[They both have extremists]

Dear AP Editor,

We’ve noticed that each time we see the word “both” (or its synonyms) in AP’s Middle East reporting, we have a case of false Moral Equivalence, meant to hide Arab violence or their obstruction of the peace process. We’d like to encourage you to redeem the word “both.”

We’ll give you a good example. Now that the Israeli and the Palestinian side are talking peace again, this time hopefully heading for true peace that will last for generations, defectors and objectors come out of the woodwork, also close to the political leadership.

On the Israeli side we have Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman who is claiming that peace is “unachievable.” In a lengthy speech he said he’s all for hope but not for illusions. We guess that his point is that under the slogan “Land for peace” Israel made many painful concessions and go war for land. So, he’s warning against new gifts that are not getting anyone anywhere.

On the Palestinian side opposition from within came from Palestine’s Ambassador to Tehran Salah Zawawi who said on Thursday that the relentless struggle with the Zionist occupiers will continue until liberation of Holy Qods (Jerusalem). His hopes are for an end to Zionism and so he disputes one of Israel’s greatest needs, being recognized as the legitimate Jewish State.

Now, let’s look at the differences. Lieberman wants peace but says no to senseless give-aways. Zawawi wants to continue the “struggle” till a Palestinian state covers all of Palestine. The most extreme Israeli position is: we’re for peace but we don’t see it. The most far-out Palestinian idea is: let’s keep fighting till we have it all. What a difference.

And THAT is what one does with contrasting points. One places them next to each other to show the difference. One doesn’t hide the difference by just pointing out superficial similarities, that both nations have extremists. Fringe groups striving for WHAT – that’s the question. And that is how a responsible & honest news outlet should handle differences.

Shalom,

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