Guardian report on murder of 5 Israelis uses pejorative use of “settlers” to characterize town where assault took place; avoids using the word “terrorist” to describe assailants

The initial AP report from the Guardian on the brutal attack in the Israeli town of Itamar somehow managed to avoid characterizing the assailants as either “terrorists” or “Palestinians”, yet found time, in a 237 word story, to characterize the residents of the town where the attack took place as:

“home to some of the West Bank’s most fervent settlers.” [emphasis mine]

The effort, by the unnamed AP writer, to dehumanize the Israelis murdered in this terrorist attack is simply unmistakable and, as anyone familiar with the Guardian narrative involving such “settlers” can conclude, it likely won’t be the last story about the deadly terrorist attack in Itamar containing such callous, and ideologically driven language.

Categories: Guardian

13 replies »

  1. Are you surprised, Adam? I’m not, given that the assistant editor of this execrable rag admits that Israel is a soft target for every sort of lie and abuse.

  2. I’m wondering what they would have made of the celebrating Gazans? Perhaps they would have used something like this: “The desperate Gazans, under the yoke of Zionist oppression, needed a cathartic release for the frustration they feel on behalf of their West Bank compatriots, who are brutalized daily by the settlers, and in particular, the residents of Itamar.”

  3. The first cure is revocation. Remember that word: Revocation. The Guardian and the BBC and any other media outlets that abuse Israel’s freedom of expression to spew propaganda complicit with the anti-Zionist cause must have their rights to operate in Israel revoked. They must also have their rights to publish any news article or opinion editorial on Israel subject to Israel’s scrutiny.

    Revocation. It means the free lunch is over. It means that, if you can’t hold yourself from serving the agenda of Israel’s enemies, you can expect being shut out of reporting on Israel. Because turning the other cheek is not a Jewish value.

  4. Adam Levick writes:

    ‘[The Guardian] avoids using the word “terrorist” to describe assailants’

    What a difference when the attack takes place in the UK:

    1) The Guardian – Four bombs in 50 minutes – Britain suffers its worst-ever terror attack – Friday 8 July 2005

    The Guardian – 7 July London attacks

    2) Interactive: The inquest into the July 2005 bombings is hearing the stories of 52 people killed when terrorists blew up a bus and three tube trains

    3) ‘Real IRA claims’ murder of soldiers in Northern Ireland’ – 8 March 2009

    ‘A newspaper tonight received a call from a man claiming to be from the Real IRA taking responsibility for the murder last night of two soldiers shot dead in Northern Ireland, the first terrorist attack in the province for more than a decade.’

    Or, come to that, anywhere else:

    1) Briton arrested at Schiphol airport on suspected terrorist involvement

    2) Mumbai terror attacks


    The Guardian publishes obituary of Hamas terror chieftain killed by IAF

    ‘Calls Nizar Ghayan, who sent his own son on suicide mission, a ‘man of the street’ and ‘something of a hero.’ ‘

  5. Sherwood:

    “The West Bank has seen few militant operations in recent years as the Palestinian Authority has stepped up security measures as part of its efforts to build the basis of a future state”.

    Yes – another “militant” operation. They really are disgusting beyond belief.

  6. “home to some of the West Bank’s most fervent settlers.” [emphasis mine]
    The effort, by the unnamed AP writer, to dehumanize the Israelis ….

    How exactly does this “dehumanize” ? I think that the residents of Itamar would agree with this statement, would be proud of it and would consider it a compliment. Are you saying that it is factually inaccurate ?

    Or are you suddenly objecting to the word “settlers”, which is the term used by EVERYONE (including the right-wing Israeli press) to describe the Jewish residents of the West Bank. For example, the sub-headline of the lead story in the Jerusalem Post today is “…large forces deployed near Nablus to prevent settler-Palestinian clashes.” Is this a non-pejorative use of the word ?

    So amongst all the nonsense and bigotry that regularly appears in the Guardian, you pick out and focus on a word that nobody else would pay any attention to. This is the “AKUS method” and as I pointed out on his thread, articles of this type only serve to destroy the credibility of this site.

  7. “The Beeb’s report is much along the same lines. Complete with scare quotes”

    This BBC report if anything is worse (note the 11 lines on “International Law”):

    Palestinian ‘kills five Israelis’ in West Bank

    “Israeli troops have launched a manhunt after five members of a Jewish settler family were killed in the West Bank”

    And how this feeds into the hatred of the Jewish state and Israeli Jews:

    A post on this subject at Melanie Phillips’s blog

    “Sorry but it’s give and take. The settlements in Itamar are illegal. The Palestinians see themselves as being in a war against invasion and extinction. Of course they’re gonna adopt militant tactics when they are left with no other choice. Especially when Yitzhak Shapira, a settler in the area is publicly calling for the murder of all non jews.

    Of course everyone wishes this could be sorted out peacefully, but it’s a bit rich for the Israelis to be crying wolf when they are doing everything they can to provoke the wolf. You may call these Palestinians terrorists and murderers, which in this confrontation no doubt they are, but Israel has no moral high ground to stand on and it is sickening when people pretend that it does. Terrorism or Freedom Fighting. Depends which side of the 30 ft apartheid based wall you’re standing on.

    It recently came out that the Palestinian authority had offered practically everything to sue for peace, things that would have had them branded as traitors to sue for peace. And Israel rejected every single thing. Israel does not want peace. Never has wanted peace. It wants to be seen as the eternal victim so that the atrocities it carries out in the name of ‘defence’ can be justified. And then of course, it rolls out the “Neo Nazi” tag for any one prepared to make a criticism. Sorry Miss Phillips but your argument is made of straw and the country you seek to defend should be up in the ICC for war crimes. Maybe when these have been atoned for, will Israel have the right to call murderers, those who are fighting an occupying force.

    I don’t agree with the tactics used, but when every other avenue, including suing for peace, has failed, what the hell else do these illegal Settlers expect to happen? Cornered lions do not just lie down and die.”

    From the lips of the BBC and Guardian to the ears of those who would murder Jews and their innumerable supporters.

  8. Stop playing games, MTC. You know very well what import the mere mention of the term “settlers,” all the more so with additional intensifiers (“most fervent settlers”), has with the average Guardian or BBC reader.

    “…articles of this type only serve to destroy the credibility of this site.”

    Yeah, because that’s what you really care about. That’s why you don’t use the site as a platform to bash Orthodox Jews. Oh, wait…

  9. Ziontruth:

    Stop playing games. It is no secret that the towns of Itamar, Itzhar, Kfar Tapuch are home to the “most fervent settlers” They are very proud of their fervour and they are proud of being settlers. I doubt if they care whether the rest of the world uses the term “settlers” in a negative sense. In this case it really doesn’t matter what term Sherwood would use; the readers already have their opinion about Israel’s enlightened Judea and Samaria redeemers and that’s why you don’t argue with my point about the Jerusalem Post using the same word.

  10. “They are very proud of their fervour…”

    Naturally they would be. Unlike you, they don’t think there’s some kind of magical line that makes Jewish inhabitation kosher in the pre-1967 territories but treif in the post-1967 ones. They’re proud, not of being “settlers,” but of applying the same standard to Judea and Samaria as to Tel Aviv: If permissible there, then permissible here as well.

    “…the readers already have their opinion about Israel’s enlightened Judea and Samaria redeemers…”

    Yes, the same misguided (I’m being charitable here) opinion as you have.

    “…and that’s why you don’t argue with my point about the Jerusalem Post using the same word.”

    Who said I don’t? I’m just as vehement about JPost, Israel National News, YNet, Maariv and all the others on this issue as about the Guardian. I want to see all media outlets use the term “settler” only when referring to the Arab settler-colonist land-grabbers in Palestine, and to stop using the term “Palestinian” with regard to said Arab imperialists. If I don’t mention JPost here regularly, this is only because CiFWatch is about the Guardian, not because I’m giving JPost a clean bill of health on this.