ITV

ITV News report on Israeli security fence doesn’t even try to be fair


Here’s the relevant text in a report on the ITV News website titled “It’s been 15 years since Israel’s West Bank wall was declared illegal, so here are 15 key moments since 2004”:

It’s been 15 years since the International Court of Justice [ICJ] said Israel’s building of a barrier in the occupied Palestinian territory was illegal – demanding the construction stop immediately and the state pay reparations to those affected.

A decade and a half on from the request, delivered on 9 July 2004, the wall is still standing.

It is more than 700km long (440 miles), is as tall as 8 metres (26ft) in places, 3 metres thick (10ft) and sometimes cuts 18 miles into land Palestinians call home.

The wall has been the focal point for flashpoints throughout its construction, so here are 15 key moments in the Arab-Israeli conflict to occur since Israel rejected the court ruling in The Hague as irrelevant.

The United Nations’ court said the construction by Israel of a barrier in the occupied Palestinian territory broke international law.

It ordered the work to cease, stating cost reimbursed for any damage caused.

It recommended the UN should should consider what steps to take “to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated regime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion”.

But Israel ignored the ruling and continued to build the wall.

Even by British media standards, this represents an egregious example of anti-Israel bias, as not a word in the report even alludes to Israel’s motivation for erecting the security barrier – the 2nd Intifada’s campaign of Palestinian suicide bombing that claimed the lives of hundreds of Israeli civilians in the early 2000s.

2001 Palestinian suicide bombing at the Sbarro Pizza place in Jerusalem

Not only are the words “terrorism”, “attack”, “suicide bombing” and “intifada” all absent from their section on the barrier, but the report turns reality upside down in their caption under a photo of the barrier which reads: “Part of the wall between Israel and Palestine, which has caused much conflict”.  Of course, the wall didn’t cause the conflict. It was the RESULT of the conflict. 

By contrast, even the Guardian, when reporting on the barrier, will note the stated purpose for its construction.

Regardless of ITV News’s view on the fence, and the significance of the ICJ advisory opinion, basic journalistic standards of fairness and objectivity demands that readers be informed why it was built: as a measure to protect against future terror attacks.   

ITV News doesn’t have a clear complaints process, so we’ve tweeted ITV News editors in an attempt to have relevant text added to the report.

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24 replies »

  1. Please advise date and time of report on this.
    From http://www.itv.com/viewerservices
    If you have any queries or comments about any ITV programmes or services, please send an email to ITV Viewer Services at viewerservices@itv.com

    The team can also be contacted via telephone on 0344 88 14150 (option four)

    Calls are inclusive in allowances on landlines and mobiles, or otherwise cost the same as a call to a standard UK landline number starting 01 or 02.

  2. I like the tweet of an asshole not so aptly calling him/herself “FactChecker”:
    …did the British Government respond to the IRA bombing campaign up to the 1990s by building walls? No, because it’s a ridiculously disproportionate response – also illegal under international law – which punishes the vast majority of peaceful Palestinians day-in day-out.
    Taking into account that only in the last decade numerous European countries and the US built fences/walls/barriers not against murderous terrorists but against economically motivated illegal immigrants and nobody ever called them illegal plus adding that the IRA terrorism in the UK had incomparably much less victims than in Israel this “FactChecker” comrade must be somehow not so aware of basic facts.
    The word “disproportionate” is a favorite crap of every Israel-hater – in their eyes travel difficulties for uninvolved persons is much more important than Israeli lives.

    • What???? There is the so-called “Peace Wall” which runs through Belfast. What do they think it was erected for? Landscaping?

  3. The fence has saved many many Arab lives as well as Jews. But ITV’s anti-Israel stance is as easily explained as Labour’s antisemitism. Three to four million potential viewers/voters …

    • If something is illegal under international law you’re not obliged to report the alleged motivation for the illegal act.
      Rightly or wrongly, the legal case resolves the question of whether your motive and actions were reasonable and legal.
      The article seems to have been specifically about the question of legality. As that question has been settled, it isn’t biased to not refer to the failed grounds given in legal defence. If a legal judgement were still pending, it would be.

      • If something was illegal under international law you mostly likely wouldn’t know it. There is really nothing illegal about Israel’s construction of a security fence. It provides security. Any argument it is is built on legal fictions fueled by political biases.

      • Was the Berlin Wall illegal – show us the appropriate legal document source.
        Also what is the source of your assertion that the physical separation constructed by Israel is illegal?

          • Since there never was a state of Palestine, there is no such thing as “Palestinian territory” until there is a peace agreement with Israel. Jordan annexed that area following Israel’s War of Independence and has since relinquished its claim.

          • There is no known recognized border, only an old armistice line between Israel and Jordan. The latter gave up its territorial claims. What’s left is disputed territory at best or belongs to Israel, much to your chagrin, and Israel has ultimate control and therefore responsibility for security. The fence is a rather benign response to terror, murder, and mayhem.
            Typical of the terrorists to cause a security fence to be constructed to thwart their attempts at murder, and then cry about it.

            • Checkpoints are constructed at airports for the same reason there are walls between Israel and Gaza and West Bank.

              To STOP Arab terrorists from hijacking and blowing up planes and to STOP Arabs terrorists from bombing, stabbing, shooting, kidnapping Israelis.

      • Anti-Zionist activists consistently refer to “international law” to support their agenda. What they always conveniently ignore is that law codifies and there is neither a “Code of International Law,” nor an international sovereign government. Countries are bound by treaty. Therefore, it’s really a myth.

        Brits seem to think that their media determines “international law.” They long for their now defunct empire and try to use “international law” as surrogate.

        • Of course there is such a thing as international law Michael. In this case it is represented by the UN (of which Israel is a full member) and codified by the decision of the International Court of Justice in 2004. If your point is that no army is going to come and enforce that finding, then you are right – but that fact does not reverse the legal status of the situation.
          I’m not Anti-Zion – I’m pro “not illegally stealing bits of other people’s countries with a security wall and then moaning you didn’t get fair coverage of your motives for doing so”.

          • Again, law-making is not part of the UN’s charter. Therefore, the premise of the that the ICJ makes binding rulings is invalid.

          • Also, you proceed from another false premise in which Judea and Samaria are assumed as “Palestinian territory.” What makes their claim more valid than Israel’s?

            • Whoah Michael – I think you’ve shot off down a rabbit hole I have no intention of following you down.
              It is not a question of binding rulings – it is just a question of whether the legal status of the wall has been decided to internationally accepted standards. For most people, the ICJ judgement does that. Israel is a full member of the UN and so should hopefully be concerned when it falls foul of these judgements.
              Does a news report that is concerning itself with the perceived legality of the wall have to cover the motive for construction? Well, no – because (again, for most people who subscribe to the position of the UN/ICJ) it isn’t a question of motive – it is a legal question of people having had their land annexed – and that question has already been answered.
              It seems that your position is that there is no question of it having been a land grab because Palestine doesn’t exist – and so Israel had as much right to it as anyone else and could redraw their border wall where they liked. If that is your position, that’s fine. You’re aware it runs contrary to non-binding international legal judgement – also fine.
              If I decided to steal your computer because I thought it would stop you leaving so many comments on message forums, I hope I would take it on the chin when legal opinion went against me rather than insisting that my motive (however noble and globally beneficial) was cited in each historical examination of the consequences of that theft.

              • “For most people, the ICJ judgement does that. Israel is a full member of the UN and so should hopefully be concerned when it falls foul of these judgements.”
                That, right there, sums your whole argument. You completely ignore any history, geography, or other relevant factors. All that matters is the fashionable opinion. That is amoral. Furthermore, you state “most people.” Do you have the statistic to back that up?

                “it is a legal question of people having had their land annexed – and that question has already been answered.”
                You again make the assumption that the land is Palestinian, so again, I ask the question: what makes the Palestinians’ claim more valid than Israel’s?

                “It seems that your position is that there is no question of it having been a land grab because Palestine doesn’t exist – and so Israel had as much right to it as anyone else and could redraw their border wall where they liked. If that is your position, that’s fine. You’re aware it runs contrary to non-binding international legal judgement – also fine.”
                There is an area called “Palestine” coined by colonizers i.e., the Romans. It’s derived from the Hebrew word “Filisti” (Phillistine, who by the way have recently been shown to be non-native). That I do not dispute. What I dispute is that there has been a state called “Palestine.” Since that state has never existed, there is no premise for a valid claim to the land.

                “If I decided to steal your computer because I thought it would stop you leaving so many comments on message forums, I hope I would take it on the chin when legal opinion went against me rather than insisting that my motive (however noble and globally beneficial) was cited in each historical examination of the consequences of that theft.”
                Let’s say that you and your neighbor have a dispute over your property boundary. You own your property, but your neighbor is a tenant and the owner is absentee. Your neighbor instigates violence against you to try to seize the property and as a result you erect a barrier to prevent him/her from doing so. Due to the specific site and situation of the property the barrier runs through parts of the disputed area. Your neighbor is very adept as using social media and charisma and as a result, the others in the neighborhood sympathize with him/her. Does that mean that you take down your barrier and endanger yourself? That is what you seek to impose on Israel.

          • The question is outside the court’s jurisdiction. All it can do is render its opinion, which I can assure does NOT come from on high.
            It’s irrelevant, and its wrong.

  4. The building of a wall isn’t illegal – any sovereign country can do whatever it likes to define and secure its borders. The difficulty arises when you build a wall that annexes territory that is not recognised as belonging to your state. There are international UN treaties that relate to annexing land like this. The International Court of Justice (in the Netherlands rather than Britain’s now defunct empire) makes rulings in these cases – and declared the Israeli/Palestinian wall illegal in 2004.
    So there’s a misunderstanding of the argument here I think. Any news report on the wall can reasonably start from the basic fact that the wall is illegal – as that is a matter of global record. The pros and cons of the wall and the motivation for building it are a different discussion. They might well have made the report more educational – but there’s no automatic requirement for it for balance when the legal status is closed.

    • That’s not correct. First of all, the UN is not a law-making body. Making law is not a part of its charter. The ICJ issues opinions, but they do not have the force of law because it is not sovereign. They do not have the authority to dictate anything in any country.

    • Laurence Jones,
      You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re rambling and ranting from one thing to the next. For example, no land was annexed. The land in question’s legal status has not changed at all. It is still disputed land on which Israel as high contracting party has the responsibility of maintaining safety and security. A security fence, not a wall, was constructed for security reasons, to stop the wanton murder of one population by another. The rest is a fantasy having to do with European guilt and holocaust denial. Again, the ICJ has no jurisdiction here, and therefore no business. It’s decisions along with those of other international bodies do show demonstrably a double standard in the application of international laws and conventions against Israel. If any kind of case ought to go to court it would be one prosecuting these hifalutin sanctimonious organs for their double standards and gross malfeasance concerning the one and only Jewish State. The case was made at Nuremberg and so can be made here too.

      “a matter of global record.”
      ROFLMAO
      I love it when you guys start sounding comical. Are you sure “global” is big enough? Maybe you’d like to go for the Milky Way and make it a matter of the galactic record. You should be ashamed and you’re not. But you should be.

      • Correction: Change “It’s decisions along with those…” to “It’s opinions along with those…”
        The ICJ had no power to render a “decision,” therefore stuck its nose where it didn’t belong and gave its “opinion.”