"This article lacks sufficient context on the nature of Israel’s governing coalition. Associated Press has itself reported that this government, which includes far-right settlers like finance minister Bezalel Smotrich, has “created a new Israeli settler agency, led by Smotrich, within the Defense Ministry'."
September 21, 2023
Donovan Vincent, Public Editor, Toronto Star
Josef Federman, News Director, Associated Press
Dear Donovan Vincent and Josef Federman,
I am writing on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, cjpme.org) to indicate the need for correction of your September 21 article, “Joe Biden warns Benjamin Netanyahu about the health of Israel’s democracy and urges compromise on court overhaul.”
On the one hand, this article lacks sufficient context on the nature of Israel’s governing coalition. Associated Press has itself reported that this government, which includes far-right settlers like finance minister Bezalel Smotrich, has “created a new Israeli settler agency, led by Smotrich, within the Defense Ministry.” Smotrich, who describes himself as a “fascist homophobe,” is joined in the coalition government by Itamar Ben-Gvir, who (in the words of AP) “is the disciple of a racist rabbi, Meir Kahane, who was banned from Parliament and whose Kach party was branded a terrorist group by the United States.”
We propose that you add this necessary information to your article in the following form, largely borrowed from existing AP material: “Israel’s coalition government is in part led by settlers from areas of the occupied West Bank that Israel has settled in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and repeated United Nations rulings. One of its ministers, Itamar Ben-Gvir, is violently anti-Palestinian and has been convicted several times for incitement and support for a Jewish terror group.”
The hyperlinked phrase is, you will see, from Associated Press.
On the other hand, notice that you mis-spell the name of the President of the United States in your fifteenth paragraph. His surname, of course, is Biden, not “Bien.”
Feel free to contact me at 438-380-5410 if you would like to discuss any of this further.
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