Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Who is telling the truth about Israeli settlements

Peace Now and Camera make different claims about West Bank land ownership. We can't easily get to the bottom of this issue, but it seems to me that Zionist advocacy should not be devoted to defending the occupation, while peace advocacy should not be devoted to Israel bashing. If we continue in this way, there will be no Israel to argue about.  


CAMERA's condemnation of Peace Now report nothing but spin, distortion
Ori Nir Published:  03.29.07, 10:31 / Israel Opinion

CAMERA's continued criticism of Peace Now's report on West Bank settlement construction on private Palestinian land (Tamar Sternthal: "Wildly inaccurate report" – 21 March 2007) is odd.
 It's peculiar because the newly submitted official Israeli government data, with which Peace Now updated its November 2006 report on this issue, strongly substantiates the original report. The official data, which Peace Now was able to receive from the West Bank's Civil Administration after a long legal battle, leave no room for doubt about Peace Now's findings: Large portions of the West Bank land in control of the settlers – as much as one third – are privately owned by Palestinians.
This finding has serious implications for Israel's security and for the legality of these settlement sites under Israeli law.
 You would think that the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America would be interested in presenting the facts - accurately. But since CAMERA's Sternthal did such a poor job with them in her commentary, let's review:
The original Peace Now report was based on Civil Administration data, dated 2004, which was leaked to Peace Now by a credible source. Peace Now held off for a long time before releasing its report, hoping that the government would respond positively to its request to provide the official data. Unfortunately, this didn't happen, and Peace Now was forced to sue the government under Israel's freedom of information law.
When the government did eventually respond, it argued that release of the data could damage Israel's foreign relations. Peace Now understood this as a clear indication both that the government recognized how embarrassing and compromising the facts were, and that the government was ready to go to great lengths to avoid releasing the data.
Peace Now subsequently decided to release its report, based on the leaked data, in part to challenge the government to release what clearly ought to be in the public domain. This tactic appears to have worked, and shortly after the report's was published, the government agreed to settle out of court and released the official data.
This new dataset is dated 2007. The information is fresh and it is official. And it generally substantiates the findings of November's report. Yes, there are discrepancies between the two reports but they reflect differences between the two datasets, not errors in Peace Now's thesis or analysis.
The whole truth
In some cases, the new data paint a picture that is worse than originally reported: In some settlements, the percentage of privately owned Palestinian land is larger than what the 2004 database showed. In other cases, the percentage of privately owned Palestinian land is smaller than what the 2004 database showed.
One such settlement is Ma'ale Adumim, the second-largest settlement in the West Bank. What CAMERA fails to note, or tries to hide, is that this one case accounts for nearly the entire difference between the 2004 and the 2007 data. If you leave Ma'ale Adumim out of the analysis, the remaining discrepancies amount to only 1%.
 What is the reason for the differences between these two sets of data? There is no clear answer. Those who may know sit in the Civil Administration, and they are not telling. We can only speculate: Possibly, there were land acquisitions between 2004 and 2007, or, more likely, some of the land could have been declared "State Land." It is also possible that the differences are a result of the reexamination of West Bank land status by a newly appointed Civil Administration taskforce (known as the "Blue Line Team.")
 Whatever the reason, Peace Now has not tried to hide the discrepancies, regardless of whether they paint a better or worse picture of the situation. Peace Now promptly updated the public with all of the new data right after completing its analysis earlier this month.
CAMERA, however, seems more interested in discrediting Peace Now than in telling the story straight. It is yet another example for how an organization that purports to promote "accuracy" offers nothing more than spin and distortion.
Peace Now has done its utmost - and will continue to do so - to bring the best available information about settlements into the public domain. Unlike CAMERA, it does not fear the truth and does not distort it. It certainly was not Peace Now who created the damaging facts on the ground in the West Bank.
What happens in the West Bank impacts the security and wellbeing of all Israelis. Peace Now and its American sister organization believe that Israelis and their friends in America have the right to know the truth about it. The whole truth.
Ori Nir, former West Bank correspondent for the Israeli daily Haaretz, is the spokesman for Americans for Peace Now, a Zionist organization that promotes Israel's security through peace.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by

Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israël in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog

Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Isfake lobby

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory