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April 3, 2023 11:30 am

UK Paper Changes Words to Erase Palestinian Terror, Distort Israeli Actions

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avatar by Rachel O'Donoghue


Israeli police stand guard near a security incident scene near Al-Aqsa compound also known to Jews as the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City, April 1, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Here are the facts as we know them.

On Saturday evening, three Israeli soldiers were injured in what is believed to be a deliberate car-ramming attack carried out by a Palestinian man, near Beit Umar in the West Bank.

The suspect — identified as 23-year-old Mohammed Baradeya, an officer in the Palestinian Authority (PA) Security Forces — was shot dead at the scene.

The wire agency AFP, which supplies news copy to thousands of organizations worldwide, reported the incident thus:

A suspected assailant was killed by Israeli soldiers after a West Bank car ramming Saturday, the army said, in an escalation that threatens to end a relative lull during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan so far.

The paragraph, while not alluding to terrorism, is clear with regard to the facts: readers are told by the use of the words “suspected assailant,” that the ramming was likely intentional, and in the following paragraph the suspect is identified as Palestinian.

Yet, when The Guardian reprinted the AFP’s news copy, editors at the outlet made one very small change to the paragraph that profoundly altered its meaning:

A man was killed by Israeli soldiers after a West Bank car ramming on Saturday, the army said, in an escalation threatening to end a relative lull during the holy month of Ramadan so far. [emphasis added]

The recasting of an assailant into simply a “man” renders the paragraph devoid of factual substance — readers are not told the dead man is a suspected terrorist or that he was behind the wheel of the vehicle.

Interestingly, this was not the only edit made to the story by The Guardian.

While AFP’s original headline read, “Palestinian killed after West Bank car ramming as violence rises,” the Guardian editors opted to tie the ramming to another suspected terror attack in Jerusalem, in which a Palestinian man allegedly snatched an Israeli officer’s gun and fired several shots before being neutralized.

Thus the Guardian’s headline, “Second killing in a day by Israeli forces in Jerusalem and West Bank,” distorts the weekend’s events — at a glance, readers are left with the mistaken impression that two innocent (and presumably) Palestinian people were mercilessly killed by Israeli soldiers.

They are small edits with serious significance — and The Guardian should know this.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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