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Media Analyses





NPR 'Morning Edition' Corrects Tel Aviv Error, Errs on 'Palestinian Land'


NPR's "Morning Edition" has corrected a Dec. 16 broadcast which on some stations misidentified Tel Aviv as Israel's capital ("Trump Holds Victory Rally in Hershey, Pa"). The misstatement has been edited out of the online archive of the show, as well as the transcript, and editors commendably published the following correction at the bottom of the transcript:
In a version of this report that aired on some stations just after 8 a.m. ET, we referred to Tel Aviv as Israel's capital. But, as the CIA World Factbook notes, "Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950."

CAMERA has contacted NPR to commend editors for the prompt online correction and to urge stations which aired the error to also broadcast the correction.
 
Unfortunately, though, some versions of the "Morning Edition" broadcast contain another factual problem. NPR correspondent Michele Kelemen uses partisan, tendentious language, referring to "settlement-building in Palestinian areas." The language completely endorses one side's political claims over the other side's claims in what is, in reality, an unresolved dispute.
 
The West Bank's status is to be resolved by negotiations anticipated by U.N. Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian interim accords, the 2003 international "road map" and related diplomatic efforts taking 242 and 338 as reference points. The co-authors of resolution 242, U.S. Under Secretary of State Eugene Rostow, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Arthur Goldberg, and British ambassador Lord Caradon made clear at the time and subsequently that Jews and Arabs both had claims in the territories, no national sovereignty over the territories had been recognized since the end of Ottoman rule and negotiations would be necessary to resolve competing claims.
 
If the West Bank were simply Israeli-occupied Palestinian land, in particular sovereign territory belonging to another state and acquired by aggression, then Israel would be required to withdraw and no negotiations would be necessary. But since Israel is the obligatory military occupational authority, having won the territories in a war of self-defense in 1967 and retained them in a similar conflict in 1973, and competing claims remain unresolved, the West Bank is land Palestinians want for a future state, and land at least some of which many Israelis claim for Israel. Significantly, in the past Palestinians have indicated willingness to relinquish claims on the land in which the large settlement blocs sit.
 
In 2014, CAMERA prompted a Washington Post correction of the identical misrepresentation. The Post's Sept. 6 correction stated:
A Sept. 5 A-section article about Jordan agreeing to buy natural gas from Israel incorrectly referred to Israel's occupation of 'Palestinian lands' in the West Bank. The Israeli-occupied territories are disputed lands that Palestinians want for a future Palestinian state.

CAMERA has contacted NPR editors to request that they follow The Washington Post's commendable lead and broadcast a correction reminding listeners that the land on which Israeli settlements sits is disputed territory whose sovereignty is to be resolved through negotiations.
 
Stay tuned for updates.
 
For NPR corrections prompted by CAMERA, please see here.
 
 

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