Executive Producer, The Daily
Dear Ms. Tobin:
The Daily Podcast of April 11 was riddled with inaccuracies, omissions and premature conclusions.
Yes, for those of us who believe that Israel needs a two-state solution as much as the Palestinians, there are worrying trends, including the prime minister’s campaign statement about annexing parts of the West Bank. Having said that, the podcast repeatedly misleads about the nature of the conflict and the challenges ahead.
There was not simply a war between Israel and its Arab neighbors in 1948, as was stated. The Arabs, including the Palestinians, rejected the U.N. Partition Plan that would have created a Palestinian state, and invaded the new Jewish state with the aim to destroy it.
And again, in the 1967 war caused by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s threats to destroy Israel and the closure of the Tiran straits, Israel didn’t simply seize territory. It won it in a defensive war. These are important matters because one can’t understand the complexity of today without getting the history right.
More importantly, not a word in the podcast about the territory Israel has withdrawn from – the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza – and the territories it has offered to withdraw from – the Golan Heights and most of the West Bank – only to be turned down by their Syrian and Palestinian interlocutors.
And to suggest that Palestinians will always be a threat as long as they have no homeland, without acknowledging that they have rejected opportunities because they want Israel to disappear is bad journalism. The truth is Palestinian rejection of Israel and terrorism take place both when they are offered nothing and when they are offered everything.
There were other points of distortion, but this letter will limit itself to two more. In speaking about the hardening of Israeli public opinion in recent years – a fact – the podcast fails to mention the central reason: the disillusionment of the public after repeated Israeli steps toward peace and a two-state solution were met with Palestinian rejection and terrorism.
And in referring to Trump’s decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem, the podcast misrepresented what the Administration said at the time. In fact, they noted that the move of the Embassy in no way precluded negotiations over the future of Jerusalem.
All in all, you took up a serious subject, the prospects for a two-state solution, but addressed it in a way that clouded the issue with darkness rather than the needed light on the complicated subject.
Deputy National Director