TEL AVIV – The Guardian ran a story Thursday in which it called Israeli self-defense against Palestinian terror attacks “deadly retaliations.”
The article, which focused on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call to deport the families of terrorists to Gaza, opened with the following paragraph:
Binyamin Netanyahu has threatened to expel families of Palestinian attackers to Gaza after a five-month wave of violence against Israeli citizens and targets that has met with deadly retaliation from security forces.
Media watchdog HonestReporting.com noted that the story was authored by Guardian “staff and agencies,” and no other press agency, including the Associated Press, Reuters, and AFP, used that terminology, leading the watchdog to conclude that it was the Guardian’s decision to refer to “deadly retaliation” by Israeli security forces.
HonestReporting’s Simon Plosker includes a dictionary definition of retaliate as “do[ing] something bad to someone who has hurt you or treated you badly: to get revenge against someone.”
Israel is not taking revenge against Palestinians, which implies some level of malevolent intent or malice. And Israeli security forces taking actions to defending Israeli citizens or themselves from Palestinian terrorists or rioters is not inherently “bad,” it is legitimate self-defense.
Language is important. While Palestinian actions are described as a “wave of violence,” Israeli countermeasures are deemed to be “deadly retaliation.” It is just this type of language that skews the current Palestinian wave of terror, turning Palestinian assailants into victims and Israelis into perpetrators.
The Guardian has been accused of publishing articles that show an anti-Israel bias.
On more than one occasion, the UK newspaper was accused of publishing misleading headlines inverting Palestinian terrorism and its victims. Two weeks ago, Breitbart reported that the Guardian‘s Readers Editor Chris Elliot said the newspaper was issuing new guidelines designed to “tell as much of the story as possible, especially where Palestinians are killed when attacking people.”
More recently, Breitbart reported on a Guardian column claiming that Jewish collective memory was the root cause of Israel’s “deformed society.”