Media monitor says FT blames Israel

The Financial Times believes Israel is largely responsible for the failure to achieve peace with the Palestinians, according to the media analysis group Just Journalism.

The paper regards Israel’s settlement building as the main obstacle.

At the same time, it downplays other factors such as Palestinian terrorism, disunity between Fatah and Hamas and Palestinian failure to recognise Israel as a Jewish status, Just Journalism says, in a report based on examination of 121 editorials about the Middle East in the FT in 2009.

It claims that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is portrayed as “hawkish” and his Likud party “ultra-nationalist”. In contrast, the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is usually described as “moderate” and “conciliatory”.

According to Just Journalism, the FT’s influence extends across more than 400,000 daily readers in 23 countries and 11 million unique users of its website.

“The Palestinians are deemed to have made a consistent and genuine effort for peace over a long period of time in contrast with Israel,” Just Journalism concludes.

The newspaper, it said, was “unambiguously critical” of Israel’s attack on Gaza, calling it “disproportionate” in several articles.

The Financial Times has declined to comment.

    Last updated: 6:30pm, February 4 2010