On February 28, CJPME learned that the Waterloo Region Record made corrections to an article following a CJPME complaint. This article was about the escalation of anti-Palestinian racism in schools within the Waterloo Region School District. Despite the subject of the article– the prominence of APR– being highly appreciated by CJPME, there were a couple of instances of anti-Palestinian racism subtly embedded within it.
Initially, the article read:
The overall Palestinian death toll from the war in Gaza has now surpassed 28,000, according to reports from the Health Ministry in Gaza this week. This comes after Hamas militants killed about 1,200 Israelis and foreigners on Oct. 7, and abducted around 250 people, mostly civilians.
After complaining to the author and editor that this paragraph dehumanizes Palestinians by using active language for Israelis and not Palestinians, as well as not citing Israel as the source of information for the Israeli death toll, Waterloo Region Record edited the paragraph to:
Israel’s military campaign in Gaza has killed more than 28,000 Palestinians, according to reports from the Health Ministry in Gaza this week. This comes after Hamas militants killed about 1,200 Israelis and foreigners on Oct. 7, and abducted around 250 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli officials.
In one of their paragraphs, Williams wrote: “Since the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict began in October…” Given the fact that the “conflict” did not begin in October and the word “conflict” falsely implies a power symmetry between the two parties involved, CJPME recommended that the beginning of this sentence simply be amended to “Since Oct. 7.” Now, the sentence reads: “Since Oct. 7, the Coalition of Muslim Women of K-W has been documenting the rise in specific anti-Palestine racism in the school board.”
We appreciate both Waterloo Region Record’s response to our complaints and their willingness to publish articles regarding anti-Palestinian racism and strategies to combat it with the Waterloo Region School District.
"You report that the Palestinian death toll is “according to” the Health Ministry in Gaza but subsequently state the Israeli death toll without acknowledging the entity that has reported this information. For the sake of reporting these death tolls in the same manner, please specify that 1,200 Israelis have been killed according to Israel or remove 'according to reports from the Health Ministry in Gaza this week'."Read more
"Why have Israelis been killed, yet Palestinians have died? This passive language muddles reality by absolving Israel of any responsibility as the perpetrator of these Palestinian deaths."Read more
"I understand the need for Mr Kluth to portray Hamas as the devil, but the "current spiral of hate" he mentions is now exhibited by Israel's army rather than Hamas. As Palestinian journalists report they have "never seen such atrocities," with Israel's use of white phosphorus and an unidentified substance that burns "to the bone"  and continuous bombing and shelling of all of Gaza including the South which was supposed to be safe, Gaza is Dante's inferno."Read more
"This article contains glaring inaccuracies. First, you seem not to acknowledge Palestinian deaths as deaths. You write: “The surprise weekend attack by Hamas left a death toll unseen since the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria,” you write. That is true only if Israelis alone count as part of the 'death toll'."Read more
"First, the onus of blame in this article is unreasonably placed on the Palestinians. A phrase like this one – “This week’s events recall a bloody protest campaign organized by Hamas in 2018 and 2019” – suggests that the “bloodiness” came from Hamas. In fact, it was not the Palestinians who were violent, but rather Israel which responded to the demonstrations with live ammunition."Read more
"Skewed language that piles up on Iran (whose officials are called “hard-line,” while United States officials are not) or reproduces false patterns of blame (“a series of attacks and ship seizures attributed to Iran have raised tensions,” with no reference to Israeli or Western affronts) erodes your credibility."Read more
You accurately report in the twelfth paragraph of this article that the Palestinian Authority is still subject to the Israeli occupation. “The PA,” you write, “set up following the 1990s Oslo interim peace accords, exercises limited governance over parts of the West Bank.” Language to this effect is credible – though further context would improve clarity.Read more
Problematic language and missing context regarding the Israeli military's attack on Jenin refugee camp
In fact we know that Israel used live fire rounds and missile attacks from drones against the densely populated refugee camp – including against journalists and health workers -- not just stun grenades and tear gas. I am puzzled why you would minimize the scale of the attack especially since you later claimed much more accurately that the camp was “destroyed” via air and land attacks.Read more