“Here and Now” Host Jeremy Hobson Wrong on ‘New Settlements’

NPR’s “Here and Now” host Jeremy Hobson is the latest media figure to wrongly report that Israel is building, or has plans to build, thousands of “new settlements,” misidentifying individual residential units within preexisting settlements as “new settlements.” In fact, Israel has built no new settlements in some two decades and recent announcements concern additional units in established settlements.
In a conversation yesterday with Neri Zilber, a journalist and adjunct fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “Here and Now” host Jeremy Hobson erred (“Amid Corruption Probe, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu Curries Favor With Trump“):

Speaking of a two state solution, former Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech about Israel and said that that two state solution is in serious trouble and that a big part of the reason for that is Israel’s continuing push to build new settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Just within a few days of Trump being sworn in, Israel announced plans to build 2,500 new settlements. . . . Is it a sign of more settlements to come?

Israel is not pushing to build new settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, Israel has built no new settlements in some two decades, and, as NPR itself recently reported, the announcement in question concerned plans for 2,500 residential units within pre-existing settlements, not 2,500 new settlements. NPR’s Merrit Kennedy accurately reported last week: “Israel says it plans to build 2,500 more homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank” (“Israel Says It Will Build 2,500 New Settlement Homes in the West Bank”).
Last month, when Ben Rhodes, a senior advisor in President Obama’s administration, falsely stated on PBS’ “NewsHour” that “tens of thousands of settlements [are] being constructed,” the PBS ombudsman agreed with CAMERA that “while this was a misstatement by a guest rather than the interviewer, it merits some kind of correcting or clarifying statement by the NewHour on the air or online or both.” PBS ombudsman Michael Getler added: “this is a hot-button issue and worthy of keeping straight.”

Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s immediate correction of a headline yesterday which confused 4,000 individual residences for 4,000 settlement outposts was the latest in a string of related corrections prompted by CAMERA and its British websites, UK Media Watch and BBC Watch.
CAMERA has contacted National Public Radio and WBUR, Boston’s NPR affiliate, which together produce “Here and Now,” to request correction on the air and online.


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