AP’s Self-contradicting Settler-editors

Staffed almost exclusively by Israeli nationals and Jewish immigrants living illegally as settlers in the Palestinian West Bank, The Associated Press’ West Jerusalem bureau is the global central hub for Israeli apologetics.

Not a day goes by in which editors like Josef Federman and bureau chief Steven Gutkin do not perpetrate a fraud on their readers for the sake of minimizing Palestinian suffering and Israeli culpability therefor. (This is on top of Mr. Gutkin’s blatant and unrepentant lies about the so-called threat of the Iranian nuclear program.)

Sometimes in their efforts to demonize the victim, they forget to act like editors, making the silliest mistakes. These can include basic spelling, punctuation, and sometimes grammatical errors while on rarer occasions they’ll repeat entire paragraphs, back-to-back.

But these are honest mistakes.

This morning’s episode of journalistic shape-shifting by the Israeli staff at AP (a.k.a. Apartheid Preservers) is silly as they come, but is far from honest. It concerns the legal status of those Israeli outposts inside the Palestinian West Bank, where some of AP’s objective Israeli editors and reporters reside.

In the opening paragraph of the headline “Rice: settlements unhelpful to peace talks,” under the byline of Jewish-Israeli Matti Friedman, we learn that “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday urged Israel to stop expanding settlements on disputed territory hours after a new report came out saying the Jewish state has nearly doubled such activity in the past year.”

Now, AP never matter-of-factly informs readers that under international law the “settlements” are, in fact, illegal and not “disputed”; so there is nothing new or unusual here. But to any shrewd reader, a question should arise: how do you explain Ms. Rice’s constant objections — directed solely at the Israeli government — if the “expanding settlements” are simply “disputed”? Why not settle the dispute in court after all these years if it’s a simple dispute?

Furthermore, women, children, and elderly Palestinians are illegally imprisoned and abused by Israel, but we never hear a peep out of U.S. government officials about that travesty. Unarmed Palestinian civilians of all ages are harassed, beaten, and murdered all the time by the “most moral army in the world“; but there’s no outcry from our impassioned, conscientious leaders to that. So what’s the big deal about these “disputed settlements”?

The answer arrives implicitly in paragraph two. There, we find that “Rice is visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in hopes of furthering the announced goal of brokering a Mideast peace deal by year’s end …”

Did you catch that?

The editor doesn’t make the fact clear; but in the process of contradicting himself from one paragraph to the next, he allows the more discerning reader to figure that those “settlements” are referred to as “disputed” and “unhelpful” because they are in fact being constructed on other people’s land. The settlements are being built inside the “Palestinian territories.”

In other words, they are illegal colonies.

But to AP and corporate media, it’s not so cut and dry. You see, when a foreign state bulldozes your house and farmland; steals your land from you and your neighbors at the point of a gun; builds a colony there; and transfers its militant, fanatical, armed-to-the-teeth population into that colony — well, that land becomes “disputed territory.”

That is, as long as you’re not a Jewish Israeli or a settlerist, like our fair and balanced editors in the W. Jerusalem bureau of The Associated Press.

Dan Alba likes to defend those who defend those who can not defend themselves, and exposing those whose offenses are indefensible. Read other articles by Dan, or visit Dan's website.