Success! City News Vancouver Corrects Article Which Referred To Pre-1948 Israel As “Palestinian Land”

February 8, 2024

Following complaints and a media action alert issued HonestReporting Canada, City News Vancouver has corrected an article which egregiously referred to pre-state Israel as “Palestinian land.”

The text now says that the land was “inhabited by Palestinians,” which – while imperfect – is a significant improvement. The text also altered reference to “Palestine,” changing it to “Palestinian territories.”

Before: Selena Robinson “faced a storm of criticism over comments she made about Palestinian land, before the establishment of Israel. Robinson’s comments were not only described by many as hurtful but also factually incorrect, with experts pointing out the history of Palestine is well-noted over hundreds of years as having its own economy, agriculture, and long-standing multi-faith populations.”

After: Selena Robinson “faced a storm of criticism over comments she made about the area inhabited by Palestinians before the establishment of Israel. Robinson’s comments were not only described by many as hurtful but also factually incorrect, with experts pointing out the history of Palestinian territories is well-noted over hundreds of years as having its own economy, agriculture, and long-standing multi-faith populations.”

We thank City News Vancouver for taking corrective action.


ORIGINAL ALERT

Not to be outdone by a recent CBC News article which ludicrously gave credence to claims that there have been Palestinians for “tens of thousands of years,” a City News Vancouver report has contributed to its own historical revisionism.

The February 6 article entitled: “Selina Robinson’s Coquitlam office vandalized: Eby,” reported on the criticisms made by anti-Israel activists towards British Columbia political Selina Robinson.

Robinson had earlier referred to pre-state Israel as a “crappy piece of land” largely devoid of an economy, and in reporting the pushback by activists, the article told readers that Robinson had “faced a storm of criticism over comments she made about Palestinian land, before the establishment of Israel.”

Despite City News’ off-handed reference to the area as “Palestinian land,” the truth is significantly different.

Prior to 1948, when Israel became independent, the land was administered by the United Kingdom as the Mandate for Palestine. The British government proposed, and the United Nations (UN) accepted in 1947 a partition of the lands into Jewish and Arab states, respectively, and an international zone overseeing Jerusalem. The proposal was accepted by the Jewish delegates, but rejected by Arab delegates.

Prior to 1948, there had never before been in history a Palestinian state, and certainly no country of Palestine which ever claimed the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. The term Palestinian referred to both Jews and Arabs.

The article continued by reporting that “Robinson’s comments were not only described by many as hurtful but also factually incorrect, with experts pointing out the history of Palestine is well-noted over hundreds of years as having its own economy, agriculture, and long-standing multi-faith populations.”

While some may be hurt by Robinson’s comments, they were not necessarily without a strong foundation in fact.

The humourist Mark Twain, on a visit to the region in the late 1800s, described the area as “a desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds-a silent mournful expanse….A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action….We never saw a human being on the whole route….There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of the worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”

Prior to British control, the land was overseen by the Ottoman Empire, which suffered under systematic neglect as a result.

While the land was called Palestine, it had been named so by the Roman Empire in the First Century CE after conquering and subduing the Jewish population of Judea, centuries before the advent of Islam.

Following the physical defeat of the Jewish rebels in Judea, the Romans renamed the land Palestine as a final insult, after an ancient seafaring group, the Philistines, who originated in the Aegean Sea. While the general region was often known as “Palestine” or a derivative, it was more akin to referring to the “midwest” region of the United States today.

In sharp contrast to these vague and ambiguous connections, Israel’s historical basis is founded upon three thousand years of continuous presence in the Jewish People’s ancestral homeland, backed up by extensive literature and archaeological proof.

The City News Vancouver article later made a cryptic statement, writing that “The argument (by Robinson) is also similar to those that have been used to justify the colonization of multiple regions globally, including in North America.”

While that statement may appear to be a bizarre non-sequitur, it borrows from popular accusations which baselessly accuse Israel of being a colonialist state, despite Israel being the ancestral lands of the Jewish People.

The City News Vancouver article on Selina Robinson’s comments provided a one-sided rejection of her words, ignoring the Jewish People’s millennia of history and falsely referring to pre-state Israel as “Palestinian land.”

HonestReporting Canada has filed a complaint with City News Vancouver calling for corrective action and we encourage you to do the same. Click here to submit a complaint.

Comments

You may also like

Send this to a friend