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Media Analyses





Al-Jazeera America (AJAM) Watch for October – December 2014


November 26, 2014 – 10:35 a.m. Eastern

Al-Jazeera America 10 a.m. news hour typically included a biased anti-Israel report.

Host: Sami Zeidan from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Correspondent: Andrew Simmons covers Middle East for Al-Jazeera English. He's been with the network since 2005. Before this he worked for BBC and Britain's Sky News.

In a propaganda ploy, Simmons, like other Al-Jazeera Middle East correspondents, dutifully and habitually uses the “occupied” prefix (see below) as if it's an official part of the names, “(east) Jerusalem” and “West Bank.” Moreover, Simmons utters a complete untruth regarding Israeli citizenship for Palestinian Arabs residing in Jerusalem.

Host Zeidan: “Now Israel has revoked the residency of the widow of a Palestinian man involved in a synagogue attack last week. Five people were shot dead after the synagogue in west Jerusalem was attacked by two Palestinians. Ghassan and Udai Abu Jamal were killed by Israeli police during the incident. For more on this, Andrew Simmons is live for us now from west Jerusalem. Now Andrew, this latest move is probably not going to help Israeli's reputation with those human rights groups that accuse of it of collective punishment in incidents like this.”

Simmons: “That's right Sonny. This situation applies to Nadia Abu Jamal. She's the widow of Ghassan Abu Jamal, one of the two attackers in the synagogue attack just over a week ago. Now she, like all Palestinians living in occupied east Jerusalem does not have citizenship, but she has residency, which allows her access to benefits and social security and so on. That has been withdrawn. It means she has to leave. It means she will probably go to the occupied West Bank, and not only that, of course, there is also a demolition order on the family home, which the family is appealing against. It could go to the [Israeli] Supreme Court. But that's not clear as to how that will arise. This is described by human rights groups as collective punishment, and there is nothing she could do, it would appear in terms of this residency. She will have to leave the area.”

[Simmons utters a falsehood about Israeli citizenship.]

Host Zeidan: “Well, the prime minister did promise what he called a harsh response. What other measures are being considered now?”

Simmons: “Well, there's a range of legislation that's being prepared right now in the Knesset [Israel's national legislature] , and the primary one is this issue of demolishing houses, but also getting rid of residency has a profound effect on families as I just described. Not only that, there's now draft legislation to try to -- to actually deport anyone involved in anything to do with resistance like stone throwers for example. They will then be deported to Gaza. This is a measure that is going to go -- is going to be proposed. Not only that, also more measures against relatives, families who support attackers, and also a speedier process to demolish homes. Many in the security forces feel this is not necessarily a deterrent against attacks, but it would appear that Prime Minister Netenyahu is intent on pushing through with a whole raft of measures, which could, many people feel, make the situation worse. For now the things are still in a tense state in east Jerusalem -- occupied east Jerusalem, but there is some level -- some lull now, and some hope that people are gradually coming to some semblance of normality, but by no means is the situation safe in any area there right now.”

Host Zeidan: “All right. Andrew Simmons there.”

NOTE: Simmons utters a complete falsehood: “Now she [Nadia Abu Jamal], like all Palestinians living in occupied east Jerusalem does not have [Israeli] citizenship …” But Jerusalem Arabs can opt for full Israeli citizenship and in fact thousands have done so. The only obstacle is the fear of adverse consequences resulting from approbation and retribution from fellow Arabs who continue to cherish, well above quality-of-life issues, the hope of destroying the Jewish state.

About the loaded terms “occupation” and “occupied”: "Close Jewish settlement" on the land (now consisting of Israel, including all of Jerusalem, and the subsequently named “West Bank”) is called for under the basic international law in this case, the League of Nations Palestine Mandate, Article 6, and upheld by the U.N. Charter, Chapter XII, Article 80. These have never been revoked. Post-1967 Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, where Jews lived before the 1948 Jordanian conquest, and communities in the West Bank, widely known as Judea and Samaria prior to being renamed by Jordan in the 1950s, comprise less than 7 percent of the West Bank and are largely in addition to Jerusalem's 1967 boundaries, not at the expense of pre-existing Arab areas.

Israel is the obligatory and legal military occupational authority of the West Bank, having taken the territory from Jordanian occupation in self-defense in the 1967 Six-Day War. But the land is not "Palestinian." It is disputed. Hence the need for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations according to U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian interim agreement.

Israel, unlike its neighboring Arab societies, is a Western style democracy which means various groups can and do freely and effectively dispute various actions of government officials including appealing to a legitimate legal court system which adjudicates controversial decisions of both elected and non-elected officials and can overturn them.

November 26, 2014 – 2:20 p.m. Eastern

Al-Jazeera America 2 p.m. news hour typically included a biased anti-Israel report, repeating aspects of prior reports.

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

Correspondent: Andrew Simmons covers Middle East for Al-Jazeera English. He's been with the network since 2005. Before this he worked for BBC and Britain's Sky News.

In a propaganda ploy, Simmons, like other Al-Jazeera Middle East correspondents, dutifully and habitually uses the “occupied” (see above) prefix as if it's an official part of the names, “(east) Jerusalem” and “West Bank.”

Host Taylor: “Israel has revoked the residency of the widow of a Palestinian man involved in a synagogue attack last week. Five people were shot dead when a synagogue in west Jerusalem was attacked by two Palestinians. Ghassan and Udai Abu Jamal were killed by Israeli police during the incident. Andrew Simmons has more now from west Jerusalem.”

Simmons: “Like all Palestinians living in occupied east Jerusalem, Nadia Abu Jamal did not have Israeli citizenship but she did have residency and that's being robbed from her. It entitled her to welfare benefits [from Israel] including a whole host of payments [from Israel] and now she has to leave east Jerusalem. It's likely she'll go to the occupied West Bank. Well, not only that, she has lost her home. She's appealing against the demolition order on her home, and that is in process at the moment. A number of family members, a large committee involving lawyers, is campaigning against the measures that are being imposed. There and more and more measures like these going into draft bills and parliament now, an intent on the part of the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to crackdown on any aspect of attacks against Israelis and to punish those related to attackers, highly controversial because all human rights groups in the country and internationally, oppose these measures saying they are collective punishment.”

NOTE: Again, a complete falsehood is heard: “Now she [Nadia Abu Jamal], like all Palestinians living in occupied east Jerusalem does not have [Israeli] citizenship …” But Jerusalem Arabs can opt for full Israeli citizenship and in fact thousands have done so. The only obstacle is the fear of adverse consequences resulting from approbation and retribution from fellow Arabs who continue to cherish, well above quality-of-life issues, the hope of destroying the Jewish state.

November 12, 2014 – 7:02 AM

Al-Jazeera America's 7 AM news hour broadcast included a lengthy report on the “tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.” Characteristically, the report was unbalanced, blaming mostly the Israelis and ignoring, among other things, incendiary statements by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. This is not surprising since the network's owner/operator, the government of Qatar, is a major funder of Hamas, the terrorist Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement.

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

Correspondent: Nick Schifrin, Al-Jazeera America's Jerusalem bureau chief and formerly an ABC News reporter based in London.

Radford: “This morning, tensions between Israelis and Palestinians are escalating. Just overnight, a mosque near the West Bank town of Ramallah was set on fire. Palestinian officials blame Israeli settlers. A molotov cocktail was thrown at a synagogue. How concerned are officials on both sides? ”

Schifrin: “There's a real concern from officials on both sides that violence will increase. We've seen attacks on synagogues and mosques, but taken in the context of all the tension happening, all of the violence, there's a real fear here that those attacks are impossible to stop and increasingly incendiary. As far as the mosque fire is concerned, all that's left is a pile of ash. An overnight fire burned the books and gutted the mosque's first floor. The town mayor says he knows who did it -- Jewish settlers who live in the occupied West Bank.”

Schifrin (narrating video): "The fire damaged everything inside the mosque. If true, it is revenge for this attack. He goes after the people his car missed, this time with a knife. One victim, a 24-year-old [actually a 26-year-old Jewish woman who had survived a previous knife attack some years earlier]. These days there are a lot of victims, including the quiet, somber funeral of a soldier killed by a Palestinian. They chanted the Jewish prayer for the dead. In the last month, more Israelis have been killed by Palestinians than in the previous two years. On the same day, a Palestinian was killed by an Israel soldier. They chant for Palestinian unity and vow justice will prevail. This year, Israeli soldiers have killed a Palestinian protester in the West Bank every five days. It's not only the West Bank. In Israel, after television footage showed this Palestinian man banging on a police van with a knife, and they shot and killed him after he stepped away. For four straight days, protestors have thrown whatever they could at police. Israeli police aggressively repelled the protests [actually riots] with armored cars and on horseback. The always simmering tension is beginning to boil and there are few calls for calm. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows sticks, not carrots.”

Netanyahu: “We are determined to act in any possible way against the incitement, against the escalation, while at the same time, we will act decisively against perpetrators.”

Schifrin: For his part, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warns Israel is at risk of igniting a religious war if it continues to deny access to the Al-Aqsa mosque. Police closed access for the first time in a decade, but later restricted access to men above a certain age. That restriction as well as increased access of right wing Israelis to that site – they consider it the Temple Mount, their most holy site – that increased access is fueling the fire and underlying all the tension and violence we're seeing.

There has been no "increased access of right-wing Israelis" to Temple Mount, but rather, more vocal demands by many Israeli Jews, not all on the political or religious right, for religious equality on Temple Mount. Muslims routinely pray in large numbers at Al-Aqsa mosque, but the post-1967 status quo forbids Jewish prayer, even by individuals moving their lips but otherwise silent.

Radford: “Is the tension over the mosque part of that conversation today?”

Schifrin: “Not only part of the conversation, but in the State Department press release sent to reporters in the region, the very first reason [U.S. Secretary of State John] Kerry is traveling to Amman Jordan today is to talk about the Temple Mount and the fight against ISIL [the Islamic State in the Levant]. That will give you an impression of just how sensitive that site is, not only to Israelis, Palestinians in the region, but really to the larger region as a whole and that's why Abbas said what he did, that that's really a red line. If Israel continues giving access to right-wing settlers to that site and restricts Muslim access, that will not only inflame this region that the Palestinians are seen protesting about but also for the larger Middle East, as well.”

Radford: “An Israeli border policeman has been brought in for questioning concerning the shooting death of two Palestinians back in May. What have you learned about that incident?”

Schifrin: “According to the Israeli media, this border policeman has been arrested. We know for sure that he's been with the Israeli police. What happened back in May is that three Palestinian protestors who were unarmed at the time they were shot, two of them were shot and killed, at least one of them by live ammunition. There's been a long process, a long investigation into that incident. Palestinians accuse the Israeli border police of opening fire unnecessarily that day. Now six months later, apparently according to Israeli media, this border police officer has been arrested and Israel says that this is evidence, basically, that they can police their own police officers when something happens during these protests.”

NOTE: Al-Jazeera America places most of the blame for escalating tensions on the Israeli side. This not only reflects other major media coverage of the tension surrounding Temple Mount and the Palestinian "car and knife intifada" against Israelis, but also reflects the position of the network's owner/operator, the government of the natural gas-wealthy Arabian Peninsula nation of Qatar. As noted above, the small country is the main financial supporter of the terrorist Hamas group, which runs the Gaza Strip and with which Israel fought a 51-day war this summer to suppress incessant mortar and rocket fire from the Strip and to destroy dozens of terrorist tunnels into Israel. Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of Israel and genocide of Jews.

Pertinent news the network ignores is covered by CAMERA in an incisive report, “Fatah and Hamas Working in Lockstep to Incite and Attack,” which includes this information ignored by Al-Jazeera: “For nearly two weeks, Abbas and Fatah had been raising the anti-Jewish battle cry ‘Defend Muslim Holy Site' successfully. Their success was measured in the number of terror attacks, the number of dead and injured Israeli Jews and the number of Jerusalem's Arab residents who, with inflamed passions, were willing to risk their lives in order to kill Israeli Jews and sow havoc in Jerusalem.

Several days before a Palestinian Islamic Jihad member from Jerusalem tried to murder Temple Mount advocate Yehudah Glick, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke at a conference in Ramallah and called upon Palestinian Arabs to defend the Temple Mount (al Aqsa compound) from the Jews ‘using all means.' Palestinian Arabs, he said, must be united ‘to protect Jerusalem' and the Muslim sanctuaries.

The following day, he reiterated his call to defend Muslim holy places from the Jews, whom he deceivingly denigrated as ‘settlers' and dehumanized as ‘cattle herds.' Abbas falsely accused Jews of trying to enter and desecrate the mosques on the Temple Mount. His mendacious call was evocative of many such calls to violent jihad used repeatedly by Arab leaders, beginning in 1929 when Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin Al Husseini fomented attacks and massacres with his battle cry to ‘defend Islam's holy places' from the Jews. In the following days, the PA's official television network rebroadcast Abbas' call more than 19 times …” [This is the fundamental "news behind the news" that Al-Jazeera America failed to report.]

November 5, 2014 – 8:12 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America biased report in 8 AM news hour.

Host: Del Walters (formerly of ABC affiliate WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C.) from Al-Jazeera America headquarters in New York City.

Correspondent: Imtiaz Tyab, Al-Jazeera English correspondent covering Palestinian territories and Israel.

Tyab repeats a known falsehood disparaging Israel in another of the network's numerous biased reports.

Walters: "We're following breaking news from Israel. Police say a truck mowed down pedestrians in west Jerusalem. At least ten people have been injured, one of them said to be in critical condition. Police shot and killed the suspected Palestinian who was driving. All of this coming hours after clashes broke out at the Al Aqsa Mosque mosque once again. Imtiaz Tyab is live in Jerusalem. And, Imtiaz, it has been a tense day. What more can you tell us about this car attack?"

Tyab: "Good morning, Del. A very tense day here in Jerusalem, and the scene of, frankly, carnage after a Palestinian man drove his car into a group of people waiting at a light rail station in west Jerusalem. The incident is being described by Israeli police as a hit-and-run terror attack. The driver of this car, after driving into these people, left his car and then started attacking people with a metal rod, and that is when he was shot dead by police. This incident follows a similar incident not even two weeks ago in which another Palestinian man drove into a group of people also at a light rail station, two people were killed in that incident, including a three-month-old baby girl."

Host: "Imtiaz, also the Al Aqsa mosque has been a flash point for quite some time. What led to today's clashes between Israeli police and the Palestinians there this time?"

Tyab: "Indeed, only a few hours before this incident, there was a very bitter scene at the Al Aqsa mosque compound when Palestinian protestors and Israeli police clashed with each other quite violently. We understand that a number of these protestors were taken to hospital with injuries after stun grenades and tear gas was used by Israeli police. But the reason this latest confrontation took place is because a group of far right Jewish activists came to the mosque to try to enter the mosque. The reason for that is because a week ago today, one of their leaders, a rabbi, Yehudah Glick, who was an American-Israeli, was shot and injured by a Palestinian man. They wanted to go to the Al Aqsa mosque to show solidarity, but also to enter that mosque, they weren't allowed to. But, again, the situation there remains tense, however the Al Aqsa mosque is now currently open."

[Tyab omitted the pertinent fact that this "Palestinian man," who attempted to murder Rabbi Glick, was a terrorist associated with Hamas terrorist group.]

NOTE: Tyab's false characterization of those who advocate for allowing Christians and Jews to be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, the location of two ancient Jewish Temples, the most revered location ever for Jews, as "far right Jewish activists" is irresponsible and prejudicial.

Temple Mount advocate Glick, the victim of an attempted assassination by a Palestinian Arab terrorist, and other such advocates of allowing prayer, are falsely accused here of aiming or attempting to enter the mosque located on the Temple Mount. This is not the first time such a false accusation has been made. Of relevance here is information such as that testified to by Donatella Rovera, a Middle East researcher with Amnesty International, a group that is a severe critic of Israel, who admits that Palestinian "witnesses" often lie. But it's highly unlikely that Al-Jazeera America's viewers would ever be informed of such pertinent information since the network's owner/operators, the anti-Israel rulers of the wealthy Arabian Peninsula country of Qatar, financially support the Hamas terror group that is sworn to destroy Israel and murder Jews.

October 24, 2014 -– 7:17 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America 7 AM news hour aired this report which concluded with an irresponsible characterization by its correspondent in Israel.

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

Correspondent: Nick Schifrin, Al-Jazeera America Middle East correspondent (formerly an ABC News correspondent based in London).

Sy: “This morning, Israel is stepping up security after riots sparked by a car crash that killed an infant. A Palestinian man slammed into a group of pedestrians, killing a three-month-old baby girl and injuring at least six others. Israeli authorities are calling it a hit-and-run terror attack, but the family of the driver insists he simply lost control of the car. Our Nick Schifrin joins us live now from Jerusalem. Nick, describe the level of unrest and what is being done to calm the city.”

Schifrin: “Stephanie, in the last few weeks, I've talked to many police officers. One of them put it to me this way. He said he hasn't seen this level of unrest in nearly a decade in Jerusalem. That doesn't mean widespread riots, that means anger, hatred and fear on the streets, and what you're seeing today especially this week is a huge increase of police presence. We have police manning most of the check points that lead into east Jerusalem, into Palestinian neighborhoods…”

Sy: “The baby that was killed was a U.S. Citizen. How are U.S. officials reacting to this?”

Schifrin: “The U.S. released a statement saying the U.S. ‘condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack. We have expressed our deepest condolences to the family of the baby.' The U.S. went on to say, ‘we urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident' but that calm is not being maintained, the tensions have increased today less than 48 hours after the incident. We see that the U.S. did call it a terrorist attack, siding with Israel's side as opposed to the Palestinian family side which, as Stephanie said, said that the man simply lost control of the car.”

NOTE: Schifrin's characterization regarding U.S. “siding with Israel” as “opposed to the Palestinian family,” suggesting that the United States might not be objective in this situation -– is irresponsible, prejudicial and also entirely consistent with Al-Jazeera's journalistic malpractice corresponding to the policies of its owner/operator, the Qatari government, that is the main financial supporter of terrorist organization Hamas, sworn to killing Jews and destroying Israel. First, Schifrin chose to ignore the history of such incidents which invariably turn out confirming the reliability of the Israeli account as opposed to the Palestinian Arab account.

Secondly, Schifrin apparently ignored reports such as that of Times of Israel  on October 22, “A three-month-old girl was killed Wednesday afternoon and eight others were injured when a car crashed into a crowd at a light rail station in Jerusalem in what officials said was a terrorist attack. The suspect, identified by an Israeli official as a member of terror group Hamas, attempted to flee the scene on foot and was shot and badly hurt by police, a police spokesperson said.”

Or this October 23 report supplied by a few sites including Microsoft news site MSN about the driver of the car Abdelrahman al-Shaludeh: “Family members confirmed Shaludeh was a nephew of senior Hamas bomb-maker Muhi al-Din Sharif who was killed in the West Bank city of Ramallah in mysterious circumstances in 1998. Israeli officials also identified him as a member of the radical Islamist Hamas movement.”

October 2, 2014 – 9:32 AM Eastern

Al-Jazeera America's 9 AM news hour featured a one-sided, seven-minute report concerning Israel's intention to construct 2,610 homes in eastern Jerusalem. The report led with Obama administration criticism conveyed by the White House press secretary. Overlooked by Al-Jazeeera America was that approximately a third of the new homes are earmarked for residents of the Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa.

Al-Jazeera America's coverage of Israeli-related news is predominantly negative. The network's owner/operator is the government of Qatar, which has supplanted Iran as the primary funder of Hamas, the U.S.-designated terrorist group ruling the Gaza Strip that is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and genocide of Jews, and reportedly has backed Islamic extremists fighting in Syria. Thanks to oil and natural gas revenues, Qatar has the highest per capita income in the world. The ruling royal family uses its money to buy influence throughout the Middle East, playing host to Khaled Meshaal, the political leader of Hamas and previously supporting Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood with money and political assistance. (Halifax Chronicle Herald – Canada, "Tiny Qatar makes mischief in Middle East," Aug. 28, 2014).

Host: Nick Clark from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Guest: Jad Isaac, a Palestinian Arab, Director-General of the Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem (ARIJ) (funded by the European Union), is interviewed from Bethlehem, West Bank. He was formerly Dean of Science at Bethlehem University. In this broadcast, Mr. Isaac is very much an anti-Israel polemicist parroting standard Palestinian propaganda. According to NGO Monitor (provides analysis of non-governmental organizations claiming to advance human rights and humanitarian agendas), ARIJ is among the leaders of the political warfare against Israel, seeking to further boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), false accusations of Israeli "apartheid" and "racism," and support for a Palestinian "right of return", which is inconsistent with two-state solution.

Clark: “The United States criticized Israel's decision to build 2,600 new homes in occupied east Jerusalem. U.S. President Barack Obama met the Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. The White House spokesman said the move is troubling and called into question Israel's commitment to peace.”

Josh Earnest (White House press secretary): “This development will only draw condemnation from the international community, distance it from Israel's closest allies, and poison the atmosphere with the Palestinian and Arab governments with which Prime Minister Netanyahu said he wanted to extend negotiations.”

Clark: “Palestinian occupied territories, the West Bank and Gaza. The settlements span the whole of the West Bank and parts of east Jerusalem, home to more than half a million Israeli settlers. This is where the new settlement will be built.”

Note: The West Bank is indeed occupied – Israel is the obligatory military occupational authority, having taken the territory from Jordanian occupation in self-defense in the 1967 Six-Day War. But the land is not "Palestinian." It is disputed. Hence the need for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations according to U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian interim agreement. The Washington Post recently corrected this same error.

Post-'67 Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem, where Jews lived before the 1948 Jordanian conquest, and communities in the West Bank, widely known as Judea and Samaria prior to being renamed by Jordan in the 1950s, do not "span the whole of the West Bank and east Jerusalem." They comprise less than 7 percent of the West Bank and are largely in addition to Jerusalem's 1967 boundaries, not at the expense of pre-existing Arab areas.

Clark: “It is the first settlement to be built in east Jerusalem since the 1990's. Once finished, it will cut off southern east Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. We are joined live from Bethlehem by Jad Isaac, the Director of the Applied Research Institute . Thank you for giving us your perspective. Tell us more about this particular batch of settlement expansions that's so rankled the U.S. administration.”

Isaac: “This settlement is going to close the opening or the continuity between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. For the first time in history there will be a wall in addition to wall of settlement that totally receivers Bethlehem from Jerusalem and it will make any potential viable Palestinian state impossible. The number of units which have been advanced yesterday, 2610 units is only part of the settlement. There are still the b, c and d sections. By the end, settlement will have 4,500 units, housing about 20,000 jews in this land. At the same time, all the open space that was originally that of Bethlehem has been lost. Bethlehem during the British mandate had a total area of about 31,000 hectares, now Bethlehem is confined to 6,000 because Israel did gerrymandering, taking 25,000 from Bethlehem and annexed it into what's called unilaterally the municipal borders of the Jerusalem.”

Clark: “When this happens, what does it physically mean for affected areas. Tell us about that briefly, if you would.”
 
Note: Clark unjournalistically accepts Isaac's claim – a variation on the frequent but false Palestinian charge that new Jewish neighborhoods in or communities near Jerusalem will block territorial "continuity" or "contiguity" of any new Palestinian state – without question. In fact, Bethlehem is not and will not be cut completely from adjacent Jerusalem neighborhoods. However, the security barrier constructed on three sides of Bethlehem since the 2000 – 2005 intifada has helped significantly in reducing terrorist attacks from the area, which Clark also fails to point out. Similarly, new Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem will not prevent Palestinian Arabs from the West Bank from accessing the city. As for "Israeli gerrymandering" regarding Bethlehem's municipal boundaries, when the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat took over in 1993, it expanded the city limits to include nearby Muslim villages and turn Bethlehem's Christian majority into a minority.

Isaac: “There are no Palestinians living in that area. The owners of the land are people who are either from Ein Rafa or Bethlehem. They are present in Bethlehem, can see their land, but they are absent. They don't recognize they are there. They have confiscated this under the absentee property law.”

Clark: “What is the recourse for Palestinians? Is there nothing that can be done? Is there any … now available? We're hearing rhetoric from the U.S. administration, but no action.”

Isaac: “I think what we heard from the American administration is not good enough. We don't need more criticism and more comments on this. We need actions. The Palestinians have been negotiating for 20 years. The settlements keep growing every day, land confiscation never stopped. I think we have to go the only way, which is to go to the international community, which according to international solutions consider all Israel actions in occupied territory as null and void, which is different from what the appearance are trying to say that we have to take realities on the ground, because every day, Israel is creating realities on the ground so that there will be nothing to negotiate, so this time, we have to go to the L.C.C. and U.N. to see what the world will tell us against these atrocities of Israel.”

Clark: “Do you think the International Criminal Court can provide a solution here? Is it possible there could be resolution through the I.C.C.?”

Isaac: “We have the I.C.J. decision regarding the wall, and the advisory opinion of the court. It states clearly that all Israel actions including the settlements and the wall are illegal and Israel should reissues substitute the conditions to how they were. We have the international community decides and all the resolutions that allow us to go into those directions. Now, we know that if we go to the Security Council, most probably, we'll have the United States ... to this decision, but this means that if they match this with veto, this means that the United States is no longer an honest broker of the peace forces, and we have to find alternatives.”

Clark: “Jad Isaac, for your perspective, thanks very much indeed.”

NOTE: Again, Clark drops his journalistic function. He fails to question Isaac on the fact that the I.C.J. decision regarding Israel's West Bank Security barrier was advisory only, since – as the United States and other countries as well as Israel noted at the time – the court lacked jurisdiction in the case. He doesn't tell viewers that the Palestinian side violated its Oslo peace process commitment to resolve such outstanding issues by direct negotiations with Israel when it filed with the I.C.J.

Likewise, Clark doesn't probe when Isaac repeats common political boilerplate, not international law, about Israel settlements and the security barrier being illegal. "Close Jewish settlement" on the land is called for under the basic international law in this case, the League of Nations Palestine Mandate, Article 6, and upheld by the U.N. Charter, Chapter XII, Article 80. Neither does he note that in the decades of negotiations Isaac refers to, it has been the Palestinian side that three times (2000, 2001 and 2008) rejected U.S.-Israeli and Israeli-only offers of a two-state solution in exchange for peace. Nor does Clark challenge his source's allegation that Israeli "land confiscations have never stopped." In fact, virtually no post-1967 Jewish communities in the West Bank have been built on confiscated, Palestinian-owned land. Most have been built on land classified as state land or waste land not only under Israeli control but also under previous Jordanian, British and Ottoman Turkish rule. And Clark fails to mention the most obvious, current newsworthy point: That approximately one-third of the 2600 housing units approved are earmarked for Arab residents of Beit Safafa. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat defended approval of construction of the housing units, saying, “I will not freeze construction for anyone in Israel's capital … Discrimination based on religion, race or gender is illegal in the United States and in any other civilized country ...The 2,600 apartments in Givat Hamatos, which we approved two years ago, will enable more young people from all communities and religions to live in Jerusalem and build their future here, thereby strengthening the capital of Israel. We will not apologize for that ('Jerusalem mayor defends new construction in city's east,' Oct. 2, 2014, The Times of Israel).”

 
 

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