"Among the errors in Mr. Miller’s article is his failure to specify that Israel’s attack on Jenin earlier this month specifically targeted the city’s refugee camp. To only characterize Jenin as a “militant stronghold” legitimizes, albeit implicitly, the Israeli military’s framing of its attack as an “operation,” while downplaying its brutality and the devastation wrought on Palestinians living in the camp."
July 18, 2023
Zeke Miller, Journalist, Associated Press
Aamer Madhani, Journalist, Associated Press
Anna Johnson, Washington Bureau Chief, Associated Press
Josef Federman, Jerusalem News Director, Associated Press
John Daniszewski, Editor at Large for Standards, Associated Press
Donovan Vincent, Public Editor, Toronto Star
Dear Mr. Miller, Mr. Madhani, Ms. Johnson, Mr. Federman, Mr. Daniszewski, and Mr. Vincent,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to request immediate updates to the article written by Zeke Miller of The Associated Press and published July 18 on the Toronto Star website entitled “Israel’s president will meet with Biden as concerns over settlements, judicial overhaul continue.”
Among the errors in Mr. Miller’s article is his failure to specify that Israel’s attack on Jenin earlier this month specifically targeted the city’s refugee camp. To only characterize Jenin as a “militant stronghold” legitimizes, albeit implicitly, the Israeli military’s framing of its attack as an “operation,” while downplaying its brutality and the devastation wrought on civilians living in the camp. This relieves Israel of the responsibility to justify its abhorrent actions and instead offers readers a watered-down version of their misdeeds.
As such, I would insist that you update the statement to read:
Herzog’s visit comes weeks after Israeli forces carried out one of their most intensive operations in the West Bank in two decades, with a two-day air and ground attack on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
Relatedly, to refer to Palestinians in Jenin as “militants” on the one hand, while using the much milder (and incorrect) “captured” to frame Israel’s occupation of the West Bank on the other, obscures the reality of the situation and casts Palestinian armed resistance to illegal occupation as violence for its own sake.
I would therefore also insist that the second-to-last paragraph be updated to read:
Israel occupied the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians claim all three territories for a future independent state.
This would not only make the paragraph more consistent with the previous statement where the West Bank is correctly referred to as “occupied,” but would also strengthen the Palestinian claim to the territories in the following sentence.
Most concerning, however, is Mr. Miller’s assertion at the end of the article that the “Hamas militant group overran” the Gaza Strip in 2007. This is patently false and, given that the final two paragraphs of Mr. Miller’s piece are copied directly from his colleague Josef Federman’s June 26 article, typifies the readiness with which journalists propagate Israeli narratives at the expense of Palestinian grievances being regarded as valid.
Hamas is an Islamic liberation organization that, in addition to having a military wing, governs certain aspects of the Gaza Strip and provides social services. Furthermore, it did not “overrun” the Gaza Strip, but was voted into power in 2006 following the internationally-supervised Palestinian legislative council elections.
While Hamas governs certain aspects of Gaza, the Gaza Strip remains under the “effective control” of Israel and has been so since 2007, when Israel imposed its brutal (and ongoing) blockade over Gaza’s land borders, airspace, and territorial waters. (You can refer to CJPME’s essay for a more rigorous delineation of Israel’s occupation of Gaza.)
I therefore must insist that you update your statement to read:
Two years later, Hamas won the parliamentary elections and governs certain aspects of the Gaza Strip, which remains under Israeli military occupation.
I hope to see these changes reflected in the article as soon as possible and expect that your journalism on such a contentious issue becomes more even-handed and fact-based going forward.
Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
Media Analyst, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
 “Why the West Bank is ‘Occupied’ and not ‘Captured,” CJPME, June 16, 2023, https://www.cjpmemap.ca/why_the_west_bank_is_occupied_and_not_captured.
 “Why Gaza is ‘Occupied’ Under Israeli Effective Control,” CJPME, June 23, 2023, https://www.cjpmemap.ca/why_gaza_is_occupied_under_israeli_effective_control.