The Guardian – like other UK papers – seems to have an unwritten rule against using the term ‘terrorist’ to characterize Palestinians – even those affiliated with groups designated as ‘terrorists’ by the US and Europe – except when safely surrounded in quotes. Typically, the word ‘militant’ is used instead – reflecting the sage advice of their Style Guide which counsels their journalists that “the most important thing is that, in news reporting, we are not seen – because of the language we use – to be taking sides”.
Indeed, banish the thought that Guardian journalists may be taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict!
In fact, some Guardian journalists have taken the politically correct terminology to a whole other level. Last year, Harriet Sherwood initially referred to the 104 pre-Oslo Palestinian prisoners who are to be released by Israel as a good will gesture to the PA as “political prisoners” – suggesting that these Palestinians are arguably nothing less than prisoners of conscience.
Ahead of a three-hour session with Kerry on Tuesday morning, Netanyahu stated that he was “determined not only to resume the peace process with the Palestinians, but to make a serious effort to end this conflict once and for all”…But he has refused to meet the Palestinians’ key precondition of freezing settlement expansion, although it is thought that Israel may avoid announcing any new construction projects in the coming weeks….The Palestinians also want the release of 123 political prisoners who have been in jail since before the Oslo accords were signed…
The Guardian only revised Sherwood’s propagandistic euphemism after this blog demonstrated to their editors quite convincingly that every single prisoner was convicted in an Israeli court for murder, attempted murder or being an accessory to murder.
So, given their history with such terms, we were left scratching our collective Zionist heads after reading the following passage in a Guardian report by their political editor Patrick Wintour, in a March 13th piece titled ‘Tony Blair briefs David Cameron for meeting with Palestinian president‘.
Israel and the Palestinians are preparing to confront the issue of whether Israeli Arabs will be included in the next prisoner release later this month. Palestinian officials have said in recent days that they expect Israel to release Israeli Arabs in the final group of 26 prisoners due to go free on 28 March…Under the framework agreement from last July that led to the current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Israel was to release 104 convicted terrorists in four stages. Israel has already released 78 prisoners.
However, we’re not entirely convinced that the counter-revolutionary act of referring to Palestinian murderers in the pejorative is consistent with the papers ‘editorial standards’. So, we took a snapshot of the page in case the inevitable complaint from a Palestinian hasbaraist is upheld by Guardian editors and the offending term is removed.
- CiF Watch prompts Guardian correction to report on Palestinian prisoners (cifwatch.com)
- What the Media Won’t Tell You About ‘Palestinian Prisoners’ (cifwatch.com)
- Did Mahmoud Abbas outrage Syria’s Palestinian refugees by waiving their right to live? (cifwatch.com)
- Following CiF Watch post, Guardian amends ‘terrorist sperm’ story (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian report characterizes Palestinian terror movement as merely a ‘Leftist’ group (cifwatch.com)
- The Guardian refers to Palestinian terrorist Samer Issawi as a “political prisoner”. (cifwatch.com)