CNN Waters Down the Israeli Response

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on November 4, 2009

… Amnesty International has published a report accusing Israel of denying Palestinians access to water supplies.

Media outlets, including AP, AFP, Reuters, BBC, The Independent, Sky News, The Age and the Irish Times, [reported] Amnesty’s allegations. The Times of London even ran with the provocative headline: “Palestinians Suffer Under Israeli Water Torture”.

While the above mentioned media did, at least, include some limited responses from Israeli officials, the CNN report … from Paula Hancocks did not even bother to supply any Israeli reaction whatsoever.
(click here for video report)

Regarding Amnesty’s report itself, officials at the Israeli Water Authority told the Jerusalem Post they were never given an opportunity to present information to Amnesty researchers, nor respond to the Palestinian allegations. They also say the report’s figures are deeply flawed. ………….

A Jerusalem Post editorial addresses the issues:

… The causes of the situation aren’t considered. . . .

Additionally, the Israel Water Authority notes that, when all water uses are combined, it emerges that 149 cubic meters are available per capita per annum for Israelis, and 105 cu.m. for Palestinians. The difference, though not negligible, is far from Amnesty’s claim of a super-acute shortage, well below the World Health Organization recommended minimum allotment. Water availability to Israelis has fallen sharply in recent decades. In 1967 it stood at 500 cu.m. – so today’s figure represents a 70% drop. Until the Six Day War, Palestinians could count on a mere 86 cu.m. yearly. Their situation has improved by 22%.

Had it been given the opportunity, the Water Authority would also have highlighted that Israel supplies water to the PA well in excess of its 1995 Oslo Accords undertakings. Systematically overlooked by Amnesty, meanwhile, are Palestinian breaches of these accords – including pirate drilling, water theft and routine damage to pipelines, failures to purify waste water (despite massive contributions by donor nations), irrigating crops with fresh rather than reclaimed water, dumping untreated sewage into streams, severely contaminating Israel’s Coastal Aquifer and forcing Israel to deal with PA sewage.

It is very hard to resist the conclusion that Amnesty’s report was commissioned to serve a specific agenda.

Read the origianal post at