ABA Journal, published by the American Bar Association, features as the cover story for its December issue an article on the Palestinian refugee problem that is seriously marred by numerous errors, omissions and distortions. Written by Jeffrey Ghannam, a staffer at the magazine, the article misrepresents Middle East history and international law to falsely portray the Palestinians and the Arabs generally as blameless victims of Israeli aggression, where the reverse is much closer to the truth.
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and spokeswoman for the Palestinians, frequently appears on American television and radio. She makes an emotional case in a rapid-fire, filibuster style of expression that flouts historical fact and present reality. All too often, her interviewers are unequipped or unwilling to challenge the barrage of inaccurate and distorted statements.
Many media accounts have misrepresented the "final status" issues that are now the subject of intensive negotiations at Camp David, often distorting Oslo, UN resolutions, the demographics and history of Jerusalem, and Middle East history in general.
Israel's 50th anniversary with its outpouring of media coverage has been a numbing reminder of journalism's herd instinct, the tendency of reporters to imitate one another, repeating the same themes and citing the same experts...