The Incredible Shrinking Number

20

The IDF and the Israeli media (e.g. Jerusalem Post, Debka) today reported that 10,000 palestinian laborers were allowed into Israel.

The Associated Press initially used this figure of 10,000, but then almost immediately retracted it and used a figure of 6,000.

And how is the discrepancy explained?



..about 10,000 permits were handed out. But only 6,200 people crossed the border because of permit problems and personal issues, according to Palestinian border officials

In other words, palestinian officials quote a reduced number and automatically, the Associated Press takes it as gospel, dismissing the Israeli figures. Which is not surprising – the name of the AP writer is Ibrahim Barzak. But then media outlets, including the LA times, Seattle Post Intelligencer and Scotsman Online run with this second version.

I would have thought that responsible and objective journalism would dictate that both figures are quoted. It surely does not encompass relying on a figure provided by palestinian officials and reported by a muslim reporter. Remember what happened last time palestinian officials quoted figures?

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An Aussie immigrant to Israel, David Lange is founder and managing editor of Israellycool. He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and single malt whisky.