"While it is alarming to see such clearcut false statements in print, it is equally concerning that there is such defamatory language used toward Palestinians. Walker’s definition of terrorism is confounding, as he is talking about groups in Jenin that were actively resisting an Israeli military invasion."
August 1, 2023
Jennifer Little, Managing Editor, The Telegram
Steve Bartlett, Senior Managing Editor, SaltWire
Dear Ms. Little and Mr. Bartlett,
I'm writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to express serious concern about The Telegram’s decision to publish a counterfactual letter by Robert Walker titled “Israel’s actions were justified.”
Walker writes that “Despite these heinous actions by Palestinian terrorists, Israel’s actions were pinpoint, with reports saying somewhere between 12 and 18 Palestinian dead, and Israel arguing that not a single innocent civilian was killed.” However, this is false. Clear video evidence has emerged of an unarmed child being shot by an Israeli sniper, as reported by BBC. Moreover, over 100 people were injured including health workers.
Walker also states that in Jenin, “Not a single child was killed; these deaths were adults in their mid-teens, a demographic highly sought after by Palestinian terror groups in their recruitment, and Israel maintains that every single death was a combatant, including child soldiers.” It is demonstrably false to claim that “Not a single child was killed.” DCIP has reported that at least 4 Palestinian children were killed. According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child is anyone under the age of 18. Under international law, Israel as an occupying power has a responsibility to protect children, even those participating in hostilities.
While it is alarming to see such clearcut false statements in print, it is equally concerning that there is such defamatory language used toward Palestinians. Walker’s definition of terrorism is confounding, as he is talking about groups in Jenin that were actively resisting an Israeli military invasion. By any ordinary reading, this is not terrorism. However, referring to everyone involved in these acts of resistance as a “terrorist” and accusing them of intentionally putting civilians in harm's way for “better PR” crosses a line.
The Telegram must take action to make clear it will not stand by these falsehoods by issuing clear corrections in its next publication. An apology should also be made to Palestinians, as I’ve spoken to many in the last 24 hours who were deeply offended by The Telegram’s decision to publish something like this.
Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
Director of Media Advocacy, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East