But does this mean that the editor has complied with the recommendation in paragraph 179 of the Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on Anti-Semitism that the media should "show sensitivity and balance in their reporting of international events and recognise that the way in which they report the news has significant consequences on the interaction between communities in Britain." In printing the Nevin article, good though it is, has EN now achieved "balance" in its coverage of the Arab-Isareli conflict?
Let's revisit some of the most glaring errors, untruths and distortions from David Rushowrth-Smith's piece. Here they are:
- The false claim that the Palmach was a "jewish-zionist terrorist organisation"
- the convenient omission of any mention of Arab terrorism either between 1920 and 1948 or at any other point
- the failure to distinguish between "Israel", "Gaza" and "the West Bank" and the failure to blame the correct parties for any relative lack of freedom of religion in those places
- the ludicrously false claim that there were no Jews in the area between 70 AD and 1948
- the claim that in 1948 land was "stolen from the legal owners" and that the Palestinian refugees were "herded out": while that was true in some cases, it is also the case that many fled because they were encouraged to do so by their own leaders.
- the omission of any mention of the Jewish refugees from Arab lands
- the fact that Mr Rushworth-Smith sought to bolster his "arguments" by citing Ilan Pappe (known for his fraudulent scholarship and for granting an interview to a neo-Nazi newspaper), Norman Finkelstein (known as the 'neo-Nazis' favourite Jew' and also known for his fraudulent scholarship) and Jeff Halper (likewise known for his fraudulent scholarship and radical anti-Israel agenda).
It follows that, for EN to truly "balance" this piece it would require a truly horrible article which might say some or all of the following transparently false statements:
- "All Palestinians are terrorists"
- "All of Israel's problems are down to the Palestinians and none have ever been caused by the mistakes of her own leaders"
- "Prior to 1948, there were no Arabs in what became Israel"
- "During Israel's War of Independence, no Palestinians at all were forced to leave their homes by the Jewish forces"
- "Israel is a perfect state and has never done anything wrong"
- "The Palestinians have no right at all to a state of their own, however small, and ideally they should all be forced to leave their homes"
The author of such a piece might seek to bolster his "arguments" by citing, say, the racist Israeli settlers who referred to Arabs as "sand niggers", or perhaps the late Meir Kahane, who founded the Israeli Kach party. (His agenda was to induce Arabs in the West Bank to leave by offering them compensation, or alternatively by forcing them to leave. If you've not heard of Kahane or Kach, that might be because in 1985, the Knesset passed an amendment to Israel's Basic Law, barring "racist" candidates from election.The Israeli High Court declared Kahane to be unsuitable for election. That's one of many reasons why its wrong to describe Israel as an apartheid state.)
Now, clearly, it would be deeply wrong for EN to commission or publish such a piece. So then, what should EN do to rectify the calumnies of David Rushworth-Smith? Clearly, it should acknowledge the various errors and distortions and apologize. This has not yet happened. Nor have any letters challenging David Rushworth-Smith been published.