It is nothing new to note that covering the Arab-Israeli conflict is difficult. Advocates of many perspectives regularly criticize articles and broadcasts.
As I read an article on Israeli settlements (a truncated version of this Tribune article appeared in the April 15 Hartford Courant), I was reminded of all the choices reporters and editors have to make in terms of language.
In the first paragraph, the outposts are “unauthorized.” The fifth paragraph notes that most of the world considers settlements and outposts “illegal” while Israel considers only the outposts illegal.
Were an outpost to be closed without the consent of its residents, what would that closing be called? The article uses “evictions,” “demolition,” and “evacuations.” I bet settlers would prefer a different word (e.g. betrayal).
The West Bank map accompanying the article had a dotted blue line for the “Barrier,” not the wall or fence or security barrier.
Even dates are difficult sometimes. The article mentions the 2002 “road map.” I assume that date is based on then President George W. Bush’s June 24, 2002 speech in the Rose Garden. But the text of the agreement was presented to the parties on April 30, 2003.
I wonder what a casual reader would take away on two important questions: 1) Are the settlements illegal towns mostly built on Palestinian-owned land? 2) Have the Israeli people and government continued to support the establishment of settlements over the last 20 years?