Thursday, August 7, 2008

Form letter to AP's Jerusalem bureau, requesting retraction of dangerous report on 'Iran nukes'

[Send to and Thanks.]

SUBJECT: Urgent! Correction and Retraction Needed

Dear Mr. Gutkin,

In your latest report ("Israel considers military option for Iran nukes") your headline tells readers that Iran possesses nuclear weapons, and your narrative states as fact, several times, that Iran is building them:

"... a way to get allies to step up the pressure on Tehran to stop building nukes."

"And the U.S., aware of Israel's high anxiety over Iran's nukes, ..."

"With sanctions and diplomacy still the international community's preferred method to get Iran to stop building the bomb, an Israeli strike does not appear imminent."

As far as you and I and the world know, both the IAEA and US intelligence services have stated that Iran is not weaponizing — much less, possessing a nuclear weapon.

In fact, no agency has shown any evidence proving the existence of an Iranian weapons program. If they have, AP certainly hasn't related that reality to its readers thus far.

I'm sure you realize what hangs in the balance — not only for the Iranian people or the people of the United States, but also Israelis and Palestinians and perhaps the world. Millions of lives could be hanging on your words as bureau chief and editor of these most highly contentious news stories.

As scary and dangerous as a nuclear-armed Iran may be, allowing such a grave error to stand could be just as dangerous because it could lead to the same disastrous outcome.

I hope that you will not only issue a correction to this extremely dangerous error, but subsequently retract the entire report as well.

I appreciate your time and await your prompt response to this urgent supplication.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Editorial Staff of AP's Jerusalem Bureau (Updated 8/8)

[Updated w/clarification upon reader inquiry. –dt]

All of these staffers of AP's Jerusalem bureau are Jewish and live in Israel Proper or as illegal settlers in the Palestinian West Bank. Their Jewishness is only important because if they were Palestinians, the Israeli army would make it nearly impossible for them to operate as editors and bureau chiefs in West Jerusalem or the IOPTs.*

— Josef Federman is AP's Jerusalem news editor, "responsible for directing daily news coverage out of Israel and the Palestinian territories."

AP FACTOID: Before becoming an AP correspondent in Jerusalem, Federman "completed a year of graduate studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem." (Translation: Federman, like all other AP correspondents out of Jerusalem, receives thorough hasbara training to prepare them on how to present Israel's case to the public.)

— In December '06, Federman replaced Karin Laub, who has been "appointed as chief Ramallah correspondent."

— Steve Gutkin (whose name you will see in several AP bylines as well) is Federman and Laub's bureau chief.


* Addendum 8/8/8: It's important to remember that no news gets out of the IOPTs without passing through IDF censors; therefore, it makes perfect logistical sense for AP to employ only ethnic Jews (IDF-friendly Israeli citizens, essentially) who can be relied upon to edit wire reports in a way that is sympathetic to the state's sensibilities, and thus instantly acceptable to those military censors. That means less hassle for both the IDF and the bureau, especially considering the volume of each bureau's output. AP can bypass the censors altogether via its consistently sympathetic coverage of events in the IOPTs. Simply put, Zionist Israelis control the compilation, editing, headline priority, and output of all news out of the Jerusalem bureau, while the Palestinian reporters whose names appear in some bylines mostly gather information.