While coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Economist magazine has been severely skewed in the past, recently the magazine published a highly informative and balanced article on the so-called “double standard” being applied to Iraq and Israel, as well as other hot button issues.
The subject of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza has long provoked severely distorted coverage. Regardless of differing political views on settlement policy, information about the much-reported issue should be factual and balanced.
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.
Following violent clashes pitting the Israeli Army against a combination of Palestinian civilians, uniformed Palestinian security forces, and Yasir Arafat's plainclothed Tanzim militias - Amnesty International denounced Israel's actions and the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1322, condemning Israel for "excessive use of force" in attempting to protect the lives of its soldiers and civilians. Does Israel really use "excessive force?"
Do Palestinians who fled Israel in 1948, and their descendants, have a legal or moral right to return to their former homes in Israel? Is it true that most other refugees around the world have already exercised such rights of repatriation?
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.