The Washington Post and Politico Push Anti-Israel Propaganda

Truth is in short supply these days. And you probably won’t be finding the truth about Israel in the pages of the Washington Post or Politico. Both news outlets are publishing anti-Israel broadsides with growing frequency.

CAMERA has documented how Politico is prone to publishing anti-Israel agitprop. And a May 27, 2022 report (“Scoop: PAC to spend 1 million to oust ‘Squad’ member Tlaib) on efforts to unseat Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is no exception. Reporter Brakkton Booker told readers that the Urban Empowerment Action PAC is spending money with the goal of removing Tlaib. But Politico’s correspondent added:

“For her part, Tlaib has been unequivocal in her disdain for Israel and its treatment of Palestinians, and this week introduced a resolution in the House to recognize Palestinian Nakba— a term describing the displacement of Palestinians ahead of the 1948 establishment of Israel.”

That, however, is an incomplete description of the 1948 recreation of Israel—and an inaccurate description of the word “nakba.”

In 1947, Arab leaders rejected a U.N. Partition Plan that would’ve created two states, one Arab and the other Jewish, out of British-ruled Mandate Palestine. Declining a chance to have something that hasn’t ever existed—a sovereign Palestinian Arab state—several Arab armies, and a Palestinian Arab contingent led by a former Nazi collaborator and including several Nazi officers sought to destroy the fledgling Jewish state. As part of their war effort, many Arab leaders, including the founding father of Palestinian Arab nationalism, Amin al-Husseini, encouraged Palestinian Arabs to flee, with the expectation that they could return after the genocide of Jews. In several cases, notably in Haifa, Jewish residents and officials begged Arab residents not to leave. Yet, the numerically superior and better armed Arab armies failed, and Israel survived its War for Independence.

Put simply: “Nakba” is a term for the failed mass murder and displacement of Jews; a failed attempt at genocide which occurred after peace and Palestinian statehood were rejected by Arab leaders. It is also worth noting that, in retaliation, more than 800,000 Jews were subsequently expelled from other Middle Eastern nations after the war—a number that vastly exceeds the best and most accurate estimates of the Arab refugees born out of the 1948 war.

Politico’s use of the word “Nakba” is but another example of their full-throated adoption of the “Palestinian narrative”—a narrative that demonizes Israel and treats Palestinians as oppressed victims without independent agency. This is par for the course for Politico.

As CAMERA has highlighted, the news outlet has frequently given glowing coverage of anti-Israel partisans like Rashida Tlaib, who once tried to go on a trip to Israel that was sponsored by an organization, Miftah, which has claimed that Jews consume Christian blood.

More recently, on May 15, 2022, Tlaib attended a rally in Dearborn, Michigan which featured speakers who called for hijacking airliners. Yet, a little more than two decades after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, major U.S. news outlets ignored the Congresswoman’s attendance. Politico was one such offender. Another was the Washington Post, whose inflated sense of self-importance— “Democracy Dies in Darkness” bellows their masthead—runs counter to the newspaper’s tendency to publish lies, misrepresentations and everything in between.

The Post has fully adopted the Palestinian narrative, as evidenced by the newspaper’s May 22, 2022 report, “Ahead of Biden visit, Israel launches biggest evictions of Palestinians in decades,” by Jerusalem bureau chief Steve Hendrix and reporter Shira Rubin. The dispatch omitted key facts and details about the Israeli-Islamist conflict while succumbing to the narrative of a ceaselessly expansionist Jewish state gobbling up land that, the Post would have readers believe, belongs to hapless, indigenous Palestinian Arabs.

The Post warns of the “biggest mass expulsion of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since the 1967 War, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven from territories captured by Israel.” Captured from whom? The Post doesn’t say. Occupied by whom? The Post doesn’t say.

Nor does the Post inform readers that the 1967 War was the result of Arab armies once again massing to destroy the Jewish state. And once again, they failed. In Israel’s subsequent victory, achieved over the course of a mere six days, it seized Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people’s ancestral homeland which had been illegally occupied by Jordan since the 1948 War. During Jordan’s nearly twenty-year occupation it renamed Judea and Samaria the “West Bank”—a term which was previously not used by many of the newspapers or policymakers who now pretend that it was always a sort-of Palestinian homeland. And not only did Jordan not create a Palestinian state in the West Bank, none other than the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) itself renounced a claim to the West Bank.

Additionally, as CAMERA has frequently pointed out to Post staff, the term “occupied” is problematic and inaccurate. In fact, there is a strong historical and legal basis for Jews to live in Judea and Samaria (West Bank).

A sovereign Palestinian Arab state has never existed. Rather, the status of the territory is, at best, disputed. Its status is to be resolved by negotiations anticipated by UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian interim accords, the 2003 international “road map,” and related diplomatic efforts. Indeed, the co-authors of Resolution 242, US Under Secretary of State Eugene Rostow, US Ambassador to the United Nations Arthur Goldberg, and British ambassador Lord Caradon made clear, both then and later, that Jews and Arabs both had claims in the territories, and that no national sovereignty over them had been recognized since the end of Ottoman rule.

Indeed, the Washington Post itself, in a September 4, 2014 correction prompted by CAMERA, noted that “the Israeli-occupied territories are disputed lands that Palestinians want for a future state.” In another CAMERA-prompted correctionThe Wall Street Journal acknowledged on May 16, 2020 that “under the Oslo accords, sovereignty over the West Bank is disputed, pending a final settlement.”

Further, there is a legal basis for Jewish claims to the land. As CAMERA has documented (see, for example, “The West Bank—Jewish Territory Under International Law”), Israel has a foundation for asserting sovereignty over the area. Additionally, the League of Nations Palestine Mandate, adopted later by the United Nations, calls for “close Jewish settlement on the land” west of the Jordan River in Article 6. The UN Charter, Chapter XII, Article 80, upholds the Mandate’s provisions. The 1920 San Remo Treaty and the 1924 Anglo-American Convention also enshrined Jewish territorial claims in international law.

The Washington Post, however, would rather have you believe that these greedy Jews keep stealing land—never mind that the Post itself has, if accidentally, admitted that settlement expansion—that is to say Jewish people building homes on their ancestral homeland—has been steadily declining in recent years (see, for example CAMERA’s “Does the Washington Post even read the Washington Post?”). Nor, contra to the Post’s implication, is “settlement building” responsible for the lack of a Palestinian state. Rather, Palestinian leaders are.

As CAMERA has frequently reminded Post staff, Palestinian Arab leaders have rejected numerous offers for statehood if it meant living in peace next to a Jewish state. In more recent years, they’ve rejected U.S. and Israeli proposals in 2000, 2001, and 2008 that would’ve provided them with a state. Ditto for 2014 and 2016 proposals to restart negotiations—both of which included more than 90% of the so-called West Bank, with land swaps for the remaining percentages. Instead, the Palestinian Authority (PA), the PLO-dominated entity that rules over the majority of Palestinians living in the West Bank, has refused to quit paying tax-deductible salaries to terrorists who murder and maim Jews—a violation of the Oslo Accords which created the U.S.-backed PA more than twenty years ago.

Palestinian rejection of peace and statehood certainly deserves to be mentioned. Yet, the Washington Post never misses a chance to fail to do so. Over dozens and dozens of reports in the last dozen years, CAMERA was unable to find a single instance of the Post noting these numerous rejected proposals. All are relevant to reports about “settlement expansion” and the “peace process.” Indeed, the 2016 offer itself was made by no less a figure than then-Vice President Joe Biden. Yet the Post failed to cover that offer at the time. And it has remained committed to covering for Palestinian rejectionism ever since.

Readers of the Post could ask themselves why. But that would be fruitless. At this point, the newspaper’s commitment to narrative over facts is clear.