THE WASHINGTON POST HAS PUBLICLY CORRECTED ITS MISUSE OF THE TERM “OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES” TO THE CORRECT TERM "DISPUTED TERRITORIES” September 7, 2014
Is this a media breakthrough?
Can the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles and other Jewish publications do anything less? Do the editors now have an obligation to police their writers for accuracy when referring to “settlements”, “settlers”, or even the term “West Bank”?
FACT: This is the Washington Post's undisputed Correction to a mistake they made in an article...
CORRECTIONS A Sept. 5 A-section article about Jordan agreeing to buy natural gas from Israel incorrectly referred to Israel's occupation of "Palestinian lands" in the West Bank. The Israel-occupied territories are disputed lands that Palestinians wants for a future Palestinian state.
BACKGROUND: A Washington Post news article (Friday,9-5-14) incorrectly referred to disputed West Bank land as "Palestinian land." The Sept. 5, 2014 article stated:
Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement in November 1994, but in recent years, relations between the two countries have been strained because of ISRAEL'S CONTINUED OCCUPATION OF PALESTINIAN LAND IN THE WEST BANK [emphasis added] -- a swath of territory sandwiched between the two nations -- and its partial siege of the Gaza Strip, which borders Egypt.
A correction sent to WP by Camera: The West Bank is:
. . . DISPUTED TERRITORY. ITS STATUS IS TO BE RESOLVED BY NEGOTIATIONS ANTICIPATED BY U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS 242 (1967) AND 338 (1973), THE 1995 ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN INTERIM ACCORDS, THE 2003 INTERNATIONAL "ROAD MAP" AND RELATED DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS TAKING 242 AND 338 AS REFERENCE POINTS. THE CO-AUTHORS OF RESOLUTION 242, U.S. UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE EUGENE ROSTOW, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS ARTHUR GOLDBERG, AND BRITISH AMBASSADOR LORD CARADON MADE CLEAR AT THE TIME AND SUBSEQUENTLYTHAT JEWS AND ARABS BOTH HAD CLAIMS IN THE TERRITORIES, NO NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE TERRITORIES HAD BEEN RECOGNIZED SINCE THE END OF OTTOMAN RULE AND NEGOTIATIONS WOULD BE NECESSARY TO RESOLVE COMPETING CLAIMS.
The Post often has referred to the West Bank as "territory Palestinians want for a future state." This is correct. And many Israelis also want at least some of it to be annexed to Israel.
DISCUSSION: If the West Bank were simply Israeli-occupied Palestinian land, in particular sovereign territory belonging to another state and acquired by aggression, then Israel would be required to withdraw and no negotiations would be necessary. But since Israel is the obligatory military occupational authority, having won the territories in a war of self-defense in 1967 and retained them in a similar conflict in 1973, and competing claims remain unresolved, the West Bank is land Palestinians want for a future state, and land at least some of which many Israelis claim for Israel.
The Washington Post ran the following correction in print on Sept. 6:, 2014
In addition, The Post has prominently displayed the correction at the very top of the online article, right under the headline:
While many would have preferred if WaPo had used the more historically accurate name "Judea and Samaria",( and we can discuss whether or not Israel can actually occupy its own homeland, or territory designated to it in prior international agreements,) the fact that WaPo correctly pointed out that legally the territory is at worst disputed and not "Palestinian lands", is to be applauded.
When UN Resolution 242 talks about territories, the discussion is between Israel and the Arab states (WHO HAVE THE ADDITIONAL OBLIGATIONS TO END THEIR STATE OF BELLIGERENCE AGAINST ISRAEL AND FIND A JUST SOLUTION FOR THE JEWISH REFUGEE PROBLEM THEY CREATED WHEN THEY EXPELLED NEARLY A MILLION JEWS FROM THEIR HOMES THROUGHOUT THE MIDDLE EAST).
Never in the history of the world did Israel occupy the "West Bank" from a "Palestine".
We all should be glad that the Washington Post got it right, because semantically anyone making a competing claim will automatically transform that subject into "disputed" - but that doesn't necessarily make that claim valid.