"I urge you to include more context to the second paragraph that clearly indicates that settler attacks have been ongoing this year and are not responses to one singular event."
July 13, 2023
Steve Bartlett, Senior Managing Editor, Saltwire
Bradley Works, Managing Editor, Saltwire
Dan Williams, Journalist, Reuters
Brian Moss, Editor, Ethics and Standards, Reuters
Dear Mr. Williams, Mr. Moss, Mr. Works, and Mr. Bartlett
I’m writing on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to express concern regarding your article titled “Israel files terrorism charges against two settlers in West Bank rampages.”
Paragraph two in your article wrongfully implies that the shooting of four Israelis by a Hamas gunman in June is the cause of the violence perpetrated by the Israeli settlers. This is extremely misleading. Settler attacks against Palestinian civilians, including women, children, the elderly and the disabled, have been seeing a dangerous and unprecedented rise for several months now. Furthermore, these settlers have been particularly emboldened by ultra-right wing cabinet members in the government, as well as the Israeli military and police who have stood idly by and done nothing.
In February of this year, a settler attack on Huwara was described by an Israeli general as a “pogrom.” These settler attacks are nothing new. They are an important element of Israel’s push to build new and expand upon existing settlements in the occupied West Bank.
I urge you to include more context to the second paragraph that clearly indicates that settler attacks have been ongoing this year and are not responses to one singular event.
The accusation of two Israeli settlers of terrorism for desecrating a mosque and setting fire to a Palestinian home while a mother and her four children were trapped inside is notable mostly for it’s narrow scope, given the large-scale extent of damage inflicted by settlers against Palestinians this year. It is a journalist’s duty to give readers enough context to understand that these two indictments arrive while the vast majority of perpetrators are not facing charges. What is also missing is that Israel’s governing coalition continues to push forward with settlement expansion, which is done in violation of international law. It appears that Israel is trying to create a narrative that there is law and order where no such thing exists. Journalists ought to be skeptical of this narrative.
I insist that you include readers with the above-described essential context for understanding these terror charges against settlers.
Should you wish to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me at 438-380-5410.
Director of Strategic Operations, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East