White House Quietly Strips the Word ‘Settlement’ From Its Criticism of Israeli Settlements

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Maybe “blasts” was the wrong verb for my old headline on the White House’s response to Israel’s expansion of settlements in Palestinian East Jerusalem. The White House appears to have done some editing.

When the White House press shop sent out its statement criticizing Israel this afternoon — I received mine at 2:14 p.m. — the headline above the statement read: “Statement by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on the Approval of Settlement Expansion in Jerusalem.” But the version that appears online has the headline “Statement by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Jerusalem.”

I don’t know what happened here. Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its undivided capitol, but the claim is rejected by the Palestinians and the United Nations, and the U.S. maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv so as to avoid the appearance of taking sides in the dispute. The Gilo area of Jerusalem in question did not fall into Israeli hands until the 1967 war, and so while there’s a dispute in the press over whether it should be called a settlement, the United Nations considers it to be one. From, ahem, Wikipedia:

Gilo is located over the 1967 Green Line. According to HonestReporting, Gilo is not a “settlement” in the most widespread sense of the term, which HonestReporting states “can conjure up images of isolated enclaves in the West Bank”. Gilo lies within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries and is geographically contiguous to surrounding Jewish neighborhoods that pre-dated the Six Day War. Some media outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Associated Press, Boston Globe and CBS News,have described Gilo as a “neighborhood”.[11] A CNN memorandum to its staff stated that “We refer to Gilo as a ‘Jewish neighborhood on the outskirts of Jerusalem’… We don’t refer to it as a settlement.” Palestinians and media watch groups feel this is not accurate.[12] Other media outlets such as the BBC, AFP, Reuters and the Economist describe Gilo as a “settlement”.[11] The United Nations also describes Gilo as an “Israeli settlement” in East Jerusalem.[13]

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Tweets that mention White House Quietly Strips the Word ‘Settlement’ From Its Criticism of Israeli Settlements « The Washington Independent -- Topsy.com
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[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by attackerman and WashIndependent, TMC Member Feed. TMC Member Feed said: Wash. Independent: White House Quietly Strips the Word ‘Settlement’ From Its Crit.. http://bit.ly/3Sbn2n [...]

White House Repudiates Settlement Construction… Again « Stars of David
Pingback posted November 17, 2009 @ 5:34 pm

[...] Take UPDATE: Spencer Ackerman points out that the Obama administration moderated its remarks on Israel’s settlement construction since [...]

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Trackback posted November 17, 2009 @ 5:44 pm

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This post was mentioned on Twitter by TWI_news: White House Quietly Strips the Word ‘Settlement’ From Its Criticism of Israeli Settlements http://bit.ly/VZi8a...

More Middle East Games | Taylor Marsh – TaylorMarsh.com – News, Opinion and Weblog on Progressive Politics
Pingback posted November 17, 2009 @ 5:56 pm

[...] Spencer Ackerman has more, including that the White House website has now softened the original statement, excluding the word “settlement”: Statement by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Jerusalem. [...]

Comment posted November 17, 2009 @ 10:05 pm

Israel is a nation of thieves. Every inch of that land was stolen from its rightful owners.

Truckling to Netanyahu, White House removes word ’settlements’ from a statement
Pingback posted November 18, 2009 @ 1:29 pm

[...] Spencer Ackerman was on this a day or two ago, pointing out that CNN doesn’t call the E. Jerusalem thefts settlements because they’re part of annexed Jerusalem. Ackerman portrays this matter as equivocal, a news judgment– when it is the purest expression of political values you can find. The White House made a direct statement initially and the subsequent statement is merely symptomatic of the White House’s truckling to colonialists, at a time that it might be throwing a bone to the peaceniks. Who’s at the wheel? Rahm?  [...]

"We understand the Israeli point of view" « Mac Uaid
Pingback posted November 20, 2009 @ 3:14 am

[...] de facto capitulation by altering the title of its own press release. As Spencer Ackerman reports here, the original press release was entitled “”Statement by White House Press Secretary [...]

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Comment posted November 27, 2009 @ 2:13 am

I will bookmark and continue reading your blog in the future! Thanks alot for the informative post!

Have a nice day
jenny martin

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