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Media Analyses

After Contact from CAMERA, The Washington Post Corrects on 'Green Line'

After contact from CAMERA, The Washington Post has changed inaccurate language in the online version of its Dec. 5, 2016 article “Jared Kushner's family foundation donated to West Bank settlements.”

That Post report claimed, among other things, that “The Kushner foundation gifts were mostly made to schools, including religious yeshivas, located outside the Green Line that is internationally recognized as the border of Israel proper [emphasis added].”

Yet, as CAMERA highlighted in correspondence to Post editors and staff on December 7, the Green Line is an armistice demarcation line; not an “internationally recognized border of Israel proper.”

CAMERA pointed out that the West Bank and Gaza frontiers were demarcated by the 1949 Israeli-Jordanian armistice line and the 1950 Israeli-Egyptian armistice line.U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 (adopted several months after the 1967 war), called for negotiations to reach Arab-Israeli peace—to include “recognized and secure boundaries,” since they did not then exist. U.N. Security Council Resolution 338 (1973) repeated this call. However, no agreement on a border has been reached—although several U.S. and Israeli proposals have been offered, but were met with rejection by Palestinian leaders.

Professor Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, the former President of the International Court of Justice and a current member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, wrote in his “Justice in International Law,” that the 1949 armistice demarcation lines are not permanent borders: “The armistice agreements of 1949 expressly preserved the territorial claims of all parties and did not purport to establish definitive boundaries between them.”

The distinction is, of course, important. Claiming that the Green Line is an “internationally recognized border,” is not only inaccurate, but it presents the status of those borders as already determined. In fact, pending final negotiations, they are not.

After several follow-up communications with Washington Post editors and staff, CAMERA noted on December 30 that the paper had issued a formal correction. The Post changed the wording to read, “The Kushner foundation gifts were mostly made to schools, including religious yeshivas, located outside the Green Line that separates Israel and the West Bank.”

Additionally, the paper amended the article with a note at the bottom acknowledging that:

“An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the Green Line that separates Israel and the West Bank. Originally established in a 1949 armistice between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the line changed when Israel captured additional territory in 1967. The line is not a recognized border and remains a subject for negotiation.”

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