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Media Analyses





Al-Jazeera America (AJAM) Watch for March – April 2014


• April 29, 2014 – 11:12 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera news hour four-minute report.

Al-Jazeera America's reporting on the Arab-Israeli conflict so far seems tilted toward a negative perception of Israel while Palestinian Arabs are portrayed benignly. This report is no exception. Al-Jazeera has a code of ethics including, “Adhere to the journalistic values of honesty, courage, fairness, balance, independence, credibility and diversity, giving no priority to commercial or political over professional consideration… Distinguish between news material, opinion and analysis to avoid the snares of speculation and propaganda.” But its adherence to this code has been missing often in Israeli-Palestinian coverage so far in Al-Jazeera America's short career, as CAMERA's online feature Al-Jazeera America Watch has repeatedly shown. Chronic flaws are the tendency to explore only angles that negatively portray Israel and omitting historical context.

Host: Del Walters (formerly of ABC affiliate WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C.),

Correspondent: Nick Schifrin (formerly an ABC News correspondent based in London).

Host: “Secretary of State John Kerry saying he has hoped for a deal in peace talks today, but both sides remain bitterly divided. Nick Schifrin is in Jerusalem. Nick, the U.S. is saying this is just a pause, but are we actually seeing the end of the line?”

Schifrin: “Well, as you know, it's never really the end of the line for Mideast peace talks, and both sides say they will go back to the table, but only if the other side gives in to rather large demands. The Palestinians say they will resume talks if Israel releases Palestinian prisoners they already agreed to release, must agree to discuss the future borders, and also have a complete settlement freeze for those three months. We heard from the Palestinian chief negotiator [Saeb Erekat], he said the prime minister of Israel has left talks; that he was never really interested in to begin with.”

Erekat: “The government of Netenyahu gave us no chance, gave Secretary Kerry no chance. They were determined from day one to undermine these talks and efforts, and finally they used the pretext of conciliatory negotiations as a pretext to suspend negotiations in the most seen.”

Schifrin: “Israel said it left talks because of that attempt of reconciliation. Fatah controls the West Bank, Hamas controls Gaza. The problem is that Hamas does not recognize Israel's right to exist and in fact promises to destroy Israel. Until the reconciliation attempts between Fatah and Hamas end, there can be no talks.”

Mark Regev (Israeli government spokesman): “We suspended talks because of the unity pact between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas denies my country's very right to exist. This is an organization that says that Israel should be liquidated and every Israeli civilian, man, woman, and child is a legitimate target for terror attacks. So we said clearly, you can have peace with Hamas or peace with Israel, but you can't have them both.”

Schfrin: “And remember, Del, Kerry put his personal prestige on these talks. He met with both sides more than 40 times. This is very much a foreign policy disappointment or failure for the U.S.”

Host: “And he said that Israel could become an apartheid state. What is the latest on that?”

Schifrin: “Yeah, these are comments that he made to diplomats in a closed door meeting. Audio of those comments were obtained by The Daily Beast [Web site] and he said if there is no two-state solution, he said, Israel could quote become an apartheid state with second-class citizens referring to the Palestinians. He released a statement last night, released in his own name, saying ‘No one should question my commitment to Israel” and he didn't appreciate what he called partisan questioning. But then he said … in that same meeting, Del, Kerry said he might need to release his own peace plan, imposing it on the two sides. That may be the only way for this round of peace talks to continue.”
 
NOTE: Al-Jazeera America fails to remind viewers that Israel has no "apartheid" system of forced racial, religious, ethnic or gender separation, that Israeli Arabs and Jews exercise the same civil rights or that all the Palestinian Arabs in the Gaza Strip and more than 90 percent in the West Bank are under the daily administration of the Palestinian Authority. It does not explain why most Israelis found Kerry's "apartheid" warning offensive – it is one of the common slanders used by the international campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state.

• April 28, 2014 – 4:39 PM Eastern

Al-jazeera America News Hour four-minute report.

Al-Jazeera America's reporting on the Arab-Israeli conflict so far seems tilted toward a negative perception of Israel while Palestinian Arabs are portrayed benignly. This report is no exception. Al-Jazeera has a code of ethics including, “Adhere to the journalistic values of honesty, courage, fairness, balance, independence, credibility and diversity, giving no priority to commercial or political over professional consideration… Distinguish between news material, opinion and analysis to avoid the snares of speculation and propaganda.” But its adherence to this code has been missing often either neglectful or largely absent in Israeli-Palestinian coverage so far in Al-Jazeera America's short career, as CAMERA's online feature Al-Jazeera America Watch has repeatedly shown. Chronic flaws are the tendency to explore only angles that negatively portray Israel and omitting historical context.

Host: Thomas Drayton (formerly of Fox affiliate station in Philadelphia).

Correspondent: Nick Schifrin (formerly an ABC News correspondent based in London).

Host: "In Poland thousands marched at Auschwitz, to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day. The memorial is focused on 400,000 Hungarian Jews killed at Auschwitz in 1944 - 1945. Israel's prime minister and president joined the country for two minutes of silence. Many say the actions ring hollow as Israel failed to help tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors. Nick Schifrin reports."

Note: The reporting is lacking here – 1.1 million Jews were killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland during the Holocaust.
 
Schifrin (voiceover to video clip): “Each witnessed the darkest days and survived. Each one says their trouble is not over.”

Maya Daphna (photographer, exhibitor): “140 faces that I hope people will never forget. And together as a group of 140 Holocaust survivors – yes, I think it's powerful enough to make a change.”

Schifrin (voiceover): “Half a million Holocaust survivors, 200,000 live in Israel. A new photography exhibit shows how they struggle for dignity and support in a state created as a safe haven.”

Schifrin (voiceover): “They survived. What they have to do now is be survivors.”

Schifrin (voiceover): “Underneath each picture the caption details how they fight the government for stipends or have given up on getting the help that the state owes them.”

Daphna (voiceover): “She has many bureaucracy problems with the government. On the other hand she's very proud.”

Daphna (voiceover): “She is so sad. She lost her husband a year before this …”

Daphna (voiceover): “She …. Photograph … and she feels so lonely.”

Daphna (voiceover): “I see a man that is trying to overcome a difficult era in his life. And because he doesn't like, you know, to talk about it, so he – he puts it on paper. Very powerful.”

Schifrin: “He was a painter, his daughter was a photographer.”

Motke Blum (Holocaust survivor) : “I don't feel much. I suffered.”

Schifrin: “He grew up in Romania where 200,000 Jews were slaughtered. He survived in a camp like the one in his paintings.”

Blum: “They say stand up, you don't move. If you move, I kill you. The suffering was terrible. Three years – you are not yourself.”

Schifrin: “He arrived in Israel excited, feeling like he was home. He became a famous painter. Seventy years later he said the government abandoned him.”

Blum: “The government – if you are honest, you don't get nothing. Nothing.”

Schifrin: “In response to that anger, the Israeli government announced this week it would increase survivors medical care, pensions and hand out an additional $300 million. The people behind the exhibition say the improvement must be followed by more, before it's too late.”

Daphna: “We are giving them the voice. We are giving them visibility. We believe it's like the last chance because it's a generation that is fading away.”
 
NOTE: Here Al-Jazeera America conflates two legitimate, separate news items into one. It uses Holocaust Remembrance Day and a ceremony at Auschwitz, the largest concentration and death camp, only as a news peg to a story alleging a failure by the Israeli government to care for adequately its remaining Holocaust survivors.

• April 25, 2014 – 6:35 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America 6 AM news hour ten-minute report.

Al-Jazeera America's coverage of the Arab-Israel conflict often features inaccurate partisan exchanges and lecturing persistently critical of Israel but rarely of the Palestinian Arabs. In this vein are the April 23, 24, 25 reactions to the Palestinian unity agreement between the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, which predominates in the PA's West Bank administration, and the Hamas organization – designated a terrorist group by the United States, Israel and other countries – that controls the Gaza Strip.

Host: Laura Kyle from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

One-sided report. The Israeli position is not presented.

Correspondent: Rosiland Jordan, who was previously with public radio WAMU-FM in Washington D.C.; NBC News and Tribune Broadcasting.

A clip is provided from an April 24 interview with Yousef Munayyer, executive director of The Palestine Center in Washington, D.C. But Munayyer has shown that he is an unreliable source for information on the Arab-Israel conflict. Munayyer supplies a lecture casting blame exclusively on Israel and United States for failures: "Despite the investment and the time they spent, they [United States] continued the same sort of format of supporting Israeli positions first and then trying to push the Palestinians to agree with those positions instead of acting as a genuine mediator."

• April 24, 2014 – 2:01 PM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America news hour ten-minute report.

Host: Darren Jordon from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar. Jordan was with BBC until 2006 when he joined Al-Jazeera English.

One-sided report.

Correspondent: Atia Abawi, Middle East reporter for Al Jazeera English.

Guest: Yousef Munayyer, executive director of The Palestine Center in Washington, D.C. Munayyer has shown that he is an unreliable source for information on the Arab-Israel conflict.

Abawi, ignoring the fact of the considerable pressure applied by the United States upon Israel, asks a question that sets up Munayyer to cast blame exclusively on Israel and castigate United States for failing to blame only Israel for the lack of a peace agreement with Palestinian leaders.

Abawi: "For this decision to pull out and suspend the peace talks should we have expected anything different from the Israelis?"

Munayyer: "No, there's no reason to be surprised at all, in fact the Israelis jumped on the opportunity to really try to change the narrative around why these peace talks have fallen apart. ... And I think one of the major ways they [United States] did go wrong in the past several months is despite the investment that they spent, they continue the same sort of format of supporting Israeli positions first, and then trying to push the Palestinians to agree with those positions, instead of acting as a genuine mediator. And I think that if they step back, and evaluate at this point, realized how problematic that position actually was, then they can make some adjustments to perhaps play a better role."

• April 24, 2014 – 9:14 AM

Al-Jazeera America news hour five-minute report.

Host: Shiulie Ghosh from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar. Ghosh was previously with Britain's ITV News.

Correspondent: Rosiland Jordan, who was previously with public radio WAMU-FM in Washington D.C.; NBC News and Tribune Broadcasting.

Separate video clips: Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev; Graeme Bannerman, an adjunct scholar with the Middle East Institute which is a quasi-academic, pro-Arab group heavily drawn from U.S. State Department retirees and former oil-company executives. MEI is a persistent critic of Israel. Bannermann is a State Department retiree.

Guest: Musa Abu Marzouk, deputy to Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal. Here, Al-Jazeera provides soft-pitch interview with this official of Hamas, designated a terrorist organization  by the United States, Israel and other countries and dedicated to the eradication of the Jewish state.

Introducing a pair of brief clips, Correspondent Jordan editorializes: "The deal between Fatah and Hamas, which does not recognize Israeli's right to exist, could give the Netanyahu government the cover it needs to walk away."

Regev: "I'm not sure there will be an international push on peace as long as Hamas is in the Palestinian government. We want peace, we want to overcome the issues that separate us, but Hamas is not a part of that process."

Jordan, introducing the Bannerman clip, editorializes: "And analysts would say, ‘Now we would point out a key mistake the U.S. made, not pushing Israel hard enough to make tough choices.'"

Bannerman: "We have not confronted the Israelis; as long as the United States is going to be a supporter of Israel first and the process second, it's not going to succeed."

• April 23, 2014 – 12:01 PM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America news hour fifteen-minute report.

Host: David Foster from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar. Foster was previously with Sky News of Britain.

Correspondent: Rosiland Jordan, who was previously with public radio WAMU-FM in Washington D.C.; NBC News and Tribune Broadcasting.

The Israeli position is not represented although lengthy monologues by Palestinian Arab spokesmen are provided in clips containing propagandistic statements by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, senior Fatah (West Bank Palestinian) official Azzam Al-Ahmad, and Palestinian legislator Mustafa Barghouti.

Jordan concludes her report with a summary of the quandary, including: "Hamas has never said that it is going to renounce its positions on violence, on its refusal to recognize the state of Israel, so without those fundamental concessions, it's really difficult to see how the peace process could move forward."

• April 13, 2014 – 8:48 PM

[Collaborative chat about Arab-Israeli conflict masquerades as balanced panel discussion. Both panelists are persistent critics of Israel and non-critics of the Palestinian Arabs. Host collaborates with panelists. The fifteen-minute exchange took place during “The Week Ahead” segment of the 8 pm world news hour.]

Host, news anchor: Jonathan Betz.

Guest: Patricia DeGennaro, an adjunct professor at New York University's Department of Politics and a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York.

Guest: Ghassan Shabaneh, an associate professor of International Studies at Marymount Manhattan College. Shabaneh is a Palestinian-American.

• April 8. 2014 – 11:31 AM

[Collaborative chat about Arab-Israeli conflict masquerades as balanced panel discussion. The three panelists are persistent critics of Israel and non-critics of the Palestinian Arabs. Host collaborates with panelists. The twenty-minute exchange took place during the 11 AM “Inside Story” program.]

Host: Ray Suarez (formerly of PBS and NPR).

Suarez spent most of his career at PBS and NPR where he sometimes dismissed Israel or its positions. In 1996 he denigrated Judaism, portraying the Jewish religion as it would be portrayed by antisemites.

Guest: Richard LeBaron, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, retired U.S. State Department official.

Guest: Saree Makdisi, a professor of English and Comparative Literature at UCLA. Makdisi is a Palestinian-American and author of numerous error-filled anti-Israel newspaper Op-Eds (read here and here).

Guest: Dan Goldenblatt, CEO of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information. IPCRI is a fringe group not only unrepresentative of the Israeli mainstream but also "soft" on Palestinian Authority violations of Palestinian-Israeli agreements.

• March 17, 2014 – 2:15 PM

Host: Jediah Abugezah.

Correspondent: Kimberly Halkett.
 
[Unbalanced Al-Jazeera America report misleads, tending to echo Palestinian propaganda. Israeli side is not represented. This report's misnomers, refuted below in NOTES, concern: “1967 borders,” “occupied West Bank,” “occupied east Jerusalem,” “illegal settlements,” “right of return,” “… new demands including the latest condition by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”]
 
Host: "President Mahmoud Abbas has once again stated that any agreements with Israel must be based on 1967 borders. This message by the Palestinian president was delivered directly to U.S. President Barack Obama at that the White House. The two discussed a framework for what could be a final round of negotiations. Kimberly Halkett has more from the ‘occupied' West Bank."

HALKETT: "Thousands turn out on the streets of Ramallah in a show of support for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. Their message, ‘Stand firm and don't yield to any more Israeli or White House demands.'"

MAHMOUD MUBARAK (protestor speaking in Arabic) (translator speaks): "We tell him, don't be intimidated. Don't let the Arab, American or Israeli pressures scare you. All the people are with you."

(Video clip – scene: White House)

President Obama: "Welcome President Abbas to the White House."

HALKETT: "The protest comes as Abbas sits down for a critical meeting with President Obama, who will deliver a draft framework that U.S. officials hope could lead to a final peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. It offers come consensus for a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territory occupied by Israel since 1967. Through land swaps, Israel could get to keep most settlements. Palestinians would be compensated with equal land elsewhere. But there are concerns that Israel is not negotiating in good faith.

Palestinians say that after 20 years of talking they have given all they can and in that time, they say Israel has continued its illegal settlement building. Now, most here on the streets of Ramallah are resigned to the fact that they would rather see talks collapse than yield to any new demands including the latest condition by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He wants his country recognized as a Jewish state. Palestinians say they did recognize the existence of Israel in the Oslo accords. Jerusalem is another obstacle. Palestinians want ‘occupied' east Jerusalem as a capital. Israelis object to sharing the Holy City."

ABDUL RAHMAN IBRAHIM: "The minimum that we can accept would be east Jerusalem as part of our own sovereign state." [Dr. Abdul Rahman Ibrahim is chairman of the Political Science Department at the Faculty of Law and Public Administration of Ramallah's Birzeit University.]

HALKETT: "International law mandates compensation and right of return of Palestinian refugees displace in 1948. This is a sticking point for Israel. Netanyahu is insisting on Israel keeping a military presence in the valley between Jordan and the West Bank. President Abbas urged that NATO take over the security. The differences seem insurmountable and now hopeless for Palestinians."

MUNA NAMMURA (protestor): "I wanted to be hopeful but I know I should not be very hopeful because this is about … I will not give up this hope."

HALKETT: "There's little time left for peace making. The draft framework has a nine month deadline. That means differences created over decades may have just a month to resolve under this latest plan. Kimberly Halkett, Al-Jazeera, from Ramallah in the ‘occupied' West Bank."
 
NOTES:

[1] The terminology “1967 borders” is a misnomer. An accurate characterization would be “1967 demarcation lines.” They are lines not borders. The word "border" implies legality, political significance and permanence that does not apply in this circumstance. Lord Caradon, the British representative to the United Nations during the 1967 Six-Day War, made this very point when discussing U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which calls for a peace agreement based on territorial concessions and recognition of countries' right to exist in peace and security. Explaining the meaning behind Resolution 242, which he drafted, he noted that “It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of 4 June 1967 because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places the soldiers of each side happened to be the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That's why we didn't demand that the Israelis return to them and I think we were right not to ...”

[2] Correspondent Halkett's characterization, “Thousands turn out on the streets of Ramallah in a show of support for ... Abbas,” should be taken with a grain of salt. As the Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh pointed out recently, “In the West Bank, PA employees and schoolchildren were sent into the streets to chant slogans in support of Abbas, urging him not to succumb to U.S. pressure. Abbas is hoping to turn himself into a hero by telling his people that he had the guts to say no to Obama.‘These rallies are not real,' complained West Bank university professor Abdel Sattar Qassem. ‘They are similar to what Arab intelligence agencies have been doing - using blackmail and intimidation to force their public servants to show loyalty for the ruler.'"

[3] Consistent with Palestinian propaganda spiels and other such narratives, Al-Jazeera nearly always uses the prefix "occupied" in reference to the West Bank or Jerusalem. Here are the facts about the myth of "occupation": In 1993, Israel entered the Oslo process with Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization. The process was intended to lead to final-status talks on the West Bank and Gaza Strip by 1998, but Palestinian terrorism sabotaged it. In 2000, Israel and the United States proposed to the PLO a West Bank and Gaza state, with eastern Jerusalem as its capital, in exchange for peace with the Jewish state. Bold, even risky. But this, too, Arafat rejected and soon after launched the "al-Aqsa intifada," in which more than 1,000 Israelis and 4,000 Palestinians died. The offer was repeated and again rebuffed in early 2001. With Mr. Ben-Ami's "land swaps" included, it was made by Israel and rejected by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 2008.

2006 saw the triumph of the terrorist organization Hamas in Palestinian elections and Hamas's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip the next year. This was followed by recurrent rocket and mortar attacks from the Gaza Strip and on incessant anti-Israel incitement by the Fatah-led PA in the West Bank. Meanwhile, in vain, the Israeli government continues to invite Palestinian leaders to resume unconditional negotiations.

In the West Bank, Israel is the legal military occupational authority, pending a negotiated settlement. That's because it gained the territories in 1967 in a war of self-defense. Further, it has not forcibly transferred Arabs out or Jews in, and the land itself is not an occupied part of a sovereign country but an unallocated, disputed remnant of the League of Nations Palestine Mandate, Article 6, which calls for "close Jewish settlement" on the land west of the Jordan River. Article 6 is incorporated by Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, sometimes referred to as "the Palestine article." The United States endorsed the mandate, including Article 6, in the 1924 Anglo-American Convention.

The West Bank is not sovereign territory of any country, but rather land disputed by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Part of Jerusalem (which has never been the capital of any nation except Israel) and the West Bank were illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967, when Israel took control as a result of successful self-defense in the 1967 Six-Day War. As Eugene Rostow, a co-author of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 (1967), the keystone of all subsequent successful Arab-Israeli negotiations pointed out, 242 does not require complete Israeli withdrawal. Rather, the status of the territory, to which Jews as well as Arabs have legitimate claims, is to be resolved in negotiations as called for in the resolution and by U.N. Security Council Resolution 338 (1973). Meanwhile, Jewish villages and towns built in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria, the ancient homeland of the Jewish people) since 1967 are no more illegal than areas built since then in previously existing Arab villages and towns.

[4] Regarding Jerusalem, as CAMERA has pointed out:

One of the main obstacles to previous peace-making efforts in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been the issue of dividing Jerusalem.

The Palestinian position views eastern Jerusalem as part of the West Bank, which it considers Arab territory that Israel is illegally occupying. While Palestinians reject Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem, they claim eastern Jerusalem – with holy sites to three religions – as the capital of their future state. They view the permanent status of western Jerusalem to be subject to final negotiations.

The Israeli position considers Jerusalem – both western and eastern– the country's eternal, undivided capital based on its historical, religious and political claims to the holy city. Since Israel's reunification of Jerusalem in 1967, following 19 years of division during which Israeli Jews were excluded from the eastern part, the government through successive administrations has vowed never to re-divide the city again. In 1980, the Israeli Knesset passed a Basic Law declaring reunified Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel, while providing for freedom of access to each religion's holy sites.

The area was only exclusively Arab for the 19 year-period between 1948 and 1967 in which Jordan occupied eastern Jerusalem.

Jewish presence and sovereignty in east Jerusalem actually predated the Arab presence there, and has been nearly continuous. For over three millennia, since King David established Jerusalem as the capital of his kingdom in 1004 BCE, there has been an almost continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem, the holiest city in Judaism. And for most of that time it was concentrated in east Jerusalem, where Judaism's holy sites lie.

Since the mid-1800's, Jews have constituted the largest single group of residents in the city. According to historical and cultural geographer Professor Yehoshua Ben-Arieh, "In the second half of the nineteenth century and at the end of that century, Jews comprised the majority of the population of the Old City..."1 Historian Martin Gilbert reports that 6,000 Jews resided in Jerusalem in 1838, compared to 5,000 Muslims and 3,000 Christians.2 Encyclopaedia Britannica of 1853 "assessed the Jewish population of Jerusalem in 1844 at 7,120, making them the biggest single religious group in the city."3 And others 4 estimated the number of Jewish residents of Jerusalem at the time as even higher.

Until about 1860, those residents lived almost exclusively in east Jerusalem. Between 1860 and 1948, when building expanded out to western Jerusalem, Jews and Arabs lived in both east and west Jerusalem.

Jerusalem was divided for the first time as a result of the 1948 war, in which neighboring Arab nations invaded the new State of Israel and attempted to capture the entire city, both east and west. Transjordan's Arab Legion shelled and besieged the city, cutting off its Jewish residents from the coastal plain. The Jordanian forces seized east Jerusalem, expelled its Jewish residents, destroyed Jewish property and religious sites, and made it a Judenrein (Jew free) area, while Jews continued to live in west Jerusalem.

[5] Correspondent Halkett states. "International law mandates compensation and right of return of Palestinian refugees displace in 1948. This is a sticking point for Israel.” But the refugee issue ("right of return") deserves to be considered in context. The U.N. resolutions (mischaracterized by Halkett as “international law”) pointed to by Palestinian leaders in support of a claimed right of return established no such entitlement. That is one reason all Arab representatives at the United Nations at the time voted against those General Assembly Resolutions 194 (1948); 393 (1950); 394 (1950); and 513 (1952) which recommended, when practicable, return for those who would live in peace with Jewish neighbors in Israel or compensation for lost property and absorption by the Arab states to which they had fled as a result of the war caused by Arab aggression against Israel in violation of the U.N.s 1947 partition plan.

[6] Regarding correspondent Halkett's misleading characterization, “… new demands including the latest condition by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He wants his country recognized as a Jewish state.” But Israel's insistence that Palestinian leaders acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state, signifying acceptance of a real 'two-state solution,' one Jewish, one Arab, is not new. It was raised  by then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2007 and by prime ministers before him.


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