Pompeo West Bank Visit: Here’s How ABC News and AP Erased Jewish History

Recent coverage of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s scheduled arrival in the West Bank has fueled a steady stream of misleading reporting on the actual connection of Jews and Palestinians to the area. A piece written by Associated Press’ Joseph Krauss, “Pompeo expected to visit Israeli settlement in parting gift,” and published by ABC News, weaponizes the story of a visit by America’s top diplomat to push the Palestinian victim narrative.

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Spoils of War Portrayal Nullifies Historic Jewish Claims

Krauss’ story opens with a loaded description of Samaria and Judea, areas won in the 1967 Six-Day War, that have deep Jewish connections and form an integral part of the Jewish homeland:

a parting gift from an administration that has taken unprecedented steps to support Israel’s claims to war-won territory.”

The insinuation is that the Jewish people’s only relationship to the West Bank is via conquest. There is no mention made of this people’s historical roots in the area. Whether it is Beit El and Shiloh in Samaria or Hebron and Beitar in Judea, numerous archaeological finds prove that Jewish life in this region dates back thousands of years.

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A gold medallion inscribed with a Jewish menorah found during excavations at the foot of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Sept. 9, 2013 (TALI MAYER/AFP via Getty Images)

The quote above also ignores another fact with regards to this ‘war-won territory.’ The Six-Day War, which indeed resulted in Israel gaining control of the West Bank, was a preemptive battle of survival. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser had ordered a withdrawal of the UN forces on the border and announced a blockade of Israeli goods through the Straits of Tiran.

At the same time, Syria increased border clashes along the Golan Heights and mobilized its troops. Israel had no choice but to strike first: An Arab attack was imminent. This was confirmed when within hours of the Jewish state’s airstrikes against Egyptian airfields, Jordan and Syrian forces attacked Israelis forces.

Perpetuating the Narrative of the Rich Israeli vs. Poor Palestinian

Rather abruptly, Krauss works this into his article:

The Falic family of Florida, owners of the ubiquitous chain of Duty Free Americas shops, is a major investor in the winery. An Associated Press investigation last year found that the family has donated at least $5.6 million to settler groups in the West Bank and east Jerusalem over the past decade. Since 2000, they have donated at least $1.7 million to pro-Israel politicians in the US, both Democrats and Republicans, including Trump.”

This quote could well lead a reader to conclude that the ‘settler groups’ are propped up and sustained by foreign, specifically American, individuals and interest groups. But while Krauss sees it fit to focus on international aid to Jewish people living over the Green Line, he blithely overlooks the Palestinians living in the West Bank. Do they not have any overseas benefactors?

Far from being left to fend for themselves, the Palestinians have received approximately $40 billion in foreign aid between 1994 and 2017. According to the World Bank, Gaza and the West Bank receive a per capita aid budget over double the next largest recipient. Yet despite this largesse, the Palestinian victim narrative continues to hold sway. Perhaps the funneling of this aid from schools, hospitals, roads, businesses and homes to terrorist salaries is keeping the Palestinian people downtrodden.

AP and ABC News Sidestep Inconvenient Truths

Journalists who report on one side of a conflict are – at best – only doing half their job. By omitting, misrepresenting, or glossing over irrefutable facts pertaining to the other side, especially when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, articles like this can have a powerful impact on public perceptions.

And when the end result is a story that conveys a prejudice in favor of or against one group compared with another, it creates a kind of bias that bespeaks unprofessional, unbalanced, agenda-driven journalism.

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Featured image: Via Wikimedia Commons and Getty Images.

Source material can be found at this site.

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