Jerusalem Letter / Viewpoints

No. 460   26 Av 5761 / 15 August 2001


Jeff Helmreich

A Pattern of Violations / Mistranslation / Meaningful Mistakes / Matters of Opinion / The Pattern: "A Struggle for Statehood" / Responding to the Media

A Pattern of Violations

On May 15, 2001, the Associated Press circulated an article covering Arafat's Al-Naqba speech, marking the day Palestinians recall the "catastrophe" of the creation of the State of Israel. The article boasted direct quotations of the Palestinian leader's statements. They had been spoken in Cairo, broadcast on Palestinian radio stations, and blared out from loudspeakers into the streets of Nablus and Ramallah and all across Gaza. But something happened to the speech on the way to AP's wire report. By the time it reached the newspapers, entire sentences and clauses had been excluded; moderating words had been added; fiery attacks -- like a slur about the United States -- had been cleaned out; statements had been condensed, enhanced, or otherwise altered. In short, AP's purported "excerpts" of Arafat's remarks were at best edited, at worst fabricated. Moreover, they served to distort (and significantly soften) the message that passed through Arafat's lips.1

In presenting a revised version of a speech as a direct quotation, the Associated Press had violated -- some would say severely violated -- major credos of professional journalism. Such violations could include "cleaning" or changing quotations, condensing them without ellipses or other indications, failing to attribute, cite, or mention the use of a translation, and more generally, inaccurate reporting -- presenting something as it is not. AP violated not only the ethics codes of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Newspaper Editors, but its own internal code and style book, as well.

In this, AP is not alone. An analysis of major English-language print news shows that such practices, which violate professional journalism codes, dominate reporting on Israel and the Palestinians. Careless reporting and errors, severely disciplined in the coverage of other beats, abound unrestricted in Middle East reporting, and in some of the most respected print media in the English language. Such liberties include not only altered quotes and mistranslations, but outright mistakes and demonstrably false statements, the presenting as fact of assertions that turn out to be indisputably the author's speculation (by the author's own buried confession), the failure to check or even use sources, misnaming or misidentifying groups and events, and a variety of gray areas that fall between deceit and distortion. Each of the cases considered here involve practices that have been censured in coverage of other topics, either with corrections or discipline. But in the case of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, these transgressions continue unchallenged.

The violations form a pattern. In cases when they uphold a certain view of the Arab-Israeli conflict, it is consistently one view in particular, that the conflict was initiated solely by alleged Israeli practices in the West Bank and Gaza rather than by any wide-scale hostility toward Israel as a whole or toward the nature and identity of Israel as a state. Thus, anti-Israel organizations are reinvented as merely "opposing Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza," violent actions are romanticized as protesting "the occupation," key terms and players are misnamed or mistranslated, or else liberally re-interpreted without the open use of a source, and fanciful theories about "resistance" are presented as fact before (embarrassingly) they are recanted months later in the face of contrary evidence.

The following analysis does not charge anti-Semitism, malice, or any other interpretation of an author's motives. Nor is there treatment of such general and vague categories as imbalances, loaded language, or out-of-context accounts. Rather, this study restricts itself to journalistic deviations that can be reasonably and easily demonstrated as such -- often using the same news source as evidence -- like errors, misquotes, and contradictions of established fact. While the errors cited here may be consistent with presenting reporters as biased, or anti-Israel, they are equally consistent with the view that such reporters are merely reckless, highly incompetent, or wildly imperceptive.

Many reporters have been accused of harboring anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian sentiment. But far fewer have been called to task directly on the integrity of their fact-checking, accuracy, or adherence to specific journalistic norms or ethics. The evidence suggests that the latter would be a far more effective way to correct distorted coverage and improve the portrayal of this most complex of conflicts.


Palestine Satellite TV in Gaza broadcast the following remark from Yasser Arafat's Al-Nakba speech on May 15, picked up by the British Broadcasting Corporation: "The executioner is relishing the shedding of Palestinian blood, thanks to the blind military machine and international protection granted to him by influential and hegemonistic powers in the international community." The Associated Press, however, offered this version: "The executioners continue to walk through the puddles of our blood with their military escalation and siege on our towns and villages and camps."2

Notice the difference, even allowing for variation in translations: the criticism of the U.S. is gone entirely from the AP version. American newspapers would now be spared the harsh reference to "the influential hegemonistic powers" that grant Israel's "blind military machine" international protection.

The BBC transcript included other fiery and dramatic clauses: "The blind military force, which the Israeli occupation government is launching against our people in order to destroy them and wipe out their existence, will never achieve peace and security and will not enforce capitulation on our people" (emphasis added). Again, the AP version waters down the statement, recounted simply as: "Blind military might will not bring about peace, it will not bring our people to its knees." No reference appears here to the force Israel allegedly uses to "destroy them and wipe out their existence." Yet there also appears no ellipses or bracketed indication to explain why the AP's version is abridged and, as a result, in this case, far less radical. Indeed, nearly all of the quotes lifted by the AP version involve large deletions, alterations, and editing, and yet, against basic journalistic practice, there is no indication of the changes.

The Washington Post, which used the AP version of the speech, was itself no stranger to such alterations. In reporting on the ninth summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), both John Lancaster of the Washington Post (November 12, 2000) and Donna Abu-Nasr of the Associated Press (November 13) quote Arafat saying the Palestinians "are determined more then ever to continue their jihad and the resistance of the occupation."3 Yet the BBC translation -- citing Arab radio broadcasts as its source -- puts the quote this way: "In spite of this, our people are determined more than ever before -- through the help of their brothers and friends -- to continue their jihad in the blessed Al-Aqsa uprising." Lancaster and Nasr include the additional -- and apparently extraneous -- reference to resisting occupation, an interesting way to contextualize Arafat's remark.

Adding the phrase "resistance of the occupation" softens Arafat's call for jihad -- giving it the appearance of being directed not against Israel, per se, but merely Israel's "occupation." The apparent addition is also a violation of basic journalistic norms, both professional and ethical. The New York Times internal editorial code is the most detailed on this issue, but the provision is doctrine for AP and other news media as well. According to telephone conversations with editors: "Readers should be able to assume that every word between quotation marks is what the speaker or writer said."4 Quotes should not be appended, nor their meanings changed.

Sometimes, even the deletion of one word alters the meaning of a quotation considerably. Following the terrorist bombing at a Tel Aviv discotheque on June 1, 2001, Arafat delivered prepared remarks on a cease-fire the very next day. Both the New York Times and the Washington Post featured headlines saying Arafat called for a cease-fire, and quote him as pledging to exert his "utmost efforts" to end the violence.5 But a version provided by the BBC monitoring the Voice of Palestine radio, along with a translation by MEMRI, quote Arafat saying only that the Palestinians were "ready" to exert such efforts, rather than pledging to do so.6 In fact, Arafat only agreed to the cease-fire understandings brokered by CIA Director George Tenet on June 13, 2001. Mistranslation would lead the reader to believe that the cease-fire had already begun two weeks earlier.

Meaningful Mistakes

Accuracy is the ultimate standard in journalism; all other criteria for rating news coverage derive in some way from a measure of accuracy. The very first provision in the official code of the Society of Professional Journalists, an international umbrella organization, calls on reporters to "Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error."

In Middle East reporting, inaccuracies abound. Some undoubtedly result from the normal constraints, complexities, and rushed nature of foreign reporting. Nevertheless, many of the errors, taken together, add up to a distinct and one-sided portrait of the conflict: as a dispute exclusively over Israel's presence in the West Bank and Gaza.

In the past year alone, two press organizations even falsely characterized UN resolutions as requiring Israel to withdraw entirely from the West Bank and Gaza. An Associated Press article asserted: "Security council resolutions 242 and 338 call on Israel to withdraw from all territory captured in the Arab-Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973, which includes east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Golan Heights."7 This is inaccurate. Resolution 242 famously calls on Israel to withdraw from "territory," decidedly not "all territory," and the borders of such a withdrawal are meant to reflect each state's right to live in "secure and recognized" boundaries in the region.

The New York Times caught this distinction, and it ran a correction for committing essentially the same error as the AP: William A. Orme had cited "resolutions" calling on Israel to withdraw to its "pre-1967 borders."8 As the Times correction pointed out, no such resolutions exist.

Facts or language that show Palestinians to be opposed to Israel itself are misidentified -- in what sometimes looks like creative revision -- in a manner that hides or obscures the anti-Israel sentiment. For example, in recent years Palestinians have been commemorating May 15 as the day of Al-Nakba, "the catastrophe," a reference to the very creation of the State of Israel. Yet this past year AP offered a reinterpretation of the term, claiming it is simply what "the Palestinians call their displacement," to wit, the refugee crisis -- rather than the "disaster" of Israel's birth.9

In a similar vein, Greg Myre of the AP states: "The May 15 anniversary...marks the day when Palestinians were uprooted and the state of Israel created."10 Several falsehoods and distortions here need redressing. First, "the Palestinians" as a whole were not uprooted on May 15 -- some did, in fact, flee the conflict earlier and later that year, while others were driven out when their towns became battlefields, and many remained in Israel. Second, any "uprooting" that did take place was not limited to May 15, as though to pave the way for the creation of Israel; rather, it happened over a period of time throughout the 1948 war.

If commemorating Al-Nakba reflects basic opposition to Israel's existence, despite the revision, so do some aspects of the current Palestinian "uprising," which combines the Islamist Hamas with the more nationalist Fatah and a variety of other interests. Still, continuing the pattern, AP redefines the uprising as follows: "Palestinians pledged to press on with their current uprising in a decades-old bid for statehood" (emphasis added).11

Yet the current uprising cannot be accurately depicted as a "bid for statehood." Never mind that, by some accounts, this intifada was launched precisely in rejection of an Israeli offer of Palestinian statehood in August 2000. Consider that the movement includes groups like Islamic Jihad and Hamas that seek Israel's destruction, not "statehood," or that no particular cause has been settled upon to capture the entire movement. For apart from all that, today's unrest could not be a "decades-old" bid for statehood, for the simple reason that the Palestinian movement only first seriously considered the option of statehood -- as opposed to armed struggle against Israel -- in the Palestine National Council summit in Algiers in 1988, if at all. Certainly, the Palestinians did not seek a Palestinian state from 1948 until 1967, when Jordan occupied the West Bank and Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip.

Again, these particular distortions serve to overstate the Palestinian struggle for statehood or independence, while obscuring blanket opposition to Israel as a state (as Al-Nakba might otherwise be understood). Reporters for the Washington Post take this idea a step further, extending it even to terrorist organizations: "Hamas and Islamic Jihad have separate roots, but both are committed to creating an Islamic Palestinian state and have taken a more radical approach to achieving that end than has Arafat's Fatah."12 The implication here is that Fatah and Hamas have the same "end" which they have different ways of achieving, Hamas's way being the more "radical."

In a more recent article about Hamas, Lee Hockstader says: "The group's goal is an independent homeland in at least the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- and, Israelis fear, on the territory of the Jewish state."13 Hockstader had gotten it backward: Hamas's goal is liberation, not statehood, and it most definitely include "the territory of the Jewish state." Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmad Yassin has declared that Hamas would continue its holy war "against the Zionist occupier until we will liberate all of Palestine."14 Yet Hockstader misidentifies Hamas's chief goal as independent statehood.

Terrorist groups are not the only subjects who are mischaracterized as more moderate than they are. When Faysal al-Husseini died, the New York Times and the Associated Press featured headlines calling Husseini a "champion of living in peace," or a "champion of coexistence," a view supported by the articles themselves.15 Yet Husseini had spoken out decidedly against coexistence with Israel, citing his "long-term goal, which is the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea," and calling the Israeli-Palestinian Oslo agreements a "Trojan Horse."16 Husseini's hard-line views had been documented years earlier. Indeed, as early as 1992, Husseini told a Jordanian newspaper that: "we will bring about the gradual dissolution of the Zionist entity."17 Nonetheless, these assertions about Husseini's moderation were made, partly because these print media outlets did not seriously research the subject, perhaps relying on their own subjectivity instead.

Matters of Opinion

All the major codes of journalistic standards demand that straight reporting be distinguished from commentary, particularly unattributed commentary. The code of ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists puts it as follows: "Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context." Article V of the Statement of Principles of the American Society of Newspaper Editors says: "Sound practice, however, demands a clear distinction for the reader between news reports and opinion. Articles that contain opinion or personal interpretation should be clearly identified." The Code of Ethics of the Associated Press Managing Editors, revised version of 1995, contains the following under the heading "Integrity": "Editorials and expressions of personal opinion by reporters and editors should be clearly labeled."

In their coverage of the Al Aqsa intifada, nearly all the major print newspapers and wire services printed as fact an assertion that was, in reality, a guess: that the violence was started by then opposition leader Ariel Sharon, when he visited the Temple Mount in September 2000. There was virtually no way to have confirmed this assertion: the violence had erupted very quickly in a wide range of towns and cities before reporters could possibly have interviewed the perpetrators as to their motivations. Moreover, their own reporting showed uncertainty as to whether Sharon's visit initiated the outbreak. Nevertheless, the assertion is depicted as objective fact.

Lee Hockstader wrote in the Washington Post on October 22: "It was Sharon's September 28 visit to a Jerusalem shrine sacred to Muslims and Jews that ignited the current Palestinian uprising."18 A week later he attributes a statement to "Sharon, who sparked the uprising a month ago when he visited a Jerusalem site sacred to both Jews and Muslims."19 Nevertheless, Hockstader reveals some uncertainty, writing in a separate article around the same time: "Ariel Sharon, whose visit to a Jerusalem shrine holy to Muslims and Jews on Sept. 28 helped spark the riots that erupted the next day."20 Months later, he characterized the riots as having been an "attempt to end Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza."21

Other press organizations reflect a similar tension between matters of fact and matters of opinion concerning the start of the violence. Karen Laub of the Associated Press first asserted plainly that: "The trigger for the violence was a visit by Israel's hard-line opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, last week to a bitterly contested Jerusalem shrine sacred to Muslims and Jews."22 Shortly thereafter, however, Laub acknowledges that the question of what started the riot was actually a matter of dispute: "The argument is part of the overall debate over whether the riots are a spontaneous outburst of Palestinian anger or are orchestrated to some degree by Arafat to extract concessions from Israel in the negotiations."23

A similar tension is revealed in an article by William A. Orme, Jr., of the New York Times. Orme begins: "Since Thursday, when a defiant visit by Israel's right-wing opposition leader to the most sacred Islamic site in Jerusalem ignited Palestinian protests throughout the territories and in Israel itself, at least 48 people have been killed."24 But later in the same piece he speaks of "The Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon, who is accused of igniting the latest violence by leading a delegation from his Likud Party onto the plaza outside the Dome of the Rock" (emphasis added).25 Similarly, Times colleague Deborah Sontag writes: "This morning, both sides started out tense, after clashes on Thursday provoked by Mr. Sharon's visit."26 But later, she states merely: "It is widely believed here that the present violence was touched off by Mr. Sharon's visit on Thursday" (emphasis added).27

Although it seems from these examples that the reporters could not completely determine whether this was a matter of fact or speculation, the question was settled months later when the Times reported: "An investigation committee led by former United States Senator George J. Mitchell later concluded that 'the Sharon visit did not cause the Al Aksa intifada,' but added that 'it was poorly timed, and the provocative effect should have been foreseen.'"28

In nearly all the examples above, the statement that Sharon sparked the violence is later deemed by the reporters to be a matter of speculation. Nevertheless, they initially asserted it as objective fact. Yet there was already reason to doubt the truth of the claim even in the final days of September 2000 when the riots began. As Dore Gold has pointed out, Palestinian leaders had already been planning for violence as soon as the Camp David II negotiations fell apart in August; indeed, such leaders themselves affirmed months later that Sharon's visit was not the true cause of the Al Aqsa intifada.29

In any event, as noted earlier, the reporters could not have known at that point exactly what had prompted the violence that broke out all across the West Bank and Gaza. At the very least, the theory that Sharon was the sole cause might qualify as "commentary" or "analysis," which the codes of journalistic standards call for setting apart from straight reporting.

The Pattern: "A Struggle for Statehood"

The insistence that the violence was provoked by Israeli actions, be they Sharon's visit, settlements, or a military presence anywhere in the West Bank, supports a larger distortion: that the Palestinian struggle is not against Israel but against Israel's actions in the territories. That the reporters hold this view can be confirmed by their own words.

Howard Schneider of the Washington Post, like Lee Hockstader, describes the current intifada as the "uprising against Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank."30 In another article, Hockstader delivers an overview of what he feels is driving Palestinian concerns: "The Palestinians' sense of grievance is bound up in long-standing and unmet demands -- for an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital; for the return of refugees who fled or were forced from their homes in Israel's 1948 War of Independence; for the release of prisoners held for years in Israeli jails; and for the return of West Bank and Gaza territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war."31

Nowhere in this list is there any mention of hostility towards Israel as a Jewish or Western state or a transcendent ideological opposition to Israel; there are merely concrete grievances over the need, in Hockstader's words, to "deliver economic and political benefits," chiefly an independent state.

In a more personal confession, another Post reporter, Daniel Williams, adds: "I had hoped that, after almost 10 years of talks, peace would prevail. By now, the Palestinians were supposed to possess a cozy little state next to Israel. By now, pain and tragedy in these rocky hills were to have faded. Reason would rule over passions."32

The Associated Press, for its part, has also sought to frame the conflict chiefly in terms of a Palestinian aspiration toward statehood. In June 2001, more than eight months after Arafat rejected an offer of statehood, AP launched a series of articles on "the Palestinian quest for statehood and how it is faring."33 Author Karen Laub writes: "It is a despair felt from the destitute refugee camps of the Gaza Strip to the luxury office towers of Ramallah: Just when independence seemed within grasp, after seven years of excruciating bargaining with Israel, the Palestinians find themselves embroiled in one of the worst crises since their uprooting in the 1948 Mideast war."34

If the conventional wisdom among journalists is that independence is the driving issue for Palestinians, it is not a universal wisdom. After the first month of violence, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times concluded that the Palestinian grievance was with Israel itself: "Second, to think that the Palestinians are only enraged about settlements is also fatuous nonsense. Talk to the 15-year-olds. Their grievance is not just with Israeli settlements, but with Israel. Most Palestinians simply do not accept that the Jews have any authentic right to be here. For this reason, any Palestinian state that comes into being should never be permitted to have any heavy weapons, because if the Palestinians had them today their extremists would be using them on Tel Aviv."35

Still, many other journalists, including Friedman's colleague at the Times, Deborah Sontag, apparently believe that statehood -- or lack of it -- remains the fundamental Palestinian gripe with Israel. Indeed, Sontag wrote recently that the main reason Palestinians rejected former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's Camp David proposal was that: "it was a proposal that the Palestinians did not believe would leave them with a viable state."36 In this Sontag echoes the sentiments of colleagues at the Washington Post and Associated Press, among others.

It should not come as a surprise that these reporters are predisposed to view the conflict in terms of a yearning for an independent Palestine. They are, after all, Western journalists and are simply imposing a convenient Western motif, the struggle for independence from colonial occupation, on the unfamiliar terrain of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Where the facts do not necessarily fit, they simply get revised, in ways that amount to shoddy journalism: hence the mistranslations of Arafat's remarks, the reinterpretation of Al-Nakba and the goals of Hamas, the creative theorizing about the causes of the Al Aqsa intifada, and the errors about Resolution 242, for example.

The popular narrative of the conflict as a struggle for statehood carries an unfortunate consequence: if, in fact, the conflict is driven primarily by a Palestinian desire for independence in all of the West Bank and Gaza, with every inch free of Jewish residents and soldiers, then Israel is to blame for holding up a solution. It can provide the resolution of all Palestinian grievances and yet it refuses to do so, according to this line of reasoning. Thus, the common journalist's view of Israel and the Palestinians -- as a struggle for Palestinian statehood -- leads to an imbalanced approach to the conflict, apt to blame Israel for all the setbacks.

Joel Brinkley, a former Israel correspondent for the New York Times, was asked by the Long Island Jewish World if he detected a pro-Palestinian leaning in the press corps: "Yes, slightly," Brinkley responded. "This was especially true 10 years ago, when the Palestinians were seen as the weak and disenfranchised victim."

Responding to the Media

Some pro-Israel groups have responded to perceived imbalances by openly charging that reporters are anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic. There is reason to believe this tactic is ill-advised.

Brinkley, for one, recalled: "As a foreign correspondent, you develop a pretty thick skin early on in your career." If anything, he said, such aggressive tactics are counterproductive. The most unpleasant aspect of his tenure in Israel, he said, was "the unrelenting advocacy coming from both sides."

One Newsday correspondent recalled in an interview her colleague, who proudly kept a file on his desk called "Threats and Pleas." He reportedly took to regaling colleagues about each new attack on his character or credibility.

On the other hand, reporters appear to be sensitive to the possibility of censure on grounds of journalistic impropriety, coming from within their professional milieu.

"There is nothing a journalist fears more than having a correction printed about his story," said Serge Schmemann, deputy foreign editor of the New York Times and a former Israel correspondent, in an interview with the Jewish World. In this vein, Times Executive Editor Joseph Lelyveld addressed his employees in a speech with, among other complaints, the following castigation: "Three times in recent months we've had to run corrections on the actual provisions of UN Resolution 242, providing great cheer and sustenance to those readers who are convinced we are opinionated and not well informed on Middle East issues."37

Ever since 1951, the Times editorial board has circulated a one-page memo entitled "Winners & Sinners." The dreaded document could spell embarrassment or worse to reporters found guilty of journalistic transgressions. With each new edition, they "scanned it to see whether they were represented for better or for worse, whether it was safe to laugh at some other unfortunate's misdemeanor or to hold the laugh until one was sure one was well out of it."38

A successful attempt to improve the fairness and accuracy of Israel coverage might have to imitate the qualities of "Winners & Sinners," using professional rather than personal critiques, playing to the credos of journalism and the scrutiny of one's peers and colleagues rather than those of the watchdog groups far removed from the media meritocracy.

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1. "Arafat Urges Palestinians to Remain Steadfast in Al-Nakbah Day Speech," Palestinian Satellite Channel TV (May 15, 2001), translated by the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Worldwide Monitoring. Compare with "Excerpts from Arafat's Al-Naqba Speech," Associated Press (May 15, 2001), International News.

2. Ibid.

3. John Lancaster, "Israeli Leader Follows Earlier Meeting with Arafat, But No Progress is Made on Ending Violence," Washington Post (November 13, 2000), p. A2. Donna Abu-Nasr, "Ninth Islamic Summit Opens with Strong Words of Support for Palestinians," Associated Press (November 12, 2000), International News.

4. From "The New York Times: Guidelines on Our Integrity," May 1999.

5. Deborah Sontag, "Arafat Calls for Cease-Fire, Deploring Tel Aviv Attack," New York Times (June 3, 2001), p. A1. Lee Hockstader, "Arafat Calls for End to Bloodshed; Palestinian Leader Denounces Suicide Bombing in Tel Aviv," Washington Post (June 3, 2001), p. A1.

6. "Arafat Ready for 'Immediate,' 'Unconditional' Cease-fire," BBC Monitoring Middle East -- Political (June 2, 2001), source cited as Voice of Palestine (radio), Ramallah, in Arabic, June 2, 2001.

7. "Syrian Minister Hails Israeli Withdrawal from Lebanon," Associated Press (April 8, 2000), International News.

8. William A. Orme, "Peace Negotiators Meet in Egypt as Israeli Election Nears," New York Times (January 22, 2001), p. A6.

9. "Arafat Urges Palestinians to Remain Steadfast in Al-Nakbah Day Speech," op. cit.

10. Greg Myre, "Palestinians Mark Anniversary; Four Killed, More than 200 Injured," Associated Press (May 15, 2001), International News.

11. Ibid.

12. Keith B. Richburg, "Arafat Turns to Militants in Uprising; Freed Extremists Become Part of Palestinian 'Resistance,'" Washington Post (October 25, 2000), p. A1.

13. Lee Hockstader, "Palestinians Find Heroes in Hamas; Popularity Surges for Once-Marginal Sponsor of Suicide Bombings," Washington Post (August 10, 2001).

14. "Hamas Leaders Vow to Press Fight Against Israel," Washington Post, Briefs (December 27, 1999), p. A16.

15. Deborah Sontag, "A Palestinian Champion of Living in Peace is Dead," New York Times (June 1, 2001), p. A6. Karin Laub, "Faisal Husseini, Palestinian Champion of Coexistence, Dead at 60," Associated Press (May 31, 2001), International News.

16. Al-Arabi (Egypt), June 24, 2001. Translated by the Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI), Special Dispatch No. 236 -- PA, July 2, 2001.

17. Al Rai (Amman), November 12, 1992. As cited in Benjamin Netanyahu, A Place Among the Nations (New York: Bantam Books, 1993), p. 102.

18. Lee Hockstader, "Israel Declares 'Timeout'; Peace Effort on Hold; Coalition May Realign," Washington Post (October 23, 2000), p. A1.

19. Lee Hockstader, "Israeli Helicopters Hit Key Palestinian Offices," Washington Post (October 31, 2000), p. A1.

20. Lee Hockstader, "Turning Idealism Into Doubt; Continued Violence Strains Israeli Peace Movement," Washington Post (October 10, 2000), p. A1.

21. Lee Hockstader, "First Arab in Israeli Cabinet has Delicate Balancing Act; Even Some Fellow Druze Consider Salah Tarif a Sellout," Washington Post (April 1, 2001), p. A22.

22. Karen Laub, "Twelve Killed in Second Day of Clashes; Worst Violence in Four Years," Associated Press (September 30, 2000), International News.

23. Karen Laub, "Israel Says Arafat Lures Protesters with Money; Palestinians Say It's Compensation," Associated Press (October 9, 2000), International News.

24. William A. Orme, Jr., "Whose Holyland -- The Overview: As Arabs and Israelis Fight On, Albright Seeks Talks," New York Times (October 3, 2000), p. A1.

25. Ibid.

26. Deborah Sontag, "Battle at Jerusalem Holy Site Leaves 4 Dead and 200 Hurt," New York Times (September 30, 2000), p. A1.

27. Deborah Sontag, "Violence Spreads to Israeli Towns; Arab Toll at 28," New York Times (October 2, 2000), p. A1.

28. Clyde Haberman, "Melee at Jerusalem's Most Sacred and Explosive Site," New York Times (July 30, 2001), p. A3.

29. Dore Gold, Jerusalem in International Diplomacy (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, May 2001), pp. 53-54.

30. Howard Schneider, "Gun Battle in Gaza Jeopardizes Fragile Cease-Fire," Washington Post (June 4, 2001) p. A17.

31. Lee Hockstader, "The Bonds of Blood, Anger Unites Fractious Palestinians as Prospects for Peace Slip Away," Washington Post (October 7, 2000), p. A1.

32. Daniel Williams, "The Second Uprising; Washington Still Hopes to Make Peace between Arabs and Jews. But in the West Bank City of Ramallah, Palestinians have Returned to a More Violent Model of Nation-Building," Washington Post, Magazine (January 21, 2001), p. W8.

33. Karen Laub, "Conflict with Israel has Slowed the Palestinians' Quest for Statehood," Associated Press (June 20, 2001), International News.

34. Ibid.

35. Thomas L. Friedman, "Ritual Sacrifice," New York Times (October 31, 2001), p. A27.

36. Deborah Sontag, "Quest for Mideast Peace: How and Why It Failed," New York Times (July 26, 2001), p. A1.

37. From an internal New York Times report on a speech by Executive Editor Joseph Lelyveld at the Fourth Annual Newsroom Retreat held in Tarrytown, New York, September 14, 2000. Cited by SmarterTimes.Com.

38. Richard F. Shepard, The Paper's Papers (New York: New York Times Company, 1996), pp. 322-23.

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Jeff Helmreich, an editor at the Long Island Jewish World and Manhattan Jewish Sentinel, has written on the Middle East for the Los Angeles Times, the Jerusalem Post, the Forward, and academic journals. He is the author of "The Israel Swing Factor: How the American Jewish Vote Influences U.S. Elections" (Jerusalem Viewpoints #446, January 15, 2001).

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