The Finnish capital’s newspaper, the Helsingin Sanomat, ran a couple of articles in its foreign news section (8.3.2007) that are in my opinion, directly related to each other. HS’s foreign news journalist, Inka Kovanen, (author of the puff piece “Hitchhiking with Hezbollah“) reports on the World Bank’s analysis of the situation inside the Palestinian Authority, ” Raportti: Syvä talouskriisi uhkaa palestiinalaishallintoa / Report: Deep Crisis Threatens Palestinian government” (viewable by subscription only), with absolutely no mention of why the Quartet and Israel have frozen all funds going to the Hamas run government.
The article fails to mention that the reasons behind Israel’s decision to withhold the customs duty tax money from the Palestinians. It’s because Hamas refuses to recognize previously all previously signed agreements between Israel and the Palestinians (Oslo accords) that regulate such transactions.
How can the Hamas expect to receive money from a state that — according to Hamas — doesn’t exist, as well the benifiting financially from previously signed agreements it doesn’t recognize as being legit? Those facts alone are reason enough to withhold the funds, no matter how much Hamas complains.
It’s true that Inka Kovanen is reporting from the World Banks perspective, but presenting that perspective within the proper context would have been the logical and right thing to do. How else is a person unfamiliar with the fine details to understand why these funds are being withheld, if the reporter and her editor choose not to divulge pertinent information?
Such reporting as just described — as well as the subsequent failure in the editor’s role as “gate keeper” — does the general public a great disservice by keeping them badly misinformed about complicated issues. Context is everything, and the lack of it greatly distorts the understanding of a situation, such as the recent visit of German Catholic Bishops to Israel and the West Bank.
The HS reports in the same paper: “Saksan juutalaiset syyttävät piispoja antisemitismistä/German Jews accuse Bishops of anti-Semitism”, that Bishops compared Israel to Nazi Germany. With the HS’s consistent type of news reporting on Israel, it wouldn’t surprise me that Finnish Lutheran Bishops held the same type of views. *L* KGS
Update: Ynet has more on the German anti-Semitic Bishops.