NBC Corrects: Israeli Settlements Not on ‘Palestinian Territory’

CAMERA’s Israel office this week prompted correction of an NBC article which erroneously cited “Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territory” (“Netanyahu is again center stage as Israel heads towards elections,” June 22).

The partisan designation of disputed West Bank as “Palestinian territory” does not reflect the fact that the West Bank’s rightful and ultimate disposition remains under contention.

Since 1967, the West Bank’s status was 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.

The West Bank settlement of Efrat (Wikimedia photo by Yehudit Garinkol)

Indeed, in no time in history was the West Bank “Palestinian territory” until the Oslo Accords put limited areas (Areas A and B) under control of the Palestinian Authority. These Palestinian-controlled areas do not include Area C of the West Bank, upon which all Israeli settlements are located.

NBC agreed that a correction was in order, and subsequently amended the text to accurately refer to “Jewish settlements on disputed territory Palestinians hope will form part of a future state.” In addition, editors commendably appending the following clarification to the bottom of the article:

CLARIFICATION (June 29, 2022, 12:23 p.m. ET): This article has been changed to reflect that Jewish settlements are on disputed land that Palestinians hope will form part of a future state.

Other media outlets which have previously commendably corrected the inaccurate designation of disputed West Bank lands as “Palestinian” include The New York TimesLos Angeles TimesVoice of AmericaWall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.