Sunday, September 19, 2010

Article: Abbas' comments buoy talks

Date: Friday, September 17, 2010

This article by Edmund Sanders, which included a considerable amount of opinion, quotes Palestinian Authority chair Mahmoud Abbas saying "We all know that there is no alternative to peace other than negotiations. Therefore, there is no choice for us but to continue in these efforts."

Most of the article analyzes the meaning of Abbas' statement.

Omission: There was not reference to Abbas' contradictory statements leaving open the option of renewed terrorism if he didn't get his way without it - as if the Palestinian Arabs had ever abandoned terror.

Opinion: In the first paragraph, the writer inserts his opinion that Abbas' statement "offered new hope that negotiations will not break down as a result of a standoff over Jewish settlements in the West Bank." In the third paragraph, the writer inserted his opinion that his comments "marked a change in tone."

Lack of Balance: The bulk of the article is written from an Arab perspective. It also reports Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying "it would be 'extremely useful' for Israel to extend the partial freeze" without including any contrary observations.

Distortion. Omission. Opinion: The author inserts his opinion that "Abbas has built his career on embracing negotiations as the only route to statehood." He omits any reference to Abbas' years of involvement in terrorism. The article also quotes Robert Malley saying ""He's always thrown his faith into the negotiation process" without pointing out the obvious falsity of that statement, or even mentioning Abbas' refusal to negotiate with Israel for the past two years.

Inaccuracies: The article was accompanied by an annotated map allegedly detailing settlements along with a graph of their population and mislabeled Jews living in certain parts of Jerusalem as "settlers."


Factual Accuracy: 7
Bias-Free: 5
Pro-Israel: 0
Anti-Israel: 4

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