"The article should state that Ben-Gvir is the leader of Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power), a far-right and racist party with origins in Kahanism, a fascist and terroristic movement which calls for the expulsion of Palestinians from Israel."
July 27, 2023
Tia Goldenberg, Journalist, Associated Press
Isaac Scharf, Associated Press
Josef Federman, News Director, Associated Press
Dear Tia Goldenberg, Isaac Scharf, and Josef Federman,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to request additional context to the article, “Army fire kills a 14-year-old, Palestinians say, as an Israeli minister visits flashpoint holy site,” which was published on July 27, 2023.
I note that the article includes some useful information about Netanyahu’s government and Israeli Minister Ben-Gvir. However, it does not provide sufficient context to help readers understand the positions of the Israeli government toward Palestinian self-determination.
First, the article describes Israel’s government as follows:
Netanyahu’s government, consisting of ultranationalists and West Bank settlement supporters like Ben-Gvir, has intensified steps to solidify Israel’s hold on territories that Palestinians seek for a future state, angering Israel’s top ally, the United States, and dimming hopes for Palestinian statehood.
This description describes the intentions and official positions of Israel’s government in unnecessarily vague terms. This obscures the extremist positions of the parties and downplays the threat that the government poses to Palestinian self-determination. Notably, the coalition is pursuing the illegal annexation of the occupied West Bank, and has published a statement of principles claiming that the Jewish people have an “exclusive right” to the entire territory under Israeli control. Key coalition partners believe that Palestinians are inferior, and have called for the expulsion or even annihilation of Palestinians. These positions and actions should be stated clearly and to the point.
The paragraph should be modified to include the following context:
Netanyahu’s government, consisting of ultranationalists and West Bank settlement supporters like Ben-Gvir, is officially opposed to Palestinian self-determination and is actively pursuing the annexation of the occupied West Bank. The coalition believes that the Jewish people have an “exclusive” right to “all parts of the Land of Israel,” including the occupied Palestinian territories. Key coalition partners hold supremacist beliefs about the subordinate status of Palestinians and have even called for their expulsion.
Second, the article describes Ben-Gvir as “ultranationalist” and “a former West Bank settler leader and far-right activist who years ago was convicted of incitement and supporting a Jewish terror group.” This is correct and necessary information. Nonetheless, additional context is needed to show that he is not just an extremist individual, but that he leads a political party, Jewish Power. This party is the latest manifestation of the fascist Kahanist movement, which calls for the expulsion of Palestinians from Israel and wants to turn Israel into a theocratic state. The party’s electoral platform calls for annexing the occupied Palestinian territories and actively pursuing the “emigration of Israel’s enemies” (i.e. Palestinians).
The article should state that Ben-Gvir is the leader of Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power), a far-right and racist party with origins in Kahanism, a fascist and terroristic movement which calls for the expulsion of Palestinians from Israel.
For a resource on how to report on the Israeli government and its constituent political parties, see “Israeli Party Policies on the Question of Palestinian Self-determination.”
Thank you for considering the incorporation of this context into your ongoing reporting. Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
Michael Bueckert, PhD
Vice President, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
 CJPME, “Israeli Party Policies on the Question of Palestinian Self-determination,” https://www.cjpmemap.ca/israeli_party_policies_on_the_question_of_palestinian_self_determination