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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Sunday, August 25, 2002




Attention, Fact Checkers!

This letter to "The Economist" newsweekly caught my eye:

Jenin's massacre myth

SIR – You say that “Palestinians accused Israel of massacring up to 500 civilians” in Jenin (“Naught for your comfort”, August 10th). While this charge is widely attributed to Palestinians—even in Kofi Annan's UN report—we have been wholly unable to locate any direct quote from any Palestinian official making it in any media. The confusion appears to have originated when a Palestinian cabinet minister, Saeb Erekat, told CNN on April 10th of unconfirmed reports that up to 500 people had been killed throughout the West Bank in Israel's “Operation Defensive Shield”.

The next day, the Jerusalem Post wrote “Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told CNN that Israel had massacred 500 people in the Jenin camp.” In fact, looking at the CNN transcript from April 10th, Mr Erekat neither made this claim, nor used the word “massacre”. As a publication that sets a higher standard, we urge you to set the record straight, lest one more myth take root among the countless others that fuel the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Ali Abunimah
Nigel Parry
The Electronic Intifada
Chicago


Well, here is The Electronic Intifida, evidently dedicated to countering media spin. The Economist is a great mag, but it definitely does not have an Israeli tilt. So, anyone care to help The Economist and take these guys up on this?

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