CNN’s Fareed Zakaria Wrong on Shelved Annexation Plan, Settlement Construction

In his eponymous CNN program Sunday (Oct. 18), Fareed Zakaria erred on two substantive points concerning Israel and the disputed West Bank (“Last Look: Bibi’s Settlement Dilemma“).
Some 40 seconds into the broadcast, he erroneously reported: “After all, over the past eight months [Prime Minister Netanyahu] halted the promise of annexation of the West Bank.”

But there was never any “promise of annexation of the West Bank.” Rather, the idea that was under discussion, in line with President Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan, was to extend Israeli sovereignty over parts of the disputed West Bank, namely the Israeli settlements, along with the strategic Jordan Valley, amounting to some 30 percent of the West Bank.
Asn CNN’s Oren Liebermann’s Sept. 10, 2019 report, “Netanyahu says he’ll annex parts of West Bank if reelected.” Likewise, CNN correctly reported June 2, 2020: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu campaigned in all three recent elections on the promise to extend the reach of Israeli sovereignty into parts of the West Bank, land captured by Israel in 1967.” (Emphasis added.)
Last month the Guardian corrected the identical error after it erroneously referred to Israel’s “contentious plan to annex the West Bank.” 

 Separately, Zakaria then went on wrongly refer to “new settlements,” while there are no plans for new settlements. First, he accurately reported:  “So while the U.A.E. treaty was moving through Parliament, Israel moved forward with plans for nearly 5,000 new units in the West Bank, according to the settlement watch group Peace Now.”

He subsequently mischaracterized the 5,000 units slated to go up in existing settlements as follows:  “Only time will tell whether Israel’s new partners in the Gulf will have sway on this issue, but those new settlements do suggest the path that Benjamin Netanyahu intends to take.” (Emphasis added.)
 
But there are no new settlements and no plans for new settlements, just for new homes in existing settlements.
CAMERA has contacted CNN to request correction of these factual errors. Stay tuned for an update.