"Use of that phrase, Islamic Resistance Movement, is a matter of basic journalistic balance. In the same sense that you credibly refer to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), whether or not this organization is focused on “Defense,” use of “the Islamic Resistance Movement” as the parallel description of Hamas is a matter of even-handed consistency of form."
October 5, 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 request correction of your October 5 article, “2 Palestinian militants killed in gunfight with Israeli troops in West Bank raid.”
The language in this article needs correction for accuracy and propriety.
First, your article asserts that “[t]he Hamas militant group . . . rules the Gaza Strip,” a claim which international legal experts contradict. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) states the consensus: “The ICRC considers Gaza to remain occupied territory.” The borders and airspace of the Gaza Strip are under tight Israeli control.
You owe readers a more accurate description. We propose the following: “Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, exercises internal control of the Gaza Strip, while Israel retains control of Gaza’s airspace and borders. Israel remains the occupying power in Gaza,according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other legal experts.”
Use of that phrase, Islamic Resistance Movement, is a matter of basic journalistic balance. In the same sense that you credibly refer to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), whether or not this organization is focused on “Defense,” use of “the Islamic Resistance Movement” as the parallel description of Hamas is a matter of even-handed consistency of form.
Second, we object to the noun “gunmen,” which you use in a lopsided way to apply to Palestinian but not to Israeli combatants. It is a loaded and misleading term. The United Nations affirms, in General Assembly Resolution 37/43, the right of peoples to struggle against “foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.” There is no credible measure by which Palestinians under occupation can be denied this right.
Palestinians in the Tulkarem refugee camp have the legal right to resist IDF raids by force. Those who do so are not reducible to “gunmen,” a noun which Webster’s Dictionary as meaning: “a man armed with a gun / especially : a professional killer.”[i] We insist on the more fair and accurate description of these combatants as resistance fighters.
Thank you for your time and attention.
If you wish to discuss this matter or for more information in support of any of the above points, 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
[i] Emphasis added.