Letter in response to
Public Editor Bruce Campion-Smith
Bureau of Accuracy/Public Editor
The Toronto Star
March 9th, 2022
Dear Mr. Campion-Smith
The Associated Press article published by the Toronto Star on March 8, 2022, “Israeli troops demolish homes of Palestinian attackers” has some language that is misinformed or misleading to the public eye.
For one, the title is misleading given the context of the article. The use of the words “Palestinian attackers” is not necessarily correct, as the article states that the Palestinians were “accused of carrying out” the shooting attack that occurred last year in the occupied West Bank. To correct this, we recommend a title change to something along the lines of the articles posted by Al Jazeera or Al-Arabiya News on the same event: “Israeli troops demolish homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out attack” or simply “Israeli troops demolish Palestinian homes in the West Bank.”
Also, the content subtly uses language to subconsciously justify the demolitions by referencing other attacks carried out by Palestinians. When we read “the demolitions came hours after a Palestinian stabbed two police officers in Jerusalem” which the second incident of its sort in as many days. By referencing this, as well as an incident in which a Palestinian stabbed an officer in Jerusalem, the Associated Press is bringing in irrelevant information to the story. We suggest that this content is either reworded or removed altogether. The use of collective punishment should also be condemned, not normalized.
Finally, the use of excessive force by Israeli forces is not heavily discussed in this article, but rather the Associated Press uses writing to neither condemn nor commend the IDF’s actions and this excessive use of force. While the article states that “armed Palestinians fired at the troops,” as well as “dozens of Palestinians threw rocks, firebombs, and grenades” at the military, the content fails to mention how this was a response to an unprecedented demolition of Palestinian homes. It also fails to make clear that this information was taken from the Israeli military rather and not Palestinians at the scene as well. Hearing both sides of the story is essential to fair and just reporting. We suggest that the content of this article is rewritten to make this point extremely clear and less ambiguous.
Just Peace Advocates