Media Outlets Bury the Killing of Palestinian Human Rights Activist
On June 24th, Nizar Banat, a Palestinian human rights activist and critic of the Palestinian Authority (PA), died after Palestinian security forces arrested and brutally beat him. Family members who witnessed the arrest said he was viciously beaten for eight minutes with batons, before police dragged him off.
Banat, a candidate in the parliamentary elections called off earlier this year, had harshly criticized the PA over its corruption, authoritarianism, and human rights violations. The day after his death, mass protests erupted at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and on the streets of Hebron, in which Palestinians expressed their rage over the killing.
On that same day, Amnesty International published a report on the beating death.
But also on that day, Amnesty published a predictably one-sided report on alleged “human rights violations” by Israeli police and security forces last month during the riots and violence that erupted in Jerusalem and in mixed Arab-Jewish cities throughout the country.
The Guardian published an article uncritically amplifying the Amnesty report on Israeli violations — while burying the killing of Banat at the very bottom of the piece.
The June 24th report, by Middle East correspondent Bethan McKernan, titled “Amnesty: ‘catalogue of violations’ by Israeli police against Palestinians,“ focuses entirely on Israel’s alleged violations until, 12 paragraphs down, finally pivoting to the Palestinian activist’s killing.
As of this writing, there is no stand-alone article or op-ed in the Guardian about Banat’s killing or its aftermath, despite the fact that it’s a developing story with new protests breaking out in the PA throughout the weekend.
Hundreds of Palestinians took the street in Ramallah and demanded president Abbas to leave pic.twitter.com/DNyZDslyYo
— Alaa Daraghme (@AlaaDaraghme) June 26, 2021
Here’s a video of Palestinian security forces beating a female journalist with a club.
— Elder of Ziyon 🇮🇱 (@elderofziyon) June 27, 2021
Here’s a current snapshot of the ‘Palestinian Territories’ page of The Guardian, showing articles since June 21st:
The Guardian’s editorial decision to bury the extra-judicial killing of a Palestinian human rights activist represents yet another example of how little regard the media outlet has for the rights of Palestinians when Israel can’t be blamed.
Adam Levick serves co-editor of CAMERA UK – an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), where a version of this article first appeared.