Established in 1988 by a group of Palestinian journalists and researchers, the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) is a Jerusalem-based news agency whose mission is to “provide a wide range of services to journalists, researchers, international agencies, individuals and organizations interested in obtaining reliable information on the Palestinian territory.” It publishes the weekly Palestine Report, which provides updates “on the latest news concerning Palestinians.” In practice, JMCC routinely defames Israel and advocates a one-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
JMCC has produced a manual — based on workshops it has conducted — teaching ”Palestinian policymakers and media professionals” how to slant stories in a pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel manner. The manual quotes Alison Weir, Executive Director of If Americans Knew, stating that the San Francisco Chronicle’s coverage of the Palestinian Intifada was heavily biased in favor of Israel. Advises the manual: “What Palestinians fail to do is to assert their agenda. It is not simply enough to say a hundred Palestinians have been killed and so many houses have been destroyed. What the Israelis will say is: yes, but we have to do this because you are firing into our cities. In other words, it becomes a neutral position. What Palestinians can do more of is to say that violence in Gaza by Palestinians is in self-defense, that the reason for the mortar attacks inside Israel is a response to systematic Israeli incursions and systematic destruction by Israel and a systematic policy attempt to define the new borders in Gaza. In that way, you give journalists a different way of looking at the reality: that Israel is propagating its occupation.”
JMCC’s distortion of news events was displayed in early November of 2006, when Israeli troops seized the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun in an effort to rescue a kidnapped soldier and to stop Palestinian militants from firing Qassam rockets into Israel. All told, the Israeli military destroyed approximately 30 Gazan houses, damaged 100 more, and killed 52 people in this anti-terrorism operation that lasted for 9 days. JMCC depicted the events as “a massacre and genocide” directed by Israel against the people of Gaza, and characterized the Palestinian militants who had been killed as “martyrs.”
Each year, JMCC conducts several public opinion polls of Palestinian attitudes (and less frequently, Israeli attitudes) regarding various issues of concern, including elections, military engagements, political affairs, legislative matters, the Intifada, Palestinian living conditions, peace negotiations, and the status of refugees.
The organization also produces research reports on the foregoing topics. For example, a December 2001 JMCC study titled “The Israeli Assassination Policy in the Aqsa Intifada” condemned Israel’s targeted killings of Palestinian terrorist leaders. “Israeli assassination policy,” said the report, “violates the right to life, the most fundamental of all human rights enshrined in religious, international and even Israeli law. There is no legal basis for these killings. The Israeli army plays the role of informer, attorney, judge and executioner and the decision to kill is implemented with no legal process whatsoever. … Today, one of the roles of assassination … is to prevent the possibility for political compromise. … Assassination against Palestinians is carried out … through their complete dehumanization. It is this very same dehumanization and cultural differentiation that was the driving force behind the many massacres committed by the Zionist movement in 1948, which lead [sic] to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.”
JMCC receives financial backing from the Ford Foundation, including a recent grant of $365,000.