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Media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting takes exception to a Wednesday segment of “Morning Edition” in which an Israeli columnist is interviewed about occupied territory.

The conversation between host Steve Inskeep and Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit dealt with an interesting issue — the significance of language when describing Israel’s occupation and settlement of Palestinian land. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said of the development of land in East Jerusalem, considered illegal under international law, “These are not settlements. These are neighborhoods in Jerusalem.”

Many Israelis, including Netanyahu, see all of Jerusalem, even the parts belonging to Palestinians before the 1967 war, as one place that ought to be controlled by Israel. Many Palestinians, at the same time, see all of Israel as a place called Palestine, including the parts that became Israel in 1948.

But this discussion began as a fact check on Israel’s prime minister, who maintains that his nation has the right to build on Palestinian land. FAIR’s issue is that the conversation quickly turned into a meditation on verbiage, in which each side has a point of view. “So somehow a discussion about how Israel has recast its illegal occupation as the building of neighborhoods turns into a lament about how both sides are being misleading,” FAIR wrote Wednesday.

Read more at FAIR. Listen to the NPR interview here.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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