Thursday, May 6, 2010

Article: U.S. envoy starts shuttle mission in Israel, W. Bank

This article in the Hartford Courant comes mostly from a more substantial Associated Press article currently available at,0,5638899.story.

It is mostly factual, but does include some opinion and omits some highly relevant information going to the core of the article.

Omission, Inaccuracies: The article inaccurately begins "A U.S. mediator launched Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations Wednesday &hellip"

This is actually contradicted in the fuller version of the article on The Courant's own web site: "The two could not even agree about the technicality of whether the talks had begun. Israel labeled the Mitchell-Netanyahu meeting Wednesday as the beginning of the mediation, while Palestinians insisted they still had to give formal approval to the process over the weekend" and reported State Department spokesman P.J. "Crowley said Mitchell's meeting on Saturday with Abbas would mark the start of the indirect talks."

Opinion, Lack of Balance: In the same first paragraph, the article referred to the start of "a shuttle mission between a hard-line Israeli government and a Palestinian administration in control of only part of its territory."

Calling the Israeli government "hard-line" inserts the opinion of the writer into a news story. It is also not balanced by any similar opinion regarding the Palestinian Authority.

Inaccuracy: The status of the disputed territories is one of the issues to be determined in negotiations. Until there is an agreement, any reference to territory actually belonging to the "Palestinian administration" is factually inaccurate.

Opinion, Omission: The fourth paragraph referred to the positions of the sides being "worlds apart." It also opined Mitchell's mission "would be considered a success" if he got the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs "to sit down at the same table."

The latter is also misleading since, by omitting the fact that the two sides had negotiated face-to-face for years, makes it appear they haven't done so.

Opinion, Lack of Balance: The article lists both Arab and Israeli demands, but inserts the opinion that the Israeli prime minister's acceptance of a Palestinian Arab state was "reluctant," and slanted the article even more by beginning that acknowledgement with the word "while": "While Netanyahu has reluctantly endorsed creation of a Palestinian state."


Factual Accuracy: 8
Bias-Free: 5
Pro-Israel: 0
Anti-Israel: 2

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