Friedman admits he was wrong, sort of, about Israel's release of Palestinian prisoners during the tenure of Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas. But he maintains that Sharon was responsible for Abbas's resignation, a claim which Abbas himself refuted this week.
According to a report by Ethan Bronner of the New York Times, Israel imprisoned a Palestinian child merely for "throwing stones and hanging Palestinian flags from telephone poles." In fact the teenager in question was convicted for attempted murder and possession of explosives.
The Washington Post prides itself on reporting news in depth, not merely transcribing what sources say. But when it followed up Palestinian terrorists exchanged for Sgt. Gilad Shalit, The Post's depth was shallow.
Compare The Washington Post's coverage of the Gilad Shalit/Hamas prisoner exchange to that of The Los Angeles Times. The Post stenographically copies Palestinian language -- "resistance," "military wing" and avoids telling details of Palestinian terrorism. The Los Angeles Times does better.
The New York Times quotes a Hamas spokesperson claiming Gilad Shalit, unlike Palestinian prisoners in Israel, was treated well. Unmentioned is that the conditions of Shalit's detention voilated international law.
As the facts dramatically underscore that Israel's release of some 10,000 prisoners in the last two decades has yielded no "dizzying political change," Gideon Levy's claim in Ha'aretz that a prisoner release could yield "a breath of fresh air" is nothing more than stale hot air.
The BBC is not only overtly partisan in its Web site article choices, it misleads readers with a false, propagandistic version of the situation. A recent article entitled "Palestinians back prisoner release call" fails to inform readers that the protagonist interviewed was himself imprisoned for attempting to kidnap an Israeli soldier and that his wife had been imprisoned for planning a suicide bombing.
Much of the media is misreporting the substance of the referendum proposed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the so-called Prisoners' Document presented in the referendum. Reports claiming the document is a "peace plan" or that it accepts a two-state solution recognizing Israel are selling an idea of Hamas moderation that has little, if any, basis. While such overenthusiastic extrapolation might be acceptable in an opinion or analysis piece, news stories should stick to reporting the facts.
An AFP story on the wire today reported without challenge Saeb Erakat's claim that the "road map" requires Israel to release Palestinian prisoners. In response to communication from CAMERA, subsequent AFP stories noted that "the roadmap makes no mention of Israel releasing Palestinian detainees."