Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reuters quotes "Israel"

Reporting on Israeli bombing in Gaza in response to the Hamas attack on a school bus and more than one-hundred Palestinian rockets and mortars fired into Israel, Reuters correspondents Nidal al-Mughrabi and Allyn Fisher-Ilan write:
Israel has said it wants to teach Hamas a lesson for that attack, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday amounted to "crossing a line," adding that "whoever tries to attack and murder children puts his life on the line."
Note that al-Mughrabi and Fisher-Ilan do not actually cite any official as saying Israel "wants to teach Hamas a lesson".  And it's clear from the sentence construction that the Israeli Prime Minister, who is quoted otherwise, didn't say this.  In fact, we don't know who said it.  Probably, no one said it.  Rather, we are told that "Israel", the country, has made this statement.

This isn't merely a gross journalistic error and a violation of the Reuters Handbook of Journalism, it's a deliberate attempt by Reuters to portray the Israelis as vindictive and imperious.  You see, the Israelis are not simply defending themselves against unprovoked rocket attacks on children and civilian communities, they are intent on meting out to the Palestinians, indelible punishment.

At least so says "Israel".

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