On August 1, Robert Walker of the pro-Israel lobby group Honest Reporting Canada published a letter in The Telegram (a SaltWire newspaper) attempting to justify Israel’s killing of children in Jenin — by claiming that they were not children at all. His argument is dubious, defamatory, and based on false premises. It constitutes a breach of basic journalistic principles, even in the context of opinion.
Poor coverage - Media outlet to be criticized
A CJPME Media Researcher has launched a media alert for the following article. Please submit a quick response to the media, even if it’s just a sentence or two:
Title of Piece: Robert Walker (Honest Reporting): "Israel’s actions were justified"
Media Outlet: SaltWire (The Telegram - St. John’s, NL)
Comments of the CJPME Media Researcher:
Walker writes that, “Despite these heinous actions by Palestinian terrorists, Israel’s actions were pinpoint, with reports saying somewhere between 12 and 18 Palestinian dead, and Israel arguing that not a single innocent civilian was killed.” However, this is false. Clear video evidence has emerged of an unarmed child being shot by an Israeli sniper, as reported by BBC. Moreover, over 100 people were injured including health workers.
Walker also states that in Jenin, “Not a single child was killed; these deaths were adults in their mid-teens, a demographic highly sought after by Palestinian terror groups in their recruitment, and Israel maintains that every single death was a combatant, including child soldiers.” How did this pass by an editor? It is demonstrably false to claim that “Not a single child was killed.” DCIP has reported that at least 4 Palestinian children were killed. According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child is anyone under the age of 18. Under international law, Israel as an occupying power has a responsibility to protect children, even those participating in hostilities.
Many understandably feel that Robert Walker’s article is defamatory towards Palestinians. SaltWire states: “SaltWire Network will not publish letters that are defamatory, or that denigrate individuals or groups based on race, creed, colour or sexual orientation.” SaltWire should be held to their word. Join us in demanding that appropriate corrective action be taken, including a formal apology and a commitment to upholding basic journalistic standards in their Opinion section moving forward.
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