HonestReporting Canada has filed a complaint with senior editors at Global News bringing our concerns about a 1-sided podcast interview that gave an anti-Israel detractor free rein to spread mistruths about the Arab-Israeli conflict.
On the February 3 edition of “Wait, There’s More” podcast, host Tamara Khandaker conducted a 20-minute, feature-length interview with Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University entitled: “Why Palestinians are rejecting Trump’s Middle East peace plan.”
To listen to the podcast, please click here or below:
Our primary concern that we conveyed to Global was that Professor Khalidi was given a platform to spread misinformation about the Arab-Israeli conflict, without any challenge by host Khandaker. Indeed, there was no countenance on this program providing for a pro-Israel perspective or context about Israel’s position on the peace plan: It was entirely one-sided.
To be specific, Professor Khalidi myopically listed various Palestinian grievances about the deal (to read it in full, please click here):
1) He claimed that the U.S. only pays lip service to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with America preferring to manage it, not solve it. While Professor Khalidi is entitled to his views, the fact of the matter is that every U.S. administration has tried to solve the Mideast impasse, and has devoted considerable time and resources, though they have not succeeded. That doesn’t mean that they don’t want a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
2) Regarding the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and its relocating its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, there was no mention made that the new peace plan recognizes a Palestinian state in eastern Jerusalem with the capital being in Abu Dis where a future U.S. embassy would be located. Israel rejects claims that its presence in eastern Jerusalem is “illegal” citing historical, religious and legal claims, along with UN resolutions allowing Israel to retain lands until a just and lasting peace is procured with secure and recognized borders, and how the area was previously illegally occupied by Jordan following the 1948 War of Independence launched by pan-Arab armies seeking Israel’s destruction.
3) No mention was made that the peace plan is meant to serve only as a basis for the peace negotiations between the parties, of which, they can negotiate final status issues like borders, refugees, reparations, etc. That’s why American officials cited the plan as providing a “framework” for negotiations, along with only a “conceptual” map.
4) There was no mention of Palestinian terror attacks and Israel’s security concerns, nor a discussion about Palestinian incitement to violence, their “pay for slay” program that financially compensates terrorists, the lack of democracy and rule of law in the territories, its poor governance, and there wasn’t a real analysis of historical Palestinian rejectionism and corruption.
5) Khalidi claims there will be no territorial continuity in a future Palestinian state per the peace plan, but he ignores the planned tunnels and overpass roadways that would theoretically link a future west bank with the Gaza Strip.
6) Palestinians are to be excluded from Jerusalem, says Khalidi falsely. Obviously, that’s not the case and even present day, Palestinians do come to Jerusalem to conduct business, visit family, to seek medical care and to see revered holy sites, of which, all faiths are welcome to visit. Importantly, many east Jerusalem Arab citizens of Israel consider themselves to be Palestinian.
7) Palestinian leaders are quoted mentioning their rejection of the plan, but no mention was made of Israeli leaders, whether Prime Minister Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White party, who both accepted the plan as a basis for negotiations, and the many Arab world countries (Oman, UAE, Bahrain, etc). and countries worldwide who accepted the plan as a starting point for renewed bilateral negotiations.
8) No mention was made that Hamas is a recognized terrorist group committed to Israel’s destruction.
To summarize our concerns with this Global podcast, Professor Khalidi was given a platform to peddle falsehoods without objection and was given an unfettered soapbox from which to promote his biased agenda.
A core tenet of ethical, accurate and honest journalism is to ensure that reporting is done with fairness and balance. As this segment was entirely one-sided, it’s incumbent upon the “Wait, there’s more” podcast to produce and broadcast a future program that brings on a pro-Israel source to explain “Why Israelis are accepting Trump’s Middle East peace plan.”
We await Global News’ response to our complaint. Stay tuned to this page for future updates.