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Media Analyses





Al-Jazeera America (AJAM) Watch for May – June 2014


June 22, 2014 – 6:30 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America 6 AM News Hour report.

Host: Stephen Cole from London Bureau of Al-Jazeera English.

Correspondent: Jane Ferguson.

Ferguson uses “occupied West Bank” like a mantra nearly always using the prefix “occupied.” The implication apparently is that Israel is occupying territory that does not belong to it but some other country. Ferguson never notes that sovereignty over the territory – the last unallocated portion of British Mandatory Palestine, Jordan (77 percent) and Israel (17 percent) being successor states – remains disputed and hence subject to negotiations. Nor does she point out that as the victor in two wars of self-defense, 1967 and 1973, Israel remains the obligatory military occupational authority until successful completion of negotiations according to U.N. Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and related agreements.

Host: “Well, the headline story was an explosion in the Golan Heights. We don't know if it's a bomb or a mortar fired. Let's find out more from Jane Ferguson. Jane joins me live from Jerusalem. Jane, tell us what more we know about this incident in the Golan Heights.”

Ferguson: “Well, Stephen, sources in the Israeli military are telling Al-Jazeera that there was an explosion in the occupied Golan Heights near to the demarcation line with Syria. In that area it appeared that a vehicle exploded. Inside the vehicle a 15-year-old boy had died. There were other adults in the vehicle and they are believed to be civilian contractors working with the Israeli Ministry of Defense and Defense Forces on building the fence that goes along close to the demarcation line with Syria. It's not unusual that ordnances and bombs might land across on the Israeli side in the last couple of years. That has happened. But this is the first fatality on the Israeli side there. Now, we also know that the Israeli Defense Forces are saying that it would appear this is a targeted attack. And that it doesn't look to them at least to have been an accident. So that is significant. And they have, as you said, responded with tank fire across into Syria.

Now, also going on here in this part of the world is, of course, the Israeli ongoing military operation in the occupied West Bank. Three Israeli teens went missing in the occupied West Bank over nine days ago. Since then we have seen Israel's biggest military operation in the occupied West Bank for over ten years. Last night there was a lot of tension there. There were two deaths of two Palestinians, one in Nablus, one in Ramallah whenever locals confronted the Israeli army because they were raiding houses. These raids have been going on nightly, largely targeting Hamas, who Israel hold responsible for what they called ‘kidnapping of these teenagers.' The first one that was killed in Nablus – that was confirmed early on. The second was a body bag in Ramallah on a roof top. Initial reports were unclear as to who was responsible, whether or not it was Palestinian security forces who had to fire in the air to try to calm down an angry crowd and hold them back, or whether it was the Israeli military. Autopsy reports that are coming out are currently saying that he was killed by a bullet from an M16 rifle often used by the Israeli military.”

Israeli forces have often been accused of intentionally killing Palestinian protestors but there's cause for skepticism in such incidents since there's a history of rigged such events (including bogus autopsies). The Israeli military's tactics countering rock-throwers (using potentially lethal weapons) and others consists of firing only rubber-coated bullets, essentially ball bearings with a thin coating of rubber designed to hurt, but not penetrate.

They do not normally use M16 rifles in situations like this. The most notorious previous such event was the skillfully manipulated September 2000 case of Mohammed Al-Dura, the 12-year-old Palestinian boy, apparently killed in firing between Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian forces and blamed on the Israelis. But now more and more journalists have come to believe that the boy was most likely killed by Palestinian fire or that the entire episode was staged  by Palestinians: "Only 18 minutes of tape were shown in court, none of which showed Al Dura being killed. In fact, he is alive at the end of the tape without any sign of having been wounded. Witnesses who have previously seen over 20 minutes of raw footage say that two obviously staged scenes were cut."

Host: “Jane Ferguson in Jerusalem. Thanks Jane.”

NOTE: Gerald M. Steinberg, head of NGO Monitor, explains in The Times of Israel (“What Israel is allowed to do,” June 23, 2014): “It seems as if no matter what Israel does, no matter how justified and consistent with international legal norms, human rights groups will accuse Israel of acting illegally. Israel is in the midst of an extensive military operation in the West Bank to locate three kidnapped Israeli teenagers and to root out the terror infrastructure that facilitated this and other attacks against civilians… These goals are entirely legal under international human rights conventions and U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373 that requires states to 'prevent and suppress terrorist acts.'"

Concerning explicit charges or implicit suggestions that the West Bank is illegally occupied, occupations of territory belonging to or used by aggressors after their defeat in wars are not illegal. For example, the U.S. and other Allied occupation of sovereign German territory, which began as U.S. forces were driving towards Berlin, was not illegal, and the United States was not obligated under international law to withdraw from that territory, pending a diplomatic resolution of World War II satisfactory to the Allied powers. In the same way, Israel is under no obligation to withdraw from the Golan Heights, used by Syria for aggressive attacks against Israel before 1967, since there has not been any negotiated peace. So in that sense the occupation is not illegal.

Many countries do object to the creation of Israeli communities in the Golan, where Jews lived during Roman and Talmudic periods, for example, but that's different from terming the holding of the territory itself to be illegal. The same distinctions and more apply to Israel's continued military presence, and civilian settlement, in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria before being renamed by Jordan during its illegal occupation between 1948 and 1967). This was the Jewish heartland in biblical times and, as the authors of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 pointed out, both Jews and Arabs have claims in the territories. The basic international law in this regard, the League of Nations (later United Nations) Palestine Mandate (Article 6) calls for "close Jewish settlement" on the land west of the Jordan River.

June 21, 2014 – 7:22 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America News Hour at 7:00 AM (several similar reports).

Hostess: Morgan Radford from Al-Jazeera America headquarters in New York City.

Correspondent: John Hendren, Al-Jazeera correspondent in the United States.

Hostess: “The Israeli military is launching air strikes in the Gaza Strip for now, the third day in a row. This crater here was created by one of those attacks. Check that out. The Army is targeting Hamas targets and officials say the strikes are in response to rocket attacks on Israeli territory. At least six people have been injured since those air strikes began. No deaths have been reported. Meanwhile, Israeli and American Jewish groups are denouncing a measure by the U.S. Presbyterian Church. Late Friday the Church voted to pull $70 million from three American companies who are working in Israel. Al-Jazeera's John Hendren reports that the group says the businesses are supporting an unjust occupation of Palestinians.“
 
Note: What, if anything, does a brief mention of Israeli counter-strikes against Palestinian terrorism from the Gaza Strip have to do with the rest of the segment, a report about an anti-Israeli action by the Presbyterian Church of the United States? Al-Jazeera America implies a link by using the former item as a lead to the latter, but does not substantiate one. The reference to pulling $70 million in investments from three U.S. firms appears to be erroneous; most coverage put the figure at $21 million (see, for example, "Presbyterians' divestment vote tests church's ties with Jews," The Washington Post, June 22, 2014).
 
Presbyterian (USA) speaker at meeting: “The vote passes by 51 percent to 49 percent.”

Correspondent: “It was a vote heard halfway around the world in Israel. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to divest from three American companies accused of profiting from Israel's occupation of Palestine land. The decision means the church will pull its investments from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola for what church officials call ‘efforts to sustain Israeli human rights abuses.' It was a controversial move inside the Church.”

Anti-divestment spokesman at meeting: “It misses the mark in so far as a solution. It really just adds fuel to the extreme positions on either side.”

Pro-divestment spokesman at meeting: “We need to divest because it was by divestment that we were able to break the apartheid thing in South Africa. And I think money talks, and I think that there are times when injustice is going on that we need to divest the Church and take a moral stance to right injustice.”
 
Note: Missing from this Al-Jazeera America report were mainstream Jewish sources pointing to the hypocrisy and religious bigotry underlying the Presbyterian General Assembly's 310 - 303 divestment vote. For example, "the American Jewish Committee, a policy and advocacy group based in New York, said the vote was 'driven by hatred of Israel'" ("As a protest against Israel, Presbyterians vote to divest; By a narrow margin, church decides to sell stock in 3 companies," The Washington Post, June 21).

Correspondent: “The Church's debate drew in groups from outside, including Jewish groups against divestment wearing signs, ‘Love us, don't leave us' T-shirts.”

Sam Woll: “We need to meet people where they are, and not at a place where we are demonizing them if we want to be partners for peace.”

Correspondent: “Others came in church with signs such as ‘Another Jew for divestment.'”

Woman: “It's caused difficulties in our family, we Jews like to say two Jews, three opinions. That's true on every issue and most certainly on Israel-Palestine.'”

Correspondent: “In a statement Caterpillar said, ‘We believe it is appropriate for such a resolution to be reached through political and diplomatic channels.' Hewlett- Packard said, ‘Respecting human rights is a core value embedded in the way we do business.”

Correspondent: “The vote declares the Church strongly on one side of the most stubborn debate in the Middle East. Its proponents say Israel will be pressured to come to the table with Palestinians. A day earlier, the Church reversed its position on gay marriage, voting to redefine marriage so as to allow ministers to perform same-sex marriages. It's a vote that still needs to be ratified by a majority of Presbyterian churches, proving that this is not the starchy Scottish-American church of yesteryear. John Hendren, Al-Jazeera, Detroit.”

Hostess: “This is not the first time an American church has used divestment to protest Israeli policies. In fact, the Mennonite Central Committee and the Quakers both sold stock in some companies that do business with Israel. Then just last week, the pension board of the United Methodist Church says it sold its stock in a company that contracts with Israeli prisons.”

NOTE: Also missing from this report was any sense of the actual human rights situation in Israel, the disputed territories and larger Middle East. Al-Jazeera America's report lacked context like that provided by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the vote "disgraceful." He challenged the Presbyterian leadership: "You come to Israel, and you see the one [Middle Eastern] democracy that upholds basic human rights, that guards the rights of all minorities, that protects Christians" ("Netanyahu slams Presbyterians on divestment vote; Church to disassociate with companies aiding Israel army," The Washington Times, June 23). Al-Jazeera's American viewers hardly received the full picture.

June 20, 2014 – 9:11 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America 9 AM News Hour report.

Similar propagandistic report as the June 19 entry at 6:13 PM Eastern. Not even a pretense of balanced coverage from Al-Jazeera. This is not surprising considering the fact that the network's owner/operator, the government of the Arab nation of Qatar, is a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood spawned the terrorist Palestinian Hamas movement, the Gaza Strip rulers who are sworn to Israel's destruction.

Hostess: (Name unknown) from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Correspondent: Charles Stratford.

Hostess: “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Israel is using the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers as a pretext to punish the Palestinians. Israeli soldiers have killed a Palestine boy in the occupied West Bank. He's the second Palestinian to be killed in a week. The three Israeli teenagers went missing a week ago in the area of … settlements. Israel is accusing Hamas of kidnapping them. Friday marks the third day of consecutive air strikes on the Gaza Strip by Israel. Al-Jazeera's Charles Stratford is in Gaza where Hamas has been holding demonstrations.”

Stratford: “We are in Gaza where Hamas is holding demonstrations. This is being held by the Hamas. They are in full support of those Palestinian men arrested by Israel in the occupied West Bank over the past few days. There's a lot of anger here and calls by Hamas for Palestinians to give their lives to free the prisoners. They have neither admitted nor denied the disappearance of the three settlers. During Friday prayers a few moments before …there was a lot of criticism of the [Palestinian Authority] President, Mahmoud Abbas, [who recently entered a 'unity government' with Hamas,] for his perceived cooperation with the Israeli security forces in looking for these disappeared settlers [three teenagers].”

June 20, 2014 – 2:37 PM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America 2 PM News Hour report.

Hostess: Lauren Taylor from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Correspondent: Jane Ferguson.

Typically, Al-Jazeera collaborates with the Palestinian propaganda machine. Here again, as noted above, is the nearly inevitable one-sided report vilifying only the Israelis. This includes use of the mantra-like phrase “occupied West Bank” with “occupied” becoming virtually a prefix accompanying “West Bank.” The myth of “occupation” is explained above and in the Note for the June 15 entry for 2:18 PM.

Hostess: “A teenage boy has been shot dead by the Israeli army during a raid related to the search for three missing youths. Hundreds of Palestinians have been arrested. Jane Ferguson reports from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.”

Ferguson: “It is one of the biggest Israeli military operations in the occupied West Bank in recent years. Hundreds of Palestinians have been arrested and over 1,000 homes searched. A 15-year-old Palestinian was killed in confrontations with the Israeli Army on Thursday night. His devastated mother attended the funeral on Friday. Several other Palestinians were also critically injured. Three Israeli youth went missing on Thursday, in an illegal settlement in the West Bank last Thursday, triggering a huge search operation. The Palestinian prime minister says it's punishment.”

Ferguson asserts, without attribution, that the apparently kidnapped teenagers – whose names and ages she does not report – were from an "illegal settlement." Nearly all the approximately 120 Jewish communities in the West Bank, except outposts not authorized by the Israeli government, are legal. The San Remo Treaty (1920), League of Nations Palestine Mandate, Article 6, (1922) Anglo-American Convention, (1924), U.N. Charter, Chapter XII, Article 80, (1945) anticipate or encourage Jewish settlement west of the Jordan River. The missing yeshiva students, whom Al-Jazeera America should have identified, are Eyal Yifrah, 19, from Elad, Gil-Ad Shaer, 16, from Talmon and Naftali Frenkel, 16, from Nof Ayalon. Frenkel holds dual Israeli-U.S. citizenship.

Rami Hamdallah (Palestinian prime minister, translated): “We have discussed all of the issues, the issues of collective punishment that we are being subjected to, and started to deal with it. We have begun making several international calls to all international human rights groups to demand the lifting of this siege of the entire nation.”

Ferguson: “Israel says the Palestinian group Hamas has abducted the teenagers. Hamas united with the Palestinian government, Fatah, earlier this month. The move was heavily criticized by Israel which considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization. The recent raids have focused on arresting Hamas members.”

Ferguson fails to note that it's not just Israel that considers Hamas as a terrorist organization, but it's also the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

Ali Jerbawi (journalist): “I think that they are using this kidnapping as a pretext to do so, basically. They don't want Hamas in this unity government.”

Ferguson: “But the Israelis are adamant that Hamas in the occupied West Bank is a threat that needs to be crushed.”

Mark Regev (Israeli government spokesman): “Currently we're acting against the Hamas machine. Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization that targets all Israeli civilians – men, women, and as we have seen, children. So in acting against Hamas, we are protecting our people from this very real terrorist threat.”

Ferguson: “Beyond the violence and political fallout, there has still been no break through in the hunt for the three missing three Israelis. That search will continue in an atmosphere of extreme tension and finger pointing. Jane Ferguson, Al-Jazeera, Ramallah, the occupied West Bank.”

Hostess: “Israel has carried another air strike targeting fighters in the Gaza Strip. It's the third consecutive day that the strikes are taking place … in response to rockets fired at Israel. No casualties were reported but they left a large crater and damaged a warehouse.”
 
NOTE: Israel did not target "fighters." It targeted terrorists who fired rockets at Israeli non-combatants, a war crime under international law. Journalism, whether in print or on satellite television networks, requires precise use of words to accurately describe newsworthy events.

June 20, 2014 – 8:38 PM Eastern

Al-Jazzera America News Hour at 8 PM.

Host: David Shuster (formerly of MSNBC and Fox News Channel).

Guest: Chemi Shalev, U.S. editor and correspondent for the Haaretz newspaper (Hebrew and English) of Israel. Note: Shalev represents a newspaper which has published numerous inaccurate and unfair Israel-bashing reports, many of which have cited and corrected by CAMERA.

Shuster: “Chemi Shalev is the U.S. editor and correspondent for the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz. He joins us now. In your column today, you call for prayers not only for the safety of the three boys [kidnapped teenagers] but for the sanity of Israeli society. What did you mean by that?”

Shalev: “Well, I mean that this has put a very big strain on Israeli society. It's caused on the one hand for the society to be unified and worried about these kids or teenagers but it's also given rise -- and what I'm saying in the column is I'm suspecting that in the future it will sort of exacerbate a feeling of insularity and isolation and intolerance that has permeated Israeli society for the past decade, I think.”

Shuster: “If that intolerance continues to ratchet higher, how do you see that playing out in terms of the conflict?”

Shalev: “I'm talking in my column more about things that have to do with inside Israel not so much towards the outside world or even towards the Palestinians. I think Israelis already have a problematic attitude towards Palestine and vice versa. But Israelis are becoming less and less tolerant of internal dissent. There are manifestations of extremism on the right, which I think are worrying. So is it's more an internal thing that I'm talking about.”

Shuster: “There have been mass protests against the Israeli military operations in trying to search for information. Are those protests justified? Are those grievances justified?”

Shalev: “You mean the Palestinian protests?”

Shuster: “Yes.”

Shalev: “Well look, this is an adversarial relationship. There is an occupation, a military occupation. Most of the people in the West Bank don't want the occupation. So naturally once this operation has been going on for a few days and thousands I think or maybe at least hundreds of houses have been raided, there's a lot of tension. And I think both Hamas and other elements in the West Bank have an interest in showing that there is opposition to Israeli troops. So it is a natural outgrowth of the situation. And I suspect that the longer this will go on we may see even more widespread demonstrations.”

Shuster: “How has the operation been viewed by your readers -- the members of the Israeli public?”

Shalev: “Well, the Israeli public is unified for the time being behind the operation. They support not only the search for the three kidnapped teenagers but more so the government has made no secret of its intention to use this also as an opportunity to strike at Hamas, which they hold responsible for the kidnapping. I think you would see that 80 or 90 percent of Israelis have support for that as well. But that might not hold out the longer this operation goes on. If there are casualties and so on I think you'll see some of this unified position start to unravel. But for the time being I think that most of the public supports this operation.”

Shuster: “Given that frustration that you mentioned that it's been building and it's been simmering. Is it only a matter of time before there's some incident that the Netanyahu government could say okay, now we can use this sentiment to execute some of what we have been feeling about Hamas all along?”

Shalev: “There is no doubt, and nobody is making a secret of it that the Army and security forces were primed to strike out at Hamas and yes this presented them with a pretext to carry out. And also don't forget there's this whole political battle going on in which Israel felt itself isolated internationally, because of its opposition to the new [Fatah-Hamas Palestinian] unity government especially vis-a-vis the United States which agreed to keep on working with the new unity government [despite previous pledges that it would not cooperate with a Palestinian Authority administration that included terrorists organizations such as Hamas]. There are three, actually, targets for this operation right now: to find the missing teenagers, to have a security strike – a physical strike against Hamas – but also, to try to unravel the coalition between Fatah's Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas and I think that might indeed happen.”

Shuster: “Chemi Shalev, thanks for coming in. We appreciate it.”

Shalev: “Thank you.”

June 20, 2014 – 9:14 PM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America program “America Tonight.”

Al-Jazeera America unbalanced report on the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers.

Hostess: Joey Chen, formerly of CNN.

Correspondent: Jane Ferguson.

Hostess: “A new crisis in the Middle East spurred by the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers. Their disappearance launched a tough crackdown by the Israeli Army. The biggest military operation in the West Bank in a decade and now a fierce blow-back as Palestinians retaliate. The teenagers were hitchhiking late at night on their way home from school when they were taken. Traveling through the occupied West Bank, they were last seen getting into a car. Within ten minutes one of them apparently called the police whispering, ‘I've been kidnapped.' But authorities thought it was a crank call and didn't begin a search for hours until the boys' worried parents called for help.”

Israeli resident (translated): “When we heard the news the community felt like this is our child and everybody, even if they don't know him, he is connected to us. Everybody's confused. It's difficult for them. We're all waiting for answers, like the parents.”

Hostess: “The kidnapping very quickly inspired a social media campaign. On Twitter, the hashtag ‘Bring back our boys,' like the ‘Bring back our girls' campaign for the missing Nigerian school girls. While Israeli leaders took a sharper tone. Without providing any evidence, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made clear who Israel holds responsible.”

Netanyahu: “They were kidnapped by Hamas. We have no doubt about that. It is absolutely certain. Hamas has repeatedly called for the kidnap and murder of Israeli citizens.”

Hostess: “Hamas hasn't claimed responsibility but it hasn't condemned the kidnapping either.”

Hamas spokesman Amir Abu Zuhri (translated): “Netanyahu's statements are stupid. They are meant as part of a secret service war. Israelis are completely responsible for the escalation against our people and against the Palestinian leadership including the large scale detentions and harassments of Hamas members including parliamentarians in the occupied West Bank.”

Hostess: “Israelis launched a widespread crackdown as they search, arresting several hundred Palestinians and raiding houses, raising anger in the West Bank.”

Palestinian (translated): “I was handcuffed and thrown outside with my family for hours. When we came back in, the house was a mess. It was trashed.”

Hostess: “Tensions rose in the streets as the crack down led to a death of a Palestinian teen in the West Bank while the families of the missing boys waited desperately for news.”

Note: How did the crack down lead to the death of a Palestinian teenager in the West Bank? Al-Jazeera America does not say. Could it be that he was obstructing the Israeli search for the missing teenagers and, like other Palestinian fatalities, had attempted to use an improvised explosive device (IED)? This has been reported, for example, here.

Itael Frankel (mother of Israeli teen kidnapped): “We're all in shock. I'm still in shock. Like it hits me again and again and again like it's unbelievable. A kid coming back from school and he's gone. It's like unbelievable, the cruelty, I'm still in shock over and over again.”

Hostess: “The kidnapping comes just after long time rivals Hamas and Fatah come together to form a union. From the West Bank now, Al- Jazeera's Jane Ferguson tells us this crisis poses a first test for the new union.”

Ferguson: “The issue of the three missing Israeli teenagers has already had a ripple across the Palestinian political landscape. Just this Friday, Fatah and Hamas joined in a unity government. That was a move the Israelis strongly criticize. They still see Hamas as a terrorist organization and they criticized Fatah and its leadership including the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas for joining with Hamas. It always would be challenging in keeping the unity government together, but this issue is the greatest challenge yet. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that he's cooperating fully with the Israelis and Palestinian security forces are helping in the search for the three missing teens. That has drawn some criticism from Hamas who says that anybody who criticizes what they call the resistance is harming Palestine and harming the Palestinians. So, the two groups are not necessarily name-calling at this point but tensions are clear. All the while, the Israelis maintain they believe Hamas took the three teenagers. The most significant military operation for many years in the West Bank is focusing on Hamas.”
 
Note: Why does Israel continue to see Hamas as a terrorist organization? Could it be because it calls for violence against Israeli civilians and Jewish everywhere, refuses – even in joining the unity government – to renounce terrorism, accept Israel's legitimacy and agree to uphold previous Israeli-Arab agreements, as required by the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia to join negotiations? Correspondent Ferguson does not tell viewers.

Hostess: “Jane Ferguson reporting for us from the West Bank. We'll continue to watch on that.”

June 19, 2014 – 6:13 PM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America 6:00 PM News Hour report.

Typically, Al-Jazeera collaborates functionally with the Palestinian propaganda machine. There is not even a pretense of balance. As here in the story of the three kidnapped Israeli teens, the Israeli perspective is omitted. The side portrayed negatively is always the Israeli side, never the Palestinian Arab side.

Host: Tony Harris (formerly of CNN) from Al-Jazeera America headquarters in New York City.

Correspondent: Charles Stratford.

Host: “Israel's search for three teenagers missing on the West Bank turned violent today. Israeli soldiers clashed with hundreds of Palestinians during an arrest raid in the West Bank city of Jenin. The Israeli military says about 30 people were arrested, about 280 Palestinians including 200 members of Hamas have been detained in recent days. Israel accuses Hamas of abducting the teens. Some people in Gaza are saying the arrests are aimed at dividing the newly formed Palestinian unity government. Al-Jazeera's Charles Stratford is there.”

Stratford: “But these children, whose parents like a majority of people in Gaza, say Hamas represents the future of Palestine … that forms part of a unity government, which Israel seems out to destroy. This majority, the Palestinian youth here, was organized by Hamas, to show unity with their members whose have been arrested by Israel in the West Bank. Now, there are politicians here in Gaza that say that unless the international community does more, then the future of the unity government is in serious jeopardy. Israel's sweeping arrests on the West Bank as part of its search for three Israeli teenagers have annoyed members of that unity government. But they seem powerless to do anything about it.”

Hamas official: “To be honest, I don't know where their mind is. We are a unity government from the whole Palestinian people. We just came in this position to serve our people…”

Stratford: “Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the disappearance of the missing settlers, and has called for restraint among the Palestinian fractions. But the Israeli government said his words must be evaluated according to the Palestinian Authorities' efforts to find the teenagers. His real test is the dismantling of the reconciliation agreement with Hamas.”
 
Stafford's unattributed assertion, "His [Abbas'] real test is the dismantling of the reconciliation agreement with Hamas" is editorizing in the guise of reporting.

Palestinian spokesman: “It's obvious that that the Israelis are not interested in any kind of Palestinian reconciliation. So such aggression on the Palestinians in Gaza, on Wednesday night, is to stop reconciliation.”

Stratford: “Hamas has neither denied nor claimed responsibility for the disappearances but it can only take what it describes as ‘Israel's aggression' for so long. On Wednesday night, two rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel. There were with no casualties; no one claimed responsibility. Israel responded with air strikes against Hamas and the armed group Islamic Jihad's training grounds. No one was hurt. Gaza is bracing for a possible escalation of Israeli attacks. There are fears of fuel shortages if Israel closes the Gaza border again as it did last week. But there are no visible signs of tension on the streets. After years of failed peace talk initiatives, the international community has told Israel to give a chance to Palestinian reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. It's been just over two weeks since the Palestinian unity government was formed. As Hamas rallies support in Gaza and Israel continues its arrests in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian unity and any future break through in peace talks seems as remote as ever. Charles Sratford, Al-Jazeera, Gaza.”
 
NOTE: Stafford gives legitimacy, perhaps inadvertently, to Hamas' self-serving chronological inversion. Israel's air strikes into the Gaza Strip followed terrorist rocket fire, not the other way around as in Hamas' disinformation about "Israel's aggression." What may make "any future breakthrough in peace talks remote as ever" may not be Israeli arrests and Hamas rallying support, but the popularity of the kidnappings in the first place among Palestinian Arabs, as suggested by their taunting of Israelis with a "three-fingered salute," each finger meant to remind viewers of one of the kidnapped youths. But Stafford's superficial rendering of the situation prevents him from digging beneath Palestinian imputations of victimhood.

June 15, 2014 – 2:18 PM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America report during 2:00 PM News Hour (many similar reports).

Hostess: (Name unknown) from Al-Jazeera English headquarters, Doha, Qatar.

Correspondent: Jane Ferguson.

Hostess: "The Israeli army is searching door to door in Hebron city as it looks for three missing teenagers. The teens were allegedly abducted while hitchhiking in the West Bank last Thursday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is blaming the disappearance on Hamas members who control the Gaza Strip. From Ramallah. Jane Ferguson has more."

Correspondent Ferguson: "The Israeli army has all but locked down Hebron city. In the ‘occupied' West Bank tense door to door searches and roadside checkpoints seem to be non-stop hunting for three missing Israeli teenagers. They were last seen hitchhiking near an illegal settlement where they lived and are now presumed to have been kidnaped. It's a painful shock for settlers in the area."

[Ferguson states a falsehood. None of the three communities are illegal. The three kidnaped teens are identified as Eyal Yifrah, 19, from Elad, Gil-Ad Shaer, 16, from Talmon and Naftali Frenkel, 16, from Nof Ayalon.]

Elad resident (translated): "When we heard the news, the community felt like this is our child. Everybody, even if they don't know him – he is connected to us – everybody is confused. It's difficult for them. We're all waiting for answers like the parents."

Ferguson: "The government in Israel accuses the Palestinian group Hamas of taking the young men. The group, which controls the Gaza strip, is considered by Israel to be a terrorist organization. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says all military options will be considered."

Ferguson has another problem with the truth here – she fails to note that its not just Israel that considers Hamas as a terrorist organization, it's also the United States, several European countries and other countries.

Netanyahu: "Israel will act, as always under our province and always under our control, to bring home the three kidnaped teenagers. Israel will act against the kidnappers and their terrorist sponsors and comrades. We will do whatever needs to be done to protect our people, our citizens, our children, and our teenagers from the scourge of terrorism."

Ferguson: "Hamas dismissed the accusations."

Sami Abu Zuhri (Hamas spokesman translated): "Netanyahu's statements are stupid. They are meant as part of a secret service war. Israel is fully responsible for the escalation against our people and against the Palestinian leadership including the large-scale detentions and arrest of Hamas members in the occupied West Bank."

Ferguson: "Whoever did take the three teenagers has not yet come forward or issued any demands. It's not clear if they're dead or alive or where they are being held. That information will determine what the Israeli military will do next to get them back. Jane Ferguson, Al-Jazeera, Ramallah, the ‘occupied' West Bank"

NOTE: Like a mantra – Al-Jazeera always prefixes "West Bank" with "occupied.." This is another instance of the network's adherence to the narrative of the Palestinian propaganda machine. The phrase "occupied West Bank" is typically used by the machine's adherents, such as Al-Jazeera, to mendaciously imply that Israel is occupying the land of another country. The facts are these: In the West Bank, Israel is the legal military occupational authority, pending a negotiated settlement. That's because it gained the territories in the 1967 Six-Day War, a war of self-defen se. 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.

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.

June 12, 2014 – 4:42 PM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America 25-second news brief (repeated at 6:39 PM).

Host: David Shuster (formerly of MSNBC and Fox News Channel).

Host: “And in the ‘occupied' West Bank two human rights groups say a preliminary autopsy report shows Israeli soldiers killed two Palestinian teenagers with live ammunition. The video showing soldiers firing on the unarmed 17-year-olds made headlines across the globe. Israel's military had said security forces used rubber bullets, a common tool used for crowd control.”

NOTE: Except for Al-Jazeera America, the news networks have so far avoided (possibly waiting for further verification) dealing with this item that presumably refers to the Human Rights Watch group June 9 announcement that an alleged autopsy report by Palestinians showed that live ammunition was used in the May 14 deaths of .two Palestinian protesters. But HRW is a prolific Israel basher and is an unreliable source. So persistent is HRW's bias against Israel that the group's founder, Robert Bernstein, felt compelled to write several commentaries admonishing the organization for its unfair treatment of Israel. In an article published in The New York Times on Oct. 19, 2009, Bernstein repudiated HRW's anti-Israel activities.

Israeli forces have been accused of intentionally killing two young Palestinian rock throwers on May 14 but there's cause for skepticism in these incidents since there's a history of rigged such events. The Israeli military's tactics countering rock-throwers (using potentially lethal weapons) consists of firing only rubber-coated bullets, essentially ball bearings with a thin coating of rubber designed to hurt, but not penetrate. A CAMERA report  dealing with the Nouwaran case, casts doubt on the veracity of the latest allegations: "One Israeli ballistics expert [Yosef Yekutiel] … stated that if the bullet actually went through the victim's body the way Palestinian doctors say it did, it would look entirely differently from the one displayed by the boy's father. This bullet, if it did what the doctor claims, passed through the chest, came out through the body hit the backpack and passed through several books – this bullet didn't do that. Everyone who understands bullets, knows that the moment it passes through the chest, the torso and hits some sort of bone, it ends up with a distortion. The moment it enters and hits the papers of the books it is expected to be crushed in the front section in a very prominent manner."

The most notorious previous such event was the skillfully manipulated September 2000 case of Mohammed Al-Dura, the 12-year-old Palestinian boy, apparently killed in firing between Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian forces and blamed on the Israelis. But now more and more journalists have come to believe that the boy was most likely killed by Palestinian fire or that the entire episode was staged  by Palestinians: "Only 18 minutes of tape were shown in court, none of which showed Al Dura being killed. In fact, he is alive at the end of the tape without any sign of having been wounded. Witnesses who have previously seen over 20 minutes of raw footage say that two obviously staged scenes were cut."

Furthermore, the phrase “occupied West Bank” (Al-Jazeera always uses the prefix "occupied") is typically used by Palestinian propaganda machine adherents, such as Al-Jazeera, to mendaciously imply that Israel is occupying the land of another country. The facts are these: In the West Bank, Israel is the legal military occupational authority, pending a negotiated settlement. That's because it gained the territories in the 1967 Six-Day War, a war of self-defen se. 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.

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.

June 2, 2014 – 8:39 PM

Al-Jazeera America "America Tonight" news brief.

Host/anchor: John Seigenthaler, formerly a news anchor and correspondent for both NBC and MSNBC including eight-year tenure as weekend anchor for NBC Nightly News.

Host: "Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has sworn in a new unity government. The deal reconciles the rival Hamas and Fatah factions. The two have been governing Gaza and the West Bank separately since 2007. The new government is tasked with organizing new elections within six months. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had condemned the deal in part because Hamas has not recognized the state of Israel."

NOTE: Host Seigenthaler, failing to adequately characterize Hamas, misstates Israel's position by omitting the key fact that Israel condemned the deal because it unifies Fatah with Hamas, an anti-Israel terrorist organization (recognized as such by the United States and others) and accordingly, Israel cannot negotiate with the new Palestinian government since one of the partners is sworn to the destruction of Israel. A June 3 New York Times report stated Israel's position. It quoted the prime minister of Israel: "'Today, Abu Mazen said yes to terrorism and no to peace,' Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said in a statement, using Mr. Abbas's nickname. ‘The state of Israel will not conduct diplomatic negotiations with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of Israel.'"

Not coincidentally, Al-Jazeera America's owner/operator, the wealthy Islamic Arab nation of Qatar that pays Seigenthaler's salary, is a supporter of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood organization that spawned Hamas.

May 25, 2014 – 9:01 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America eleven-minute report during 9 AM News Hour.

Unsurprisingly, Al-Jazeera here collaborates with the Palestinian Arab propaganda machine in skillfully and cynically manipulating and propagandizing the pope's visit to the disputed territories. Examples: The Al-Jazeera host excitedly tells viewers, "Earlier, he [Pope Francis] referred directly to the ‘state of Palestine' [a misnomer] and reinforced that point by traveling straight to the occupied West Bank [a misnomer] from Jordan rather than going by Israel." The stop at the separation barrier was to a section that seemed to have been freshly painted with antisemitic, anti-Israel graffiti. Correspondent Atia Abawi converses at length with Xavier Abu Eid, a senior adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization, who, in an inversion of reality, accuses Israel of persecuting Christians while praising Palestinian Muslim-Christian unity. Eid has previously clearly demonstrated his capacity for estrangement from the truth.

Host: Martyn (last name unknown) from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Correspondent: Atia Abawi, Al-Jazeera English Middle East correspondent.

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

Host: “The separation wall that divides Israelis and Palestinians just got political. The trip was supposed to be purely religious for the pope but a surprise stop at the wall that separate in Bethlehem is a step into politics. He stood there for several minutes under an Israel watch tower staying a prayer. On the barrier, a scored message, ‘free Palestine.' Earlier, he referred directly to the ‘state of Palestine' and reinforced that point by traveling straight to the occupied West Bank from Jordan rather than going by Israel. Now, Pope Francis is inviting the Israeli and the Palestinian presidents to the Vatican.”

Pope Francis (translated): “The time has come for everyone to find the courage to be generous, and be creative in the service of the common good… the courage to forge a peace which rests on the acknowledgement of all of the right of two states to exist and to live in peace and security within internationally recognized borders.”

Host: “So, this is currently the scene then. Pope Francis there as you can see with a gathering of officials around him. He's just a couple of minutes ago left a refugee camp where he was meeting with Palestinian children and he spent quite a bit of time there. He's expected to go to Ben Gurion Airport. There you see him flanked by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president and shaking hands with other dignitaries. We are going to talk to our correspondent who has been following Pope Francis's trip throughout the Middle East so far, this is being the second day and let's talk to Atia Abawi. We'll talk to Nick Schifrin a little bit later who is in Israel. First of all, Atia, what are Palestinians making of this surprise stop at this wall, this hugely symbolic wall that separates the two communities?”

Abawi: “Well, Martyn, when he spoke to many Palestinians before the pope's trip, many of them wanted something like this to happen. They hoped for it. But they didn't necessarily expect it. But Pope Francis did make that unexpected stop at the separation barrier and not only did he make that stop, he made that stop and prayed at an area of the wall where it read, ‘Pope, we need someone to speak about justice,' and, in fact, he stayed there for around five minutes praying. In fact, we have the Palestinian spokesperson here for the state of Palestine, Xavier Abu Eid , who is there with the pope when he stepped out of his vehicle.”

Abawi: “Can you tell us what happened?”

Eid: “I think no one expected what the pope was going to do. We expected him to stop a little bit to look at the wall. The wall at that stage is where Bethlehem is divided from Jerusalem. This is the first time in 2000 years of Christianity that the Church of the Nativity and the Holy Sepulcher are divided ... not only for Palestinians but for Christians all over the world. We were never expecting that he would come out of his car and go actually and pray at this place.”

Abawi: “Did the Pope say anything to you? Did he make any comments to anyone when he stepped out of his vehicle?”

Eid: “He said that he knows what's happening here and then he just kept going to the wall. I think it was a message not only for the people that were there, not only for the Palestinian people. It's a message for the Palestinian Christians that we are here in thousands in Bethlehem. We have been encouraging people from all over Palestine and also Palestinian Christians from Israel to come here given the fact that the state of Israel has been closing the streets and would prevent Palestinian Christians from getting to see the pope in occupied Jerusalem. We have been asking everyone here, the pope could see that in the streets. He saw thousands of people in the streets, Christians and Muslims greeting the pope in the streets of Bethlehem.”

Abawi: “Personally as a Palestinian, what went through your mind when you saw the pope walking to the wall walking in front of your eyes, in fact, and praying and staying there for several minutes in fact?”

Eid: “It was one of the most beautiful examples of solidarity we have ever had from a great leader like the pope. They have the mora weight of the Church which is very important. It was for conservatives, and also those who are poor, not only poor moneywise but poor of justice as the Church talks about. I think this was a very good symbol. Not only at the wall which is something like eight kilometers inside occupied Palestinian territory at that moment. He was surrounded by refugees from either camp and were commemorating a few days ago, their exile. It was a show of solidarity not only for people of Bethlehem but for all of the Palestinian people.”

Abawi: “Tomorrow, he is spending the majority of his day inside of Israel, meeting with Israeli leaders. What do you hope the pope will do at those meetings; what you hope he will talk about?”

Eid: “I would like him to spend his time … Jerusalem. He has some meetings with Israeli officials in west Jerusalem. He is going to race what he was able to hear here in Bethlehem, not only from officials, but the lunch he had with five Palestinian Christian families that represents a variety of cases that we have from people that are going to lose their land to due to Israeli (indistinct). I think it's very important that the pope knows there is a fact here that Christians in the Holyland are Palestinians. They have suffered – as he said – the same as the rest of the Palestinian people. That's a very clear message now that the Israeli government claims it's protecting Christians in this region. If they want to protect Christians, the rights of the Palestinian people have to be honored starting by a free and sovereign estate.”

Abawi: “Thank you so much. “That's spokesperson for the state of Palestine, Javier Abu Eid.”

Host: “Thank you very much, indeed. Atia Abawi there with us.”

Host: “Now let's go over to the other side of the fence and talk to Nick Schifrin in Jerusalem. Nick, as the pope makes his way to you, is there any reaction first of all, from the Israelis as to that remarkable stop over, that hugely symbolic gesture that the pope made stopping at this separation wall between the Palestinians and Israelis?”

Schifrin: “There isn't any official response at all but I can tell you that the Vatican ambassador and Israeli ambassador to the Vatican said that Israel objected officially to the use of the ‘state of Palestine' on the pope's agenda and the reference by the pope to meeting the head of the ‘state of Palestine' head of state, Mahmoud Abbas. Israel did object to that but they say that the pope is our guest. We obviously will not tell him what to or what not to do. What they point out is that they feel like they are getting their own kind of sense of solidarity from the pope. The pope will go to Mount Herzl tomorrow.

That's something neither of his predecessors have done. And that's the tomb of the forefather of Israel. Israeli officials are pleased about that visit because they feel like the pope going to that, given the history between the Church and Herzl and given the symbolic nature of that tomb, is that he is endorsing their right to this land. What Israeli officials feel is that the pope is trying to balance both sides.”

Host: “Nick, can I ask you a bit more about this invitation that has come as something of a surprise as well, an invitation to Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, and also to the president of Israel not the prime minister. Interesting?”

Schifrin: “Yes, it is interesting. As you said earlier, the pope promised that this would not be a political … clearly he's changed his mind … However Mahmoud Abbas has always distinguished between his ability to talk to President Peres and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Abbas' aids talk about having more constructive dialogue. The aides are saying they look forward to this meeting much more than they look to any meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu.”

Host: “We are watching the live shot of the pope, Pope Francis in his military helicopter. Tell us a little bit about the next stop on this trip because it's so important for him – Isn't it – To retain a sense of balance so that both communities feel that they are not being snubbed.”

Schifrin: “It's absolutely about a sense of balance, and not only will the pope visit Mount Herzl, he will go to the Western Wall on the site where Jews believe is their most holy site. He will go to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum, that marks the millions of Jews killed in the Holocaust. He will also have the event that actually he came here to do. We are always talking about politics, especially because of what the pope has done, but he said and his aides say he is here for an event tonight about interfaith harmony not between Palestinians and Israelis but between orthodox Christians and Catholics. What he will do is meet the head of the orthodox church at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher about 500 feet or so to my right. What happened there is that Jesus is believed to have been crucified and resurrected. He will meet with the spiritual head of the orthodox church, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first meeting between the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches in 900 years. That ended the schism between the Churches. The pope will deliver a message of interfaith harmony, of interfaith discussion at that meeting and that is what he has said is the name reason for this trip and what he has been looking most forward to.”

Host: “Alright Nick, we are just looking at the live picture now of Pope Francis as he is taking off now, heading in your direction, and we will leave events in the Middle East for now and move on to other news.”

May 25, 2014 – 2:19 PM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America four-minute report during 2 PM News Hour.

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

Correspondent: Atia Abawi, Al-Jazeera English Middle East correspondent.

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

This report, much shorter than the 9:01 AM one above, is similar to it but with most of the propaganda omitted.

Host: “The trip was supposed to be purely religious for the pope but a surprise stop at the wall that separate in Bethlehem is a step into politics. He stood there for several minutes under an Israel watch tower staying a prayer. On the barrier, a scored message, ‘free Palestine.' Earlier, he referred directly to the ‘state of Palestine' and reinforced that point by traveling straight to the occupied West Bank from Jordan rather than going by Israel. Now, Pope Francis is inviting the Israeli and the Palestinian presidents to the Vatican.”

Pope Francis (translated): “The time has come for everyone to find the courage to be generous, and be creative in the service of the common good… the courage to forge a peace which rests on the acknowledgement of all of the right of two states to exist and to live in peace and security within internationally recognized borders.”

Host: “We'll be hearing from Nick Schifrin in Jerusalem in just a moment. But first in Bethlehem, we'll hear from Atia Abawi.”

Atawi: “Pope Francis spent his second day in the Holy Land in Bethlehem. He was choppered in by Jordanian helicopters to a crowd of cheering thousands in Manger Square. His first stop was to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. From there he got into the popemobile to make his way to Manger Square. But first he made an unexpected stop where he went up to the separation wall where he got out of his vehicle and went up to the wall and prayed for five minutes under a graffiti sign that read, ‘Pope, we need someone to speak about justice.' Although the pope has emphasized that his trip to the Holy Land was as a pilgrim, this act spoke louder than any words. He then made it back to manger Square where he had a two-hour nap. After the nap, he had lunch with five Palestinian families before heading to a refugee camp to meet with children there. Tonight he'll be heading out to Jerusalem where he will meet with the leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church Bartholomew In a sign of Christian unity. He will then have dinner at the Latin Patriarchate before calling it a night.”

Schifrin: “In Israel, Pope Francis will continue his attempt to strike a balance between all the sides while at the same time giving a nod to the narrative of the location he is in. In Israel and in Jerusalem, that means a few stops. One, Mount Herzl, the tomb of the forefather of Israel, what they call the forefather of Zionism. Israeli officials believe that is a very significant stop because neither of his two predecessors stopped there, and because they feel it's an endorsement of Israel's right to this land. He'll also visit the Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, and also visit President Shimon Peres' house here in Jerusalem. He'll go to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where it is believed that Jesus was crucified and resurrected, and he'll continue with his attempt at interfaith harmony and interfaith dialogue… Pope Francis is here to continue the quest for unity and meet the head of the Orthodox Church in the afternoon at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. He'll wrap up this visit tomorrow afternoon with a nod toward many things Israeli officials have asked him to do while at the same time try to strike a balance between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

May 23, 2014 – 6:14 PM Eastern

Host: Tony Harris (formerly of CNN).

Correspondent: Claudio Lavanga.

Host: “Pope Francis is about to embark on a trip to the Holy Land. It's a strictly religious trip but he will be walking a fine line. He is set to meet with leaders in Jordan and Israel and the Palestinian territories. It will mark a rare reunion of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. We have more from Rome from Claudio Lavanga.”

[…]

Lavanga: “Hate crimes against Christians have increased in Israel and the occupied territories, but Pope Francis has refused to travel in a bullet-proof car. Another indication that his trust in dialogue is stronger than his fear of hatred.”

[This Al-Jazeera misinformation grossly exaggerates anti-Christian activity in Israel in falsely equating it with major persecution faced by Christians at the hands of intolerant Muslims in the so-called “occupied territories” (actually disputed territories). Typically, Al-Jazeera is silent about the genuinely extremely serious problem of Arab Muslim persecution of Christians. Only in Israel, alone of Middle East countries, are Christians growing in number and afforded equal rights and safety.]

May 21, 2014 – 8:24 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America four-minute report during 8 AM News Hour (similar report aired at 1:07 PM).

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

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

Catholic Church official interviewed: Fouad Boutrous Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Catholic Church official interviewed: Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Auxiliary Bishop and Patriarchal Vicar for Israel.

Host: "Pope Francis is going to be in Israel on Sunday and in the lead up to that visit, we're looking at issues that are facing the region. Al-Jazeera's Nick Schifrin reports on why a lot of Christians in the Holy Land say they feel threatened."

[This is another Al-Jazeera loaded report grossly exaggerating and misstating alleged persecution of Christians in Israel. There is no mention of the genuinely extremely serious problem of Arab Muslim persecution of Christians. Only in Israel, alone of Middle East countries and territories, are Christians growing in number and afforded equal rights. Furthermore, there is good reason not to rely on the statements of some church leaders in the area.]

Schifrin: "In northern Israel, a Catholic parade thanks God for protecting the image of Virgin Mary. Today's it's these Christians who feel they need protection."

Patriarch Twal: "Whether Muslim, whether Jews, more and more we are afraid because they want a very dangerous escalation."

Schifrin: "That escalation is of hate crimes against Christians in Israel. In this Jerusalem church, the words ‘Jesus is garbage' was scrawled on the side wall. But in the Vatican Jerusalem headquarters, recent graffiti threatened death to Arabs and Christians and all those who hate Israel. In the town where Jesus is thought to have lived, the Catholic Church's top official got this letter."

Bishop Marcuzzo: "You have to leave the country because ..."

Schifrin: "Bishop Marcuzzo has lived here for more than a decade. Until now, the Italian priest never received a death threat or an ultimatum."

Bishop Marcuzzo: "… any delay could cost one hundred people killed among the Christians."

Schifrin: "He sent the letter to the police. He accuses them of doing nothing."

Bishop Marcuzzo: "Why the authority didn't pay attention to those people? Why now they don't take enough steps to stop it?"

Schifrin: "The Church believes the perpetrators are ultra-nationalist orthodox Jews. Outside the site believed to be King David's tomb and the Last Supper, they protest a rumor that it will be turned over to the Vatican."

Baruch Marzel: "… They'll start a war between Jews and Christians."

Schifrin: "Baruch Marzel is considered an extremist. He helped organize this rally and defends attacks on Christians, saying they often side with Palestinians."

Marzel: "The Christians are siding with the enemy, siding with people that want to kill Jews. They can't ask us why there is frustration against them."

Schifrin: "Israel police must protect everyone equally and they say they are trying to protect Christians."

Micky Rosenfeld, Israel Police foreign press spokesman: "Action is being taken in the past by police operations, as well as undercover operations, also a secret security service is involved. That's how seriously we are taking and dealing with those incidents."

Schifrin: "The Church believes this isn't only about police. The Holy Land top Catholic officials say some Israel schools teach hate, some Israeli politicians preach exclusion."

[Al-Jazeera typically offers no evidence for this uncorroborated anti-Israel accusation.]

Patriarch Twal: "I'm sure we have some members in government who may be agreed with this behavior."

[Another claim not backed up by evidence.]

Bishop Marcuzzo: "The presence of the Christians in the Holy Land could be threatened if there is no peace."

Schifrin: "As the pope arrives, some Christians living in what they consider the holiest place on Earth said they feel neither welcome nor protected. Nick Schifrin, Al-Jazeera, Nazareth."

Host: "The Christian population in the Holy Land has dwindled over the years now. It's about two percent of the region's population."

[Here, typically, Al-Jazeera demonstrates its not-so-hidden anti-Israel agenda by omitting an pertinent fact: Only in Israel, alone of Middle East countries/territories, are Christians growing in number and afforded equal rights and protected by law.]

NOTE: Israel, a modern Western style democracy like the United States, has failings much as the United States has. But Al-Jazeera does a journalistic disservice when it exaggerates here – leaning on statements by particular Catholic Church officials – the dangers posed by reprehensible yet isolated cases of graffiti drawings and threats apparently perpetrated by a small number of Israeli Jews. First, the statements can be taken with a grain of salt since Church officials are likely to be interested in appeasing the Palestinian Authority in order to reduce the extent of persecution suffered by Catholic communities at the hands of the Muslim dominated P.A. and Muslim gangs.

Church officials have good reason to fear Palestinian retribution against Catholic communities as they witness acts of persecution. For example, Christians are subject to land theft by Muslim gangs in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority, as well as Muslim violence and discrimination. A Daily Telegraph (London) Sept. 9, 2005 report by Harry de Quetteville summarized documented cases of this persecution: "Christians in the Holy Land have handed a dossier detailing incidents of violence and intimidation by Muslim extremists to Church leaders in Jerusalem, one of whom said it was time for Christians ‘to raise our voices against the sectarian violence.' The dossier includes 93 alleged incidents of abuse by an ‘Islamic fundamentalist mafia' against Palestinian Christians, who accused the Palestinian Authority of doing nothing to stop the attacks. The dossier also includes a list of 140 cases of apparent land theft, in which Christians in the West Bank were allegedly forced off their land by gangs backed by corrupt judicial officials." An example of this persecution is that suffered by the Bethlehem Baptist Church as reported by its pastor Naim Khoury.

With Hamas and Fatah (which runs the F.A.) now united, there is presumably great apprehension that West Bank Christians could be subjected to intense pressure to convert to Islam as has taken place in Hamas' Gaza Strip. Reuters reported in 2012: "Hundreds of Christians have staged protests in Gaza's main church in the past week, demanding the return of members of their community of 2,500, whom they said were kidnaped by Islamist proselytizers and forced to convert to Islam."

Furthermore, it's doubtful that the P.A. would hesitate to wreak vengeance on Christians when it exacts severe punishment on its own Muslim subjects for the act of selling land to Jews. In 1997, the Palestinian Authority announced that it would seek the death penalty for any Palestinian convicted of selling land to Jews. The actual death penalty is likely to be carried out surreptitiously after it becomes known that the PA is investigating the case. An example is in a New York Times report. The antisemitic racist law was reaffirmed  in 2010, "The sale of Palestinian land to Israelis is punishable by death, a Palestinian Authority court ruled on Sunday, in what Palestinian officials are saying is a necessary measure to ensure the founding of a future state."

May 21, 2014 – 9:23 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America three-minute report during 9 AM News Hour (similar report aired at 12:23 PM).

Host: Jane Dutton from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Reporter/correspondent: (Identity unknown).

Host: "Israel stands accused of unlawfully killing two Palestinian youths. The United Nations and the United States are both demanding an investigation into the shootings which were caught on video. A warning that some images in this report are disturbing."

[But there's considerable cause for skepticism regarding these incidents since there's a history of such events being staged by Palestinian Arabs and at least one of these current incidents – the Nouwarah one described here – is very suspicious. See NOTE below. The most notorious previous incident was the skillfully manipulated September 2000 case of Mohammed Al-Dura, the 12-year-old Palestinian boy, apparently killed during firing between Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian forces and blamed on the Israelis. Convinced by physical evidence, more and more journalists have come to believe that the Israelis were wrongfully blamed.]

Reporter: "This was a day of widespread anti-Israeli protests. Al-nakba day. It's the annual occasion marking the formation of the state of Israel and for the Palestinians it's a catastrophe. A short distance away security camera footage has emerged apparently showing two Palestinian teenagers shot and killed in two separate incidents. Witnesses say neither posed a direct threat to the Israeli soldiers who fired on them. A senior U.N. Official agrees."

[Oscar Fernandez-Taranco of Argentina, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.]

Taranco: "The U.N. calls for an independent and transparent investigation by the Israeli authorities into these two deaths and urges Israel to ensure that its security forces strictly adhere to the basic principles on the use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials."

Reporter: "From the U.S. State Department, a careful statement asking for additional information."

Jennifer Psaki, spokesperson for U.S. State Department: "We are closely following this incident and the video. We're seeking additional information from the government of Israel, so we certainly have been in touch. We look to the government of Israel to conduct a prompt and transparent investigation to determine the facts surrounding this incident including whether or not these forces were proportional to the threat posed by the demonstrators."

Reporter: "This is the video that triggered the outrage. In two cases a little over an hour apart, the two teenagers are shot within meters of each other. Witnesses scramble to their aid, but neither survive. Responses to the incident from Israeli and Palestinian officials were predictably poles apart."

Moshe Yaalon, Israeli Defense Minister (translated): "This was a situation where there was a threat to life so the policemen operated accordingly. As to that edited film that's spreading around, I've seen many edited films. I've not yet seen the clip but I'm familiar with the method."

[Riyad H. Mansour, a Palestinian-American diplomat, is the "Permanent Observer of Palestine" to the United Nations.]

Mansour: "The fact that the United States and the United Nations, among others, are asking for an investigation is proof that there is foul play and that there is an assassination by these Israeli soldiers against our young men."

[In this propagandistic statement accepted by Al-Jazeera – Israelis stand accused and convicted before the evidence is in. Al-Jazeera's not-so hidden agenda is evident again.]

Reporter: "With multiple ongoing investigations of a similar nature, there's little optimism of a resolution in the Palestinian territories. However, this is a rare case where the alleged incident was caught on camera."

NOTE: Israeli forces have been accused of intentionally killing two young Palestinian rock throwers on May 14 but there's cause for skepticism in these incidents since there's a history of rigged such events. The Israeli military's tactics countering rock-throwers (using potentially lethal weapons) consists of firing only rubber-coated bullets, essentially ball bearings with a thin coating of rubber designed to hurt, but not penetrate. A CAMERA report dealing with the Nouwaran case, casts doubt on the veracity of the latest allegations: "One Israeli ballistics expert [Yosef Yekutiel] … stated that if the bullet actually went through the victim's body the way Palestinian doctors say it did, it would look entirely differently from the one displayed by the boy's father. This bullet, if it did what the doctor claims, passed through the chest, came out through the body hit the backpack and passed through several books – this bullet didn't do that. Everyone who understands bullets, knows that the moment it passes through the chest, the torso and hits some sort of bone, it ends up with a distortion. The moment it enters and hits the papers of the books it is expected to be crushed in the front section in a very prominent manner."

The most notorious previous event was the skillfully manipulated September 2000 case of Mohammed Al-Dura, the 12-year-old Palestinian boy, apparently killed in firing between Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian forces and blamed on the Israelis. But now more and more journalists have come to believe that the boy was most likely killed by Palestinian fire or that the entire episode was staged  by Palestinians: "Only 18 minutes of tape were shown in court, none of which showed Al Dura being killed. In fact, he is alive at the end of the tape without any sign of having been wounded. Witnesses who have previously seen over 20 minutes of raw footage say that two obviously staged scenes were cut."

May 21, 2014 – 9:41 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America three-minute report during 9 AM News Hour.

Host: Jane Dutton from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Correspondent: Tom Ackerman, Al-Jazeera English reporter based in United States.

Host: "An anti-Islamic group in the U.S. is using public transport to spread its message of hate. Ads on buses are calling for the U.S. to end its support of all Muslim countries. Tom Ackerman has more."

Ackerman: "Twenty of Washington's buses are carrying this sign through the city's streets next month. The message? That the Muslim Koran prescribes hatred of Jews, together with a photo of Adolf Hitler meeting the Haj Amin al-Husseini, the late Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and an outspoken Nazi ally. The ad is sponsored by Pamela Geller, a high profile activist who has waged campaigns against the building of mosques in the U.S. She says Islam is a danger to America."

[Pamela Geller is an American blogger, author, political activist, and commentator. She is known primarily for her criticism of Islamism.]

Geller: "… there's a call for genocide by Muslims. It's in the Koran [Quran]."

[The Muslim holy book, the Koran (Quran), seems to contain instructions to kill those who reject Allah. For example: Quran (2:191-193) - "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief] is worse than killing... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone."]

Ackerman: "Geller says her ad which also demands ending aid to all Muslim countries was provoked by this one opposing U.S. aid to Israel. A pro-Palestinian group recently posted it on city buses. But Muslim civil right groups say Geller and her allies are not only distorting Islam but agitating for religious conflict."

[Al-Jazeera America presents the chief spokesman for a problematic self-proclaimed civil-rights-for-Muslims group, CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations.]

Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR spokesman: "The hate atmosphere that they generate leads to things like vandalism of mosques and discrimination against American Muslims. It harms our society. Hate is corrosive to any society. That's what Pamela Geller is promoting."

[It's not surprising that Al-Jazeera America here confers unjustified respectability on CAIR given its common ally (through Qatar) – the Muslim Brotherhood now outlawed in Egypt as a terrorist organization. But CAIR has been exposed  in trials and out-of-court settlements as: A Muslim Brotherhood spin-off; a group founded by Hamas members; unindicted co-conspirator in the country's largest terrorism funding case; an organization from which at least five former staff or lay leaders have been indicted, arrested or deported on weapons and terrorism-related charges; and a group with which the FBI ceased official cooperation.]

Ackerman: "The anti-Islamic ads have drawn disapproval but they enjoy protection under the U.S. Constitution's first amendment provision of freedom of speech. Washington's Transportation Authority tried to turn down a previous set of anti-Islamic ads by Geller's group, but a federal court ruled that as public property the buses could not be subject to political censorship. The Council on American Islamic Relations response to Geller's ads? Free copies of the Koran for anyone to examine its message for themselves. Tom Ackerman, Al- Jazeera, Washington."

May 21, 2014 – 12:23 PM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America three-minute report during 12:00 PM noon News Hour (same report aired at 9:24 AM, 2:20 PM, 4:48 PM, 6:23 PM).

Host: Stephen Cole from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

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

Cole: "The United Nations and the United States are both demanding an investigation into the shooting of two Palestinian teenagers. The separate incidents were recorded on video. Some viewers may find the images in Nick Schifrin's report disturbing."

[But there's considerable cause for skepticism regarding these incidents since there's a history of such events that were staged by Palestinian Arabs and at least one of these current incidents – the one described here – is very suspicious. See NOTE for the 9:23 AM entry above.]

Schifrin: "For Naheel Nouwarah, the day known as the catastrophe is no longer about how she lost her home when Israel was formed. Now it's the day she lost her son."

Naheel Nouwarah (translated): "Almost everything, everything, my baby."

Schifrin: "Nadeem Nouwarah was an athletic 17-year-old, his father Siam looks through his son's phone and sees a happy teenager he was proud of."

Siam Nouwarah (inaudible).

Schifrin: "What do you see in his face?"

Siam Nouwarah (translatated): "All the innocence. All the innocence. A child."

Schifrin: "On Thursday morning Nadeem went against his father's wishes and protested the nakba. The Palestinians marked the depopulation of villages of what is now Israel. Video taken by security cameras and released by two human rights organizations shows a quieter moment during the protest. That's Nadeem walking in from the left. He is shot. The hospital told Al-Jazeera he suffered a single fatal bullet wound. This is where Nadeem was shot. The Palestinian protesters were on this side, and the Israeli forces were about 300 meters back that way. Israeli military says it's still investigating what happened. They did do a preliminary investigation that it said reveals that the soldiers felt threatened and were using rubber bullets. They also questioned the veracity of the video"

Moshe Yaalon, Israeli Defense Minister (translated): "This was a situation where there was a threat to life so the policeman operated accordingly. As to that edited film that's spreading around, I've seen many edited films."

Schifrin: "The groups that released the pictures denied any manipulation."

[Ivan Karakashian is Advocacy Units Coordinator of Defense for Children International Palestine]

Karakashian: "The video clearly shows that the protestors posed no direct or immediate threat to life and that, we believe, constitutes an unlawful killing and it also violates the Israeli Army's own rules of engagement."

Schifrin: "Nadeem was wearing this backpack when he was shot. Siam says this is the bullet, live not rubber, that killed his son. The Israelis deny that. But the family insisted he posed no threat."

Naheel Nouwarah (translated): "I want the mother of the soldier who shot him to ask her son to bring my son back. Let him bring him back. I want my son back. But how? He is not coming back."

Schifrin: "She says when she saw the video, she felt she was the one shot. She won't watch it again as she waits for Israel's investigation and asks for justice. Nick Schifrin, Al-Jazeera, Ramallah."

May 18, 2014 – 6:45 PM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America three-minute report during 6 PM News Hour (same report was aired at 3:16 AM and 5:16 AM).

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

Correspondent: Atia Abawi, Al-Jazeera English Middle East correspondent.

Whatever the merits of the particular Palestinian/Israeli fringe group allegations against Israel contained in this report, it's revealing that the story has not been touched on by a mainstream media that is generally quick to report on incidents negatively depicting Israel.

Host: "Israel announced last month that it is confiscating nearly 7,000 acres of Palestine land. It's a move that raised concerns for many Palestine landowners in the West Bank. Now they are taking their cases to Israeli court. As Al-Jazeera's Atia Abawi reports, they claim that Jewish settlers are using fake documents to seize their land."

Abawi: "The illegal outposts of (indistinct) was home to fifty Israeli families before it was evacuated in 2012. Many of them have petitioned the court insisting they bought the land legally from Palestinians like this man's father, a claim denied."

Mohammed Yusef (Palestinian landowner) (translated): "They said the land was sold to a Palestinian middle man, that my father sold him the land. It's not true. They say they have my father's signature."

Abawi: "But he says his father couldn't possibly have signed it; the man was illiterate and on that day he was in no condition to sign anything because he was on his death bed. Palestinian government records still show the middle man doesn't not exist. This case is not the only one. This [other] sale from 2003 was declared a forgery by the Israeli courts because the Palestinian man that allegedly sold the land to the settlers died fifty years prior. But Israeli settlers insist they buy the land legally and that some Palestinians take the money but deny the sale later in order to save face and maybe even save their lives."

David Haivr (Israeli settler): "A big part of the issue and problem is that Palestinian land owners feel threatened in their own communities in a life-threatening situation where if they are found out to be selling land to Jewish people, they could be killed."

[In 1997, the Palestinian Authority announced that it would seek the death penalty for any Palestinian convicted of selling land to Jews. The actual death penalty is likely to be carried out surreptitiously after it becomes known that the PA is investigating the case. An example is in a report in the New York Times. The antisemitic racist law was reafirmed in 2010, "The sale of Palestinian land to Israelis is punishable by death, a Palestinian Authority court ruled on Sunday, in what Palestinian officials are saying is a necessary measure to ensure the founding of a future state."]

Abawi: "But an Israeli non-governmental organization (NGO) called ‘Yesh Din' says that is not true. It accuses Israeli settlers of using false documentation as a tactic, even if it means the truth is revealed later."

["Yesh Din" (Hebrew for "there is judgment"), a self-described human rights group, is an Israeli organization specializing in criticizing Israeli society and advocating for Palestinian Arabs.]

Yesh Din spokesperson Reut Mor: "You can see that it works. The claims, even though they are not clear, help them to have another six months, another year for that person not to be evacuated."

Abawi: "Which is what is happening now with at least five illegal structures currently sitting on his land. He said it's about more than just property, it's about family."

Yusef (translated): "It's an insult to the dead and the living, because the dead can't defend themselves."

Abawi: "He says that land and honor are the same and that he will not give up on either. Atia Abawi, Al-Jazeera, in the occupied West Bank."

NOTE: Al-Jazeera America continues apace with reports misreporting the Arab-Israel conflict. First, the prejudicial term "occupied West Bank" is a misnomer since the areas in question are at a minimum, disputed territories, not occupied, and Israel has a far greater claim to the areas legally, politically, historically and religiously than do the Arabs.

This completely one-sided report (except for a brief statement by David Haivr – seventeen seconds out of three minutes) negatively portrays Israeli residents of that portion of the ancient Jewish homeland west of the Jordan River. Moreover, the report understates the terroristic impact of the Palestinian racist law that severely punishes Arabs who sell land to Jews. Hypocritical Al-Jazeera would be quick to condemn, as it does in fact do in pactice, similar racist laws in the United States that appear to discriminate against, for example, Americans of color – or Hispanics near America's southern border.

Typically absent is historical context showing that Jewish communities thrived in the now disputed territories of the West Bank long before the first ever Arab settlers arrived there.

May 15, 2014 – 8:42 AM

Al-Jazeera America News Hour 8:00-9 AM Eastern. Four-minute report.

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

Host: Stephanie Sy (formerly ABC News' Asia correspondent based in Beijing, China).

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

This report is consistent with Al-Jazeera America's chronic misreporting of the Israeli-Arab conflict. It usually portrays Palestinian Arabs benignly while exploring angles that usually portray Israel negatively. Historical context too often is omitted. This is the case here in dealing with the so-called Palestinian "nakba" (catastrophe). In fact, the segment is not only one-sided but tendentiously so, distorting the historical record beyond recognition. (See endnotes.)

Nakba Day on May 15 is marked by Arab protests (including in recent years sometimes violent confrontations along Israel's frontiers). May 15, 1948, was the date that armies of five Arab countries began invading the new state of Israel, which declared its independence one day before, on May 14, 1948, in keeping with the U.N.'s 1947 partition plan for British Mandatory Palestine.

Start transcript:

Walters: "Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the first time since the Mideast peace talks collapsed last month. The two leaders are in London where Kerry discussed options to reopen those peace talks. Kerry is urging both sides to refrain from unhelpful steps. They also talked about the development of the Fatah/Hamas unity pact they created. Israel was outraged over that deal because it considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization."

Sy: "Today is the anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel but for Palestinians, the date is mourned for land lost during the war of 1948. Now, a Jewish Israeli is trying to bridge the gap between the two sides using history and a smartphone app. Al-Jazeera's Nick Schifrin shows us how."

[An app (short for application) is a software program designed to fulfill a narrow purpose. It is downloaded by the user to a touch-screen handheld mobile personal computer (usually a smartphone or tablet) that responds to fingers when touched.]

Schifrin: "What village are we looking for right now?"

[Schifrin brings in Eitan Bronstein, founder of an anti-Israel organization (Zochrot) established with the aim of "raising public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba" and "recognizing and materializing the right of return." The materialization of the "right of return" could mean the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people if, in fact, many of the estimated 50,000 or so Arab refugees remaining from 1948 and the several million who claim inherited refugee status "returned" to undermine or overthrow Israel's Jewish majority.]

[Scene: Schifrin and Bronstein walk among ruins.]

Schifrin: "What village are we looking for right now?"

Bronstein: (indistinct).

Schifrin: "(indistinct) he said. History's been erased. This used to be a house."

Bronstein: "Yeah. It used to be a schoolhouse."

Schifrin: "He's trying to reconstruct it one lost village at a time."

Bronstein: "The Palestinians took refuge somewhere else and the place – the lands are used by Israel."

Schifrin: "With the help of an app, Bronstein is trying to educate Israelis on Palestinian villages abandoned more than 60 years ago."

Schifrin: "So, after 1948 what happened?"

Bronstein: (indistinct).

Schifrin: "In 1948, Israel became a state. The Palestinians call what happened next, the "nakba" (catastrophe). 800,000 Palestinians became refugees. More than 400 Palestinian villages were depopulated. Each one is a pin in Bronstein's new app."

Bronstein: "It's our own history that brought this or created this reality in which the Palestinians are not here anymore."

Schifrin: "In three languages, the app reveals how and why the Palestinians left their homes including where we are today, Abu Kishk. 2200 Palestinians once lived here. 100 Studied in the school. Today, there are none."

Bronstein: "I just learned that one young woman [Haya Abu Kishk], is a young student studying at Tel Aviv University, her family is from here."

Haya Abu Kishk: (indistinct).

Schifrin: "Haya said she never saw the village where her parents grew up. She studied social work at Tel Aviv University, which is majority Jewish."

Kishk: "Some of them, they deny it and they just say that it was a land with no people."

Schifrin: "At a nakba rally, a sympathetic Israeli-Palestinian audience listened to her story. Behind them, Israeli protestors tried to drown the story out."

Female Israeli protester: "We won. Should I apologize for not being massacred? They planned a second Holocaust."

Male Israeli protester: "Until they actually recognize that and accept the Jewish state, there is nothing to talk about."

Schifrin: "You feel it is your goal to make the number of Israelis to talk about the Nakba to increase?"

Bronstein: "Yeah, to change the discourse in order to include real information about 1948 which includes the nakba."

Schifrin: "On the remains of what was once another Palestinian village, Israel built its largest cinema. Bronstein argues understanding history creates reconciliation."

Bronstein: "First to know the history and acknowledge our responsibility and then to see how to repair it."

Schifrin: "In this conflict, perhaps acknowledging the past can help solve the future. Nick Schifrin, Tel Aviv."

Sy: "Israel celebrated its Independence Day last week and also marked the end of the 1948 war."

NOTE: This Al-Jazeera America report, by serving as an uncritical mouthpiece for the anti-Israel group behind the "nakba" app and by its own glaring errors of omission, falsifies the historical record in many ways:

• It leaves out the fundamental fact that the Jewish leadership accepted the 1947 U.N. partition plan while the Palestinian Arabs and Arab countries rejected it. Even before the "nakba," Palestinian "irregulars" attacked Jewish communities, beginning in November, 1947, killing residents and destroying property. At the same time, many of the more affluent Arabs of what would become Israel began to emigrate on their own accord.

• When Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948 its leaders affirmed their willingness to live in peace with neighboring Arabs. But Arab leaders, such as Arab League Secretary-General Azzam Pasha, proclaimed, "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades" – May 15, 1948. The leader of the Palestinian Arabs, Haj Amin al-Husseini, grand mufti of Jerusalem, stated "I declare a holy war, my Moslem brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all!" The Jews, in Israel's 1948-1949 War of Independence, were fighting not only for their country, but for their very survival.

• Had the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab countries accepted the U.N. partition resolution, had they not waged a war of aggression against Israel in violation of the U.N. Charter, and had they not invaded Israel, there would not have been a single Palestinian Arab refugee. Hence, there would have been no "nakba," no catastrophe the Arabs imposed on themselves. Instead, there would have been a second Palestinian Arab state (side-by-side with Israel, in addition to Jordan, which occupies 77 percent of the original Palestine Mandate territory and includes a majority Palestinian Arab population.

• This Al-Jazeera America report fails to point out that most of the Arab villages highlighted by the "nakba" app were not destroyed by Israeli forces in 1948-'49 but rather abandoned by Arabs seeking to escape the fighting or who fled in response to calls from their leaders. As the Near East Broadcasting radio station (Cyprus) reported on April 3, 1949, "it must not be forgotten that the Arab Higher Committee encouraged the refugees' flight from their homes in Jaffa, Haifa and Jerusalem." In some instances, Arabs were forced from their homes by the Israeli military due to wartime exigencies. But in a number of instances, the Jewish leadership appealed for the Arabs to stay put. The surprise announcement by the Arab leadership of Haifa that "the Arab population wished to evacuate" was immediately followed by a tearful plea by the town's Jewish mayor, Shabtai Levy, for the leaders to reconsider. The British commander in Haifa, Maj.-Gen. Hugh Stockwell, emphatically insisted that the Arabs were making a mistake, and also urged them to change their decision, which reportedly came from the Arab Higher Committee in Beirut. The Haifa evacuation alone accounted for more than 20 percent of Arab refugees.

• Al-Jazeera inflates the number of Arab refugees to "800,000," U.N. officials on the scene at the time put the figure at 420,000. A higher number, around 650,000, comes from the difference in the Arab population of what became Israel between the last British and first Israeli censuses. Al-Jazeera omits part of the catastrophe Arab aggression at the time imposed on Jews in the Middle East. In addition to the more than 6,000 Jews killed in the war of Independence, one percent of the new country's population, more than 800,000 Jews fled or were expelled from Arab countries, leaving behind property estimated to have been worth several times that lost by Arab refugees. The Palestinian "nakba"/Jewish expulsion turns out to have resembled, though on a much smaller scale, the population exchanges and transfers involving Hindus and Muslim in India and Pakistan in 1948 and after, and ethnic Germans expelled from Poland and elsewhere after the Nazis' defeat in 1945.

Moreover, Arab refugees were invited to return. In an essay published in Commentary in May 2001, Ephraim Karsh discussed Israel's policy on Arab refugees: "In 1949, Israel offered to take back 100,000 Palestinian refugees; the Arab states refused. Nevertheless, some 50,000 refugees have returned over the decades under the terms of Israel's family reunification program, and another 75,000 who were displaced from the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 war have also returned to those territories."

Essentially, none of this essential information – which would suggest strongly that the Palestinian Arab "nakba" was self-imposed, that, contrary to Schifrin's main source, Bronstein of Zochrot, Israel has nothing to confront or remedy regarding the "nakba" but that Arab leadership has much to repent for regarding the causes and perpetuation of the "nakba" – is conveyed to viewers of Al-Jazeera America. The segment is much less journalism than it is agit-prop. It should remind viewers that the network's owner/operator is the petro-rich nation of Qatar, the foreign policy of which recently featured support for the more extremist Islamist groups fighting in Syria's civil war.

May 2, 2014 – 8:37 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America News Hour three-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: Stephanie Sy (formerly ABC News' Asia correspondent based in Beijing, China).

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

Host: “The West Bank city of Hebron has one of the largest populations of Palestinians after Gaza. The Israel military controls the city and put up multiple security checkpoints there. As Nick Schifrin reports, that's made clashes an almost daily routine.”

Schifrin (voiceover for video clip): “Ahmed Azza starts with the same worries as any 15-year-old. He's got to fix his hair just right. He's got to deal with a pesky little sister. He's got to remember all of his books, science, English. And perhaps most importantly, he has to say goodbye to his mother before he starts his walk. But that is where the similarities end. Ahmed lives on the outskirts of the West Bank's largest city. Hebron is 99 percent Palestinian but Israelis control security. Every morning, he passes Israeli soldiers who are allowed to question and even detain him. And then he walks into a second checkpoint and inside, a metal detector manned by another Israel soldier. The Israeli army say they protect Israeli settlers whose numbers are increasing.”

Schifrin: “What do you think of all this?”

Azza: “I wish they wouldn't stop me somehow, or maybe they arrest me.”

Schifrin (voiceover): “It's happened before. Last month at the same checkpoint he just went through. Ahmed, the tension between here is always high. Soldiers make them feel like they are nothing, he says. They see them like animals. For 20 years, this city has been tense and for 20 years, this city has been divided.”

Schifrin (voiceover): “This checkpoint was created in 1994 after an American Israeli settler walked into a mosque just a few blocks from here and massacred 29 Palestinians. The Israeli military divided the Israelis from the Palestinians, restricting the settlers but by restricting the Palestinians and creating this giant ghost town in a buffer zone where all of the Palestinian shops had to close. On this street, Israeli soldiers patrol. Local Palestinians are only allowed to walk up to a certain point.”

Note: Hebron is not only the largest Arab city on the West Bank, it may well be the most Islamist. Context not provided by Al-Jazeera America would note not only the murder of 29 Arabs by an American-Israeli in 1994 – an act almost universally condemned in Israel – but also the 1929 massacre of 67 Jews, some tortured and mutilated before being murdered and consequent expulsion of the survivors of Hebron's ancient Jewish community. It would also refer to repeated Arab terrorist attacks and murders, including the sniper killing of 10-month-old Shalhevet Pas in 2001 and, last month, the murder of Baruch Mizrachi and wounding of his pregnant wife just north of Hebron as they drove to a Passover seder. When it comes to coexistence with Jews, Arab Hebron has been "tense" for most of the past century. There is no "giant ghost town" in Hebron, but rather the closed Old City market, shuttered to help prevent attacks on the small, adjacent Jewish neighborhood reestablished after 1967.

Schifrin: “Have you been arrested three times?”

Azza: “Yeah, three times.”

Schifrin: “The divide has existed longer than Ahmed has been alive.”

Schifrin: “Have you ever talked to them?”

Azza: “No.”

Schifrin (voiceover): “Through the Palestinian part of town, Ahmed walks in freedom. When he grows up, he wants to be a professional soccer player. His back-up plan is to become a veterinarian.”

Schifrin: “What do you hope for the future?”

Azza: “To be free and to go out to see the world and come to go also to Jerusalem. Now, I can't. But I hope I can.”

Schifrin (voiceover): “After all of the check points and the tension, Ahmed arrives at his destination, his daily walk to school.”

Schifrin: “Nick Schifrin, Al-Jazeera, Hebron.”

Sy: “Hebron is home to some 250,000 Palestinians and about 700 Jewish settlers.”

NOTE: Historical context, omitted by Al-Jazeera America, would show that Hebron is one of Judaism's four holy cities (the others are Jerusalem, Safed, and Tiberias). In addition to the Cave of the Patriarchs, traditionally believed to contain the remains of the Jewish biblical matriarchs and patriarchs, there are several other sites holy to Jews in Hebron. With few interruptions, Hebron was inhabited since biblical times by Jews until the 1929 massacre.


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