"Stop reporting grave Israeli contraventions of law under photographs and ludicrous Israeli claims that provide cover for the war crimes about which you should be informing readers. Bias at this level debases your profession and deadens the soul."
October 18, 2023
Angus Scott, Editor in Chief, The Niagara Falls Review
Ravi Nessman, Global Director of Text, Associated Press
Josef Federman, News Director – Jerusalem, The Associated Press
Najib Jobain, Reporter, Associated Press
Isabel Debre, Reporter, Associated Press
Dear Angus Scott, Ravi Nessman, Josef Federman, Najib Jobain, and Isabel Debre,
I am writing on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, cjpme.org) to implore correction of the bias in your October 18 article, “Israel will let Egypt deliver some aid to Gaza, as doctors struggle to treat hospital blast victims.”
This report distracts from the news of the day, while it is instead supposed to report it.
First, it is imperative that you change the photo. You write that “3,478 people have been killed in Gaza and more than 12,000 wounded, with most of the casualties women, children, and the elderly,” while “More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed.” Your reports’ disproportionate emphasis on Israeli casualties, pain, and human interest stories was bad enough just after October 7 – this story’s photo of an Israeli funeral is unjustifiable.
Palestinian pain is pain, too, and deserves photographic, headline, and body-text coverage.
Second, it is imperative that you mention Israeli obligations under international law. I trust that AP has joined local outlets, like CTV and the Globe and Mail, in reporting the insistence of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), that Israel STILL OCCUPIES Gaza by control of its airspace and borders.
Accordingly, to quote Article 55 of the Fourth Geneva Convention,
“the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate.”
And yet not only to you deny your readers access to this crucial information. You treat as serious the claim that Islamic Jihad has a rocket that can in one blow destroy a hospital!
Neither politically nor in a basic armaments sense does this claim pass the laugh test.
The result is that as Israel daily kills hundreds of Palestinians, just bombed a hospital, and has announced a siege in brazen contrvention of its Fourth Geneva Convention obligations, you have run a he-said/she-said whitewash piece under an Israeli funeral photograph.
There is sloppy and there is shamefully unethical. You are well over the line.
Include credible information about international law, and read a few pages to be able to do your job if you thus far do not know about it (see Articles 47–78 in particular).
Stop reporting grave Israeli contraventions of law under photographs and ludicrous Israeli claims that provide cover for the war crimes about which you should be informing readers.
Bias at this level debases your profession and deadens the soul. You need and will be well served by a sharp break with this startling bias; there is every reason to do better.
Feel free to reach me at 438-380-5410 should you wish to discuss this matter further.
PhD, University of Exeter
Postdoc, Canada Research Chair in Québec and Canadian Studies
Director of Strategic Operations
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East/
Canadiens pour la Justice et la Paix au Moyen-Orient