Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bronner and Friedman's new numbers game

A recent article by Ethan Bronner and an op-ed by Tom Friedman in the NY Times caught my attention. They both were playing a new numbers game I hadn't noticed before. When writing about the Palestine Authority president Abbas' appeal for statehood at the UN and the rejoinders delivered by the Obama/Netanyahu team the figure of 300,000 was put forward as the number of Jewish settlers (the common term for land-stealing colonizers)in the occupied territories.

Both supposed journalists were pillorying the Palestinian side for using the settlements as an excuse for not really negotiating with Israel and set the total numbers of colonists as about 300,000.

The figure of 500,000 plus has been the accepted one in discussions about the issue until now. What happened to the other 200,000? Did they sneak back behind the green line?

No, these two alleged journalists are now towing the official Israeli line that the expansion of colonists and the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem is not stealing land or practicing ethnic cleansing: it's just the Jews moving back into another part of Jerusalem to which they have an exclusive right and to hell with the Palestinian Christians and Muslims who have lived there for generations.

Is this Journalism or Israeli hasbara (propaganda)? Go ahead take a guess.

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