Something caught my ear in Sheera Frenkel's vacuous piece on the Palestinian Papers this morning. Discussing effect of the Palestinian Papers on Saeb Erekat, Frenkel says,
"Erekat says he resigned in disgrace, because of leaks someone in his own office provided to Al-Jazeera, the popular Arabic satellite news channel. Thousands of documents - nicknamed the Palileaks - revealed much about the peace talks over the last decade."
"Palileaks"? I'm a bit of a news junkie and follow developments in the Middle East, but I have never seen or heard the Palestine Papers described as the "Palileaks." I thought maybe I had missed something and did a Google search on the term. The results are quite interesting: almost all of them are pro-Zionist sources. The first two are telling: The Jerusalem Post (that Frenkel has written for) and the an article from CBN (the far-right Christian Broadcasting Network). Interestingly if you search "Palileaks" on Al-Jazeera or The Guardian (the two press outlets that actually released the Papers) you get nothing.
Sheera Frenkel has done some pretty awful reporting from Israel, and I want to know who this reporter is - you know, the basics: her education, what jobs has she held, has she done internships, etc. NPR has no bio on her, and I still haven't found anything substantive online, except that she has written for the Christian Science Monitor, The Jerusalem Post, The Times of London, and McClatchy. I did turn up two interesting bits on Frenkel: she has an article on the Christian-Zionist Frontline Israel website and in the PDF brochure from a Crossing Borders Media Conference, August 2007, in Bonn, she is identified as being from California and an Israeli citizen (which seems relevant for a reporter covering the Israel/Palestine conflict).
If anyone finds a legitimate and relevant bio of Sheera Frenkel and can send it to me, I'll post it here. Until then I'll drop a line to the Ombudsman and request that NPR at least provide the basics on Frenkel who is a frequent contributor.
As a postscript, I should note that back on January 25th, I posted on NPR's distorted coverage of the Palestinian Papers back when they were released. A few days later Lourdes Garcia-Navarro did a decent piece that looked at the Palestinian negotiators' disappointment in the Obama administration as revealed in the papers. But that's it, and the critiques of my first post remain valid: NPR has been mute on the major revelation of the Papers: the utter sham of the entire "peace process" which has only furthered the violent US-supported Israeli policy of colonizing the Occupied Territories and destroying the possibility of any meaningful Palestinian state.