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Middle East Issues





On Gaza's History, CNN Corrects


Following communication from CAMERA's Israel office, CNN promptly and commendably corrected errors appearing in an June 1 broadcast by Nic Robertson called "The history of Gaza." The original broadcast is still available on YouTube and can be watched here:
 
 
In the first inaccuracy, the broadcast originally stated: "In 1947, the U.N. created a plan to split Israel into two countries, one for Jews and one for the Arab people."
 
(Frame from CNN's original broadcast)
 
CAMERA wrote to CNN that the United Nations 1947 partition plan was to split Britain's Palestine Mandate into two countries. The name Israel came into use later with the Jewish state's independence in 1948.
 
Editors commendably amended the video which is posted on CNN's site. The video now more accurately states: "In 1947, the U.N. created a plan to split Palestine into two countries, one for Jews and one for the Arab people."
 
Unfortunately, though, the amended text, though now technically accurate, is incomplete because it does not inform readers that Gaza, and the rest of Palestine, were a British Mandate at the time of the 1947 partition plan. That is essential history for CNN's viewers to understand. In fact, the segment about "The history of Gaza" does not at all mention Britain's nearly three-decades long presence in the territory, a serious flaw.
 
(Frame from corrected CNN broadcast)
 
In a second factual error, Robertson had initially stated:
In 2006, Hamas, a group that wants to destroy Israel, and listed by the United States and European Union and others as a terrorist group, won a landslide victory in Palestinian legislative elections, and Israel unilaterally pulled its forces out of Gaza that year.
CNN had the chronology backwards. Israel unilaterally pulled its forces out of Gaza in 2005 (not 2006, as reported), before Hamas gained control of the Gaza Strip. Again, in response to CAMERA's request, the online video was amended and now correctly reports:
Israel pulled its forces out of Gaza in 2005. In 2006, Hamas, a group that wants to destroy Israel, and listed by the United States and European Union and others as a terrorist group, won a landslide victory in Palestinian legislative elections.
Contrary to common journalistic practice, CNN's Web site does not note that the video has been subject to corrections. In addition, as of this writing, CAMERA is not aware of any on air correction, though the segment was broadcasted aired on June 3.
 
Misleading Caption: Access to Gaza
In a separate problematic element of the segment, a caption wrongly suggests that Israel controls all of Gaza's borders and access points, stating: "Israel controls access to and from the Gaza Strip." Robertson, for his part, more accurately notes that "Israel still controls much of the area's access to and from the Gaza Strip."
 
 
Of course, Israel does not control the border that the Gaza Strip shares with Egypt -- Egypt does.
 
For additional CNN corrections prompted by CAMERA, please see here.
 
 

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