"Bushnell’s statements echo his message incredibly clearly: “I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it’s not extreme at all.” He yells, “Free Palestine,” until he falls to the ground, overcome by the flames."Read more
Lack of context regarding the positions of the Israeli government toward Palestinian self-determination
"The article should state that Ben-Gvir is the leader of Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power), a far-right and racist party with origins in Kahanism, a fascist and terroristic movement which calls for the expulsion of Palestinians from Israel."Read more
On July 6, 2023, the Toronto Star published a story by Josef Federman of the Associated Press (AP) which included the claim from human rights groups that Israel is practicing apartheid against the Palestinians. Mr. Federman is the News Director in Jerusalem for AP and helps shape their coverage of Israel and Palestine. Although the AP occasionally publishes articles about someone making a claim of apartheid, CJPME and others have been pushing AP for months to include these claims as context in their general reporting on Palestine, which would help readers make sense of the broader issues.
Federman’s July 6 article did exactly this. Here is an excerpt:
Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, areas Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war, for their state. The land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, made up of pre-1967 Israel and the occupied lands, is populated in roughly equal parts by Palestinians and Israeli Jews. Pollsters predict an eventual Palestinian majority because of higher birth rates.
Proponents of partition say it would create a democratic Israel with a clear Jewish majority in defined borders and enable Palestinians to realize their national aspirations.
Without partition, the default is an apartheid-like reality in which a shrinking Jewish minority controls a growing Arab majority with few political rights. Leading rights groups say an apartheid system is already in place.
On June 2, 2023, CJPME launched an alert in response to an Associated Press article published by Toronto Star. The article, “Palestinian toddler critically wounded in West Bank, Israeli military says shooting unintentional,” failed to cite Palestinian sources but relied heavily on Israeli military accounts. At the time of publication, other media outlets were already casting reasonable doubt on the veracity of the Israeli military narrative.
Associated Press is an international wire service responsible for a significant amount of Canada’s media coverage on Israel and Palestine.
Following a barrage of complaints from our media responders, the article was updated to provide more context and a quote was provided from Haitham Aal-Tamimi, the father of Mohammad Aal-Tamimi, a 2-year-old Palestinian boy who was shot in the head by Israeli troops and died days later from his wound.
A subsequent article on the same attack, “Palestinian toddler shot by Israeli troops in West Bank dies of wounds,” was written by AP on June 5 and included more comments from Palestinians and the perspectives of human rights groups.
At the time of writing, 27 Palestinian children have been killed in 2023 according to Defense for Children International – Palestine. Read their statement on Mohammad Aal-Tamimi’s murder here.
On March 24, 2023, the Associated Press published an article on CTV News about the protests against Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu during his visit to London, UK. However, although the story mentioned pro-Israel demonstrations expressing concern over Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul, it omitted any mention of the significant anti-occupation, anti-apartheid, or pro-Palestinian demonstrations at the same time.
Following a complaint from CJPME, the AP updated its syndicated story hours later to include these important details, adding a new paragraph which reads:
"In London, Netanyahu also was met by a pro-Palestinian demonstration. His government has been criticized for its hard-line policy toward Palestinians, including recent comments by a government minister who denied the existence of the Palestinian people and their right to self-determination."
Associated Press updates article to note that Israeli settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace
On March 22, 2023, the Associated Press published an article in the Toronto Star on Israel’s repeal of the “Disengagement Law,” which allows settlers to return to four colonial outposts in the northern West Bank. However, the article failed to acknowledge that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) are illegal under international law. Further, it did not mention the recent context in which Israel reneged on a promise to pause the approval of settlements. Click here for an archive of the original article.
After a complaint from CJPME, the article was promptly updated the following day to include this context. The AP added the line, “Most of the international community considers Israel’s West Bank settlements illegal and an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians.” Further, a hyperlink was added to direct readers to an AP article about Israel’s recent promotion of over 7,000 illegal settlement units. While this is not the language that CJPME prefers, as it suggests that the illegality of settlements is a matter of opinion, rather than an international legal consensus, it is nonetheless an important improvement over the original.
"I fear that you omitted a critical element of Borrell’s piece. He wrote that 'While Israelis can rely on a strong state and army, Palestinians have no such recourse. This vast inequality in the ability to control one’s destiny is visible at every roadside checkpoint.' Borrell goes further than merely equating violence ‘on both sides.’"Read more
Associated Press corrects errors in coverage of Israeli violence in West Bank, number of illegal settlers
CJPME wrote to the Associated Press on March 7 and March 9, 2023, regarding issues with their coverage of Israeli violence in the West Bank. Regarding three of these issues, AP stories were either updated to include accurate information and language, or the feedback was incorporated in later reporting.
1) CJPME took issue with the way that AP described Palestinians killed, which used the qualifier: “around half of them were militants.” CJPME noted that this was inaccurate and misleading, and that such language implied that their deaths were inherently justified. In subsequent AP articles, this language was first changed to "around half of them affiliated with militant groups," and later to simply and more accurately say they were “killed by Israeli fire during military arrest raids and other confrontations so far this year.”
2) The AP had originally described the settler violence in Huwara without mentioning that a Palestinian had been shot and killed, even though they did mention that two Israelis had been killed earlier in the day. After a CJPME complaint, the article was updated to include this information.
3) The AP’s article on March 6 provided an inaccurate number of illegal Israeli settlers, claiming that since 1967, “500,000 Jewish settlers have moved into dozens of settlements.” After complaints from CJPME, subsequent articles have corrected this problem to say that there are “more than 700,000 Jewish settlers.”
"When Israel carries out arrest raids it is often met with Palestinian resistance. However, as The Associated Press itself regularly reports, much of the resistance is typically from unarmed civilians throwing stones or committing other acts of non-violent civil disobedience. Often, innocent civilians are killed during these arrest raids. 15 children have been killed as a result of Israeli military and settler violence this year alone."Read more
In an article focused on Israeli Minister Smotrich’s call to “erase” Hawara and Netanyahu’s response, it is alarming that the description of events leading up is so one-sided. The two Israeli brothers who were killed in the leadup are mentioned, but the Palestinian casualties are omitted. In a story about erasing a town, this is essential information.Read more