The article states that the ICJ “rejected a request by South Africa to order Israel to halt its defensive war against Hamas.” It is unfair, misleading, and inaccurate to describe Israel’s war as “defensive.” This is highly editorializing language that has no place in a news article. Such language is reserved for news explicitly tagged as “opinion.”
Poor coverage - Media outlet to be critiqued
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: Jewish News Syndicate: “Top UN court rejects South Africa's request to halt war against Hamas"
Media Outlet: National Post
Click here to access the piece online
Comments of the CJPME Media Researcher:
(Note: Please do not copy and paste the material below as the content to your message to the media - put all comments in your own words):
Please join us in challenging a spectacularly misleading and unfair article produced by the Jewish News Syndicate and published on the front page of the National Post’s website.
This was their leading coverage of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on South Africa’s case against Israel for committing genocide.
The Jewish News Syndicate is an explicitly pro-Israel news wire service used by the National Post.
- The headline is highly misleading. It has already been modified since the story was published on the morning of January 26, but at the time of creating this alert, it reads: “Top UN court rejects South Africa's request to halt war against Hamas.” The ICJ’s ruling is framed as a rejection of South Africa’s case when, in fact, the decision overwhelmingly supports South Africa’s case. South Africa requested that “The State of Israel shall immediately suspend its military operations in and against Gaza.”
- The ICJ ruling reads: “The State of Israel shall, in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of this Convention, in particular: (a) killing members of the group; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.”
- For Israel to fulfill these measures, many argue that it does, in fact, entail halting the war against Hamas. Thus, it is misleading to state that South Africa’s request was rejected.
- The article states that the ICJ “rejected a request by South Africa to order Israel to halt its defensive war against Hamas.” It is unfair, misleading, and inaccurate to describe Israel’s war as “defensive.” This is highly editorializing language that has no place in a news article. Such language is reserved for news explicitly tagged as “opinion.”
- The article attempts to smear South Africa’s legal team as biased, describing its leader as someone with a track record of attacking Israel. The article frames Israel’s legal team as being led by a “world-leading expert.” This is a clear example of the lack of balance in the piece that again fails basic journalistic standards.
- The article clearly mispresents comments by South Africa’s legal team, writing that the “delegation also claimed that the very establishment of the State of Israel was tantamount to genocide.” The quote they refer to only mentions “systematic oppression and violence for the last 76 years,” which is fundamentally different from a claim of “genocide.” This is a demonstrably false claim, or at least only a description that would be appropriate for opinion articles, not news.
- The article also negatively editorializes South Africa’s case, accusing it of selecting “random soldiers” to prove the case of genocide. To describe Israeli soldiers in Gaza as “random,” as if to suggest their inclusion is without merit, is again slanderous and unfair. The soldiers were not selected randomly. Their comments were included because they contribute to the case that Israel is committing genocide. To suggest randomness is an effort to diminish the South African case, which is again inappropriate in a news article.
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