"There is a problematic framing of a ‘cycle’ (or “round” in this case) of violence between Israel and Palestinians, in which Palestinian attacks on Israelis lead to Israeli raids in Palestine. ‘More attacks, more raids.’ There is an element of truth to this framing, as the actions of either party has consequences, often triggering a response. However, it is deeply inadequate."
March 14, 2023
Donovan Vincent, Toronto Star, Public Editor
Josef Federman, News Director, Associated Press
Nicole Meir, Media Relations Manager, Associated Press
Dear Mr. Federman, Mr. Vincent, and Ms. Meir,
I’m writing on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to express concern regarding an article entitled “3 Palestinian militants killed in attack on Israeli troops” written by the Associated Press published in the Toronto Star on March 12, 2023.
The article states:
“The current round of violence is one of the worst between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank in years. It began last spring after a series of Palestinian attacks against Israelis that triggered near-nightly Israeli raids in the West Bank.”
There is a problematic framing of a ‘cycle’ (or “round” in this case) of violence between Israel and Palestinians, in which Palestinian attacks on Israelis lead to Israeli raids in Palestine. ‘More attacks, more raids.’ There is an element of truth to this framing, as the actions of either party has consequences, often triggering a response. However, it is deeply inadequate for two reasons:
- Such framing obscures the overall asymmetrical nature of the violence, in which Israel as an occupying power maintains a system of oppression which is associated with egregious violence against Palestinians on a daily basis. In response, Palestinian attacks on Israeli arising from this situation of oppression are far rarer. This is reflected in the gross asymmetry in the numbers of casualties each year.
- In this specific case, the Palestinian attacks on Israelis mentioned in the article are widely understood as responses to Israel’s deadly many deadly raids on Jenin, Nablus, and elsewhere — along with settler attacks on Palestinians — which have killed dozens of Palestinians, including children. It is for this reason that UN human rights experts condemned Israel’s raid on Jenin as “a dangerous trajectory of violence.”These raids are most responsible for triggering recent attacks on Israelis, but your segment has the sequence of events backwards.
The framing which consistently claims Palestinians are the “trigger” of subsequent Israeli violence should simply be removed to resolve the issue.
To be fairer, the paragraph should frame the origins of the violence as a matter of opinion. I insist you adopt this more balanced language to replace the paragraph in question:
Recent violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank is one of the deadliest periods in years. Israel has conducted nearly-nightly raids in the occupied West Bank which it says are in response to a series of attacks beginning last spring. The Palestinians view the raids as a tightening by Israel of its 55-year, open-ended military occupation.
Please contact me if you would like to discuss this matter further at 438-380-5410.
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
Director of Media Advocacy
 UN Human Rights Office, “Israel/Palestine: UN experts condemn renewed violence and Israeli killings of Palestinians in occupied West Bank,” January 27, 2023, https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/01/israelpalestine-un-experts-condemn-renewed-violence-and-israeli-killings