CAMERA Prompts NPR Correction on Annexation Claim

After contact from CAMERA, National Public Radio (NPR) has issued a correction to a March 7, 2017 broadcast of its “The Two-Way” program, headlined “Israel Approves Law to Block Entry to People Who Call For Boycotting Israel.” That report claimed, among other things, “Settlements [in the West Bank]…are on land annexed by Israel nearly 50 years ago that Palestinians want as part of a future state [emphasis added].”

However, as CAMERA pointed out to NPR staff, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) was not annexed by Israel after it gained control of the territory as a result of its successful defense in the Arab-initiated Six-Day War.

Commendably, NPR quickly corrected the reference on March 13, 2017 and added text noting: “A previous version of this story referred to settlements on land annexed by Israel in 1967. Israel captured the land but has not annexed the West Bank.”

NPR’s story also misleadingly described the goals of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. NPR wrongly claimed “The BDS movement aims to put economic pressure on Israel in support of Palestinian independence.” However, as CAMERA told NPR, this definition is misleading; many BDS movement leaders—including the organization’s self-described founder, Omar Barghouti—have stated that the purpose of the movement is not in support of Palestinian independence, but rather for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Additionally, NPR’s report claimed that a new Israeli law bars “supporters” of BDS: “Israel has passed a new law that allows it to bar entry to foreign activists who support a boycott of the country.” Yet, the law’s provision are more limited, it calls for barring only someone “who knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel that, given the content of the call and the circumstances in which it was issued, has a reasonable possibility of leading to the imposition of a boycott – if the issuer was aware of this possibility.”

NPR has, at present, refused to correct these latter two errors. CAMERA has asked NPR to reconsider. Stay tuned for updates.

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