Thursday, June 24, 2010

An admonishment to Reuters

One of the things we try to do here on RMEW, is draw attention to the rank hypocrisy of Reuters Middle East bureau as demonstrated by its editorial decisions on which stories to run and which to ignore.  For example, while pseudo-feminist correspondent Allyn Fisher-Ilan thinks it important to highlight the Israeli High Court's inquiry into state support for ultra-Orthodox gender-divided buses, she simultaneously fails to note that government-subsidized mosques in Israel also practice segregation between the sexes.

Whereas bleeding-heart correspondent Douglas Hamilton is quick to condemn Israel for revoking the permanent residency status of Jerusalem-based Palestinians when they adopt foreign citizenship, he is silent on Jordan's arbitrary stripping of the citizenship of Palestinians who originally resided in the "West Bank".

Indeed, in our daily article review and analysis of its archives, it is rare to discover a Reuters story which discusses in a forthright and detailed manner, the discriminatory and often abusive treatment meted out to women by Hamas or to the Palestinians generally, by Arab countries.  This is bias, pure and simple, and demands correcting if Reuters is to recover credibility in the eyes of the public.

In an opinion piece for Hudson New York, Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh offers some advice to the women reportedly preparing to sail on the next ship in an attempt to break the naval blockade of Gaza:
Do not forget to wear the hijab and cover other parts of your body before you arrive at the Hamas-controlled area. And make sure that none of you is seen laughing in public. 
Otherwise, you are likely to meet the same fate as other Palestinian women who have been physically and verbally abused by fundamentalist Muslims in the Gaza Strip.
Some women in the Gaza Strip have had acid splashed in their faces for allegedly being dressed "immodestly" or for being seen in public with a male who is not a husband, father, brother or son.
Just recently, Hamas's Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice stopped female journalist Asthma al-Ghul under the pretext that she came to the beach dressed "immodestly" and was seen laughing in public.
"They accused me of laughing loudly while swimming with my friend, and for failing to wear a hijab," she told a human rights organization in the Gaza Strip. "They also wanted to know the identity of the people who were swimming with me at the beach and whether they were relatives of mine."...
Moreover, it is ironic (and sad) that some of the women who are behind the new flotilla adventure come from Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Kuwait - countries that not only have killed Palestinians, but also continue to oppress them and impose severe restrictions on them.
As for the Egyptian women activists, it would be helpful if they would advise their colleagues to sail toward Egypt, whose authorities are also imposing a blockade on the Gaza Strip and continuing to prevent humanitarian aid from entering the area. The Egyptians are also continuing to prevent tens of thousands of Palestinians from using the Rafah border crossing to travel abroad.
Have the Kuwaiti women on the planned trip ever thought about protesting against the mistreatment of Palestinians in their emirate?
Following the 1991 Gulf War, Kuwait expelled some 400,000 Palestinians who were part of a thriving immigrant community in the emirate. The Palestinians were being punished because of the PLO's support for Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait a year earlier.
Toameh's piece also serves as an admonishment to the correspondents and editors at Reuters who devote all of their time and careers to shamelessly demonizing Israel while routinely censoring news of abject Arab violations of Palestinian human and civil rights.

Please read it all.

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