Wednesday, July 8, 2015

With Israel, the AP appears unusually careless

The Associated Press (AP) is an established news service. It claims to understand professional ethics.  It prides itself on “bringing truth to the world” (Homepage, Company, AP News Values and Principles, ap. org).

It says it goes “to great lengths”, overcomes “great obstacles” and, at times, makes “great and horrific sacrifices” to make certain that its news is “reported quickly, accurately and honestly” (ibid). The AP says it abhors “inaccuracies, carelessness, bias or distortions” (ibid).

Perhaps the AP believes these things. Perhaps that’s how it reports most of its news. But when it comes to Israel, its news is far from accurate—or careful. With Israel, its news is too often false, distorted, biased and careless.

For example, its coverage of the Gaza-Israel war wasn’t characterized by accuracy, honesty or careful reporting. It published posed pictures of dead bodies, ‘intentional miscategorizations’, one-sided sourcing, cherry-picked quotes--and biased suggestions against Israel (see Richard and Gary Weiss, “How the AP Botched Its Investigation of Civilian Deaths in the Israel-Hamas War”, The Observer, March 10, 2015).

Now the AP bends truth again. It’s published an article about the 10th anniversary of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement (BDS) (Tia Goldenberg, “Boycott drive gains strength, raising alarm in Israel”, Associated Press, July 6, 2015). This article erases the reality of BDS. It makes BDS look like the face of humanitarianism.

This article states that, “The BDS movement has three goals: to end Israel's occupation of territories captured in the 1967 Mideast war, to end discrimination suffered by Arab citizens of Israel, and to promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to family properties lost in the war surrounding Israel's creation in 1948” (ibid). These goals sound humanitarian: end occupation; end discrimination; return lost property. But these aren’t the real goals of BDS.

Yes, these concepts are—more or less--indeed listed on the BDS site (Homepage, Learn, What is BDS). But this definition has some ‘fine print’ associated with it. The writer of this pro-BDS AP story (above) doesn’t seem to have bothered to go deeper than the surface. The writer, like the rest of us, saw these words on that first page—and got the ‘public’ view of BDS—all sweetness and light.

The writer wasn’t careful enough. The writer should have gone deeper into the website. If she had done that, she would have discovered something very different: the BNC (the BDS National Committee).

Reference to this Committee appears twice on the ‘What is BDS’ page. It has to be important because it appears both in the page’s very first paragraph—and again in the page’s last paragraph. Those two references should ‘prompt’ a professional reporter to go to the BNC page, if only to see what that opening and closing reference is all about. Indeed, each paragraph, in its own way, directs one to the page for ‘The BDS National Committee (BNC)’.

The second sentence of ‘The BNC’ page tells you that the BNC was created as a result of “the Palestinian Call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel’ (ibid). This ‘Call’ contains the original and truest Mission Statement for BDS.

The careful reporter would have clicked on ‘The Palestinian Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel’. The BNC page practically begs one to do that.  

By clicking on the ‘Palestinian Call’, the careful reporter would have discovered the animating Mission Statement for all BDS activities undertaken by the BNC Committee. That Mission Statement is different from what one sees on the simplified ‘What is BDS’ page:

1. Israel must end its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantle the Wall [emphasis mine];

2. Israel must give full equality to Arab-Palestinians in Israel;

3. The Palestinian ‘right of return’.

Notice the first goal of BDS. That goal isn’t about ‘’territories captured in the 1967 Mideast war’ (as the AP story said). The goal focuses instead on all Arab lands Israel ‘occupies and colonizes’.

To the BDS Movement, and to the entire ‘Palestinian Cause’, Israel is Arab Palestine. To BDS and the ‘Palestinian Cause’, ‘Palestine’ can only be free when this entire Jewish 'occupation' is ended. All Jews must be removed from all of Israel, not just from the ‘West Bank’ and Gaza; or, to Arab moderates, Jewish control of all of Israel’s land must be eliminated. That includes ‘freeing’ Haifa, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Ashkelon, etc from Jewish control.

This is the true goal of BDS: the conquest of the Jewish state of Israel (see “Norman Finkelstein Tells the Truth about the BDS Movement”, HonestReporting, February 23, 2012). For BDS and the ‘Palestinian Cause’, when everything Jewish has been removed from Israel, ‘Palestine’ will be free.

BDS is not humanitarian. Its Mission isn’t freedom. Its Mission is conquest. It wants you to help them remove Israel from the world’s map.

The AP reporter missed that. A bit careless, don't you think?

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