Letters to Media in NZ +
Published in the Timaru Herald 29/3/2017
I am writing in response to Stu Oldham's Footnote to Patricia Goodwin's letter March 27.
Mr Oldham quotes an American Journalism Review of honestreporting.com. A quick Google would tell him that it took the name in 1993. The University of Philip Merrill College of Journalism took control in 2011. In July 2015 the college announced it was terminating publication. In 2013 the Review stopped printing and it became an online-only publication which ceased in 2015 so it is in fact defunct.
In contrast Honest Reporting has expanded and exists along with NZ's own: Shalom Kiwi, Kiwis For Balanced Reporting on the Middle East and Whale Oil's blog (NZ's most popular blog) because of misreporting or the skewing of facts especially when 'news' concerns Israel.
Just this month The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) upheld a complaint (17 March, 2017) after Juliet Moses complained that a reporter at TVNZ 1 claimed that Israel's naval blockade of Gaza was illegal. The BSA referred to the Palmer Report prepared for the UN Secretary General. The UN panel deemed Israel's naval blockade of Gaza legal. To quote the Palmer Report to the UN: “Israel faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza. The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law”.
I suggest readers visit honestreporting.com and read for themselves. One title that took my eye on their Facebook page today was ‘Interview with a Palestinian Zionist’.
Member of KBRM
Published in the Dominion Post 10/1/2017
Serena Moran (“NZ has rejoined the mainstream on condemning Israeli intransigence”, 10/1/17) wrote “Through the Arab-Israel War of 1948, Israel expanded... The Palestinians were denied their state. Egypt occupied Gaza and Jordan took over the West Bank.”
Missing from this account are a few key facts. Israel's 1948 war was a defensive one, fought against five Arab armies trying to destroy it. Also missing is the fact that Jordan didn't just "take over" the West Bank. Jordan "captured" the West Bank, including Jerusalem, as a result of its war of aggression. it was Jordan, not Israel, that denied the Palestinians their state.
It is this kind of misreporting, or partial reporting, that gives people the false impression that Israel is to blame for the problems in the Middle East.
Rodney Brooks, former resident of New Zealand.
Published in Sunday Star Times 29/1/2017
Murray McCully is correct that New Zealand has a long standing and respected record for fairness.
Perhaps Mr McCully might elaborate on what is fair about dealing with a party who openly teaches children to hate another race, continually celebrates and encourages attacks on civilians, continues to deny that the State of Israel is a home for the Jewish people or refuses to act in any way to stop the almost daily missile bombardment of civilians.
Regardless of people's views of how the Palestinian people are treated by the only true, open democratic country in the Middle East there can never be justification for terrorist activity.
A fact that is continually overlooked is that the “Occupied Territories” of the Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Sinai Peninsula were won during the 1967 war and were retained as means of defence.
Subsequently the Sinai has been given back to Egypt with mixed results and the Gaza Strip back to the Palestinians, which can only be described as an unmitigated disaster.
What incentives is there for Israel to make concessions when the parties they are expected to negotiate with have never fully rescinded the call for the destruction of the State of Israel?
Would the United States negotiate with al-Qaeda or Isis on these terms? Mr McCully’s position is at best naïve and anti-Israel at worst.
Ian Gautier, London, UK.