With her first seven words, Fisher-Ilan proclaims that the terrorist was from the "occupied West Bank", a propaganda mantra seen in over 2,000 Reuters stories in just the last few years. Why propaganda? Because the term West Bank is an Arab-ethnocentric term, assigned to the territory by the Arabs of then Transjordan following their ethnic cleansing of the Jewish population from the land in 1948-49. Labeling the area the West Bank was an attempt by Jordan to erase claims to the territory by Jews who refer to it by its three-thousand-year-old name, Judea and Samaria.(Reuters) - A Palestinian from the occupied West Bank commandeered a taxi in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv before dawn on Monday, stabbing the driver and then injuring seven others, including police officers, after crashing into a roadblock, a police spokeswoman said.
As the territory in question has not been formally allocated to any sovereign and remains officially in dispute between Jews and Arabs, the appendage "occupied" to characterize its political state is also propagandistic.
Use of the term West Bank is not only propagandistic, it also represents a serious violation of the ethical guidelines set out in Reuters Handbook of Journalism:
But perhaps most egregious of Fisher-Ilan's ethical lapses, is the deceptive manner in which she constructs her sentence to shift authorship of her own propaganda to that of the Israeli spokeswoman. Let's have another look:We must be on alert for language that could imply support for one side of a conflict, sympathy for a point of view, or an ethnocentric vantage point. We should, for example, provide the dual names of disputed territories. We must not parrot any loaded expressions used by our sources, except in quotes and official titles. Generic references to a specific country as “the homeland” for example, are unwelcome.
Would an Israeli refer to the "occupied West Bank"? Would a Brit refer to the "occupied Islas Malvinas" (Falkland Islands)?(Reuters) - A Palestinian from the occupied West Bank commandeered a taxi in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv before dawn on Monday, stabbing the driver and then injuring seven others, including police officers, after crashing into a roadblock, a police spokeswoman said.
Somehow, we think not.