Arabs wish to steal from the Jews as capital of their presumed Palestinian state.  In their revisionist narrative the Arabs (so-called Palestinians) have gone so far as to suggest there has never been any proof of a Jewish connection to Jerusalem. (again- “fake news”)

The UN has even gotten into revising history by passing resolutions stating Temple Mount and the Western Wall are Muslim holy sites, rather than Jewish.  Shame on them.

It has been said “….a lie told often enough becomes truth.”

As an institution media has an obligation to distinguish between news and opinion. There is no question opinion pieces have a legitimate role to play within media. However, when media outlets report news by using terminology reflecting personal bias, (or opinion) they cease being a credible news source.

Terms such as “Palestinians,” “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” and “East Jerusalem,” belong in opinion pieces, not objective news.


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