When American officials announced that Condoleezza Rice will hold a three-way summit with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, reporter Peter Armstrong treated CBC Morning viewers to a typically one-sided analysis.
Describing the lack of recent progress between Israelis and Palestinians, Armstrong reported:
"Olmert is now being quoted as saying that Israel is prepared to take unprecedented steps if the Hamas government agrees to the conditions laid out by the international community, specifically the Quartet.
But I think a lot of people are already quickly pointing out here that Olmert and Abbas met just a few weeks ago, a meeting in which Olmert had made fast promises about easing travel restrictions throughout the West Bank, easing some of those checkpoints. And to date, almost nothing has been done.
And both sides, the Palestinians and the Israelis, say that they are committed to the Road Map, the so-called Road Map for Peace. But this morning, Israel has now announced or published plans to construct some 44 new houses in a settlement in the West Bank. The Road Map specifically says that new construction in those settlements is to be completely frozen. So there is a lot of skepticism about what exactly is going on."
Armstrong’s report is both unfair and inaccurate.
- Unfair, because Armstrong focused exclusively on criticism of Israel’s compliance with the Road Map, while entirely ignoring Palestinian violations, such as ongoing rocket attacks against Israel, continued armament of terrorist organizations, incitement to violence, and kidnapping of Israeli soldiers (now into its seventh month).
- Inaccurate, because while Armstrong claimed that "both sides, the Palestinians and the Israelis, say that they are committed to the Road Map," in fact the Hamas government specifically rejects the Road Map, not to mention rejecting outright the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East (see this video from two weeks ago). Even Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, a Fatah "moderate," rejected parts of the Road Map in his press conference with Rice.
Is Armstrong even aware that his coverage is biased?
Is CBC even trying to pretend its Middle East coverage is credible?