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Media Analyses

Al-Jazeera America (AJAM) Watch for July – September 2015

Sept. 22 , 2015 – 6:36 a.m. (Eastern) five-minute report during Al-Jazeera America news hour.
One of several identical or nearly identical such reports on this day.

Note: A chronic feature of Al-Jazeera's "reports" on the Israel-Arab conflict is the inflaming of viewers against the Jewish state. This is the intention and likely effect of the mantra-like repeated use of the misleading term "occupied" in "occupied Jerusalem" and "occupied West Bank" (See Note for Sept. 27, 2015 entry). In doing so, Al-Jazeera hosts, correspondents and others heard on the network, are dutifully reflecting the policies of the network's owner/operator, the government of the oil-rich, natural gas-rich Islamic state of Qatar, a financial supporter of the Gaza Strip ruler, Islamist terrorist Hamas group sworn to destroy Israel.

Another often repeated Al-Jazeera mantra (especially in September 2015 broadcasts) is the "Al-Aqsa mosque compound" referring to the Jerusalem hilltop site most commonly referred to by the American mainstream media (at least) as "Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims" (or something very similar to this). But the mantra used by Al-Jazeera here echoes Palestinian Arab mythology falsely claiming that the Jewish people and Judaism have no connection to the site. In fact, archeologists and historians confirm that this site is the location of the two Holy Temples – the first of which was built by the Biblical King Solomon on this site in the city of Jerusalem established by his father King David as the capital of Israel. These events took place 1000 years before the birth of Christianity and 1500 years before the birth of Islam (and the Al-Aqsa Mosque). Furthermore, Al-Jazeera has never informed viewers that, as in the words of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking before the U.N. General Assembly recently, "Far from endangering the holy sites, it is Israel that ensures their safety. Because unlike the powers who have ruled Jerusalem in the past, Israel respects the holy sites and freedom of worship of all – Jews, Muslims, Christians, everyone."

Hostess: [Unknown name] from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Guest: Bashar Jamal, a functionary of the advocacy unit of "Defense for Children International Palestine." .

Note: NGO Monitor (an organization that exposes the manner in which non-governmental organizations often funded by European governments and others with an anti-Israel agenda, assail the legitimacy of Israel) documents the anti-Israel activities of Defense for Children International Palestine [DCI-PS]:

"Supports BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) campaigns against Israel and is an active participant in lobbying the UN, EU, and other international bodies to promote this agenda... Following the 2010 "Free Gaza flotilla," DCI-PS joined a number of other political advocacy NGOs in petitioning ‘the international community as a whole,' to ‘enforce sanctions against Israel until such time as ends the siege of Gaza and the occupation of the occupied Palestinian territories.'... Accused Israel of "deliberate targeting of civilians" in Lebanon, 'terrorizing the civilian population' in Gaza, and 'collective punishment,' and referred to the Gaza conflict as Israel's ‘illegal act of aggression.'...continues to promote the libel of a 'Jenin massacre' on its website, including a statement on the 'horror' of the 'Israeli army massacre in Jenin refugee camp.'... board of directors includes Shawan Jabarin who has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan on account of his alleged ties to the PFLP terror group".

Host: "Let's go back to one of our top stories. Four Palestinian children have been detained by Israeli soldiers in occupied east Jerusalem. They were stopped on their way home from school on suspicion of throwing stones at soldiers. Twenty-five Palestinian children have been arrested recently. Okay, Bashar Jamal is part of the advocacy unit of "Defense for Children International Palestine" and joins us live now from Ramallah. Thank you very much for joining us to discuss the subject on Al-Jazeera. I mean, legally where does Israel stand arresting children?"

Note: The report misleads viewers to believe that Palestinian stone-throwing is basically a harmless activity. First, it's normally more accurate to describe the implements as "rocks" rather than "stones." Second, these rocks hurled at or dropped from a height on victims, can and have killed, maimed, wounded and changed people's lives forever. Soldiers have been injured, Israeli infants have been slain, toddlers critically wounded and civilian adults too have been killed, sustained severe head injuries or were hospitalized with lighter injuries, all due to Palestinian "stone" throwers.

Guest: "Well, thank you for having me. The situation in east Jerusalem is as following, unlike the West Bank the Israeli [indiscernible] law applies to Palestinians living in east Jerusalem and in theory this law provides Palestinians and Israelis with legal safeguards but in practices we found that in 2015 Israeli practices of Israeli police is violating the rights of Palestinian children in this law. The law applies to Palestinians but legally speaking the misinterpretation of this law and the use of exceptions by the Israeli police deprive the Israeli children from their rights and given the fact that last year 700 Palestinian children were arrested in east Jerusalem alone."

Host: "What do you mean by the misinterpretation of the law? What do you mean by that?"

Guest: "Well, basically the Israeli law, I mean, ensures all the rights that were protected by the CRC, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, but there but at the same time it allowed some exceptions of the rule in which the Israeli police can use these exceptions and special circumstances but based on our research in 2015, in the first half, we found out that the Israeli police misinterpreted these exceptions. So, for instance – one example is direct from [indiscernible], according to the Israeli [indiscernible] laws, the arrests should be used as a last resort but in the case of Palestinian children, children are being arrested directly and arrested for offenses that were committed three months ago, for example. So basically this is an misinterpretation."

Host: "Okay. On the subject of these children being arrested, as I understand it, back in 2014, 700 children were arrested in east Jerusalem, why are they being arrested, what sort of crimes? I know Israel has said they will be cracking down on stone throwing – but 700?"

Guest: "Well, basically last summer I mean it was really intense for the Palestinians in general and for the Palestinians in east Jerusalem. Most of the offenses and the charges they are charged with especially the children are throwing stones so basically clashes with Israeli soldiers but without enough evidence provided by Israeli police. The fact goes back when [indiscernible] was burned alive from east Jerusalem and this started a confrontation between the Palestinians in east Jerusalem and that resulted in a massive arrest of Palestinian children. This reflects also policies implemented by the Israeli government to handle the situation which instead of calming the situation, they used more force to restrain the Palestinians."

Host: "Okay, we will leave it there for now but thank you very much. Just to update you [viewers] on that we were saying that four Palestinian children had been detained, that we understand those children were released and no action was taken against them."

Sept. 27, 2015 – 6:10 a.m. (Eastern) four-minute report during Al-Jazeera America news hour.
One of several identical or nearly identical such reports on this day.

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

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

Host: "Israeli security forces have fired stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at worshipers at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. Hundreds of Palestinians gathered outside the mosque to prevent Israeli police from going any further. Imtiaz Tyab is in Jerusalem falling developments for us there. What does it look like now?"

Correspondent: "Sami, the situation inside the Al-Aqsa mosque compound is calm. We had midday prayers, where dozens, if not hundreds of Palestinians were able to worship. That, of course, is very different from the scene we saw just a few hours ago where the Israeli police and border police effectively engaged in confrontations with Palestinian worshipers. Now, you point out that they used stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets. Now, we hear that there were no injuries and no damage to property but the situation there does remain extremely tense."

Host: "Imtiaz, why are we seeing this sort of pattern in the last few weeks where Israeli forces enter or stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. Explain that for us."

Correspondent: "It's a very complicated situation. The situation today is somewhat different from what we have seen in the past week. In fact, just over a week ago during the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, there were bitter clashes between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli security forces. Now, the reason for that is because there are some far right Israeli groups who tried to come to the mosque which they are allowed to do. However, the challenge – or the concern there – is that these groups are not there just to visit the sites. They are allowed to do it at certain times of the day but the concern is that they have come to worship there, or in the view of many Palestinians, they are trying to implement a change that would affect the status quo. This status quo is an agreement between the Israeli government and the leaders of Jordan, the King of Jordan, in which it was agreed that Jordan would be responsible for all religious sites – particularly Muslim sites – here in east Jerusalem – occupied east Jerusalem. The concern that many of thee Palestinians worshipers have, is that these far right Israeli groups are trying to change that. They are trying to change the dynamics of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, eventually allowing them to worship there, something many of them are worried about."

Host: "Now, on that issue, where does the Israeli state stand on those attempts to try to change the status quo by some of these right wing groups?"

Correspondent: "The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said time and again that he wants to uphold the status quo. But when you look at it closer – at Israeli policy, when we look at those who support these groups, you can follow the path, if you will, back to the Israeli government. In fact, some of the money has sometimes in indirect and direct ways come from certain ministries or indeed, various organizations which are connected to the government. So, while we hear the Israeli prime minister saying that he does not want to change the status quo and there's no push by the government to allow Israelis and Jewish people to worship inside the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, when you look at the actual policies over the years and some of the money supporting some of these far right groups, the truth is very different."

Host: "Imtiaz Tyab live from Jerusalem, thanks for that."

NOTE: There is little or no basis for the charge that Israel's government supports changing the status quo on the Temple Mount. On the contrary, the evidence is that the goal of Palestinian activists, especially the rioters, is to exclude Jews from the area. The false narrative involving the "occupied" mantra is contradicted by the facts: In the West Bank, Israel is the legal military occupational authority, pending a negotiated settlement. That's because it gained the territories in 1967 in a war of self-defense. Further, it has not forcibly transferred Arabs out or Jews in, and the land itself is not an occupied part of a sovereign country but an unallocated, disputed remnant of the 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.

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

Furthermore, there is a continuous Jewish diaspora history, from the Roman expulsions two millennia ago to the rebirth of Israel as a Jewish state. and modern DNA testing that strongly indicates both Jewish genealogical continuity and Middle Eastern origins. The Jewish people are the native population of the land having resided there long before Arabs arrived and continued even after expulsions. For example, the continuous majority population of Jerusalem, the ancient capital of Israel thousands of years ago, were Jews from the 1850s (according to historical and census accounts) until 1948 (when an when an Arab army forced Jews to flee eastern Jerusalem). With the reuniting of Jerusalem in 1967, Jews again became the majority of the population in Jerusalem.

Sept. 28, 2015 – 6:33 a.m. (Eastern) five-minute report during Al-Jazeera America news hour.
One of several identical or nearly identical such reports on this day.

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

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

Host: "Israeli security forces have fired stun grenades at Palestinian worshipers at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied east Jerusalem, a site sacred to Muslims and Jews who are celebrating the Sukkot holiday. Now, Jews are allowed to visit but not pray inside the mosque compound. Imtiaz Tyab joins us live from occupied east Jerusalem. So, how calm is the situation now?"

Note: Al-Jazeera fails to report that Arab rioters are operating from within the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Associated Press reports repeated clashes over the past two weeks as Palestinian protesters barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque while hurling stones, firebombs and fireworks at Israeli police outside."

Note: Sukkot (pronounced "Sue COAT" is a Hebrew word meaning "shelters"). It's a seven-day holiday. The name of the holiday is frequently translated "The Feast of Tabernacles," [which is how Christians – particularly Christian Zionists – thousands of whom celebrate the holiday in Jerusalem in unity with Israelis – refer to it]. The holiday commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Sukkot is also a harvest festival, and is sometimes referred to as the Festival of Ingathering. The festival of Sukkot is instituted [in the Bible] in Leviticus 23:33.

Correspondent: "Well, Sami, the situation is now relatively calm, that of course was a very different situation just a few hours ago when there were fairly bitter confrontations between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli security forces and we understand that stun grenades at one point were fired inside the Al-Aqsa mosque itself and we also understand that at one point Israeli security forces barricaded one of the main doors – a very large door – to keep worshipers from coming out. As we have been saying, it's a very tense situation at the Al-Aqsa mosque during this Jewish holiday known as Sukkot. Now, the reason this is significant is because far right Jewish groups in fairly large numbers tried to access the Al-Aqsa mosque compound during a visiting period which is allowed about five days out of the week and when they come in these large numbers it makes things very tense and that's why we see the confrontations that we saw today."

Host: "Explain those confrontations to us. I understand it's a very busy Jewish holiday but why do we see this sort of pattern where Israeli security forces keep raiding the Al-Aqsa mosque compound."

Correspondent: "Yes, it's no doubt a very complicated situation, the fact of the matter is – year around, people of any denomination – whether Christian, Jewish or any faith group – are allowed to enter the Al-Aqsa mosque complex at a certain time of day, between around 7:30 a.m. local time and 11:30 a.m. local time. But the difference, particularly during the Jewish high holidays, is that these far-right groups, as we've been saying, come in fairly large numbers but they don't come alone. They usually come with a fairly large security detail, Israeli security forces, if you will. When that happens, obviously again, it creates a very tense situation on the ground with Palestinian worshipers. Now, the reason Palestinian worshipers are so uncomfortable by these far-right Jewish groups which come in, is because these far-right Jewish groups have made their position very clear. They want to change something that is known as the ‘status quo,' a decades old agreement reached between Israel and Jordan after Israel occupied Palestinian territories which effectively means that Jordan's control of Muslim holy sites in occupied east Jerusalem ensuring that only Muslims will be allowed to pray inside the Al-Aqsa compound. These far-right Jewish groups want to change that and that, of course, is very problematic for many Palestinian worshipers and that is why we see the confrontations that we do."

Note: Correspondent wrongly states above, "... Israel occupied Palestinian territories ..." The territories were Jordanian not Palestinian. Furthermore, the Palestinian national narrative wasn't even in existence until some 20 years later.

Host: "But Imtiaz, this is a place that is holy and special to people of many faiths. There is a place for Muslims to pray in there, the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, and a place where Jews pray, the Western Wall. So, why is there argument and friction over Jews praying inside Al-Aqsa mosque compound now?"

Correspondent: "It's a very interesting question. If you asked me a few years ago, this probably wouldn't be as big an issue as it is now. For many, many decades it was only a small fringe within Israeli society that wanted to go into the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and to create a space for Jews to worship. But that has changed in recent years. In fact it's become deeply politicized. You now have very prominent politicians entering into the Al-Aqsa mosque compound at certain times. We've seen that last year and at certain points this year, and that is seen as very inflammatory but more importantly, it shows a shift within Israeli society that people are becoming more willing or at least are more interested in having a Jewish presence inside Al-Aqsa – and that again, as we have been saying, is certainly something that Palestinian worshipers are worried about. They only look at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron which effectively was carved in half in which Palestinians are only allowed to worship in part of what was once their mosque and they're afraid the same thing will happen here and that is why we see the confrontations that we do."

Host: "Alright. Thanks so much. Imtiaz Tyab there."

NOTE: Unsurprisingly, Al-Jazeera's mention of the story of the "Ibrahimi Mosque" fails to touch on the Jewish connection to the site. This mosque is in the Cave of Machpelah (Tomb of the Israelite Patriarchs) in Hebron. It's the world's most ancient Jewish site and the second holiest place for the Jewish people, after Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Based on the Bible (Genesis 23:1–20 ), Jews believe that the burial places of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah are in the Cave. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, "About 700 years ago, the Muslim Mamelukes conquered Hebron, declared the structure a mosque and forbade entry to Jews, who were not allowed past the seventh step on a staircase outside the building. Upon the liberation of Hebron in 1967 [the Six-Day War], the Chief Rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces, the late Major-General Rabbi Shlomo Goren, was the first Jew to enter the Cave of Machpelah. Since then, Jews have been struggling to regain their prayer rights at the site, still run by the Muslim Waqf (Religious Trust) that took control during the Arab conquest. Many restrictions are imposed on Jewish prayers and customs at the Tomb of the Patriarchs despite the site's significance, primacy and sanctity in Jewish heritage and history."

Sept. 17, 2015 – 5:22 a.m. (EDT) during Al-Jazeera America news hour.

News presenter brief from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar: “A group of Jewish settlers accompanied by Israeli police have arrived at Jerusalem's holiest site. Tensions remain high after days of fighting between Palestinians and Israeli security forces around the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied east Jerusalem. The site is considered sacred by Muslims, Jews and Christians.”

NOTE: During period September 11 to 17 (at least), Al-Jazeera America aired dozens of nearly identical briefs and reports about the continuing conflict on Jerusalem's Temple Mount (site of the two Biblical Temples) instigated by combative Muslim Palestinian Arabs fighting with Israeli police trying to keep peace and order. These Muslims are outraged as a result of rumors that Jews might again be permitted to worship on Judaism's holiest site.

The “news” network hosts, news presenters and correspondents, in compliance with policies of the owner/operator, the Qatari government, dutifully use the propagandistic “occupied east Jerusalem” mantra. Since the outset of the Al-Jazeera network, the term “east Jerusalem” has rarely, if ever, been uttered un-preceded by “occupied” – likewise the “occupied West Bank” mantra. These recent reports, with only one exception, while generally characterizing the site as “Jerusalem's holiest site,” fail to inform viewers that the Temple Mount site is Judaism's holiest site while currently it's only Islam's third most holiest site. Furthermore, the network never informs viewers that the site was holy to Jews more than a thousand years before the creation of Islam.

The persistent “occupied” (by Israel) myth disregards the facts: Part of Jerusalem (none of which has never been the capital of any country except Israel) and the West Bank were illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967, when Israel took control as a result of successful self-defense in the 1967 Six-Day War. As Eugene Rostow, a co-author of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 (1967), the keystone of all subsequent successful Arab-Israeli negotiations pointed out, 242 does not require complete Israeli withdrawal. Rather, the status of the territory, to which Jews as well as Arabs have legitimate claims, is to be resolved in negotiations as called for in the resolution and by U.N. Security Council Resolution 338 (1973). Meanwhile, Jewish villages and towns built in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria, parts of the ancient homeland of the Jewish people) and in eastern Jerusalem since 1967 are no more illegal or illegitimate than Arab areas built since then in previously existing West Bank Arab villages and towns. Furthermore, the majority population of Jerusalem, eastern as well as western parts, was continuously Jewish from the middle 1860s until 1948 when Jewish residents were illegally forced to flee by Muslim Jordanian Arab forces.

 Aug. 30, 2015 – 5:34 p.m. (Eastern) during Al-Jazeera America news hour.

Note: Al-Jazeera America reports as news a Pallywood (Palestinian video propaganda) short. CAMERA and its UK Media Watch affiliate had cast doubt on the apparently staged August 28 incident on the 30th. By the time Al-Jazeera aired the dubious melodrama, England's Daily Mail and Telegraph already had backed off their initial, uncritical reports (see "Telegraph and Daily Mail Retreat from Tamimi's Latest 'Pallywood'"). Al-Jazeera America chronically reflects the foreign policy objectives of the Qatari ruling family, owner/operator of Al-Jazeera Arabic, Al-Jazeera English and Al-Jazeera America. Qatar in recent years had angered both Egypt and Saudi Arabia by funding Sunni Muslim radicals, including Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Host: Maryam Nemazee from Al-Jazeera English studios in London. Nemazee is an Iranian-British news anchor who has been also employed by Sky News, and Bloomberg Television.

[video clip]

Host: "The 12-year-old Palestinian boy who was pinned down against his broken arm by an Israeli soldier on Friday has spoken out about the incident. Video of the soldier scuffling with women and children in the occupied West Bank went viral after it was posted on line. The soldiers were reacting to stones that had been thrown at troops. Mohammed Tamimi's arm was in a cast when the soldier was filmed pinning him down as he tried to arrest him."

Boy (Mohammed Tamimi) (translated): "I was watching when the youth threw stones at the Army. And when the soldiers began to shout, I ran way. There were three soldiers. One caught my cousin, and another caught me. And I tried to run away. But he caught me and threw me to the ground and started hitting my face with stones. And beat on my broken hand and smothered me."

NOTE: Apparently only two networks in the United States ran this dubious video with its two-dimensional anti-Israel story. One was Al-Jazeera America. The other was One America News Network (OANN) which aired it August 30 at 8:32 p.m. OANN, possibly short on experience and/or staffing may have been fooled by the Palestinian propaganda machine since there has been no indication of anti-Israel bias by the network. The Daily Mail (of London, England) Web site cast doubt on the initial report after numerous questions and complaints:

Questions have been raised over the authenticity of shocking images of a boy with a broken arm being held at gunpoint by an Israeli soldier after a 13-year-old girl seen biting his attacker is said to be a prolific 'Pallywood star'. The remarkable images which surfaced online on Friday appeared to show an IDF soldier armed with a machine gun grappling with the little boy as two women make desperate attempts to pull him off following protests in the West Bank. A young girl is seen ambushing the balaclava-clad soldier by forcing the weapon from his hands and biting him before he flees the scene ... Girl in pictures is believed to be Ahed Tamimi, whose parents Bassem and Nariman are Palestinian activists. She has appeared in a string of similar videos where she confronts Israeli soldiers and once won a bravery award ...

That is, appeared in the weekly Pallywood rock-throwing rehearsals staged by the Tamimi parents and targeting Israeli soldiers. The scripts feature daughter Ahed and now her younger brothers, regularly attracting foreign anti-Israel activists and photographers. Call it propaganda, call it "advertorial," call it Al-Jazeera America. But don't call it news.

Aug. 21, 2015 – 11:37 a.m. (Eastern) during Al-Jazeera America news hour.

Host: Martine Dennis from Al-Jazeera English headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Correspondent: Patty Culhane, Al-Jazeera English White House correspondent (previously with MSNBC).

Note: Former President Jimmy Carter blames Israel (only) for the lack of peace negotiations with the Palestinian Arabs. As usual, Carter is wrong about the conflict. Could this have something to do with who funds his foundation? Al-Jazeera, in keeping with the policies of its owner/operator the government of Qatar, is certainly fine with an unfair negative portrayal of Israel.

Host: “The former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is being treated for cancer. The 90-year old spoke candidly about the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, and the prospect for Middle East peace. Patty Culhane reports.”

Correspondent: “Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has not shied away from criticism since leaving office, visiting countries the U.S. considers unfriendly and offering advice to allies. That continued as he briefed the press in the wake of his cancer diagnosis saying in the time he has left, he would like to see peace between Israel and Palestine [sic.], but he won't.”

Carter: “Right now, I think the prospects are more dismal, than any time I remember in the last 50 years. The whole process is practically dormant. The government of Israel has no desire for a two-state solution, which is the policy of all of the other nations in the world, and the United States has practically no influence compared to past years in either Israel or Palestine [sic.].”


NOTE: Carter is mistaken as he has so often been about the Middle East. First, like others, Carter erroneously refers to “Palestine” as if such a country exists. Carter misleadingly (if not mendaciously) blames Israel (only) for the lack of peace negotiations with the West Bank Palestinian Arabs, “The government of Israel has no desire for a two-state solution …” But the facts are these:

• The Palestinians, like their Arab world brethren, have refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state (this is a non-starter). Evidently 22 Muslim Arab states is fine but one Jewish state is one too many.

• Israel objects to the planned consolidation of the West Bank Palestinians with the terrorist Hamas Gaza Strip rulers sworn to destroy Israel.

• Israel objects to the Palestinian chronic mind-warping indoctrination (via media, mosques, and schools) of its people aimed at the destruction of Israel and the Jews. This has inevitably led to violence against Jews perpetrated by Palestinian Arabs. On the other hand, there is nothing in Jewish society anywhere even remotely similar to this sort of incendiary indoctrination.

• The West Bank Palestinians insist on several preconditions, one of which is particularly unacceptable: They insist on the right of return of all Palestinian Arabs and their descendants to Israel which would inevitably engulf the state and result in the replacement of Israel by a 23rd Muslim Arab state. This demand is based at least partially on the false narrative that claims all or the great majority of Palestinians who left were expelled during Israel's War of Independence. In fact, the great majority of Palestinians who left were not expelled, instead they chose to leave – often at the urging of Arab leaders who warned them to get out of the way in order to make it easier for Arab armies to annihilate the Jews and wipe out the new Jewish state. (See for example, Karsh's Were the Palestinians Expelled in Commentary, July-August 2000). Furthermore, millions of Arabs had chosen to remain and are now full citizens of Israel.

July 8, 2015 9:33 p.m. (Eastern) during Al-Jazeera America news hour.

Note: This nine-minute sort of infomercial, posing as a news report, is virtually a promotional for the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which demands punishment for only one entity in the world – the Jewish nation of Israel – accusing it of "apartheid"and advocates the blacklisting of Jewish Israeli companies and academics. The infomercial includes functionaries of the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) whose mission statement contains a list of demands on Israel, but from the Palestinians it asks only that they halt suicide bombings and attacks against Israeli civilians. JVP calls for the United States to "stop supporting repressive policies in Israel and elsewhere" and stipulates that "aid may not be delivered to countries that abuse human rights." Since it assails Israel as a human rights abuser, JVP also calls for an end to military aid to that nation which could leave it increasingly vulnerable to Islamist terrorism and military attacks.

Host: Antonio Mora ( from Al-Jazeera America headquarters in New York City. Mora's career includes a long stint with the ABC Television network.

Correspondent: Patricia Sabga, reports for Al Jazeera America's Real Money with Ali Velshi.

Speaker: Naomi Dann, JVP media coordinator.

Speaker: Rev. Dr. Peter Makari, area executive for Europe and the Middle East for Global Ministries for the United Church of Christ (UCC) and The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). These churches frequently demonize Israel but have little or nothing to say about the murder and kidnapping of non-Muslims and women in the Middle East and Africa.

Guest: Joseph Berman, JVP's government affairs liaison officer, Rabbi of Temple B'Nai Israel in Revere, Massachusetts, president of Rabbis for the One State Solution.


Host: "The United States is Israel's closest ally but will some Americans changed their minds about Israel after seeing the scenes of destruction in Gaza. They are using economic pressure to try and make Israel end its occupation of Palestinian land. Patricia Sabga has the story."

Note: Host Mora dutifully adheres to the policies of Al-Jazeera's paymaster, the government of Qatar, as do all Al-Jazeera on-air functionaries. Israel's so-called "occupation of Palestinian land" is a term applied by Israel's opponents so often that it's almost lost all meaning. It's part of a false narrative that obscures the facts. Israel was the legitimate military occupational authority in the Gaza Strip and West Bank as a result of successful self-defense in the 1967 Six-Day War. It took those territories not from any Palestinian Arab state – there was none – there has never been one – but from Egyptian and Jordanian occupation, respectively. No mention either that Jews, like Arabs, have claims to the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), including the right to live and build there – in the case of the Jewish asserted in the League of Nations' Palestine Mandate, Article 6 and affirmed by the United Nations Charter, Chapter 12, Article 80. One of the main purposes of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is to establish sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the last, unallocated portion of Mandate lands (Jordan, with a Palestinian Arab majority, is sovereign over 77 percent of those lands).

SABGA: “Applying economic pressure to end Israel's occupation of Palestinian land – the core strategy of BDS, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, a global, citizens led movement that's seen a surge in U.S. based support since last year's Gaza War.”

DANN (of JVP): “The BDS movement has grown tremendously from the Gaza War because of the devastating effect it has had on Palestinian civilians.”

Note: This "report" contains not a word about who or what caused the Gaza War resulting in the suffering of Gaza Strip Arabs and as well, Israelis. Gaza's rulers, the Hamas terrorist organization, adhering to its charter proclamation to destroy Israel and kill Jews, incessantly fired missiles at Jewish population centers and campaigned to kidnap Israelis. Every sovereign country has a right, and indeed a duty, to defend against this.

SAGBA: “The United Church of Christ (UCC), one of the largest Protestant denominations in the United States.”

[clip of UCC meeting]

Speaker (unidentified man): "I come from a family of Holocaust survivors and so it is with sadness and with pain that I urge you to vote yes."

SABGA: "UCC overwhelmingly adopted a BDS resolution to divest from firms trying to profit from the occupation."

MAKARI (UCC officer): "While our investments may not have the financial impact that might be necessary to change the situation of occupation, this is a clear moral voice."

Note: The Weekly Standard magazine said recently about UCC anti-Israel efforts: "Since 1967, the UCC's deliberative body has passed nearly 20 resolutions about the Arab-Israeli conflict, but has failed to offer up one word of criticism of the misdeeds of jihadists who have been murdering and kidnapping non-Muslims and women in the Middle East and North Africa since the Arab Spring."

SABGA: "[moral voice] one that's reverberating on U.S. college campuses where groups like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) have helped organized at least 16 successful student BDS referendums this academic year – nearly as many as the previous ten years combined. The BDS movement also claimed victory in May when R&B star Lauryn Hill citing her desire not to alienate Palestinian or Israeli fans, cancelled her planned concert in Tel Aviv, a decision that followed a social media campaign by BDS activists. galvanizing those opposed to it."

Note: R&B star Lauryn Hill cancelled a concert in Israel because, she announced at the time, that she could not schedule a parallel show in the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

SAGBA: “But the growing strength of BDS in the United States is also galvanizing those opposed to it.”

Voiceover: "StandWithUs has become one of the largest and effective pro-Israel organizations in the world."

SABGA: "Anti-BDS group, StandWithUs says it has organized more than 600 events on 175 North American campuses this year."

Voiceover: "It's been a call for supporters of Israel on campus to circle the wagons and to get more active."

SABGA: "A circle that includes Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson who reportedly pledged millions [of dollars] and is raising millions to combat BDS on campus. Lawmakers are also stepping up efforts, championing a wave of anti-BDS legislation including a provision in the trade promotion authority bill that President Obama recently signed into law."

Note: The Trade Promotion Authority legislation enacted in April 2015 contained the anti-BDS provisions, intending to force companies to think twice before engaging in economic warfare against Israel. Such companies will no longer be able to freely attack a key U.S. ally without consequence. The bipartisan bill conditions any free trade agreement with the European Union on its rejection of BDS.

Crowd: "Peace – when do we want it? – now."

SABGA: "But BDS supporters say such moves only legitimize their cause."

DANN (of JVS): "There's a Gandhi statement that says, first they ignore you, then they fight you, then you win. It feels like we're in the third phase – when they fight you."

SABGA: "Patricia Sabga, Al-Jazeera."

Host: "Rabbi Joseph Berman is the government affairs liaison for Jewish Voice for Peace, a national Jewish organization advocating for peace in the Middle East. He joins us tonight from Washington D.C. Rabbi, very good to have you with us. I understand all Jews do not speak with one voice but why do you support a movement that could hurt Israel?"

BERMAN: "Thank you so much for having me this evening. Well, so what I would say is that – just a little about myself. When I was growing up I was a teenager, I thought I wanted to move to Israel and join the Israeli army and any criticism of Israel I took as kind of a personal attack. But slowly I started to learn about Palestinians. I've learned that there are Palestinians living in the land before the Zionist settlers started to come and I learned about how Palestinians were displaced and forcibly in 1948, and I learned about the occupation and around that same time I started to apply some of the Jewish values that I learned from my family, from my community, from the Jewish community. I started to apply them to what I was seeing and what I was learning about. So one of those values is love your neighbor as yourself. And so, if we look at what happened just a year ago in Gaza where there were over 2,000 Palestinians who were killed, over 500 children. So, I asked myself what does it mean to apply that value? And I would say first of all love your neighbor as yourself, you have to love yourself and say I do, I love myself, I love other Jews and part of this is to show jews who are involved in the occupation and showing them that this injustice must stop. In terms of loving your neighbor, I think what that means is standing up for Palestinian human rights, for justice and equality. And that is what Boycott and Divestment are doing."

Note: Berman learned the occupation narrative well. He seems to imply that Jews are only recent arrivals to the land – including the West Bank. But There is a continuous Jewish diaspora history, from the Roman expulsions two millennia ago to the rebirth of Israel as a Jewish state. and modern DNA testing that strongly indicates both Jewish genealogical continuity and Middle Eastern origins. The Jewish people are the native population of the land having resided there long before Arabs arrived and continued even after expulsions. For example, the continuous majority population of Jerusalem, the ancient capital of Israel thousands of years ago, were Jews from the 1850s (according to historical and census accounts) until 1948 (when an Arab army forced Jews to flee eastern Jerusalem). With the reuniting of Jerusalem in 1967, Jews again became the majority of the population in Jerusalem. Further, the historical record shows that most of the Arabs who left Israel in 1948-9 did so at the urging of Arab leaders who promised them safe return after the Jews were killed or removed. Second, the astonishing success of the Jewish state constitutes an acute embarrassment to the leadership of the relatively backward neighboring Arab states. Moreover, 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 or illegitimate than Arab areas built since then in previously existing Arab villages and towns.

Host: "And I know you've also argued that it is in the best interest of the Israelis. But, if that is the case why is it so strongly opposed by the Israelis government and most of Israel's supporters in the United States?"

BERMAN: "Yeah, I would say that I think that – that is very short sighted. I think that unfortunately people are kind of coming from a place of fear. But I would say that the only thing that's going to bring about real safety and security for Palestinians, and for Israelis, is justice and equality for both Palestinians and Israelis."

Host: "Now, Hillary Clinton recently spoke out against the BDS movement and I can't imagine that any of the Republican candidates supports it. Congress inserted anti-BDS language in legislation. So it doesn't look like it's getting any traction among the political class the U.S. and without that, can your movement really have much of an effect?"

BERMAN: "Well, that's interesting. What I would say about that is yes, there's this news coming from the Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, and also from right wing forces in the United States, institutions, some politicians even as you mentioned, who are attacking and trying to demonize the Boycott and Divestment movement which is working for equality and human rights. What I would say about that is it's increasingly out of touch where the general American public is and especially where Democrats are in this country. If you look at the polling, one of the things you see about Democrats in particular is that many Democrats, especially young people, people of color, are increasingly becoming critical of Israeli policies and what they..."

Host (interrupting): "But the truth is there isn't much of an Arab boycott on Israel anymore. There are huge Arab investments in American companies that do business in Israel. I know the boycotts and divestment campaign did help bring down South-African apartheid. But the economic and demographic realities there were much different than what Israel faces."

BERMAN: "Well, just like in South Africa where it took decades and decades for those tactics, for that movement to grow and for it actually to have an impact – I would say that the same thing is happening here. The movement is growing, as you mentioned earlier in the program, UCC, United Church of Christ, just last week voted 80 percent overwhelmingly to divest from companies that benefit from the occupation. In Jewish Voice for Peace [JVP], be we have grown from 140,000 members and supporters to over 200,000. We have grown from about 40 chapters to over 60 chapters. So, I think we're seeing this ground swell. It's going to take a while, but we say also – it's not happening fast enough for people living in Gaza. For the 100,000 people that are internally displaced in Gaza, for the 120,000 people there who aren't connected to the water system. So, it's not fast enough but I would say that it is growing and this is just the way it works and I would encourage your viewers to join us because that's how change happens."

Host: "Rabbi Joseph Berman, it's good to have you with us. It's good to here your perspective. Thank you."

NOTE: Those who demonize Israel about the Gaza War fail to take into account that – as CAMERA has noted – evidence from reliable sources such as that of Gen. Martin Dempsey – chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has said Israel went to great lengths to avoid non-combatant casualties last summer in retaliating for the thousands of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups' mortars and rockets fired into the Jewish state. Physical damage largely was confined to about five percent of the Strip, in neighborhoods where Hamas placed arsenals, command posts, bunkers and tunnel opening among civilian populations. In an otherwise uneven report that minimized Hamas' aggression and ignored Palestinian leadership's rejection of two-state deals in exchange for peace, Bloomberg News  nevertheless acknowledged that conditions in the Gaza Strip surpass those in many parts of the developing and under-developed world ("Gaza's decade of misery," July 21).
And, contrary to Al-Jazeera verbiage, there is no country of "Palestine." One might emerge from Arab-Israeli negotiations, as called for by U.N. Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 and subsequent, related diplomatic initiatives, but one does not exist now – though Al-Jazeera viewers might not know.
July 7, 2015 – 1:22 p.m. (Eastern) during Al-Jazeera America news hour.

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