"This completely disregards the power imbalance between Israel and Palestine and the historical context that led to these attacks."
July 4, 2023
Tia Goldenberg, Journalist, Associated Press
Donovan Vincent, Public Editor, Toronto Star
Dear Tia Goldenberg and Donovan Vincent,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to express our concerns regarding the article titled “A year of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians just escalated. Is this an uprising?” which was published by Toronto Star (Associated Press) on July 3, 2023.
While I appreciated a Palestinian analyst being quoted in this article, I do not think that enough Palestinian context was added to give readers a clear idea of what is going on.
First of all, I understand that the article is comparing what is happening in Jenin now to the intifadas. However, some of the phrasing used in the article downplays the violence being carried out by Israeli forces. The biggest example of this is in the third paragraph when you say the current violence is “more limited in scope, with Israeli military operations focused on several strongholds of Palestinian militants”. This is misleading, as the attack has injured numerous civilians and killed 4 children according to DCI-Palestine. While I understand you are trying to make a relative comparison, it’s reasonable to believe that ordinary readers would grossly misinterpret this information.
I insist that you remove reference to the “limited scope” of the current Israeli military raids and make clearer the significant civilian casualties, including children.
Additionally, in the section titled “What is happening now?”, the article seems to be blaming Palestinian attacks in 2022 for the increased violence. This completely disregards the power imbalance between Israel and Palestine and the historical context that led to these attacks. It also ignores the violent retaliation by the Israeli military which always led to more Palestinian casualties. The Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association (AMEJA) has a good list of tips for reporters covering Palestine. One tip is to “remember the broader context of Palestinian-Israeli relations and how they tie into the events you’re currently covering”. This is important to always consider.
I insist that you reconsider this section of the article and include more context about Israeli military attacks on Palestinians.
I did, however, appreciate that you included quotes from a Palestinian analyst who emphasized the political problem that has led to anger in the West Bank and increased violence. This is important context that readers have to know and I am happy to see your article touched on it.
Thank you for making these changes. Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East