"The result is that your readers are led to think that the onus of blame is on the Palestinians of Ein el-Hilweh – particularly when you include phrases emphasizing, and I quote, how the camp (rather than those who made it necessary) 'is notorious for its lawlessness'. Yet it is precisely the refusal of Israel to abide by Resolution 194 of the United Nations General Assembly that has produced this intractable crisis."
September 13, 2023
Donovan Vincent, Public Editor, Toronto Star
Josef Federman, News Director, Associated Press
Abby Sewell, Reporter and News Director, Associated Press
Dear Donovan Vincent, Josef Federman, and Abby Sewell,
I am writing on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, cjpme.org) to express concern about your September 11 article, “Cease-fire declared after days of intense fighting in largest Palestinian refugee camp.”
There has been some improvement. In your September 8 article, “Clashes resume between factions in Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp,” there was no reference at all to the country from which Palestinian refugees are excluded. There is some mention in this piece.
Nevertheless, this information does not come until the nineteenth paragraph of your article. In order and in emphasis, this decisive angle remains neglected in your coverage.
The result is that your readers are led to think that the onus of blame is on the Palestinians of Ein el-Hilweh – particularly when you include phrases emphasizing, and I quote, how the camp (rather than those who made it necessary) “is notorious for its lawlessness.”
Yet it is precisely the refusal of Israel to abide by Resolution 194 of the United Nations General Assembly that has produced this intractable crisis. Your readers have the right to evaluate the latest camp developments in the light of this more elemental lawlessness.
As much as your mention, therefore, of the root cause of the Palestinian refugee crisis in Lebanon is an improvement, as is your link to a story elaborating on this background, earlier and more balanced treatment of this root-cause context remains imperative.
We ask that your nineteenth paragraph be moved up in the piece and edited to read:
Ein el-Hilweh – home to some 55,000 people according to the United Nations – is a central site and symbol of the experience of Palestinian dispossession at the hands of Israel. It was established in 1948 to house Palestinians who were displaced when Israel was established.
If you wish, feel free to reach me by phone at 438-380-5410.
PhD, University of Exeter
Director of Strategic Operations
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East/
Canadiens pour la Justice et la Paix au Moyen-Orient