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The Guardian, Tzipi Livni, A Clarification

A small correction to the Guardian’s Palestinian Papers coverage appears online today:

A quote by Tzipi Livni, Israel’s former foreign minister, within a panel that formed part of the Palestine papers, was cut in a way that may have given a misleading impression. The quote appeared as:

“The Israel policy is to take more and more land day after day and that at the end of the day we’ll say that it is impossible, we already have the land and cannot create the state.”

To clarify, the full quote is:

“I understand the sentiments of the Palestinians when they see the settlements being built. The meaning from the Palestinian perspective is that Israel takes more land, that the Palestinian state will be impossible, the Israel policy is to take more and more land day after day and that at the end of the day we’ll say that it is impossible, we already have the land and cannot create the state.” (What they said … 24 January, page 4.)

Right.

This pretty much sums up the Guardian’s coverage of the Palestinian papers. A story which could have been presented as showing that behind closed doors, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were moving towards making the big compromises required for peace, instead was reported as a huge con trick, treason by Abbas and Erekat, and proof that Israel was intransigent and rejectionist. Evidence which showed that this was not so was ignored, and that which was reported, was systematically misrepresented.

It was, as Abbas correctly surmised, a hit job by Al Jazeera and the Guardian on the Palestinian Authority, for the benefit of Hamas.

So, here we have a quote from an Israeli minister which in its full form shows that she is fully aware of the Palestinian perspective and sensitive to their concerns. How is it presented? Falsely, as a statement that Israel in fact aims to destroy Palestinian aspirations to statehood.

You can be quite sure that this quote, in the form originally published by the Guardian, will have been read by hundreds of thousands of people. It will be circulated around internet message boards. It will be deployed in debates to show why Israel will never make peace, and why it must therefore be destroyed. Most won’t read the correction. Some people will change their perspective on the Israel Palestine dispute as a result.

That’s precisely what you’d expect from a newspaper which appoints, as an associate editor, an unrepentant Stalinist like Seumas Milne.

Hat tip: Just Journalism

Update:

What an spectacular example of the proverbial pots and kettles! Today, The Guardian ran an article by Charlie Brooker laying into a tabloid. It’s headline demands to know: When does a tabloid become crude propaganda?

“By repeatedly publishing lies,” we are told.

The Guardian accuses its target, The Daily Star, of being grossly irresponsible, sloppy with its representation of facts, or engaging in overt propaganda.Yes, well, no paper should do that!

Hat tip: TimO (in the comments)

PS – and if you’re in the mood for more, read JJ’s analysis of the Guardian’s apparent endorsement of Hamas’ rejection of elections. What a joke.

Q: When does a tabloid become crude propaganda? A: When it starts printing it

The Daily Star patronises its readers by repeatedly publishing lies