Guardian’s obsessively critical coverage of E-1 construction proposal, by the numbers


News that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced the start of planning for home construction in the area known as E-1, between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim, received saturation coverage at the Guardian.

Between Dec. 1 and Dec. 4, the Guardian’s coverage included an official editorial, analysis by Middle East editor, Ian Black, reports by Harriet Sherwood, a ‘Live Blog‘ on the announcement and political fallout, a photo story and a video.

The coverage almost exclusively advanced the narrative that plans to eventually build homes in E-1 would represent a death knell to the Two State Solution, would literally cut the West Bank in two, and would deny access to eastern Jerusalem to West Bank Palestinians.

(Most of of these arguments were proven to be demonstrably false.)

westbank-e1

E-1 in (yellow), between Jerusalem (light gray) and Ma’ale Adumim (purple)

Here’s a statistical and narrative summary of the Guardian’s coverage of E-1

  • Total number of words in Guardian reports, analyses and commentaries on E-1 : Nearly 8,000
  • Total number of separate reports or commentaries on E-1: 14 
  • Number of reports or commentaries which were mostly or entirely negative towards Israeli plans: 13*
  • Number of false allegations suggesting that E-1 construction would cut the West Bank in two, or would cut off eastern Jerusalem from the West Bank: 7
  • Number of times the above allegations, suggesting that E-1 would cut the WB in two, and cut eastern Jerusalem from the WB, were refuted by someone sympathetic to E-1: 1
  • Number of times it was argued that E-1 construction would make the creation of a viable and contiguous Palestinian state impossible or undermine the ‘Peace Process': 30
  • Number of times the above allegations, suggesting that E-1 jeopardizes the ‘Peace Process’, were refuted:
  • Number of times it was noted that E-1 construction represented an Israeli consensus: 1

*Harriet Sherwood’s Dec. 3 report was somewhat balanced.

44 comments on “Guardian’s obsessively critical coverage of E-1 construction proposal, by the numbers

  1. I take issue with the way Bibi has been handling things.

    Build and build more. Don’t announce in public. Don’t give Guardian hypocrites something to talk about.

    No editorials or CIF articles condemning Mashaal for his recent redeclaration of war [in violation of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, by the way]; instead they focus unceasingly on some housing project.

    Sovereign rights let you build anywhere on your land.

    The French, for example, don’t announce to the world what plans they have in and around Alsace-Lorraine.

    Yehuda ve Shamron along with Yerushalaim is sovereign Jewish land. One must operate from this premise.

    • Rarely has Israel looked lonelier. Netanyahu’s government’s determination to build thousands of new houses inside Israeli settlements built in violation of international law in the West Bank is threatening to cut Israel off Western democracies. Even the Americans object to what many call a betrayal of America’s friendship. With his obsession of settlements built on another state’s land, Netanyahu is threatening to destroy all the links Israel has established with Westerm democracies aover the years. He is sacrificing the Jewish state on the altar of settlements built outside the Jewish state for a handful of settlers who do not want to get a job and pay the rent in Israel like any other Israeli, but prefer to live in settlements outside Israel.

      • The Israelis had no real friends in 67, still they won and won big. Today, from Israel’s perspective things look much brighter. Russia is a partner in many endeavors; China begs from dawn to dusk for advanced hardware, and the US and Israel have never been closer. India and Israel collaborate in several key areas too.

        Europe has changed since the days of the Cold War. Unlike France, Britain and Germany, central and east European countries, do not host sizable Arab/Muslim communities. So there is no need to even pay lip service to Muslim interests. The Czechs, for example, couldn’t care less what the Arabs want.

        You referenced above international law and Israel’s alleged violations of it. You didn’t get it right though.

        Notwithstanding UNSC 242, a palindrome in more ways than one, the West Bank, technically speaking, is terra incognita given that Jordan rescinded all claims in the 1990s. No state today claims full sovereign rights. Israel annexed the old city of Jerusalem soon after the 67 war. So that is a separate issue altogether.

        Territorial acquisition through aggression has been proscribed by the UN Charter and other international conventions. It is true. That said, the 67 war was not a war of aggression.

    • “Yehuda ve Shamron along with Yerushalaim is sovereign Jewish land”

      Says who? God??

      The French, for example, don’t announce to the world what plans they have in and around Alsace-Lorraine.

      Except the French have no intention of annexing Karslruhe or Saarbrücken.

          • The French re-annexed Alsace-Lorraine. That would be more precise.

            In customary international law, the term ‘annexation’ stands for incorporating territory claimed one time or another by someone else.

            • What has this debate got to do with Israel’s bogus claims to Judea and Samaria? Or is it just a question of semantics? Grown men just fiddling with words while children die. It’s nonsense and you know it!

              ________________________________

          • Well, what about YOUR repetitive bogus claim that Israel is an “apartheid laager”? Have you ever tried a bit of self-criticism? Good grief.

    • Judah,

      Alsacelorraine is in France, so the French can build whatever they want there.

      The West Bank, including East jerusalem, is not in Israel, it’s in Palestine. That’s why any Israeli settlement there is in violation of international law and considered illegal

      • That said, I really don’t understand your behaviour. Many Israelis don’t have access to decent housing in Israel because they cannot afford the high level of rents. Why do you want to spend taxpayers’ money to build settlements in a foreign country, Palestine, when there are so many families who need a house in Israel? Have you seen how some families who cannot even afford to pay the gas and electricity bills have renounced properly heating their flats in some parts of Jerusalem? And you want to invest money in a foreign nation?

        • To hold on to Judea and Samaria is a military necessity, first and foremost.

          Abbas controls Ramallah today but who is to say that Mashaal won’t be in charge tomorrow. The situation is too fluid to give up strategic depth. That’s all.

          • Dear Fritz, why do you keep insulting people who disagree with your views? Is it because you lack the intellectual ability to engage in a debate with dignity?

            I am very disappointed by your behaviour. Israel is a country built with people coming from totally different cultures – Easter Europe, Western Europe, Ethiopia, Palestine, North Africa – but they still managed to get along and build a state. It is a country where people are used to being exposed to very different views on life and politics, and where everyone is ready to debate peacefully, showing respect for people who have different views.

            I wish you’d travel to Israel and learn about tolerance and respect.

      • Nat,

        I mentioned Alsace-Lorraine for a reason. For centuries, the two provinces were a casus belli. After WWII, France finally [re]took Alsace -Lorraine and Germany gave up de jure. Jordan also rescinded all claims to Judea and Samaria. So one can see a poignant analogy between two cases. Correlation is @ 90 percent.

        BTW, even today, outside Strasbourg, many if not the majority of Alsatians still communicate in German, not French.

        • Correlation is @ 90 percent.

          Not at all – because you forgot the minor point of the native population! The Palestinians do not want to be part of either Israel or Jordan.

          Let’s assume your wet dream of a god-given Greater Israel comes true – what do you propose be done with the native Arab population of the West Bank?

          • The majority of West Bank Arabs are Jordanian nationals; while some are stateless.

            Show some respect or I will ignore you altogether.

          • @ Judah Kidon

            So you would suggest shifting the Palestinians east of the Jordan, then?

            And what on earth prompted the “Show some respect” comment??

          • Judah, 100% of the Palestinian people are natives of Palestine – the nation that existed centuries before the state of Israel was created in 1948, resulting in the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of locals out of their homes in about half of pre-1948 Palestine – the half that became the state of Israel.

            Today the state of Israel exists side by side with the state of Palestine, with the former militarily occupying the latter, and with a big bunch of refugees who have been neither compensated for the loss of their homes, nor allowed to go back home after the hostilities ended.

          • ” 100% of the Palestinian people are natives of Palestine – the nation that existed centuries before the state of Israel was created in 1948, resulting in the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of locals out of their homes in about half of pre-1948 Palestine – the half that became the state of Israel.

            Today the state of Israel exists side by side with the state of Palestine, with the former militarily occupying the latter, and with a big bunch of refugees who have been neither compensated for the loss of their homes, nor allowed to go back home after the hostilities ended”

            Nat,

            Roughly two centuries ago, just over 200,000 Arabs lived there. I can it back with real stats. Don’t believe me. OK, look it up yourself then.

            Also, with the names like al-Masri, al-Kurdi or al Turki, many are settlers themselves.

            You bestow and confer nationhood where none ever existed. Name their kings and indigenous rulers for starters. Palestine has always been, first and foremost, a geographical area, akin to Pomerania or Hijaz.

            When some claim that Israel was created, they make it sound as if Israel is an artificial entity. Israel has been restored as an independent Jewish state.
            Greece, Poland and Serbia, among others, are in the same category.

            They had their refugees and the Jews had theirs.

            BTW, in the 1950s Israel took in about 50,000 Arabs. They and their descendants are all Israeli citizens, more than one million now. In addition, that UNGA resolution [not binding to begin with] called for peaceful refugees to return after a lasting peace was established.

            There is no peace.

            I sincerely hope that one day there will be peace.

          • Nat ” please show some respect to other people on this forum, even if you disagree with their views”

            I always treat others with utmost respect provided they reciprocate.

            That’s all. .

        • Judah, people in Alsace Lorraine are full-fledged French citizens and wish neither to be German (they suffered during the Nazi era), not to be independent.

          This has nothing to do with the Palestinians, who live in the state of Palestine and do not want to be occupied by the army of a foreign country, Israel.

          • Nat,

            Israeli Arabs enjoy full rights too; as a matter of fact Israel is the only Mideast country, where Arabs are not afraid to speak up.

            Many native Alsatians still don’t like the French.

            Palestine is a not country, never was, and its appellation is akin to Mesopotamia and Assyria.

            That’s all.

          • Judah, the Palestinians living under Israel’s occupation in the territory of Palestine (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza) do not enjoy rights.

            For example, the Israeli settlers living in settlements in Area C of the West Bank can vote in Israel and choose the government, while Palestinians living in the same Area C of the West Bank cannot, even though both are under the rule of the Governement of Israel.

            The Israeli settlers living in settlements in the West Bank are tried in front of Israeli civilian courts, while Palestinians living in the same West Bank are tried in front of military courts which afford very few rights as compared to civilian jurisdictions.

            The Israeli settlers living in settlements in the West Bank can freely go and work in East Jerusalem, palestine, or in Israel, while Palestinians living in the same West Bank cannot.

          • “For example, the Israeli settlers living in settlements in Area C of the West Bank can vote in Israel and choose the government, while Palestinians living in the same Area C of the West Bank cannot, even though both are under the rule of the Governement of Israel”

            Nat,

            For starters, their claims to Jerusalem have no legal standing if one goes strictly by UNGA 181 that deemed Jerusalem a corpus separatum; whereas Israel’s claims to Jerusalem, technically speaking, stem from the 1922 League of Nations Mandate.

            Area C Arab residents will be enfranchised sooner or later because Israel will in all likelihood annex Area C.

            Thanks again.

      • Palestine? How do you know? You mean the Roman province?
        The UN used to call them Arab territories, later on Palestinian territories and now some Palestinian agencies, only nominally UN agencies and much funded by Arab oil dollars, call them OPT.

  2. It is laughable to suggest that the ‘Two-state’ solution is somehow damaged by the latest land-grab in the West Bank.
    The so-called peace process has joined the walking dead a long time ago.
    The whole peace process fairy tale is shot through with carefully orchestrated myths and delusions.
    Myths largely created by the Israelis and by the Americans to some extent.
    Delusions held largely by people from Europe and the US of good will and not necessarily hostile towards Israel.
    Paramount among these myths and legends has been the widely held belief in Europe and the US that Israel has or had any intention of negotiating in good faith.
    Secondly and classically dovetailing with the ‘Partner for Peace’ narrative, is the fiction of Barak and Clinton presenting Arafat with an offer he couldn’t refuse.
    An offer that anyone in their right mind could not refuse.
    He though could see a stitch up and walked away.
    By its actions and its propaganda Israel has sent the clearest signal possible.
    There will be no two-state solution or one-state for that matter.

    • You forgot the greatest myth of all, snottyville: the myth that you and your ilk are concerned with the palestinians.

    • Thank you for repeating the CiF’s “Palestine Papers” perspective, it’s always nice to hear from someone who whines about a lack of peace but is clearly eager to see as many Palestinians and Israelis die in order to preserve his utopian dreams of massive bloodshed. It’s sad that a lot of not-really pro-Palestinian people who are better at lying than you and have a bigger platform to do it also are madly in love with your pet kind of death.

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