Associated Press Sanitizes Hamas-Initiated Violence Against Israel
Open any English-language newspaper in the world, and chances are that a significant percentage of the articles included were actually produced by a wire service.
That’s why it is especially crucial for news outlets such as the Associated Press (AP) to use accurate terminology and provide crucial context in their stories.
Unfortunately, the AP’s reporting on the ongoing violence emanating from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip has been noticeably poor, with imprecise word choices misinforming readers about events on the ground.
For example, a recent AP article referred to Gazans launching incendiary balloons into Israel and hurling explosive devices at IDF troops protecting the shared border as “activists.”
A tweet by HonestReporting drawing attention to the matter quickly spread online, garnering over 500,000 impressions and prompting a public conversation.
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) August 24, 2021
Despite the pushback, the AP in a subsequent piece doubled down by describing people committing acts of violence as “activists.”
In an August 29 article titled, “Gaza protesters clash with Israeli troops near the border,” the first sentence uses the term in connection with the US-designated Hamas terrorist organization:
Hundreds of Hamas-backed activists on Saturday launched what they said was the first in a series of nighttime protests along the Israeli border, throwing explosives toward Israeli forces who responded with live fire.”
Shortly thereafter, the AP on August 30 published, “Israeli policeman dies of gunshot wound from Gaza protest,” which appropriately described the killer of Barel Shmueli as a “gunman” rather than an “activist.”
Nevertheless, linguistic distortions persist. Generally speaking, people do not get shot in the head at point-blank range during “protests” or “demonstrations” — especially one “staged by Hamas” described thus:
On Monday night, hundreds of Palestinians staged a demonstration along the border, burning tires and hurling rocks and explosives at Israeli troops.
One could not be faulted for believing that using “riots” or “terrorism” would more aptly denote the chaos.
In “Israel approves steps to ease Gaza Strip blockade,” the wire service noted that “tensions have run high in recent weeks as Hamas activists have launched incendiary balloons into Israel.”
Once again, those terrorist-sponsored violent “activists” are rearing their ugly heads.
Perhaps worse, the piece continues:
An Israeli soldier who was shot by a protester on Aug. 21 died of his wounds on Monday.”
Indeed, the Palestinian — who in a prior AP article was referred to as a “gunman” — is magically transformed into a “protester.” This, despite reports that the Israeli officer, Shmueli, was reportedly murdered by a Hamas lieutenant.
The AP informs millions of people about international events and therefore helps set the tone of global coverage. It is thus vital that the outlet use accurate terminology so as to not obfuscate facts.
Various HonestReporting staffer members contributed to this article — where it originally appeared.