"Your article presents several issues that contribute to unfair and unbalanced coverage of the Israeli violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. First, your headline, 'Two dead as violence in Jerusalem, West Bank simmers' should include the word Palestinian in it. Seeing as two Palestinians were killed it must be made clear in the headline."
April 3, 2023
Dan Williams, Journalist, Reuters
Ali Sawafta, Journalist, Reuters
Maayan Lubell, Journalist, Reuters
Brian Moss, Reporting Standards, Reuters
Aileen Donnelly, News Editor, National Post
Dear Mr. Williams, Mr. Sawafta, Ms. Lubell and Ms. Donnelly,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to request an immediate change regarding your news article titled “Two dead as violence in Jerusalem, West Bank simmers,” published by National Post (Reuters) on April 1, 2023.
Your article presents several issues that contribute to unfair and unbalanced coverage of the Israeli violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
First, your headline, “Two dead as violence in Jerusalem, West Bank simmers” should include the word Palestinian in it. Seeing as two Palestinians were killed it must be made clear in the headline.
As such I request that you change the headline to “Two Palestinians dead as violence in Jerusalem, West Bank simmers.”
Second, I take issue with the following sentence:
“In Jerusalem, a man detained by Israeli police near a flashpoint holy site grabbed an officer’s gun and fired it, prompting the unit to shoot him dead, the force said, an account doubted by Arab leaders and probed by authorities.”
Referring to the Israeli police’ account of the killing of Mohammad Khaled al-Osaib which accuses him of grabbing an officer’s gun and firing it, you claim that “Reuters could not immediately verify the police account.”
Since you are unable to verify this information, I request that you add the word “allegedly” before the word “grabbed.”
Third, there were several eyewitness accounts which dispute this story, claiming that 20 gunshots were heard being fired in less than a minute leaving one man wounded.
As such, I insist that these critical eyewitness accounts are included in your article to ensure fair and balanced coverage.
Fourth, you refer to Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset as “Arab leaders.” Israel’s preferred use of the politicized term “Israeli Arab” or “Arab” is intended to downplay the “Palestinian” identity of the vast majority of the members of this group. It also intentionally downplays the Palestinians’ connection with their land, suggesting that they are indistinguishable from Arabs elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa. In fact, both the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association (AMEJA)[i] and the International Press Institute (IPI) [ii] encourage journalists to use the term “Palestinian citizens of Israel” or simply “Palestinian.”
As such, I request that you change the term “Arab leaders” to “Palestinian leaders” to accurately reflect their identity.
Thank you for making these changes. Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
Policy Analyst, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
[i] Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association (AMEJA), “Tips and resources for covering issues related to Israel and Palestine,” May 24, 2021, https://ijnet.org/en/story/tips-and-resources-covering-issues-related-israel-and-palestine
[ii] “Use with Care: A Reporter’s Glossary of Loaded Language in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” International Press Institute, Oct. 23, 2013, p. 26, https://ipi.media/use-with-care-reporters-glossary-of-loaded-language-in-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict/