"I urge the AP to include Palestinian perspectives on Israeli judicial reform — a situation in which both Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation and Palestinian citizens of Israel have an enormous amount at stake."
September 12, 2023
Isabel Debre, Journalist, Associated Press
Josef Federman, News Director, Associated Press
Donovan Vincent, Public Editor, Toronto Star
Dear Ms. Debre, Mr. Federman, and Mr. Vincent,
I'm writing on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to express concern regarding important omissions in the Associated Press article “Israeli Supreme Court hears first challenge to Netanyahu's divisive judicial overhaul” published by the Toronto Star on September 12.
Critics say the plan — which would weaken the Supreme Court — is a profound threat to Israeli democracy and that it would concentrate power in the hands of Netanyahu and his allies.
We can assume these critics are Jewish Israelis who fit into the mainstream domestic political spectrum. The criticism raised here does not capture the sentiments of numerous Palestinian citizens of Israel or Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation. It also excludes the powerful criticisms made by various human rights groups. Some of these criticisms are captured in Tia Goldenberg’s August 3, 2023 article “Israeli protesters are calling for democracy. But what about the occupation of Palestinians?” She writes that critics, including Palestinians, say “selective advocacy of democratic ideals shows how disconnected Israelis are from the harsh reality of those living under Israel’s occupation.” For many Palestinians, the notion that Israel is a democracy at all is contested.
The omission of these perspectives is particularly glaring in Canada, where a recent poll found that 27% of Canadians agree with the view that Israel is “a state with segregation similar to apartheid,” 14% view Israel as a “state with restricted minority rights” and 22% view Israel as “a flawed democracy.” Only 8% view Israel as a “vibrant democracy.”
I urge the AP to include Palestinian perspectives on Israeli judicial reform — a situation in which both Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation and Palestinian citizens of Israel have an enormous amount at stake.
Such context should be easily added to an article that covers a developing story.
Please contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information or additional comment.
Director of Media Advocacy, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
 “Survey: Canadians View Israel as Apartheid, Not a Vibrant Democracy,” CJPME, September 6, 2023, https://www.cjpme.org/survey2023_r1.