A watchdog group that sends out alerts about false reporting on the Middle East sent me the following:
A documentary scheduled to air on PBS on Monday, March 29 distorts facts about and caricatures American Christian supporters of Israel – and includes a doctored quote.
The documentary, titled ‘Til Kingdom Come, was produced and directed by Israeli filmmaker Maya Zinshtein. It portrays American Evangelicals and Jews living in the West Bank as nefariously working together to convince the White House to hand the entire West Bank over to Israel.
To promote the false narrative, filmmakers spliced words President Trump said in the latter parts of a January 28, 2020 press conference announcing his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan into a statement made at the beginning of the same press conference.
This is the quote:
The doctored quote appears 68 minutes into the 76-minute movie. The film’s audio quotes the president as saying: “The United States will recognize Israeli sovereignty over the territory that my vision provides to be part of the State of Israel, including the West Bank described so vividly in the Bible.”
The president did not say this.
A publicly available YouTube video of the press conference in question, from the Washington Post, shows that he said this instead:
“The United States will recognize Israeli sovereignty over the territory that my vision provides to be part of the State of Israel.” (He said this soon after the 14-minute mark of the YouTube video.)
In the actual statement, there is nothing whatsoever about handing “the West Bank described so vividly in the Bible” over to Israel, although he did say some of these words later in the press conference in a different context when he declared:
“There are many Muslims who never visited Al Aqsa [Mosque] and many Christians and Jews who never visited the holy sites in the West Bank described so vividly in the Bible. My vision will change that. Our majestic biblical heritage will be able to live breathe and flourish in modern times. All humanity should be able to enjoy the glories of the Holy Land.”
In neither one of these phrases did the former president use the word “including.” This word likely came from another section of the press conference (at about 12 minutes and 53 seconds into the YouTube video) where he did use this word.
That is, the quote heard in Zinshtein’s film includes snippets from three different parts of the press conference that are spliced together.
To obscure the alteration, the film shows the president saying the first part of the quote, then inserts a shot of the audience during the middle of his statement, and then returns to show Trump speaking the last section of the fabricated quote.
The alert concludes:
Altering a presidential statement to misrepresent the content of a key policy address is obviously a blatant violation of journalistic ethics. It appears the filmmakers felt the measured language of the actual quote was insufficient to reinforce their storyline, so they spliced together separate and different passages to create a more extreme – and false – message.
This is an egregious distortion of the historical record and must be corrected before it is aired on PBS.
How many people trust the Public Broadcasting Corporation as an accurate source of news? Obviously they shouldn’t.