In its article, “7 Things To Know About Israeli Settlements,” National Public Radio manages to demonstrate just how little its writers know about settlements, Israel and how to practice journalism.
Our critique of this article is not about settlements, but about basic journalistic standards.
Reporters Greg Myre and Larry Kaplow begin by claiming:
When Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War, no Israeli citizens lived in the territory.This stunning lack of context ignores that Jews had indeed lived in Hebron, Bethlehem and many other towns in the land historically called “Judea and Samaria,” until 19 years earlier – when Jordanian forces (with the help of local Palestinians) expelled or killed all of the indigenous Jews, and then re-named the entire area “The West Bank.”
The only reason the population of the West Bank was entirely Palestinian by 1967 was because they expelled the indigenous Jews in 1948.
Doesn’t the ethnic cleansing of an entire indigenous Jewish population deserve a mention from NPR?
Kaplow and Myre further distort history in the very same sentence by saying “Israel captured the West Bank…” yet covering up the reason why: Jordan had turned those lands into a launching point for a massive assault against Israel, with the intent to destroy the entire country.
Israel was forced to capture the West Bank in order to prevent Jordan’s advance, save Israel’s very existence, and save all the Jews in Israel from the same fate suffered by those Jews referenced above: total and complete ethnic cleansing.
Again, not even a mention?
Ethnic Cleansing in JerusalemIn an encore of ignorance, Kaplow and Myre claim:
Shortly after the 1967 war, Israel annexed East Jerusalem, which is part of the West Bank and had a population that was then entirely Palestinian.First of all, there was never any such entity as “East Jerusalem.” Jerusalem was one united city for several thousand years until Jordan invaded its eastern part in 1948. At that point, Jordan’s military (with the assistance of local Palestinians) expelled or killed all the Jews living in the areas it captured. Again: total and complete ethnic cleansing.
Kaplow and Myre also cover up from their readers that the area they call “East Jerusalem” includes the Temple Mount (the holiest site in Judaism) along with its famous Western Wall, the Old City, and Jerusalem’s ancient Jewish Quarter.
Yet all the authors have to say is “…a population that was then entirely Palestinian.”
HonestReporting interviewed Jewish refugees from the Jordanian invasion of Jerusalem, in order to paint a more complete picture of Jerusalem’s recent history.
Journalistic FailuresKaplow and Myre indulge in a number of other misleading falsehoods, such as the claim:
While the Israelis tend to speak of East Jerusalem and the West Bank as two separate entities, the Palestinians regard them as a single body — the occupied West Bank.In fact, Palestinians do not typically use the term “occupied West Bank,” but rather “occupied Palestine,” which they clearly define as being all of Israel.
When discussing Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza NPR selectively omitted the thousands of rockets fired at Israel from the Strip. Kaplow and Myre also criticize Israel’s military presence in the West Bank but fail to acknowledge that Palestinian terrorism forces Israel to maintain that military presence.
A journalist may explore complex topics and present varying viewpoints, but journalistic ethics do not allow the omission of critical context nor the distortion of objective historical facts, as Kaplow and Myre have done here.
NPR has covered up the massive scale ethnic cleansing of Jews in their own historic homeland. The result is not only offensive to the Israeli victims of these attacks and misleading to NPR readers, but also an embarrassment to the very profession of journalism.