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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

May 30, 2003

New York Times Refuses to Report the Straight Facts

CAMERA got in touch with the Times to register a complaint. The NY Times stood by its coverage. But CAMERA here explains why they believe the Times is incorrect and hence presenting a biased story.
Despite dramatic public exposure of the New York Times' questionable policies in handling repeated deceptions by one of its reporters, the newspaper has again misled its readers, this time about the terms of the "Road Map." Instead of reporting the actual terms of the peace plan drawn up by the "Quartet" (United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia), the Times has injected its own language.

In his May 12, 2003 article about Colin Powell's meetings with Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas ("Powell Consults 2 Premiers on Mideast Peace"), correspondent Steven Weisman misrepresented the terms of the road map proposed by the "Quartet." Weisman wrote:

Among the other issues discussed today was the future of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. The peace plan calls for their dismantling, a point reiterated in recent days by Mr. Powell.

The road map does not call for the "dismantling" of the settlements (developed towns, villages and communities.) It calls only for the dismantling of outposts established since March 2001, and a freeze on new building. According to the text of the roadmap released by the U.S. State Department on April 30, 2003, the requirements of the Government of Israel vis-a-vis settlements are as follows:

-GOI (Government of Israel) immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001.

-Consistent with the Mitchell Report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements).

The premise of Weisman’s article — that the Israeli prime minister would not comply — was based on the erroneous assumption that complete settlement dismantlement is required by the road map.[more]