16 August 2010

Hasbara: nederzetting Gilo heet "wijk" en "buurt"

Het Algemeen Dagblad ('persbureau' Novum) verkoopt aan haar lezers dat de joodse nederzetting Gilo in bezet Oost-Jeruzalem een "buurt" en een "wijk" is. De bedoeling hiervan is niet om aan correcte journalistieke verslaggeving te doen, maar om voor de lezer een vals beeld van de situatie in Jeruzalem te schetsen teneinde de Israëlische bezetting van Oost-Jeruzalem sinds 1967 te normaliseren en de illegale joodse nederzetting Gilo te legitimeren.

We moeten helaas weer naar het buitenland voor correcte informatie:

BBC News geeft haarscherp aan dat het Algemeen Dagblad Israëlische propaganda bedrijft, door te melden: "The settlement, which Israel regards as a neighbourhood of Jerusalem". In de eerste zin al noemt de BBC Gilo correct "a Jewish settlement".

The Independent met de titel: Israel takes down wall near West Bank settlement. Ook: "an Israeli settlement", "the occupied West Bank"

Reuters: "Gilo, a settlement on the southern edge of Jerusalem", "Gilo is built on land annexed by Israel to its Jerusalem municipality following a 1967 war in which it captured the West Bank and the Gaza Strip."

Let dus op, wanneer u in een 'krant' of ander nieuwsmedium leest dat Gilo een "wijk" of een "buurt" in Jeruzalem is, dan heeft u te maken met een pro-Israël propagandablaadje, dat er op uit is om de bezetting te legitimeren. Dat zijn o.a.:

- Persbureau ANP
- Persbureau Novum/AP
- Persbureau Associated Press (AP)
- Persbureau Agence France-Presse (AFP)
- Algemeen Dagblad
- De Volkskrant
- Het Parool
- Trouw
- Reformatorisch Dagblad
- De Telegraaf
- NOVA (tv)

Checkpoint 300 van Gilo, Palestijnen staan elke nacht v.a. 2 uur in de rij totdat Israël om ± 6 uur toegang geeft tot Oost-Jeruzalem, zodat ze naar hun werk kunnen gaan. Nederlandse christenen als die van de extremistische Christenen voor Israël beweren dat Oost-Jeruzalem niet bezet wordt, maar dat de Palestijnen Israël hebben bezet... Jaarlijks zenden zij miljoenen euro's naar joodse nederzettingen en naar Israël voor hulp aan de bezetting.

I was very struck by the fact that reporters are supposed to be obedient now. Look at the reporting of the West Bank, where American journalists keep referring to occupied territories as "disputed territory," where the wall is called a "fence," where a colony is called a "settlement" or a "neighborhood," or an "outpost", where [there is a] constant desemanticizing of war to make it safe journalism so you won't be called controversial. Heaven spare you if someone falsely accuses you of being anti-Semitic. This kind of journalism breeds internal laziness, and it's lethal, because if a public is presented with pictures of the Middle East in which there are "fences" and "disputes," a fence like the bottom of your garden, a dispute which you can solve over a glass of water, cup of tea, and a court case, then the use of violence becomes generically violent, it becomes mindless, and thus the Palestinians, for example, who may throw stones, or whatever, become a generically violent people. In fact, if there are walls and if there are people occupying your own land and keeping it -- I'm against all violence for all reasons whatsoever, but at least you can understand what it means. (Interview met Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk, Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley, 2006)

Euphemisms for Israeli Settlements Confuse Coverage

Fair.org | by Rachel Coen | August 2002

The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported in May (5/31/02) that the Israel Broadcasting Authority, at the behest of a member of the Israeli cabinet, has directed its editorial departments not to use the terms "settlers" or "settlements" on radio or TV. According to Ha'aretz, "it is not clear if the editors will obey the order." What does seem clear is that settlements--housing built on land illegally seized by Israel after the 1967 war--are such a contentious issue within Israel that the Israeli government would like to stop reporters from even saying the word.

Nonetheless, the opinion pages of an Israeli paper like Ha'aretz often show a franker debate over Israel's aggressive settlement policy than one can generally find in mainstream U.S. media. Government interference doesn't seem to have been necessary to convince some major U.S. news outlets to avoid honest investigation of settlements, and sometimes even to avoid the word itself.

The "neighborhood" of Gilo

This may be partly due to campaigns by pressure groups within the U.S. Take the case of Gilo, an Israeli settlement that some pro-settler groups have used as a focal point for their campaigns to eliminate the term "settlements" in favor of "neighborhoods." In September 2001, CNN changed its policy on how to characterize Gilo: "We refer to Gilo as 'a Jewish neighborhood on the outskirts of Jerusalem, built on land occupied by Israel in 1967.' We don't refer to it as a settlement," said the order from CNN headquarters. CNN denies that its decision was a concession to outside pressure, but according to veteran Middle East reporter Robert Fisk (London Independent, 9/3/01), sources within the network said that the switch followed "months of internal debate in CNN, which has been constantly criticized by CNN Watch, honestreporting.com and other pro-Israeli pressure groups."

CNN is far from the only outlet that has trouble identifying Gilo. Media critic Ali Abunimah pointed out in a June 20 letter to NPR that the network's coverage of the suicide bombings that killed 26 Israelis that day incorrectly asserted that the attacks took place in "Jerusalem." In fact, they occurred in the settlements of Gilo and French Hill, both of which are outside of Jerusalem's traditional city limits, on land illegally annexed by Israel. Abunimah explained that "while absolutely nothing can justify such attacks...geographical accuracy in reporting remains supremely important," especially given the emotional intensity of the subject.

In a May 29 article about Palestinian attacks on Israelis, New York Times correspondent John Kifner reported the Israeli army's efforts to erect fortified barriers between Bethlehem and Gilo, which Kifner described as "a nearby East Jerusalem neighborhood, where a sprawling Jewish area has been built on land seized after the war of 1967." The sentence would have been a lot easier to parse if Kifner had called Gilo what it is: an Israeli settlement.

As Kifner indicated, Gilo is built on land seized by Israel after the 1967 war. What the Times left unsaid, however, is that this seizure violates international law. Gilo, like other Israeli settlements on "seized" land, was built in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 446, which states that Israeli settlements built on land occupied since 1967 "have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace." Resolution 446 also calls on Israel to observe the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that an occupying power "shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." Since 446 was passed in 1979, the U.N. has issued other resolutions "deploring" Israel's failure to comply with it.

According to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, the settler population in the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem) increased almost 100 percent between 1993 and 2000, and there are now 380,000 Israelis living in West Bank settlements (including those in East Jerusalem). In a May 13 report, "Land Grab," B'Tselem argued that this illegal growth is a result of Israel's policy of de facto annexing Palestinian land through a variety of mechanisms, including economic incentives for settlers so large that in the year 2000, "settlement regional councils received grants averaging 165 percent more than their counterparts in Israel." B'Tselem found that while "the built-up areas of the settlements" constitute only 1.7 percent of the West Bank, the settlements' broad municipal boundaries and their regional councils mean that settlements control nearly 42 percent of West Bank land.

Again, Gilo's status as an illegal settlement does not justify the killing of civilians there, but it is central to understanding why Gilo is such a hot spot. For news outlets to report on Gilo simply as a Jerusalem neighborhood under attack, without explaining its legal status, confuses rather than clarifies the issues involved--especially since the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, which has claimed so many thousands of lives, is at bottom about who should control the land.

No, Gilo is not East Jerusalem

Mondoweiss | by Jeffrey Blankfort | 22 November 2009

Jeffrey Goldberg gives one of his Goldbloggers, Hershel Ginsburg, the space to explain to Goldberg’s unenlightened readers that Gilo, where the Israelis are now building another 900 housing units, is not a part of East Jerusalem, but in Jerusalem: "a neighborhood in the city, i.e., within the city limits, forming the southernmost part of the city (not in "east" Jerusalem as a number of ignorant journalists have reported)."

The use of the folksy term,"neighborhood," was slyly introduced a few years back, as British journalist Robert Fisk first pointed out, in a public relations effort to humanize what the international community and its laws had long ago determined were illegal settlements.

Even though every modern map of the city shows that Gilo is definitely in its Eastern portion, Ginzburg’s argument that Gilo is not in East Jerusalem, however, is legally correct. Until the 1967 war, the land on which Gilo now sits was part of the greater West Bank. After their rapid victory in 1967 the Israelis expanded Jerusalem’s area to three times its original size and promptly annexed it, a decision that angered the international community which has accepted it.

In fact, to protest the illegal action, all the foreign countries, including the US, moved their embassies from West Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. An " integral part of Jerusalem," as Ginzburg, Goldberg’s alter ego, would have us believe, it isn’t.
Ironically, a frank description of the annexation process and the building of Gilo and other settlements in the captured area that became today’s Jerusalem was provided by one of their most avid defenders, Moshe Elad, writing on Ynet, Wednesday:

"On June 27, 1967 [PM Levi]Eshkol decided to annex an area of roughly 70,000 dunams, only 10% of which was part of the Old City. The rest of the area included the land of 28 villages in the West Bank from the Bethlehem and Ramallah area.

"In three different stages of confiscation and construction, by 1970 the State of Israel built the following neighborhoods: Shapira Hill (known as French Hill,) Ramot Eshkol, Maalot Dafna, Neve Yaakov, Ramat Alon, Talpiot East, Gilo, and later on Ramat Shlomo – these neighborhoods were built on 23,500 dunams of the annexed territory."

Israel is not planning on giving any of them up.

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