From: Jerry Verlin, Editor
Subj: Brith Sholom Media Watch Alert #860, 6/25/17
WHILE YOU STAND ON ONE LEG: This week, the AP resurrected the canard of “millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants.” When the mainstream media unleashed this same canard years ago, we let it go on for years. With news stories today telling us of a precipitous decline in support for Israel among American Jewish college kids, we ought not simply avert our eyes from “millions” this time.
British Foreign Secretary Bevin [no friend of ours] to Parliament, 1947:
“There are in Palestine about 1,200,000 Arabs [too high, according to, e.g., Katz in “Battleground”] and 600,000 Jews. For the Jews, the essential `point of principle is the creation of a sovereign Jewish state. For the Arabs the essential point of principle is to resist to the last the establishment of Jewish sovereignty in any part of Palestine.” (Great Britain, Parliamentary Debates, Commons, vol. 433, col. 988, quoted in Bell, Terror Out of Zion, New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1977, p. 188, emphasis added)
Only some one million Arabs and 600,000 Jews resided in Palestine west of the Jordan in 1947. That’s all. [But for the British and prior obstructers of Jewish homeland presence in the land of Israel dating back to Roman destruction of Jewish Judaea, the land’s previous native state, there’d have been many more Jews].
So how then could the mainstream Western media’s pillars – The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, others – tout a narrative, as they insistently did in the early years of this century, of “millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants”?
How, indeed? But they did. What cuts even deeper is how did we, supporters of the Jewish homeland of Israel, allow this mathematically monstrous mainstream media Jewish homeland delegitimizing canard to go on for the years that it did? CAMERA and others, including this media watch, had hands, in 2003 and 2004, in (we thought) definitively driving a stake through that vampire’s heart.
So why should this media watch now bring this mathematically monstrous canard up again, this week? I didn’t. The Associated Press did so this week. AP, Thursday, 6/22/17 (e.g., Philly Inquirer,A10):
“The Trump administration faces the same obstacles that have doomed previous attempts by a string of Republican and Democratic administrations: deep disagreements over key issues such as borders, dueling claims to Jerusalem, and the fate of millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants.” [emphasis added]
I reminisced a couple years ago on this media watch’s year-long exchanges with the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2002 and -03 over this “millions and their descendants.” It’s an interesting tale, but what I would leave with you this week, in pleading with you Gentle Readers not to let this canard resurface again without opposition from us, is how three of these mainstream Western media bigs – the WP, NYT and AP – went about making their “corrections” when confronted in April 2004 by CAMERA and others.
*** The Washington Post was rather straight-forward:
4/19/04: “An April 16 report from Jordan that referred to millions of Palestinian refugees should have noted that this includes the descendants of the refugees who fled in 1948 from lands that are now Israel.”
*** The New York Times gave readers its own assessment of the magnitude of a correction of “millions” of refugees down to “hundreds of thousands”:
York Times 4/17/04: “A news analysis article on Thursday about President Bush’s endorsement of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to withdraw the Israelis from Gaza referred imprecisely to the number of Palestinian refugees for whom Arabs have demanded the ‘right of return.’ The reference to millions encompassed not just Palestinian refugees from the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 but also their descendants.” [emphasis mine, de-emphasis NYT’s]
*** The Associated Press made the change, apparently, between the lines:
AP, Monday of that week, 4/12/04: “Israel also wants assurances that MILLIONS of Palestinian refugees and their descendants will be barred from returning to Israel,” [emphasis added]
AP, Friday of that week, 4/16/04: “Arafat said in a televised speech that he would never give up the right of return of THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes in the war that created Israel, as well as their descendants.” [emphasis added]
The mainstream media’s utter one-sidedness doesn’t stop at mere “millions.” It couples Arabs’ displacement to Israel’s “creation,” to “the war [not mentioning that it was an Arab invasion for Israel’s destruction] that followed Israel’s creation.”
And it omits that in the wake of the war started by that Arab invasion, Israel absorbed a greater number of Middle-eastern Jewish refugees from vast Arab and other Muslim lands than Arabs left tiny Israel. (And the UN and Arabs, generations later, still keep these “Palestinian refugees” in “refugee camps.”)
The papers this week carried stories of a steep decline of support for Israel among American Jewish college kids. Is part of the blame for this ours, for not standing up to mainstream Western media canards as monstrous as “millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants”? I think so, yes.