Dear Mr. Anderson:
The segment, "Time Running Out for A Two State Solution?" which aired on January 25 was nothing less than a journalistic hatchet job on Israel.
Bob Simon presented the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in stark black-and-white terms, without context or history and ignoring its complexities. The resulting impression is that the prominent voice in Israel is that of the hard-line settler and of an Israeli army that undertakes actions to purposely humiliate Palestinians.
It is especially shocking coming from Bob Simon, who lived and reported from Israel for many years and is well aware of the complex nature of the conflict.
What Simon should have found the time to include in the piece is that the Israeli government and the Israeli public are committed to seeking a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinian Authority; that in pursuing this goal, Israel cannot ignore the real threats to its security from terrorist groups and extremists in the West Bank and Gaza; that the barrier erected to prevent suicide attackers from entering Israeli cities and towns has saved lives.
What should have been stated is that Israel has taken real risks for peace – from its unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, which included the uprooting of settlements, to removing itself from Palestinian populations centers in the West Bank, to its support the for the Palestinian Authority.
60 Minutes undermined its credibility and provided a disservice to its viewers by not telling a more complete story.
The Anti-Defamation League