Reporting in Gaza: Striving for fairness

January 15, 2009

dean-150Dean Wright is Global Editor, Ethics, Innovation and News Standards. Any opinions are his own.

Let’s say it up front: Almost all of you will find something in this column to take issue with.

That’s because the subject is the conflict in Gaza and perceptions of bias in reporting on it. News consumers detect media bias on any number of subjects, but there is nothing like the continuing Mideast conflict to bring out the passions of partisans on all sides.

Here’s a small sample of some of the more restrained comments that have come in to the Reuters reader feedback line:

–“It seems like the whole world wants to condemn Israel for the war/actions it’s taking. Sorry Reuters but for me, I can see right through your pro Palestinian slant. Why don’t you investigate how a U.N. Camp was used as a staging area for Hamas rockets? …”

–“Your pro Israel reporting from Gaza makes one thing perfectly clear. Israel has some control over Reuters. You are in their pocket. Why else would you choose to slant information?”

­­–“Why does Reuters insist on letting someone such as Nidal al-Mughrabi cover the war on Gaza? His reporting is completely biased and filled with inflammatory rhetoric. Doesn’t Reuters have a reporter that understands both sides of the issue and that can JUST REPORT THE NEWS!! I consider such reporting on your part as an insult to my intelligence. Why must you participate in antisemitic propaganda?”

–“Your pro-Israel news coverage of Gaza is shockingly evil. Shame on you! I’ll get the real news elsewhere.”

All feedback is taken very seriously by the editorial leadership.

“A story as important to so many people globally always is scrutinised and criticised,” says Reuters Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger. “I take all the comments seriously, because getting it right and giving a true picture of the situation is fundamental to our mission and to the kind of news service I want to run.”

Reuters is not alone in catching flak on coverage. And we’re not alone in examining that coverage. The BBC and The New York Times have both looked at their coverage, concluding that, generally, it has been fair. But both organizations noted the difficulties of covering the conflict in Gaza, as does Reuters Jerusalem bureau chief Alastair Macdonald.

For the past two years, he says, it has been virtually impossible for Reuters staff in Gaza to leave the territory for training, rest or recuperation, as they are routinely denied exit permits by the Israeli army. The army has also prevented Reuters from sending Arabic-speaking staff based in Jerusalem or the West Bank to Gaza and more recently has banned foreign journalists from Gaza entirely. This means Reuters has been unable to send reinforcements or replacements to the Gaza bureau since the Israeli offensive began on Dec. 27. On Thursday, Reuters and other media were forced to evacuate their offices after an apparent Israeli rocket strike on the Gaza building that houses the bureau.

“Unlike many media organizations who complain that ‘there are no journalists in Gaza,’” says Macdonald, “we are very fortunate to have a team of up to 20 people working for us, led by professional journalists of long standing. Their resources, however, are greatly stretched and, aside from persistent fears for the safety of our colleagues and their families, we work in permanent anxiety that overworked equipment will fail and we will be unable to replace it.”

Within Gaza, says Macdonald, senior Hamas officials have generally accepted Reuters’ right to report independently.

“Hamas officials have largely disappeared from view since the offensive began, so they have not been in a position to restrict our reporting, even if they wanted to,” he says. Since Hamas took over, Reuters journalists “have occasionally faced problems with low-level Hamas police and other representatives who try to prevent us filming certain types of event. Such people are particularly reluctant that we should cover events that they see as evidence of challenges to their authority.”

However, Macdonald says: “We have had frank and open meetings with senior Hamas leaders when we have had concerns and are generally satisfied … We generally feel that (they) respect our independence and give us the freedom to do our jobs. We have reported incidents of official repression, including torture … and quoted people making serious allegations against the authorities.”

The Reuters team on the ground in the region is a mixture of Israelis, Palestinians and other nationalities. Reuters Politics & General News Editor Sean Maguire says most have worked for Reuters for many years. “All of them are well-versed in the need to be scrupulous in our use of language, attentive to our rules on rigorous sourcing and aware of our requirement to produce a balanced news file,” he says.

But in a story with so many different datelines, it’s up to the editing desk to pull the threads together, see though the “fog of war” and ensure that the coverage has balance and appropriate context. This team in London has decades of experience and includes several editors who have worked in the Middle East on assignment or have reinforced the Jerusalem bureau. Maguire and I agree that the editors are acutely aware of both the realities on the ground and the complex history of the region.

Several readers have written to say they see bias in Reuters coverage because they have seen stories, like this one, that don’t tell them directly why Israel launched its offensive on Dec. 27, after Hamas militants ended a six-month truce and started firing more rockets into southern Israel. A search of our stories on the Gaza conflict shows that, while there have been stories that have lacked that context, most have included it or similar explanations of the roots of the conflict.

“We are a real-time news service so we are continually tweaking and improving the news file, hour by hour,” Maguire says. “Some stories with new developments have to be moved very quickly to ensure our customers have the latest information. To do so they need to be short, so they will not contain all the background. However, such stories are quickly updated and lengthened to include the appropriate context.”

Other readers have suggested that stories focusing on the conditions in Gaza reflect a bias against Israel and call for more coverage of the hardships Israelis are suffering in the face of continuing rocket attacks. The focus of the coverage has certainly been within Gaza, because that’s where the story—and the bulk of casualties and destruction—has been.

Still, Reuters has made strong efforts to document the situation in Israel. Macdonald wrote movinglyabout how the shadows of history hang over Yad Mordechai, a kibbutz within sight of the smoke of the Gaza conflict. And Douglas Hamilton reportedon the strong resolve of residents of Sderot, a southern Israeli town that has borne the brunt of Hamas rocket attacks. The townspeople’s advice to the Israeli forces in Gaza: Keep it up. This coverage, in turn, has drawn criticism that it too readily accepts an Israeli view of the history of the region.

Even user-generated content is not immune to charges of bias. Reuters Your View, which solicits photographs from Reuters.com users, was accused of imbalance in publishing pictures of anti-Israel demonstrations, but none from the other side. In the Jan. 2 showcase of Your View pictures there were 10 images of anti-Israel protests from six locations and seven different photographers. No pro-Israel or anti-Hamas pictures were received that week. On Jan. 9, there were images of seven anti-Israel protests from four locations and six photographers. There was one image of a rocket attack on Israel, selected from three pictures that were sent. Again, no pro-Israel demonstration images were received that week, reports Leah Eichler, editor of the online newsroom.

Other readers have suggested that journalist Nidal al-Mughrabi’s first-person accounts from within Gaza, such as this onein which he describes the horrified reactions of his children during an Israeli raid, disqualify him from reporting on the conflict. Some readers have suggested that it’s impossible for a journalist to set aside his feelings and report objectively. However, I think a close reading of the article shows that while al-Mughrabi’s first reaction was to make sure his family was safe, he quickly set about the journalist’s work of filing a complete, accurate report of what was going on. “That is what you would expect from a seasoned and responsible reporter of Nidal’s high caliber,” says Maguire.

“I think first-person accounts bring to life the drama and the horror of this conflict,” says Maguire. “Journalists are human beings as well, and it is honest of our reporter Nidal to acknowledge his concern as a parent and the fear of his children when they found themselves under bombardment.”

Indeed, all journalists are called on almost daily to set aside their personal feelings or politics as we objectively cover wars, elections and other stories. Some partisans will never believe it’s possible for journalists to do that. Thankfully, I see it happen every day.

Editor-in-Chief Schlesinger puts it this way:

“Reuters News has journalists from 80 different nationalities working around the world, sometimes in their homes and often in other places. There are certainly times when events affect them and their families personally. But our professional ethics and our company’s Trust Principles mean they try their utmost to put their personal feelings aside in the interest of telling the story truthfully and without bias. As an organisation we have our standards and editing procedures in place to safeguard our report. As editor-in-chief, I take my responsibility for maintaining our standards extremely seriously, and will not tolerate willful breaches. ”

So—has Reuters News given people reason to believe we might be biased against Israel? Perhaps, if they believe a journalist can never separate his reporting of what he sees from what he may feel. And, yes, there have been stories—not many, but some—that have lacked context and have seemed imbalanced. We need to be more vigilant in making sure that all our stories carry appropriate context, as we can’t assume that every reader has read every one of our stories and thus can see our overall lack of bias.

And what seems to be pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli reporting to readers on one continent may not raise any eyebrows on another. It’s also fair to say that articles from different news organizations have differences in tone. That’s good. Who would want one big, bland news source for the world? Reuters News is produced for a global audience and there are bound to be different reactions in the United States, Europe and other regions.

But has there been systematic bias against either side? No. I believe Reuters journalists–-the text, photo and video journalists on the ground and the editors who pull it all together– have, by and large, produced journalism that is fair and as complete as possible under the most difficult circumstances. Can we do better? Surely. Will we satisfy the partisans on both sides? Probably not.

138 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

I would say to Reuters – just report on the news. Report it as best as you can. If people accuse you of being anti Israel for showing the truth about the civilian suffering caused by Israel’s assault on Gaza, then it means you have done something right.

Posted by SAS | Report as abusive

A very well-reasoned summary of your challenges and successes in covering a devastating event under such debilitating conditions. Kudos to you for the astounding effort. I believe Reuters in the pre-eminent source for news on the conflict given your boots-on-the-ground and the US mainstream media’s refusal to provide accurate information from Gaza.

Posted by Shell-shocked in the US | Report as abusive

I, for one, feel that you are doing a relatively good job keeping the balance between the Palestinian and the Israeli sides.

For those who complain of Palestinian reporters reporting from Gaza, one wonders if they would feel that Israeli reporters should not be allowed to report from Israel on the rocket attacks or if American reporters should not have been allowed to report on 9/11?

For those who decry the lack of context, I would suggest you include the phrase “this attack and counter-attack which has been going on since the Jews fled Egypt and invaded Canaan”. Context is all about where you stop. Especially in the Mid-East, there are literally millennia of invasions, wars, and battles which might be required to give the conflict into a complete perspective.

Keep up what you are doing. And, if you can, convey the admiration some of us have for your journalists who are doing an heroic job of reporting.

Posted by Dave P | Report as abusive

I think Reuters needs to look smaller; Instead of saying “This article was pro-Hamas, this article was pro-Israel so we’re being fair” I think each article should stand alone as fair. I disagree that your Palestinian reporters in Gaza can be objective – You should only use outside reporters and sources. A good example of this is the continued reporting of the use of “white phosphorous” by the IDF. The IDF has denies using it yet Reuters repeatedly reports its use as fact because witnesses say so. A fair and objective reporter would be more careful and stick with the facts: People were burned. That’s what Reuters is doing wrong. When Reuters’ editors allow facts to be presented that they suspect are false because they want to use quotes and use sensational statements, they are doing the readers a disservice.

Posted by Stefan | Report as abusive

Reuters, high ranking American Diplomats that I befreinded and in the Mid-East would tell me that when the United States State Department sought to be “even -handed” in regards to the Palestine-Israel the Israel Lobby would be on their tail accusing them of being pro-Palestinian.

Even-handed people. Zionists and the Israel Lobby need to stop acting like they are the only ones entitled to a voice in the media or the exclusive right to defend one’s land and people.

Posted by Rana Hekman | Report as abusive

Thank you, Reuters, for attempting to cover the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land in a fair and balanced way. But, why does Reuters omit the key event on November 4? Namely, that Israel killed 6 Palestinians over the border in Gaza. This was the event that broke the cease-fire. Why does Reuters omit this from the timeline when it is fully aware of this fact; I read about here myself!

Posted by Reef | Report as abusive

I can understand why some would feel there are biases coming from the coverage of this war, either pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian.

However, I’m not complaining when news groups such as Reuters shows the human suffering and casualties in Gaza…that is definitely one of the horrors and consequences of such an action. I would like the world to understand though that Israel would not be engaged in such a conflict if Hamas were not continually lobbing rockets onto civilian targets in Israel either.

So it would be nice if the news coverage was indeed unbiased and show both the consequences of war plus the reasons why Israel is engaged in such action too. Israel may be heavy-handed in their conflicts, but let us not pretend that Hamas is this innocent bystander who are simply “victims” of Israeli aggression either.

Thank you

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

You state that the Hamas rockets broke the cease fire, however I believe that the Israeli’s broke the cease fire on November 4 when they killed, I believe, 6 Palestinians in Gaza. This is a fact and should have been included.

Posted by JD | Report as abusive

That the comments here are not unanimous about which slant Reuters takes is evidence enough that the slant is small or confined to a few specific reporters.

Dave P was also right on the money when he said that complaints about lack of context are invalid. Reuters can’t be expected to rewrite the entire history of the Middle East every time they post an update. The context is here, and a basic search will turn it up.

Posted by Drewbie | Report as abusive

Since most people will have either a pro-Israel bias, or a pro-Palestinian bias it follows that most reporters will too.

Why not subject all the news stories from each group to editing by members of the other group. Better yet, allow each group to write their own stories as they wish and then have members of the ‘other’ group decide which of these stories will be published.

A little back-and-forth negotiating will surely iron out most of the worst issues.

Posted by Ercillor | Report as abusive

Hamas rockets started on November 4th? They have been doing it all along. According to Hamas, there will be no true peace as long as Israel exists. A quote from the Hamas Charter:

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

As for Reuters trying not to be bias, what about the staged false pictures published by them some years ago showing direct bias toward Palestinians?

Posted by Jerome of Texas | Report as abusive

Considering that you’re getting beat up by proponents of both sides of the issue it seems that your reporting is probably pretty centrist.

Posted by mostly pro-human | Report as abusive

For your readers, I read your releases, and many others pro Israel and against Israel. It is my observation the most bias reporting of all media is the Associated Press, more so than even the Muslim sites. Normally I spend a hour or two a day reviewing various media and rank them in my mind.
I think you are one of the better reporting agencies, but I do think it would help the readers by a better balancing within any given article. I am forunate to have both Israel and Palistinian friends and both sides have very legitimate grievances against the other.
All the killing will not resolve them, no matter how many are killed on either side
Jim

Posted by Jim McInnis | Report as abusive

I read your articles and want to throw up. I am sorry to say, I find nothing fair or balanced in your reporting. Most of the world is anti-jew and would like nothing more than to have them disappear from the face of the earth. It is totally evident all through history. I feel sorry for the real people of Gaza who brought this down upon themselves for letting Hamas take control. Everyone knows that they are murdering terrorists. Just as they threw living people off high buildings when they overthrew Fatah, they drag children and women
into the line of fire.
Get this straight, I am not saying you are lying, just that your reporting sucks. It is incomplete! It feels like the stories are at least 20 to 1 in favor of Hamas.

Posted by YAEL TAUBMAN | Report as abusive

The stories lack context, but that is not surprising. It is hard to give the appropriate context without appearing too moralistic. Reuters is more or less fair – unfortunately, putting the victim on equal footing is “fair” but not very humane.

The fact is, as it has been for the last century, that the Zionist system is a white nationalist striving for ethnic cleansing and racial / cultural identity politics. It is a grotesque rhetoric, and there simply aren’t many cases of ethnic cleansing where it seems acceptable to give both “sides” fair ground. The 30% children deaths indicates clearly that the Israeli violence is indiscriminate and targets civilians.

I urge people to read Haaretz, Ramattan and Al Jazeera. Reuters can try all its wants to be impartial about the IDF ethnic cleansing, but it is only when you see the Israelis defendign the practices directly, and the Pals expressing resistance directly, that the conflict becomes meaningful, real or contextual.

Posted by Dean | Report as abusive

I suggest you first look for bias at a more basic level. Why in battles are Hamas always called “militants” and the IDF always “soldiers”? Going by the dictionary and modern usage of the terms, we could very easily exchange the two and make it “Hamas soldiers and Israeli militants”. The armed wing of Hamas, al-Qassam Brigades fits the definition as an intentionally armed and conscripted entity, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionar y/soldier. Likewise, the IDF could easily fit into “militancy”, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionar y/militant. Either though, would have a hard time being real “combatants”; Hamas because they put on civilian clothes, Israel because they target civilians (or come very close to).

The reason is plain as day: militant is a byword for terrorist. The media has a sometimes subconscious desire to paint Hamas as evil terrorists by calling them “militants” and Israel as just another typical army by using the more well respected “soldiers”, regardless of the reality of each term.

Posted by Sammy | Report as abusive

Excellent post Dean!!! By and large, Reuters is a great source for real time news. Are they perfect? Or course not. But there is a reason that all the other news outlets get their leads from the Reuters newswires. Keep up the great work.

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive

RIGHT ON!!!!! Hamas is a terrorist organization. Terrorist use their own people for their cause which is to kill. Look up the definition of terrorist. Israel went through all the hoops of the negotiations. Terrorists are like tigers, lions, bears…they want to eat you not negotiate with you. Enough is enough. Hamas wants a war on a larger scale that is why they would never stop the missile attacks backing Israel into a corner. They want worldwide attention as they place Israel into the corner of defending itself to invoke pity from the Worldwide community creating Israel as the enemy. Even the UN can not be trusted. Israel knows that. Israel must do what they have to do at this time for the future of the survival or they will be wiped out. Our country would not accept terrorism on its on soil and Israel can not either. How can anyone even consider that Israel should negotiate Hamas…it is like negotiating with a great white shark…that just wants eat you anyway. What the Worldwide community should be angered about is the use of the innocent palestinian peoples as human shields. That should anger us against Hamas or any terrorist organization…the use of innocent victims to satisfy their murderous organization invoking war. Terrorists are not about peace.

Posted by arlene johnson | Report as abusive

Just a comment: all this talk about being on the ground in Gaza, makes you realize: there’s blogging, and there’s real journalism.

Posted by Victor Purinton | Report as abusive

The Iranian press are biased towards Hamas as would be expected with Al Jazeera. The western media too has to be sensitive to their own constituencies. Surprisingly, the Chinese and the Indian press seems to be neutral or even downplaying the whole issue even though historically they have favored the Palestinian cause. Right now an elephant is suffocating the life out of a mouse. If there is a fair media then it should say so. If in the reports, the mouse is somehow implicated in the crime then we know where the bias is.

Posted by Sohail | Report as abusive

I have to say out of all the media outlets I use, I commend Reuters the most for its efforts in reporting the Middle East conflict objectively, as most American news sources have failed in doing so.

Of course, people are going to complain about lack of impartiality when covering the Gaza conflict, mostly because they’re rather close their eyes to the bloodshed and say its part of “Operation Cast Lead.”

The truth is, Gaza has been an open prison for much of the past 18 months, with collective “punishment” on the Palestinian people for legitimately electing Hamas as its government in 2006. The people were sick of a U.S.-sponsored Fatah party, with its corruption and lack of sensitivity to the Palestinian cause, but Western governments refused to recognize Hamas (although it has offered Israel 50 years of peace).

What Gaza is becoming quickly, as Pope Benedict’s minister for peace and justice said, “a big concentration camp.” And Israel’s response was to call him a “Holocaust denier.” He didn’t deny the Holocaust, he just stated that another one is happening before our eyes!

Taher

Posted by Taher | Report as abusive

Do Palestinians suffer? Of course they do! Should Palestinians suffer? Naturally they should! Hamas is no creation of the State of Israel, so why should Israelis suffer because Hamas (like Hezzbolah) has a hidden agenda? Since they live in the midst of the Palestinians where they hide and from where they perpetrate endless crimes against the Israelis, many innocents are bound to get hurt. Why not the Palestinians?

If the West wants to firm a position of neutrality in the Gaza conflict, so be it. But maybe it should take some time off and do something about the ONE MILLION inocent people that the Muslim Militia killed, so far, in Darfur. This true genocide took place without so much as a by the way from the old European Left that has been recently re-labeled as “liberals, defenders of democracy”.

I have always found Reuters to be one of the more fair and balanced news outlets. I believe coverage of Gaza, however, could be more fairly covered, such as in the case of Israeli strikes against Gaza. The strike should be reported and all the damage it caused, then Israel should be allowed to give a reason for the reported strike, and the rocket and mortar attacks by Hamas should also be reported, while allowing Hamas to explain why they are taking such actions.

Posted by Shane | Report as abusive

““Unlike many media organizations who complain that ‘there are no journalists in Gaza,’” says Macdonald, “we are very fortunate to have a team of up to 20 people working for us, led by professional journalists of long standing.”

Okay replace the word Gaza with Japan and set the clock at 1944. That is what I see, a land under attack, lying boldly that there is no valid reason that foreigners have attacked them. That they are winning. And that must keep fighting for the emperor (uh Allah).

/And you wonder why professional solders in armies around the world distrust reporters. It is because of what you print as the truth from your “unbiased professionals”. Seriously never ever be surprised when a soldier screws you over or if on duty brushes you off. Reuters you earned their distrust, because history says you got it wrong repeatedly.

Posted by VultureTX | Report as abusive

There is always plenty of talk from both sides about bias in the case of the Israel-Palestine conflict, but the real bias is in the overall quantity, not the content. The fact that there is such sustained saturation coverage of this conflict and this conflict alone, while far deadlier conflicts in so many other countries are simply ignored should tell us that something is seriously wrong. Far deadlier conflict goes on virtually unreported in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with barely a wimper from the media. The existence of such ‘chosen conflicts’ (Israel-Palestine) and such ‘stealth conflicts’ (DRC) cannot be properly justified in terms of national interest or in terms of humanitarian concern. It is this total lack of proportion in media coverage of the world as a whole that deserves far greater attention. (see http://stealthconflicts.wordpress.com/ for more discussion on this issue).

Context goes back further than Palestinian rockets. Context could be: Drive a million people off their land, stick them in a veritable prison camp surrounded by walls and sentry towers and restrict their access to food, medicine and water. Crush the fledgling economy with infrastructure attacks and a total ban on exports. Answer stone-throwing with bullets; respond to homemade fertilizer bombs with F-16s and white phosphorus.
That’s context right there.
The fact is there is a terribly disproportionate balance of power in this conflict, to be balanced, reporting has to cover events in that context.
Israeli has suffered and that deserves to be covered, but it’s just bad journalism to do “equal” coverage of Israeli casualties and property damage when the corresponding Palestinian rates are greater by a power of 100.

Posted by Norman B | Report as abusive

Having stopped visiting some news outlets but not Reuters over this very issue. I find this whole article and the responses informative and necessary.
For the record my stance is against Terror. Whoever is delivering it. No matter what label is attached to the perpetrators.
I am sure The Brave staff at Reuters Would like to express how upset they are at being shelled right now.
On the other hand just a tad fearful of voicing there full angst whilst there is fair chance they may not get out alive if they do.

Posted by Nick | Report as abusive

You are reporting that hospitals and schools are shelled and bombed without reporting that Hamas is using those hospitals and schools as sites for weapons and personnel.

It is completely clear that the Arabs are doing this, yet Reuters does no investigative reporting of this important issue. Why?

Posted by Mickey Langan | Report as abusive

There is no objectivity in eye-for-an-eye scenarios.

The chain of they did that, so we must do this goes back decades.

The only truth is that Rocket attacks continue & it is politically untenable for the Admins in Israeli Government to allow this. Think about the psychological profile of a nation that still has holocaust survivors alive. Combine that with the fact that the war-hawks are always right. The attacks continue.

That said. Blockades, virtual imprisonment, makes for opression. Combine that with settlers from the opressors within the territorys, & you have nearly a qualification for intention to commit GENOCIDE under the terms of the UN-ratified genocide convention.

The irony is supreme, Israel had to use guerilla warfare against the BRITISH! to realize their dreams of statehood, but Israel cannot solve by force the problems created by this history. The arabs were always wary of too many jews in the region.

Everyone needs to read
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_ Israel#Introduction:_Jewish_History_in_I srael

Specifically:
In September 1947 the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) recommended partition in Palestine, a suggestion ratified by the UN General Assembly on November 29, 1947.[22] The result envisaged the creation of two states, one Arab and one Jewish, with the city of Jerusalem to be under the direct administration of the United Nations.
Fighting between the Arab and Jewish communities of Palestine began in November 1947, immediately after the UN decision to create a Jewish state. The Arab States declared they would greet any attempt to form a Jewish state with war and leaders of the Palestinian-Arab community promised a “fight to the death”.[23]

This has never ceased. Period. What are we all to do in the face of such grind-stones of history?

Posted by Damon | Report as abusive

The problem is that Reuters is showing nothing but pictures of Israeli aggression, and Palestinian suffering. You are taking the suffering of the people out of military context.

Where are the pictures of Hamas militants? Or rockets being fired every day? By your own admission, you have staff in Gaza. If Hamas was photographed firing from a hospital, it would validate the Israeli claims. So where are your pictures?

It is natural that people will emphasise with images of suffering. They will seek anything to stop suffering, if they see it on the news. Compare with genocide in Africa, where there is no news and thus no public interest in what happens.

By showing and reporting on nothing but suffering, you are implicitly assisting Hamas. You are giving them the coverage they claim, and creating the outrage which they constantly seek to provoke. With your coverage to assist them, they are encouraged to base their soldiers in civilian areas, leading to inevitable casualties.

A terrible disappointment, Reuters. I doubt this comment will even be posted by your moderators.

Posted by Spooky | Report as abusive

From the original article:

“For the past two years, he says, it has been virtually impossible for Reuters staff in Gaza to leave the territory for training, rest or recuperation, as they are routinely denied exit permits by the Israeli army. The army has also prevented Reuters from sending Arabic-speaking staff based in Jerusalem or the West Bank to Gaza and more recently has banned foreign journalists from Gaza entirely. This means Reuters has been unable to send reinforcements or replacements to the Gaza bureau since the Israeli offensive began on Dec. 27. On Thursday, Reuters and other media were forced to evacuate their offices after an apparent Israeli rocket strike on the Gaza building that houses the bureau.

“…Within Gaza, says Macdonald, senior Hamas officials have generally accepted Reuters’ right to report independently.”

So one side seeks to restrict open reporting of events, while the other side allows it. Which side is trying to hide something? Draw your own conclusions.

Posted by W Rood | Report as abusive

Israel has become an abomination in the eyes of the world. Americas jackboot on the face of the arabs. For what? for oil, For power, For control. Forever.

Posted by Wisdo | Report as abusive

CORRECTED VERSION:
I wasn’t offended by any of that. But I kind-of feel left out now.

Seriously, one thing Reuters seems to have done that most other news outlets have not done is to have avoided using the term “terrorism” as if there is a generally accepted and applied, empirical definition of it. There isn’t but most use the term as if there is. By not using the term, Reuters achieves a level of journalistic integrity that few other outlets can match.

Posted by Ken | Report as abusive

Thanks to Reuters for being open to the issue and challenge!.

Fairness, beside what is the role of media of highest stature-Reuters, is not just fairness but make the opinion makers and stakeholders to realise their responsibilities over the crisis- violation of human rights, children rights, women rights, right to health, right to water etc.and mobilise and demand for negotiation and peaceful settelement.

with regards
Ahmed India

Posted by Ahmed | Report as abusive

Every one of us is responsible for our own actions..

If you are living under occupation for 60 years and your kids and your families have no future. You will do exactly what Hamas and Palestinians are doing fighting for freedom and Survival. Israel has shown again that Israel has no value of Human life. Every one of us is responsible for our own actions.. If Hamas has killed four Israelis it does not mean Israel army go and killed over 1100 mostly women and children.

Israeli government and Army should get charged for WAR
CRIME and CRIME against humanity…… OR it should
Get labeled as Terrorist STATE OF ISRAEL…

Posted by speakamerica | Report as abusive

Great article, in general I find Reuters to be a balanced news agency.

One point:

The cause of the break of this cease-fire has widely been attributed to rocket-fire by Hamas. This study presented on the Huffington Post clearly shows otherwise: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-kanw isher/reigniting-violence-how-d_b_155611 .html

Moreover, part of the conditions of the cease-fire was that Israel would end its blockade of Gaza – which was in place for over a year prior – and this did not happen. The blockade remained for most of the 6-month truce, so in effect, Israel broke the truce from the outset.

Balanced reporting does not mean trying to balance people’s responses to the news, balanced reporting means reporting the truth, in spite of the potential consequences.

-se

Posted by Sharafe Elladen | Report as abusive

Boo-hoo, boo-hoo. So get a real job instead of the narcissitic job of journalist. Real men don’t whine about rest and recuperation:
“For the past two years, he says, it has been virtually impossible for Reuters staff in Gaza to leave the territory for training, rest or recuperation, as they are routinely denied exit permits by the Israeli army.”

Israel IS a terrorist state. Merriam Webster defines terrorism as “violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands”. Israel has been using state of the art (made in USA) weaponry to retaliate against the home made rockets used by Hammas. The facts speak for themselves. Israel lost 3 civilians Palestine lost 1100. Make your own conclusions.

Posted by Cyberwoman | Report as abusive

I’ve found Reuters to be fair and balanced for the most part. What i’ve noticed is that the people who complain the most about a news agency ‘picking sides’ are the same people who have picked one side and refuse to acknowledge the other at all.

Posted by Joshua | Report as abusive

I was going to comment on the editors comment about the ceasefire. But Sharafe Elladen’s comment below summed it up very well. It would be nice if Rueter’s told us “why” Hamas broke the ceasefire rather portraying it as a non-issue or failing to mention it at all like you just did. There are still two sides to this issue. But what you just did by trying to give us the impression the Israelis are guiltless on the ceasefire is exactly why you are percieved as biased.

debrac

Posted by Debra Combe | Report as abusive

Hi:
If Israel cannot live in a Israeli Palestinian Federation, like the Swiss live, then we need to go back to the root cause of this conflict: Europeans!
Europeans are responsible for the WWII where millions perished, add to the pogroms and I can see a good reason for Jewish people wanting to leave Europe. But today is a different story. My solution, get a piece of Bavaria, a piece of Northern Italy, a peace of Switzerland a piece of France and Austria and a piece of Russian by the Sea (they created pogroms against Jews). Transfer all Israelis to Europe and let Palestine to those that want to live in peace. Israelis will do well in secure, integrated, cultural, educated Europe.
The world is tired of the role Israel plays as spy, arms seller, interrogators @ Abu Ghrab and undercover agent, agent provocateurs, for USUK/Europe. The 12 billion dollars a year is money US can use to pay its debts.
The world is becoming a nightmare as this conflict has lasted 60 years. The ethnic cleansing, the lies and propaganda must stop.
When Israel was placed in Palestine I thought that after so much suffering their leader would find a way to create a real democratic culture, where beauty, freedom, justice, respect to nature and human rights would florish and be an example to the whole world.
it has turned out a big mess and never ending occupation and war.
The time has arrived for the creators of the problems to face the dance. Send them all to Europe. It is about time to stop the exporting of European problems south of the Equator. You all send nuclear wastes (after the tsunami, lots of barrels showed up on the coast of Africa), Electronic wastes are sent to Ghana, China, India, Cambodia, old cellphones are sent all over the south as well. The Coltan wars in Congo are to service the cellphone, such ubiquitous apparatus, which is noit a necessity, but a status symbol.
The list can go on, with all sort of gadgets, that serve no real purpose. What is forgotten is that we only have one planet.
Israel is experimenting new weapons on Palestinians and are killing UN personnel on purpose.
So let’s stop the nonsense. Or they live together in one state and a federation of sorts or chip them all to Europe the generators of the problem. Simple.

Posted by Sky Goldsmith | Report as abusive

Why was Sky goldsmith response deleted. It gave some very creative suggestions. Europeans should be the ones paying for the crimes committed by WWII and pogroms. Nor Palestinians.

Posted by peter Lau | Report as abusive

Mickey Langan (Jan. 16, 4:41 a.m. GMT):

This is what we hear from the Israeli side and its sympathizers, that it’s “completely clear” that hospitals and schools and being used as weapons sites, and that it’s therefore justified for the Israeli army to bomb and shell them.

My question: how do we know it’s true? I mean that seriously. I hear the assertion, but I would like to hear it reported as a fact by someone neutral. Maybe it’s true, maybe not – but for now, I have no reason to believe it’s true. The bombing, however, is clearly a fact.

Posted by Eric B. | Report as abusive

How can anyone be reporting fairly on the Gaza situation when Israel has apparently blocked access to the scene of the crimes for the duration of the crimes? Is whatever reporting we now see by reporters living in Gaza or the West Bank? Or perhaps the pictures are coming from Al Jazera?

Why doesn’t anyone ever call the Israeli’s a rogue state? The UN Security Council has called for an immediate ceasefire. The UN’s order has been ignored by both sides. But Israel and not Hamas are members of the UN and are obligated to care for the casualties just as they were supposed to be providing for the economic, educational and health care needs of the Palestinians ever since the occupation began in 1967. They haven’t looked after any one else’s needs but their own in those territories they are also supposed to have given up over forty years ago. The health clinics, schools and now even the food for half the Gaza population, are being paid for by the UN. The Israelis are the more powerful and the more responsible party. That’s apparently want they want us to believe when it comes to military prowess.

And to the writer who actually mentioned the history of the conflict – the UN record is incomplete for 1947 and 1948 – otherwise all the UN records are a better read than Wikipedia. Until I read them I did not understand that the first war occurred because the Israelis redrew the original UN maps and displaced many people who had already made a decision whether they would live in the Palestinian (Arabic speaking) or Jewish areas (officially Hebrew speaking). The Palestinians didn’t redraw the maps to their own advantage – the Israeli’s did that to their own. They didn’t like being discontinuous territories. Look at those early UN approved maps.

The UN Secretary General reminded both sides only last week – especially the Egyptians and Israelis that they must allow refugees to flee the combat zones. Neither of those countries has complied. The situation is manifestly unfair and Israel’s complaint about rockets is almost laughable when none of those rocket attacks were apparently so serious that the Israeli government seriously considered evacuating any of residents of Sderot or Ashkelon. The Israeli’s no doubt loose many times more people to traffic accidents than they lost to the stray rockets. They have not be undergoing a deadly barrage by any means.

What is the point of arguing for fair coverage when most of the relevant international laws and Security Council decisions – not to mention the very consistent condemnation of Israeli behavior for over 60 years by the General Assembly – has been ignored by the would be master of the entire territory – Israel.

Posted by PVR | Report as abusive

> most of the relevant international laws and Security Council decisions… [FTFY have] been ignored by the would be master of the entire territory – Israel

Thank God for that!

Posted by matt | Report as abusive

“We’re not biased. But if we are, it’s because Israel is evil!”

Lol. Do you even take yourself seriously anymore?

355 palestinians killed !!!!
you want to know why the hamas don’t care about their own pepole…
who killed 355 palestinias in 2007… yes the HAMAS!

http://www.btselem.org/Hebrew/Statistics  /Casualties_Data.asp?Category=23&region =TER

355 !!! and more the 2000 wounded.
was there a global condimnation? where are the reports?
do you realy think they care about children? hospitals? schools? its all the need for an islamic state.

WAKE UP!!!

Posted by raz | Report as abusive

what do you want from israel? they consider the HAMAS an enemy so they don’t open thier borders.

DID YOU FORGET THAT GAZA HAS A BORDER WITH EGYPT? DID ANYONE ASKED HIM SELF WHY THIS BORDER IS NOT OPENED?

Posted by ahmad | Report as abusive

Dean,

With the greatest respect, I do not believe you would feel the need to blog an editorial ethics post like this on your coverage of any other country that prevented media access to civilian residential areas it had placed under siege , that lethally targetted journalists and their support workers , including your own, that similarly targetted or hindered the work of the Red Cross and UN and whose own media spokesman routinely accused the international media of bias rather than provided explanations for the disporoprtionate use of force and unacceptable numbers of civilian deaths.

It seems to me that Reuters does feel very uncomfortable covering events in Israel , Gaza and the West Bank and also feels under some pressure to be ‘fairer’ towards Israel than the circumstances warrant .

1,000 deaths the majority civilian inflicted by a state that receives – without question – three billion dollars in miltary aid from the US per year.

What do people fear about criticising Israel Dean?

Do they fear alienating some real or imagined pro-Israel lobby?

Does that lobby exist?

If so, is it somehow pressuring the US to keep blindly funding and supporting Israel no matter what?

Are Reuters journalists free to investigate this widespread belief – because that is what it is – bearing in mind Israeli spokesman’s Mark Regev’s routine claims that the media is being manipulated by Hamas and other Palestinian groups.

Could you investigate that claim too?

If Reuters editorial team cant match the courage and integrity of its reporters in the field and investigate with integrity or raise pressing humanitarian issues in an Emil Zola like way then people will look for alternative news sources.

Not many organizations or people really get what is going on in Israel and the Occupied Territories unless you live it/see it first hand.
It’s hell on Earth for both sides of civilian life along the Wall and in the Gaza strip (which truly is like a concentration camp as the Vatican described)- guns, violence, fear and suspicion everywhere. While there are many moderate minded Israelis and Palestinians working for justice and peace–we don’t hear their voices/read about their activities nearly enough.

It’s a shame that the media can not broadcast the news unfiltered without having to justify every move – who will take acception and who won’t. Does the media scrutinize itself on issues like Congo, Darfur, Sudan, Cuba, Ukraine to such a degree? NO – why, too much money – US money/our ties to Israel distorts our reality. Look at our national budget – its in black and white the $$$ we send and have sent for years.

Thank you for the disclosure – when it comes to this conflict moderate approaches and thinking is diminished because radical idealogies and actions take center stage – for 60 long years. Typically, the only focus is the violence and not sustaining coverage to pressure for peace.

I am ashamed that the world – not just Europe since the Balfour Agreement, and not just the US sending billions year after year in the name of Israel having a right for existence, and protection, yet the entire world could/would not stop this war machine that has perpetuate far too long – on both sides.

Gaza is a cesspool and the West Bank is not far behind… no matter who lead(s) the Palestinian people – Israel as a government body politic does/is not fostering autonomy for this people- it’s not their agenda. They want control and as much land as they can legally and illegally confiscate. No one can argue that point – look at the maps, look at the Wall.

Keep your journalists safe – they are doing the best they can in a situation that American’s have little experience at grasping. 9-11 for its horror and ugly aftermath is not a parallel -, we in America, just don’t get it. If we don’t wake up to this reality, and broker lasting peace, the US will remain a target for Islamic fundamentalism/radicalism because ALL they see is that we in the US, and Europe unequivocally support Israel and there is no real room for Palestine to have a say.
Too often the voice for Palestine seems fixed on Hamas, Hezbollah, or some other armed representatives as the voice of Palestine – and, unfortunately the same goes for Israel – the war machine. Keep reporting and highlite those voices for solutions – those are also needed to be heard, and reported on, as noted in the article.

Thank you for your consideration.

Posted by dd | Report as abusive

Just once, I’d like to see a Reuters reporter ask one of the Palestinians in the streets (and not a Palestinian Spokesman or Official) a simple question. Ask a person who may have lost a child or a husband or a friend in the fighting if that person would want Hamas to stop shelling Israel if it would mean an end to the conflict. Just once – ask that question. Why don’t any Reuters reporters ever ask that question?. It is because the reporter knows what the answer would be – which would be “NO.” That would be too truthful and revealing.

There cannot be fair reporting of attacks that hurt civilians in Gaza unless you are willing to admit that Hamas has only targeted civilians. The fact is that Hamas and the civilians that voted them in power deserve everything that happens to them and more. If they cannot be civil. If they cannot accept Israel and their right to exist then Hamas must williingly suffer the consequences. I say, you send a rocket into an Israeli civilian area, Isreal should send 10 back in return. For everyone one you fire we will fire 10, then and only then will Hamas get a clue. They are reckless and hateful. There is not fair coverage that despite the incursion Israel has tried not to target civilians. But Hamas targets them on purpose. So, enough is enough. Stop firing rockets at Israeli civilians or face retribution that targets civilians in Gaza. This is something Israel has not done, but they get no credit for their attempt at some measure of civility. What about Israel dropping leaflets and warning civilians to flee an area about to be attacked. The problem is that Israel has been to civil and Gaza has not faced the same treatment as Israel. As far as blockades, Israel must do this to survive. Inspite of blockades Gaza has managed to be well supplied with weapons and rockets. If they would have directed their efforts to supplying their people with aid and resources instead of weapons, their would be no war. This is Hamas and Hamas needs to be eliminated. If they won’t stop, then they should recieve in kind the kind of indiscriminate civilian attacks they have inflicted on Israel.

Posted by pezz | Report as abusive

The world has not read or choose to understand that Palestine never was or ever will be a country or a race or a people. The Arabs never gave them a chance pre-modern Israel, and never offered them a region of their own. The religion of Islam treated them like dirt and only finds them useful idiots to keep anti-western influences out of their backwards world. There is no fairness to be had because fairness is not the issue but simply survival. Given my druthers, Israel is the only hope the world has to keep in check the Islamic rush to wipe out the world they don’t like to replace it it with what? A state like Iran? Like Sudan? Give me a break. Before you pillory me I am not a Jew and not a “Israel is always right” backer. I simply think that Islamic culture as it sits now will be the bane of the world

Posted by Gary Kaiser | Report as abusive

Glad to see you trotted out the trusty old hack of here is reader feedback saying we are pro-Israel and here is feedback saying we are pro-Palestine so then of course we are being objective.

It’s you crazy reader’s bias not ours. We are professional liberal journalists after all.

Posted by Media Blather | Report as abusive

I wish the best for the civilians on both sides of the conflict. But if one would examine history, the Gaza ghetto uprising bears a very strong resemblence to the WW2 Warsaw ghetto uprising.

One Jewish British government MP stated: “I suppose the leaders of the Warsaw ghetto could have been branded terrorist as well.”

Let’s just call a spade a spade and see this as the world stopping the Gazans from meeting the same fate as the people in the Warsaw ghetto.

Posted by Peace | Report as abusive

I hope Israel gets charged with war crimes, they show no compassion for the lives of others and so in my book they are criminals, this is 2009 and the killing of civilian populations not acceptable.

Posted by tareca | Report as abusive

Give Israel a piece of the USA, they love each other so it is fitting for them to be one.

Posted by tareca | Report as abusive

Hey tareca, why don’t you help to have the Palestinians emigrate to your country or to Syria, Lebanon or Jordan? Oh, that is because those countries don’t want them or to help them. Stop it.

Posted by Gary Kaiser | Report as abusive

Well, if you’ve pissed off partisans on both sides, that pretty much assures that you’ve given an honest vision from both perspectives. I may or may not agree with the opinions of the actors in your news reports when they are giving opinions but your reporter’s role isn’t to filter what people think; it’s to report what people think and what has happened. I also find it fairly amusing that your readers want to argue the Israeli/Palestinian (or, as your biblical scholars will know them, the Philistines) situation with you guys. You’re a news agency. In many respects, you’re not supposed to have an opinion of your own. I don’t think, but they apparently do, that a news organization should be in search of pravda – the name of the 20th century’s most mendacious newspaper but which is also a Russian word meaning “the ultimate truth”. Pravda isn’t found anywhere but is a synthesis based on everybody’s truth. So, please, continue to report everybody’s truth – Israeli, Palestinian, American, German, Russian, Chinese, whatever. I’ll take care of the synthesis.

Posted by Jeff | Report as abusive

Most of the world knows, what Isreal is doing by killing and wiping out the palestinians with the help of US except the American people because of the bias and jewish control media. By being as brutal as they can be, they feel they can put the fear in the heart of the palestinanians so they can leave their lands by fear. When you kill innocent people to justify any reason, you can never win. When you occuppy some ones land to justify to pressure them to accept your your demands, you can never win. Read the attached and you may understand the world has known for hundreds of years.
http://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=d7f df34cf4&view=att&th=11ee5d78d28375d7&att id=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=0.1&zw

Posted by Tony Lord | Report as abusive

Reading Dean Wright’s “maybe” and “possible” is like listening to the fox explain why the hen house is in such an uproar.

Posted by Roger Laird | Report as abusive

What world do you losers live in? Pay I am not Jewish or Palestinian, but you people need to get a grip! It has nothing to do with religion. In 2006 these Islamic Nazis took possession of the Gaza strip, which is unoccupied except by Hamas and is Jew-less (because the Palestinians would kill any Jews that moved in their state). Hamas has turned Gaza into a terrorist fortress, launching rockets from Palestinian schoolyards and hospitals into Israeli schoolyards, hospitals and townships to ensure that the maximum number of civilians – both Jews and Muslims – would die for their cause. They will win the Armageddon they are planning, they boast, because “the Jews love life and we love death.” The Palestinians are the only people in history to support in their majority a national death cult, to worship the murderers of little children (including their own) and to proclaim them saints and “martyrs.” The miseries Palestinians have suffered are self-inflicted, the inevitable consequence of staking their national ambitions on the genocide of another people, while embracing a death cult for themselves. Hamas is a dirt bag, uncivilized group of power hunger thugs. I pity, the Palestinian People, but they voted these psychotic idiots into power, so it is their responsibly to suffer the consequences and to remove them. Hamas murders civilians indiscriminately yet all around the world, across Europe and throughout the United States, Muslim and secular radicals are rallying to this Nazi cause, supporting Hamas and attacking Israel and the Jews. Supporting Hamas in this situation is analogous to arguing with the District School Board to hire Ted Bundy and Charles Manson as teachers for your child’s middle school.

Posted by cris | Report as abusive

I’m very closely following Reuters’ coverage on the war in Gaza and I’m giving full credit to that coverage. I don’t think that reporting from Gaza is anti-Israeli anyhow. Although I’m a muslim from Turkey, I have many Jewish and also some Israeli friends, not feeling any antipathy towards Jewish and/or Israeli people. And also an orthopedic surgeon, very close friend of mine lives in Gaza, who until yesterday (friday) was unable to leave the hospital where he works, trying to give medical care to large influx of seriously wounded people, and his family is under permanent threat from bombings. Another my acquaintance, also surgeon lost his son who tried to help wounded in an ambulance. At the same time I’m sympathetic with the Israeli citizens suffering from Hamas’ rocket fire, and I think this issue is well enough accentuated in the reports. But thinking honestly, can loss of 3 civilian plus 10 soldiers’ life from the Israeli side can match with more than 1000 dead and 5000 injured Palestinians, mostly civilians? Is it normal to claim this huge figure a collateral damage or show it as a normal consequence of the anti-Hamas bombings? Of course, many of Hamas’ activists are guilty of attacking Israel and deserve to be punished, but what about those civilians? What could think people if these were Israelis or citizens of a European country? This really is a non-justified and brutal attack from Israel, not maybe a genocide, but a real massacre and butchery. In my opinion killing so many civilians is a war crime for which I think Israeli side should be blamed and criminals be put to trial. But certanly, and unfortunately that will not happen. I’m very disappointed with the Israeli public who overwhelmingly continues to support this carnage. I wish to thank of all reporters, not only from Reuters, who under very difficult conditions and constant danger are showing this tragedy to the whole world.

Posted by Levent Inanc | Report as abusive

When people have different opinions on a subject then you know you are doing your job. Keep it up.

Posted by David Mensah | Report as abusive

Until the pro-Isreal news learns to give a non-bias view of the war, the world will not be truely informed on the Isreali atrosities. When will America stop coddling Isreal and give equal funds and weapons to the Gaza Soldiers? There were no headlines offered to the world when Isreali soldiers were killed. Your News Organization needs to be in the front lines with the men of Gaza for the news to be fair.

Reuters’ insistence on publicizing these anti-Israeli “demonstrations”, which are really nothing more than organized propaganda rallies full of people who are not citizens of the nations in which they make their bizarre demands, are inherently biased. There is no reporting on the real issue — who is encouraging, organizing, equipping, and subsidizing these people, and why.

Obviously, hundreds of non-citizens don’t spontaneously decide to, of their own volition, congregate in city centers and make a spectacle of themselves. When Reuters decides to report on how these “demonstrations” are organized and carried out, then they will be doing a service to their readers. Until that time, Reuters is simply aiding and abetting organized groups of terrorists.

Posted by Orenthal | Report as abusive

Thanks to Reuters, we know that all of those demonstrators in various part of the world share similar demand: to stop the blooshed in Gaza. ALthough I strongly reject violence and addressing all the Israelis as killers- that’s unfortunately happens with provocators and symapthisants of terrorism present there-thanks to Reuters we all now that there were present many prominent figures of societies. It’s ridiculous to call all of these people organized foreigners, sympathisants of terrorism. All we know that in London there were well known figures like Annie Lennox, former London mayor and many more human rights’ activists who want to protest to massacres committed by the Israeli army.

Posted by Levent Inanc | Report as abusive

The palestinian people democratically elected an organization that sees as it’s role to destroy Israel. Why should the palestinians be punished for their democratic choice to destroy their neighbour?

Posted by Oscar | Report as abusive

Cris, has it right.Six million Jews died.Israel exists.Over and over again Israel has tried to make peace.
It’s really in the hands of the Muslims.In 2006 I travelled in Israel during that time I ate in Arab restaurants,spoke to Israeli Arabs who worked in the hotel industry and to our bus driver Yacov and he said 90% of the Arab people in the West Bank want peace and the other 10% are playing politics.Israel has no choice but to defend itself. After losing 6 million people,you might think the Arabs would have more compassion.Unfortunately,that is not the way it is.Israel’s only goal is peace, to get along with its neighbors.Israel would much rather be using its money to solve problems than to defend itself.Till peace comes Israel will defend itself

Posted by steve | Report as abusive

The problem is that in an effor to be “fair” you draw moral equivalency between criminal actions of Hamas and Israel’s right for self defence. Israel does not purposely put her own childen in harm’s way and is not bent on murdering enemy’s civilians, like Hmamas is. Any reporting that does not take that difference into account is unfair and inbalanced.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Thank the heavens (pick a god,any god) for Reuters. Your reporting has been excellent. The best in the business. I trust Reuters more than any other news source in the US. If both sides attack then you are doing your job!
I was concerned when Thompson bought Reuters, thinking it might be a move similiar to Rupert Mudoch buying the Wall Street Journal system. You have held up! In a “free country” – the impartiality of media is critical. I know political pressure must be overwhelming. Real time with appropriate contextual analysis is fantastic! Do not bend! Great journalism is the product of heroism.

Posted by Guru John | Report as abusive

I thought either Reuters or Guardian could provide me with unbiased news from middle east (coz of its non-Jewish control), but I am loosing hopes now. I am not sure any civilised human being will justify Israeli atrocities other than a pure Zionist (not more than few millions). But I think their internet automated tools e.g. Megaphone Desktop tool are changing facts and bringing their lies to more balanced sources. Please reuters don’t follow the path of Murdoch or Big Big Contradictions(BBC).

Posted by James | Report as abusive

Dear sir,

I think the cause of the Palestinian people will be better serve if the world actually paid less (disproportionate) attention to them.

You don’t see similar reportage covering wars in Africa where way more women and children are being slaughtered daily and you certainly don’t see the ‘che gueverra wannabe’ brigade up in arms over it.

Fact is that the press whilst castigating Israel should also lay the blame more strongly on HAMAS who have been utterly callous with the lives of its citizenry, whom they have treated as bargaining chips with the media circus.

Contrary to popular opinion on the streets, much of the Arab world have been relatively restrained because frankly, they are tired of the Palestinians and their inability to get their act together.

Why should the Arab world and the world in general continue to bail out the Palestinians when so many others are suffering more horrific fates in the world?

Not that this is a similar situation but I just returned from a business trip to Singapore where on independence, they had a per capita equivalent to Ghana, massive unemployment, no resources, hnterland or for that matter a population, and racial tension on an island the size of Manhattan at best. But they made it a success.

It’s time for the Press to stop making excuses for Palestinians and for the Palestinians to make the right choice in denouncing HAMAS for the irresponsible entity that it is.

Ask yourself this. What use is the tactic of firing rockets into a country which you know will have no compunction in punishing your own people (children) with overwhelming force. Sure there is a better way in negotiating for border access. I would venture to suggest that showing responsibility,industry and fortitude is a better way of demonstrating a right to statehood.

The sooner the press begins to highlight these factors other than holding Palestinians as subjects for pity and doling out handouts, the better.

the sooner, the moderates are given the platform by Israel, the Arab world and the press at the expense of these clowns in HAMAS, the better.

It’s time for Palestinians to stop blaming others and have a good look at themselves.

Sincerely,

George

Beirut, Lebanon

Posted by george | Report as abusive

“Israel has tried to make peace.”

and no. israel is the only country on this planet who is trying to make global wars. they dont want peace. peace is killing their strategy. they are not winning markets and land with peace.i mean, if you dont see that, then you must be one of them.

Posted by the truth | Report as abusive

I can understand israili forces, killing people is their job. all these comments backing them is “disgraceful”.Since 1948 palestinians are losing land, freedom and in Gaza beeing starved for more than 2 years. these 3 weeks of genocide or nothing else can efface the memory that resisting is unacceptable by zionists and their acolyte american neofascist.

Posted by Abdelhamid | Report as abusive

Dean, while I agree with you that the full text of Reuters articles is fair and thorough, I don’t think it has much to do with people’s perception of bias. Think of the headline as carrying 50% of people’s focus, with each paragraph following it having half the impact as the last. I encourage you to look at the last 50 headlines of articles in that region to get a sense of the bias some may feel (you can actually see the tone change at times). I know why the editors choose those headlines (and refine them within minutes of going out), journalism is a business that must pay the bills, and some headlines draw a bigger crowd than others. An article that talks about a child being hurt is far more likely to draw clicks than a headline about Hamas hiding out near that child to avoid being shot at. But your article seemed to avoid this topic of the business of journalism completely. Perhaps you don’t believe it, or perhaps it is just something journalists have come to loath about their editors and thus themselves. Regardless, by publishing your editorial, it invited such observations into the public. Your reply to my comment would be greatly appreciated.

Best,
Leonard

Posted by Leonard | Report as abusive

Coming to Reuters’ website, I imagined an average reader would be more knowledgeable on the subject matter than your typical American news outlet; I was wrong. I can see articles vis-a-vis Israel-Palestine conflicts being riddled with pro-Israeli Internet bands who swarm websites such as this and unload an array of rehearsed, formulated tautological pap to sway the public opinion.

Aside from the usual occupation and the misery of Palestinian people enduring on a daily basis at the hands of Israel, a year after the death of Arafat, Bush administration, headed by Rice and Israeli advisers “demanded” Abbas, who up to this point has proved his unflinching loyalty to Israel’s agenda and their pursue in stymieing any meaningful hope for peace process, to hold a free election.

Abbas, along with some of Israeli generals (to their credit), decried that they were not ready and any immediate election would result in an undetermined outcome. But of course, Bush and Rice coerced Palestinian Authorities to let the election to go on which at the end Hamas came out as a winner. Pretty soon after, Bush, with the pressure from Israel, send delegations to Abbas demanding him to dismantle the nascent government led by Hamas (how ironic that right after a democratic election, one seeks to decimate the very election he was touting just a few months before). Notice how this very decision depleted the support for Fatah.

After a few attempts by Rice to push Abbas to topple Hamas and Abbas’ lack of fortitude to concede to their plan, the US and Israel cut off funding PA which incidentally damaged their already tainted image of pro-Israeli/American view in the eyes of Palestinians. Meanwhile, a hand-picked US head of securities, Dahlan, who, notwithstanding of some neocon’s dissatisfaction with his record, became Bushes’ darling. Dahlan deployed a cruel way of punishing Hamas by employing a vicious methodology of torturing, kidnapping, and murdering Hamas members which later on would backfire.

Along the way, the effort was focused on beefing up Fatah’s party, militaristically and financially. This was supposed to be done quickly but got bugged down in the US congress for a fear of weapons being misused by PA against Israel but the outcome was worse than their initial concern. Plan B was devised to ask other Arab countries to train and weaponize Fatah’s forces as they were getting ready to stage a coup deta against Hamas in Gaza. Of course the Arab countries, namely Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia were going to be paid directly through Abbas’ account.

However, the plan was leaked on two occasions which sent a red flag to Hamas leadership as there was going to be a plot by Fatah to eradicate Hamas’ presence in Gaza (Hamas found out about the mobilization through a leak by a Jordanian paper which had disclosed aid to Abbas by the US and later on, when the first batch of trained Fatah forces were sent to Gaza through Egypt, Hamas was alerted that the coup was being staged). Hamas ,seeing how the newly trained forces descending on Gaza, was left with no other choice to preempt the coup deta and take out Fatah’s core elements. Even some of more extreme branches of Fatah movement acted neutral and the whole thing got spiral out of control which led to a week-long civil war between Hamas and Fatah and ultimately Hamas taking over Gaza.

In reality, this whole mess was a plot devised by the US and Israel to violently wipe Hamas off through proxy forces loyal to Abbas’. Of course as we all know, this didn’t go as plan so “plan C” was drawn to take Hamas out through direct Israel’s engagement. This had required a temporary truce which everyone was sure that neither Israel nor Hamas would honor because Israel was and is adamant in lifting its siege of the enclave coastline which in turn would have made Hamas to retaliate in some way. In either case, Israeli’s intelligent agencies have been relentlessly gathering information about Hamas for the last 8 months for the upcoming operations. So we can all easily conclude that the invasion was inevitable and calculated. And of course, the supposed incursions of Israel on Nov. 4 didn’t make much publicity because as everyone knows, it was a historical election night in the US history. Not to mention that the assault crafted before the new administration taking office to ensure Israel would have a full support of the US because after all, this has been Rice’s big F’up so far in the Middle East.

It’s amazing to me that no one has ever demanded Israeli to left its grip on Gaza to give an already crippled economy a chance to breath which by itself constitutes a violation of international law and the very truce they had agreed upon. Hamas has repeatedly asserted that if Israel opens up the borders, it would cease its operations but Israel has, for the last 3 years, closed off the region entirely from the sea, sky, and ground. Israel, along with the US and Egypt’s puppet government, has made an agreement to keep the borders close on Gazans. This is a blatant provocation that Israel has instigated all along. The whole scheme is to put people in a pressure cooker so they would react and provide them with an excuse to go after Hamas.

The entire plot has also worked in diminishing Fatah’s and ultimately Palestinian security forces’ ability to effectively govern itself. This has happened to the divide-and-conquer nature of whole aiding-Fatah/cutting-funds-from-Fatah which has made them even look weaker in the eyes of the Palestinians. Moreover, this schism has ensured both Fatah and now Hamas, artificially, remain weak enough that neither of them be able to flagrantly make a cohesive decision with regard to the faith of the Palestinian state. A stalemate now can be dragged on for the next half a dozen years. Translation: Israel is saved from yet another decade of land confiscation and one step closer to eliminating a hope for a viable Palestinian state.

Posted by Elox | Report as abusive

The following speech by Sir. Gerald Kaufman sums up the truth nicely:

by Sir Gerald Kaufman

I was brought up as an orthodox Jew and a Zionist. On a shelf in our kitchen, there was a tin box for the Jewish National Fund, into which we put coins to help the pioneers building a Jewish presence in Palestine.

I first went to Israel in 1961 and I have been there since more times than I can count. I had family in Israel and have friends in Israel. One of them fought in the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973 and was wounded in two of them. The tie clip that I am wearing is made from a campaign decoration awarded to him, which he presented to me.

I have known most of the Prime Ministers of Israel, starting with the founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Golda Meir was my friend, as was Yigal Allon, Deputy Prime Minister, who, as a general, won the Negev for Israel in the 1948 war of independence.

My parents came to Britain as refugees from Poland. Most of their families were subsequently murdered by the Nazis in the holocaust. My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed.

My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The current Israeli Government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt among gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians. The implication is that Jewish lives are precious, but the lives of Palestinians do not count.

On Sky News a few days ago, the spokeswoman for the Israeli army, Major Leibovich, was asked about the Israeli killing of, at that time, 800 Palestinians — the total is now 1,000. She replied instantly that “500 of them were militants.”

That was the reply of a Nazi. I suppose that the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.

The Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni asserts that her Government will have no dealings with Hamas, because they are terrorists. Tzipi Livni’s father was Eitan Livni, chief operations officer of the terrorist Irgun Zvai Leumi, who organised the blowing-up of the King David hotel in Jerusalem, in which 91 victims were killed, including four Jews.

Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism. Jewish terrorists hanged two British sergeants and booby-trapped their corpses. Irgun, together with the terrorist Stern gang, massacred 254 Palestinians in 1948 in the village of Deir Yassin. Today, the current Israeli Government indicate that they would be willing, in circumstances acceptable to them, to negotiate with the Palestinian President Abbas of Fatah. It is too late for that. They could have negotiated with Fatah’s previous leader, Yasser Arafat, who was a friend of mine. Instead, they besieged him in a bunker in Ramallah, where I visited him. Because of the failings of Fatah since Arafat’s death, Hamas won the Palestinian election in 2006. Hamas is a deeply nasty organisation, but it was democratically elected, and it is the only game in town. The boycotting of Hamas, including by our Government, has been a culpable error, from which dreadful consequences have followed.

The great Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, with whom I campaigned for peace on many platforms, said: “You make peace by talking to your enemies.”

However many Palestinians the Israelis murder in Gaza, they cannot solve this existential problem by military means. Whenever and however the fighting ends, there will still be 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza and 2.5 million more on the west bank. They are treated like dirt by the Israelis, with hundreds of road blocks and with the ghastly denizens of the illegal Jewish settlements harassing them as well. The time will come, not so long from now, when they will outnumber the Jewish population in Israel.

It is time for our Government to make clear to the Israeli Government that their conduct and policies are unacceptable, and to impose a total arms ban on Israel. It is time for peace, but real peace, not the solution by conquest which is the Israelis’ real goal but which it is impossible for them to achieve. They are not simply war criminals; they are fools.

Gerald Bernard Kaufman is a British Labour Member of Parliament. Sir Kaufman made the statement above during the 15 January 2009 House of Commons debate on Gaza in the United Kingdom.

It can also be viewed on youtube:
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/kaufman1 70109.html

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

Please stop taking Israel sided story and approach , the true present picture of palestinans are really pathetic where thousands of innocenet women, children had been killed by Israelies forces ruthlessly.Stop this Gaza Holocaust where 1.5 millions people living under severe shortages of basic needs,and Israel had broken all worst records war crime and they should be put under justice.

Posted by YAMS | Report as abusive

Mr. Wright: My objection with the media’s coverage of the Gaza conflict is an anti-black African bias. Where are your reporters in Congo and Darfur and why aren’t expodentially more stories written about the deaths there? Is it because you are racist against Africans or you think Arab lives are the most important on earth? (The two aren’t entirely unreleated, as the Palestinian Authority is a member of the Arab League which has sided with Sudan when the United Nations seeks to enforce cease fires there by empowering the African Union interention).

Posted by Jake Hewitt | Report as abusive

Yeah, you reuter folks are most surely ANTI-ISREAL. Like you’re ANTI-BUSH, ANTI-REPUBLICAN, ANTI-CAUCASIAN…

Posted by cal | Report as abusive

The trouble with the subject of discussing the news from Israel and Palestine is that Israel has blocked media access to international journalists. One must keep this in mind when accusing Reuters or other mass-media organisations that they are somehow in favour of the Palestinians.

Let’s make it clear: if you want balanced news, Israel must give back the freedom of journalists to move around. And that’s a more interesting subject – why has Israel blocked Western journalists from entering Gaza and “grounded” them somewhere in Israel near the border?

It is all the Jews’ fault, isn’t? They were at fault for letting the Nazis slaughter themselves during Second World War and now they are guilty of defending themselves, are they not? And what pisses me off even more, is that any of those who complain about Israel’s use of excessive force would do EXACTLY the same, were they in Israelis’ shoes.
My philosophy is: don’t start something you now you going to pay dearly for. Once started, don’t whine – it is your own fault.

Posted by nemo | Report as abusive

Thank you for seeking to be reasonably objective in your reporting.

News is a human enterprise. All writing of news requires someone to observe and perceive events. No person sees all factors in any event; all must “connect the dots” in some way. All aspects or contributing factors in an event cannot be reported and the processes of interpretation and selection necessitate some kind of bias.

Additionally,there is history of conflict in this region with background causes stretching for millennia, one that cannot be re-told every time a bomb drops.

I wouldn’t care for 1000pg Reuters articles that discuss the Mid-Eat conflict in full each day(!)

Thanks for getting the world at least some information on what is occurring.

Best wishes for the safety of your people.

Posted by adam | Report as abusive

Over 1100 hundreds PALESTINIANS are dead…Mostly women and children’s JUSTICE can be delayed but justice can not be denied we want Israeli Government and Army get charged for WAR CRIME and CRIME against humanity……

They have shown no mercy they are Barbaric and Savage people…..Apology Not accepted….. Or lets Tel vive get bombarded day and night for few days and once over 1100 hundreds Israelis get killed then we all should Apologies To the Israelis…..

Posted by speakamerica | Report as abusive

Good commentary and point is well made, but keep in mind Hamas is the real culprit in all of this issue,it isn’t all of the Palestinian people, but it is those who elected Hamas to represent them. If truly the majority of Palestinians want Hamas to represent them, then it is obvious what their true intentions are all about. War is not a game of kill the bad guys, war is exactly what it always has been and innocent always get the same receiving end as the guilty. Bombs are only smart to the limit of hitting the target not only the guilty ones. Hamas will never change its stripes and there really isn’t any other way to deal with this kind of organization. If majority of Palestinians truly want peace, then they need to really terminate the Hamas organization from within, and begin to reprogram their 4 & 5 year old and older children to be citizens for peace and not war. To be truthful, if Hamas kept launching as many rockets of death to the US as they have Israel, we would even be discussing this subject of Palestinian peace, because the carpet bombing would have wiped them completely of the world map. So when you think about it 1200 people is far less then 3000 who lost their lives in the US, and all of the 3000 were innocent civilian citizens, so in a way the Palestinians really need to consider themselves lucky that Israel is only trying to get the Hamas regime and understand their future depends on their own actions wether it be through elections or other means, Hamas is only looking out for its organization and will use anyone or anything at means to harbor and protect themselves. This is only my opinion but Hamas is a bunch of chicken excrement (s_ _ ts), which is very similar to Al Qaeda or the Taliban.

Posted by Newk | Report as abusive

Before the First Intifadah, reports of Israeli military conflicts with Arab armies and Palestinian resistance forces routinely informed readers that the report had been “passed by the Israeli Military Censor”. Today Israel still enforces a military censorship but it operates unseen and far more powerfully in distorting what people inside and outside the theatre of conflict get to see, read or hear. Allegedly in the interests of discouraging the witting or inadvertent publicising of information of possible use to enemies, Israel enforces a military-administered censorship on conflict reportage. The big stick is that an agency’s credentials to despatch reporters to a front under Israeli protection may be lifted if the Office of the Censor deems that an agency has crossed this line. Arguing that the Internet has made all reporting equally available to Israel’s enemies, this stick is used as well against foreign media operating in the State of Israel but reporting to any audience outside Israel e.g. in Canada, U.S., Europe etc. This was exposed during the Lebanon war of 2006. It was used to strip the Iranian PRESS TV reporter of credentials at one of the Israeli crossings into Gaza during the current conflict. His “crime” was to report to a mainly Iranian audience the content of an MSNBC report from the US, by Alan Greenspan’s wife Andrea Mitchell, that US forces were at the Rafah Crossing aiding the Israeli containment of Hamas.

Posted by Sam MacLean | Report as abusive

No Sir, your reporting was not biased. As a child a lived under the dictatorship of the Nazis and I survived the relentless bombing of the Allies. All the fear, the anguish, the helpless of the victims of Gaza came back thinking of these children. Air attacks are the most cowardly form of warfare. Any civilized society should abstain! Is Israel such a society? The word terror means fear. Who has more to fear the children of Gaza or those of Israel?
Edwin G. Altinger

Posted by Edwin G. Altinger | Report as abusive

I am one of your pro-Israel readers that have written in stating that you are sensationalists rather then journalists. I have read your article about striving for fairness and I appreciate your point. After some thought I have come to the conclusion that your problem is not in the reporting, it is rather in the use of Headlines.

Your headlines have been almost exclusively “Israel strikes …” or “Israeli Air force …” and completing the balanced reporting in the body of the text. Today’s generation is almost completely illiterate. Very few people read further then the first paragraph.

The headlines are what inflames the public and sparks riots.

If Hamas attacks again as they promised, I want to see a big headline “Hamas breaks cease fire!” or “Hamas executes 95 Palestinians” which is usually relegated to the bottom of the article.

Posted by Gideon | Report as abusive

I have a solution! Dig up the the top 10 feet of ground all over Israel as well as all structures, move it all to a site in Arizona (provided by the US). Move everyone to the new site, and there would be a thousand years of peace!

Posted by Obie | Report as abusive

Thecomment by Obie reminds me of Noam Chomsky’s point that if American had been genuine after WWII in providing a home for European Jews they would have given them Long Island, or a piece of Germany, instead of imposing them on a people who were not responsible for the Holocaust. They did this by upholding Zionist land claims to the territory, a logic that if applied to America would mean giving it all back to Native people (maybe not a bad idea!)

Posted by David Goodfellow | Report as abusive

I noticed that most of the people who are claiming you are biased are the ones who are actually. Keep up the reporting of the events, and I pray your reporters stay safe from harm!

Posted by ray | Report as abusive

I commend the news writers at Reuters for the courage they have shown during the past weeks, and the editors for their integrity in striving for a higher standard of journalism, one which allows the readers to draw their own conclusions.

I do take issue however with some of the accusations hurled at Reuters that they only represent the Palestinian side of the war. Perhaps these readers would do well to consider if there is news worth reporting in Israel, beyond what has been reported, considering the other events going on in Gaza. When on a single day a half dozen Hamas rockets land in fields in Sderot, without causing human harm, is that worth reporting? Perhaps. Does it take precedence over 3 hospitals being bombed in a singal day? Or a 7 year old girl being found after 4 days without food or water, surrounded by the remains of what used to be her father and brother? Absolutely not.

If Hamas was inflicting the same degree, scale, or extent harm on Israel as the Israeli have inflicted on the Palestinians, the people accusing Reuters of prejudice may be justified. Given the one sided nature of this conflict, and the indiscriminant targeting of civilians on such a massive scale by the IDF, Reuters’ critics have no ground to stand on.

What people seem to forget is that lives are being lost. 3 Israeli civilians were killed by Hamas rockets, and that is completely unacceptable. Under no pretext or circumstances however are those 3 Israeli civilians worth the lives of 1200 Palestinians and this tragedy is only made worse by the fact that 1 in 3 people killed by the IDF were under the age of 15.

When Israel feels such pain, criticize the international media for unfairly representing the Israeli side of the story. While they continue to behave as they have, turn your criticism and outrage towards your own governments who perpetrate these acts (if you are Israeli), or publicly support them on the world stage, as my Canadian government shamefully has.

With respect,

G.

Posted by Ghassan | Report as abusive

Nidal al-Mughrabi. Dan Williams. Alastair Macdonald. Jonathan Wright. These are the names of Reuters’ stable of anti-Israel writers and editors who for years have been whacking Israel in their propaganda pieces thinly disguised as journalism.

I have a PhD in Management and have done extensive research on how print media employ various insidious techniques to slant an article. Here is just one example of deceptive practices that run rampant in Reuters articles:

Nearly every day for years, Israeli civilian communities suffer traumatic rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza. The Reuters website almost never reports on these attacks UNTIL…

Israel finally retaliates and Palestinians are injured. Reuters immediately produces a lengthy article documenting the extent of the damage and injuries complete with personal details (and frequently a photo) of Palestinian families who have been affected.

In the article, the reader MAY discover that the Israeli retaliation was precipitated by weeks of daily rocket attacks by Hamas terrorists. Occasionally, this essential contextual information is not even provided. When it is, it will typically appear ten or eleven paragraphs down in the story, consist of perhaps one sentence, and is frequently reported as something that Israel “claims” or “insists”.

Apparently, Reuters correspondents have no difficulty reporting as fact, instances of Palestinian suffering but employ language that cynically questions the same when Israelis are involved.

There are many, many more examples of Reuters’ systematic bias and duplicity in their Middle East reporting that cannot be elucidated here due to space limitations. I am appalled that Reuters not only persists in its transparent partisanship in this critical conflict but then has the gall to invite one of its Global Editors to insist it does not occur.

Posted by HIS | Report as abusive

Let me ask the Ethics Editor: how can Israel be mentioned in any piece without wondering in print how a “Jewish state” is not based on mistreatment of non-Jews?
I mean, recall Jesse Owens, an African-American track champion at the 1936 Olympics in White-Racist Berlin–wasn’t the story “from day one” that Hitler’s regime was demonstrably bogus?
My logic is too complex. By not denouncing Jewish supremacy as the first principle of Israeli law, any journalistic effort about Israel apologizes for it. You mention Israeli denial of access in or out (!) of Gaza. Every Reuters story should open with a disclaimer: Israeli restrictions make the balance and accuracy of this piece subject to question.
Agree, disagree.

Posted by Christopher Rushlau | Report as abusive

Want to call out bias on the Web in an immediate, visible way? Go here: http://www.spinspotter.com

Reuters biased?
I worked in their Tel Aviv office during the ’80s and the bureaus chief’s claim to fame was fishing Ayatollah Kumeini, hiding in France, out of obscurity.
It’s not what’s reported, it’s what’s not reported that counts, as your anti-Israel (I cannot call them pro-Gaza) posts confirm.

Hamas is an organisation that is devoted to wiping out Israel, sponsored by the lunatic regime in Iran and butressed every Friday by countless Imams’ preachings. The Hamas attacks are part of the same fanatic plan as the Mumbai bombings and Al Quada. Mr Ethics [sic] editor, has Reuters every run reports analysing these link? Or why the Mumbai bombers targeted a Jewish (not Israeli) centre?
After the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem became a follower of Hitler, he created a “Palestine” national movement. Prior to this the only Palestinians were the Jews [its' the Roman derogatory name for Israel, taken from the Philistines]. Hamas merely is carrying on his programme.

Reporting the ME without placing it in the above context and ignoring the racist outpourings on Arab TV stations, which even if they are not influencing and inflaming the Arabs, influence the Israeli response, is again hiding facts.

The main issue is that Israel is, and always has been, prepared to live in peace with its Arab neighbours as the peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt and cease-fire with Lebanon attest. It is Hamas and Hisbullah that are part of a Muslim fanaticist drive to recolonise the entire region (and resents a successful democracy in its midst)and jihad to “eliminate” Israel.

It is noteable that neither Reuters nor the hyper-critics of Israel in the posts can provide an alternative to Israel’s response to the attacks.

In assessing bias, one askes whose cause is served by this?

Posted by Colin | Report as abusive

Honestly, I don’t know what the fuss is about. What’s been reported in this website is nothing short of what is actually the “truth”. Now whether this truth is pro or anti either the sides, it’s not Reuters to blame, they’re just reporting the reality of the situation. If you still have a problem with that, then it’s not them you should be angry at, it’s who ever the hell is causing this to begin with.
And I don’t want to sound biased to either sides, but the fact remains that the casualties on Gaza side were far more horrifying than they ever were or ever will be on the Israeli side. 1300 Palestinians dead in 22 days (excluding the hundreds under the ruins) as opposed to how many in the Israeli side? 10; and those who tricked death are now either paralyzed, or permanently disabled. My point is, if Reuters does often come out as pro- Gaza (and I’m not saying they are), it’s merely because that’s where most the action is.
1300 VS. 10. where the story at? You do the math.

Posted by X | Report as abusive

Nemo’s suggestion that any other nation would respond to terrorist attacks the same way is just not true. Despite being subjected to many years of IRA attacks the UK government never sent the RAF to bomb Dublin, and never used tanks or artillery in attacking positions from which the IRA were firing. Nor has India sent its airforce to bomb the cities of Pakistan in response to the attacks on Mumbai.

Colin,

Your post has more in common with the misguided ideologues of Hamas thank you care to admit. Apart from rewriting history, and poorly so, your assertions about the state of Israel are entirely ficticous. Israel is not a democracy, it is a Jewish state. There are 7.2 million people in Israel, 20% of them are Arabs who are barred from running in parliamentary elections, studying in the fields of medicine, chemistry, physics, sociology… the list goes on. Arab Israelis are barred from setting up businesses, law firms, medical practices, unless it is at least 50% owned by an Israeli Jew. That is NOT democracy, or at best, the jews in Israel have democractically decided to abandon democracy.
Sir, the very language you use in your post is indicative of your own misguided perceptions of reality in the middle east, particularily in the occupied territories. It is the strong belief held in Israel, by both politicians and partisans alike, that Jewish blood is valuable above all others, that drives this conflict. It is Israel’s agenda of territorial expansion that sustains this conflict. If the Israelis wanted peace, they could have had it in 2002, and every year thereafter up to December 27, 2008. Even in 2007 Khaled Meshaal declared publicly that Hamas would be willing to accept peace with Israel along the ’67 border. If all Israel was after was security for its citizens and recognition from its neighbours, it had it.

Israel is not interested in peace, however. It never has been, and its history in the middle east is that of ruthless violence, intimidation, and aggression. I pray you never have a neighbour the likes of Israel; your family wouldn’t survive the winter. Neither would you.

Look to Gaza if you disbelieve me. Look to Lebanon in 2006, 1993, or 1982. Look to Egypt and Jordan in 56. Look to Syria in 67. Look to the Palestinian territories for the last 41 years. These are wars of Israeli aggression that have torn families apart on many national scales.

If Israel was interested in peace, they would stop shooting at those they claim to want peace with. But Israel has another solution, another agenda, and they pursue it earnestly and against their own humanity. It is truly sad that the lessons of the holocaust have been forgotten in so short a time.

Posted by Ghassan | Report as abusive

American mainstream media is so heavily proisraeli biased that it seems anti-israeli or “antisemetic” (a term which has been so overused that it’s essentially lost its meaning) to hear anything that sounds even remotely critical of israel. Reuters, of all the big news outlets, is the least biased by far – keep up the good work. There is a lot of nonsense being posted in this comments section, people use your brains and try to see through the propaganda.

Posted by NTY | Report as abusive

I correct myself: many have forgotten the lessons of the holocaust. Not all.

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/kaufman1 70109.html

Posted by Ghassan | Report as abusive

In the second world war people who were classed has traitors against thier own country were shot. I know things have changed dramaticly since then,worst luck in some respects. so how come people who suport terrorist groups and other eliagel organisations,are not prosecuted. after all I lost six members of my family during that war. Which in my opinion was a total waste of time, has this is still not a free country or of free speach due to the fact we are now threatend by the very people we helped to save and i dont mean the jewish i mean terrorist organisations. and a usless goverment that supports anyone but its own people. if the hamas people loved thier children as much as they hate the jews. perhaps the death toll would be much lower. and no children would have died cos they would have been with thier parents.bloody miles away

Hamas has fired over 2000 rockets at Israel, instigating the violence.
Israel has had constant rocket attacks and had to fight back.
No disbuting that.

Posted by Dottie Smith | Report as abusive

I once lived with an ex-Israeli soldier who told me that Americans are the stupidest people on Earth. He was reared by the Israeli government with war on this, war on that, war everywhere. He told me what he did in Lebanon and how the American press was right there and refused to report the truth…only in cases that were unhideable that is.
The American press is so under the control of Israeli agents. You can’t even post on these “free press” websites because you can’t EVER say anything that they construe as anti-Israel.
I try to point out that Madoff, that great Jewish man of virtue, has close friends and ivestors who were, and still are, in on the scam with him. They are pretending to have lost money, but they know exactly where there money is overseas…notice that close associates and friends of Madoff have already received, and will receive in the future these taxpayer funds. Notice that a lot of the people who were paid to perform fake work in Iraq are close friends and associates with Madoff.
Do you really think that America is NOT under control of Israeli agents and bankers? GET REAL! The corruption is so rife in America right now that it is sickening!

Posted by Eric | Report as abusive

Reuters, Dean Wright, you have nothing to apologize for. There’s no big media outlet in the world that is as unbiased as you guys are. If it weren’t for you I’d be thinking Hamas has blown up half of Israel and the IDF’s response was to throw flowers at the Gaza Strip and adopt all the Palestinian orphans and raise them in loving warm Jewish homes.

Here in the U.S. we’ll always side with Israel whether it be through the government or through the media. It’s no coincidence that our best ally in the area happens to be the only white country who worships the same God most people in this country pray to. Objectivity and fairness will never trump political correctness in U.S.-based media.

Thank you for everything you do, there are people in the world who appreciate it.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

Perhaps context in articles would help people understand.

Like for instance the fact that the rockets are being fired by people who used to live in the towns that they are firing rockets at.

But of course that would mean you would need to explain why the people firing the rockets don’t live in Sderot anymore.

And then you would have to explain why the names of the towns were different before too, and so on.

Much too complicated to get into really.

Posted by rob | Report as abusive

Dottie Smith,

Perhaps you should ask “why” Hamas fired these so many rockets. I’m sure it wasn’t for the love of firing rockets. We choose to only look at part of the picture, if you however took the interest of looking at the picture as a whole, you would find that Gaza citizens were being surrounded and trapped in their own city by Israel long before the war started. That they were denied any form of contact with the outside world; no one in and no one out. This includes basic life needs like food, water and medicine. They were already dying a slow painful death being kept locked like some infectious disease for 2 years. Resistance has to arise. There was bound to be a voice that demands Israel to give those citizins their BASIC human rights.
Unfortunately the only language Israel responds to is war. (not that Hamas didn’t try the normal way: ask). I don’t blame Hamas for launching rockets. I would do the same if I was living under persecution for so long and so would you.

And seriously, no one in this world believes the whole “Israel the right to defend itself” blah talk you Americans are bringing up every so often. That’s a pathetic excuse for saying “Israel is our little spoiled child, let it do what ever the hell it wants” Because if we ASSUMED that Israel intended to ‘defend’ itself from Hamas, It needed not use weapons so advanced that they’re even speculated to still be under testing, it needed not used these weapons on a nearly defend less population. If I throw a rock at you, you don’t shoot me with a mussel, you throw a rock back. Clearly that’s not the standard Israel is following. The truth when it comes to it, is that Israel wants to completely crush and terminate any form of resistance so it could freely take over what’s left of Palestine. And just like we always expect from Zionist, they don’t care how many have to die along the way.

You Americans will always side with Israel? well off course you will! they’ve brain washed you and had you hanging like a little toy on their hands. They’re using you right on your own country, just take a good look at your economy; the minute you go against almighty Israel, America is history.

The funniest thing, all this fuss about the war on Gaza and how Israel wants to terminate Hamas, and did they? Nop, Hamas is well and fine and more determined than ever. Israel thinks it ended the resistance? huh, they just pissed them off.

Posted by X | Report as abusive

X, you’re exactly right, I love it here in America and I love my country. However I hate my gov’t and more and more people are starting to think like I do. People here fear what they are ignorant of, muslims, gays, agnostics etc so what you see on this board is them acting and speaking on those fears.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

I see no easy solution to the situation as it is right now and feel the past must be overcome by both sides.
However, it’s hard to see people trying to be equidistant when one party has all the power, including the power to change the situation, and another party can do no more than desperate moves.

It’s also shocking to see that most people ignore the history of the conflict. Perhaps the role of the news providing context should go beyond a week’s context, maybe ocasionally revealing the cease-fire violations by both sides in the last term.

One american referred to Israel as “the only white country who worships the same God most people in this country pray to”, ignoring that cristians had a role in Hamas once and that there are cristians among palestinian refugees.

Posted by Miguel | Report as abusive

Good question is why Israel has birth right to control citizens of another country. All the food, fuel, construction material, medical aid and even the money has to pass through Israel. If you think you can control all the above things and wonder why they hate you and do not want to have peace with you there is something wrong in your logic, thinking, rationale or all of them. Wake up and let other smell the roses like you do and then sit on the table to discuss the peace not the process.

Posted by vj | Report as abusive

Why has nobody picked up Ghassan on what he said?

Arab citizens of Israel have all the rights of Jewish citizens of Israel by law. There are 12 current Arab Israeli members of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset), and 47 previous ones (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_member s_of_the_Knesset).

There is nothing preventing an Arab Israeli from entering any profession he or she likes. The only difference under law concerns Army duty – unlike Jewish Israelis, who must serve in the Army, it is voluntary for Arab Israelis.

The Arab minority in Israel face their problems and challenges like many minorities in many countries, and Israel is something of a special case. But it does not even approach the level of discrimination you are talking about. It makes me sad that people can proclaim this sort of ill-informed hate-talk, and that no one knows enough to set them straight.

Apparently, this blog is the place to propogate ignorance and prejudice, not somewhere to learn and educate.

If you’re interested in learning more about Arab Israelis, you can read more on Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_citize ns_of_Israel

Posted by JMD | Report as abusive

I thank you for your unbiased news reporting. In the States, virtually no news nor pictures of Gaza were shown on TV. The war was taking place in Gaza, thus evidently pictures and comments ought to be about Gaza, its people and fighting forces of both sides in real time. Comments such as the tunnels were life line to Gaza because Gaza has been sealed off by sea, air and lands for the last 18 months by Israel are informative and essential. Israel controls every facets in the war. Well, even your news reporters were not allowed exit visas from Gaza. Israeli forces are superior , which clearly were demonstrated by rows and rows of tanks, airplane fighters, bombs and their resulting devastation are facts, aren’t they ? Thus I don’t see any justification in criticizing you being biased against Israel. People living in the US and Canada need your type of reporting to give a sense of proportion and balance which is strikingly lacking in US media. Thank you and all reporters “under siege” during the last three weeks !

Posted by Nina Ruby | Report as abusive

As asked by Mr. Fall, the U.N. Human rights advocate and Jewish member, Israel has committed “WAR CRIMES’ agianst 1.5 million civilians and there should be special inquiry to investigate the charges. I am glad that this news is reported by Reuter and should be commanded. It is open fact that Israel has not only barricaded 1.5 million civilians for their slaughter but with iron fist control, kept all the reporters out of the scene so they can do whatever they want without the civilized world to see it.
If Obama is not like Bush, he must be the first to ask the U.N Secretary General to appoint an enquiery committee as soon as possible and show to the world that he is compassionate, just and fair President. I do not think so.

Posted by ZEN DAHODI | Report as abusive

Miguel, obviously I’m talking about the majority of Israel. Of course every country is going to have pockets of people who don’t fall into the majority of thinking.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

there is an abundance of media bias when western media only presents livni, rice, or israeli snippets. Palestinians have been forced to suffer for the wrongs of europe.
the bottom line is:
do an google image search for “Palestinian loss of land” and try to understand how jews comprised 17% and now have taken all but 22% much by violence, racism, oppression and terrorism. would you be happy with the result? what of the 4 pictures represents an equal resolution that a blind justice can call fair? what would you reluctantly settle for and what would israel reluctantly settle for as an equal compromise?

Posted by jk | Report as abusive

Reading a Reuters “article” on the Middle East conflict is like watching a tennis match where the camera only focuses on one of the players. One would never know that the Arabs have fought four wars of annihilation against Israel (their own declaration) and still reject peace while they cynically employ the Palestinian Arabs in an ongoing proxy war.

There must be a contagious mental illness operating in London for it affects the entire staff at Reuters and the BBC.

Posted by FinanceDoc | Report as abusive

reuters, I have to commend you on your reporting of the news, not just in the israeli-palestine issue, but the news over all. for all the things that the readers fault you for, it is important to point out that most people unfortunatelly lack knowledge on some of the issues.pro-israeli readers, point out that you are being biased against israel and accuse you of being “anti-semetic”. pro-palestinain readers accuse you of being in the pockets of the israelis like CNN, FOX, sky news and the other “news” reporting agenices. people want to read what appeals to them, they want to see pictures of what appeals to them. pro-israeli supporters refuse to be rational and realize, that the killing of civilains is wrong. pro-palestinain readers refuse to acknowledge that as much as israel is at fault for the conditions in palestine, the other arab nations are just as guilty for letting it happen. i praise reuters for having the integrity to report the issues and not support the issues one way or another. for the readers who like to scold and tell reuters and its staff how to report and do their job, i suggest that some of you open up books and learn a lesson on history to realize why the world is the way it is right now, and realize that mistakes of the past are being repeated once again.

Posted by sidney | Report as abusive

I think we should all step back and think about this article carefully.

Can anyone honestly say that Reuters could be considered Pro-Israel? Seriously? Just look at their articles. They focus on suffering and condemnation, and hardly brush the issue of why it happened.

But let’s brush that aside for a moment, and look at something a bit more important.

This editorial is trying to justify what seems to be a serious Anti-Israel stance by Reuters, by trying to create the illusion that it is taking critisism from both sides.

In reality, Reuters is getting far more critisism from the Pro-Israel side, and far more support from the Anti-Israel side. Look at the all the previous posts if you don’t believe me.

I ask the Anti-Israel posters: Do you think that Reuters has done a fair job in reporting?

If you think yes, then this article is not very truthful. Because editor Dean Wright is implying you find fault with the way Reuters is reporting.

Do you believe that Reuters “pro-Israel news coverage of Gaza is shockingly evil”? That is what this article claims. I think that is very unlikely.

By creating the impression it is getting critisism from both sides, Reuters seems neutral. After all, if you anger both sides, you must be neutral, right?

But I think the majority of critisism is coming from the Pro-Israel side, not the Anti-Israel side. And that implies that perhaps Reuters is not as neutral as this article is trying to claim. I wonder if they see it?

Hope this makes it past the moderators.

Posted by Spooky | Report as abusive

well if one is pro-israeli, I would seriously have to question your moral standing. does being pro-israeli mean that you are ok with the killing of innocent civilians and women and children?? you are ok with destruction of thousands of homes and crippling a population that is already facing some of the worst conditions in the world?? it seems that way because when reuters or any other news agency even makes an attempt to report the actual facts and what is going, they start getting labeled with the “anti-semetic” stigma. let’s be real here and say that is is impossible for most media to be “anti-semetic” because well we all know who controls them. so when an unbiased new reporting agency like reuters reports what is actually happening (like women and children getting killed and hospitals being bombed) then they are not supposed to report it. how about the same pro-israeli posters write to their government officals and tell them to help bring an end to the violence, so this doesn’t have to be reported on. it seems as if anytime any news about killing by the israelis is reported the pro-israeli group begins their wine and crying act and talks about the “media bias” against israel and how they are “anti-semetic”. perhaps if these atrocities weren’t taking place there wouldn’t be anything to report on, would there? how would you have felt if there was never any news reports on what the nazis did to the jews and nothing was ever written about that???

Posted by sidney | Report as abusive

Sidney, do you believe that the Jewish people control the world media? I just noticed that you made the following comment:

-let’s be real here and say that is is impossible for most media to be “anti-semetic” because well we all know who controls them.-

Do you have some basis for this belief? A logical reason for why a small country in the middle east somehow controls the world media and the entire united states?

Please let us know. It would put your quotes in the proper context.

For that matter, “anti-sematic” and “anti-Israel” are two very different things. The second will never associate themselves with the first. The first will always try to associate with the second.

Posted by John Smith | Report as abusive

Hey Sid. Isreal abandoned their homes in gaza, gave the land to the arabs. Then Hamas starts lobbing rockets at Isreal (first) in volation of a peace treaty..duh. Should Isreal just go over and invite them over for coffee and talk it over. Liberals just never cease to amaze me with their lack of common sense.

Posted by CAL | Report as abusive

I just read an article on Egypt pushing the EU to provide more aid to the Palestines. What is Egypt or for that matter all the other Arab countries doing as far as providing aid. And finally, shouldn’t Isreal provide for the bulk of the aid. After all they did the damage in Gaza. Look back at WWII, and after the fighting ceased, didn’t the enemies of Germany rebuild much of what they had destroyed. To the victor comes the spoils. But I think in todays world, to the victor comes the responsibility of rebuilding. It might go a long way toward bringing peace to those involved.

Posted by John Magnusson | Report as abusive

cal, i can tell you are a conservative considering the so called “facts” you stated are based on lack of knowledge tha you have about what really goes on in that part of the world.maybe if israel wasn’t taking land that didn’t belong to them in the first place, no one would be launching rockets at them. maybe if they weren’t running the world’s biggest concentration camp, no one would launch rockets at them.the ignorance of the conservatives is never surprising. John, you bring up an excellent poing about what the arabs nations are doing out there. unfortunatelly, they could care less about their bretheren in palestine. you see, to them palestine is more of a burden and nucance.that is why 60 years from now, this conflict still haunts the world today. think about 60 years of americaa, european, arab leaders trying to present their ideas and yet, we are worse off then ever in terms of this conflict. very sad.

Posted by sidney | Report as abusive

Sydney, the Palastinians lost their land because they refused to accept the UN Partitian Plan. They decided to try and drive the Jewish people out of the land. They failed, and were in turn driven out.

The 1948 war was a war of survival. When nations must fight for their own survival, they must resort to serious measures. As the Palestinians were hostile to Israel, they were removed (though a large amount fled to escape the conflict).

In each war along history, the Palestinians have made the wrong choice. Backed by their fair-weather Arab allies, each defeat has resulted in more land being taken.

Land won through armed conflict is gained by whoever holds it, until dealt with in a peace treaty.

As for a concentration camp? Israel only controls the borders to the extent that they are safe. If Hamas sends suicide bombers and kidnappers? No people can pass the border. If Hamas uses building materials to make bunkers and rockets? No building materials can pass the border.

Soon the international community will help in the fight against Hamas, by assisting in preventing the supply of arms. It is about time, and took Israel’s attack on Gaza to bring it about.

Perhaps Israel should take control of Western Gaza? Then it can deal with the tunnels as they appear. After all, if Hamas is going to use that land for terror, Israel should take it from them.

Posted by John Smith | Report as abusive

john,u bring up some good points,biases as they may be.to say that palestine should have to accept a UN mandate telling them how land on which they lived on for thousands of years is ridiculos.why should they have to give up their land for a group of religious extremist who think they have a right to some land because of what someone told them over some camp fire story.n please,lets not talk about following UN mandates when izrael violates every UN human rights act ever created.n with israel controlling what goes in out of gaza,including medicine,food,n fuel,it is a concentration camp.alas,there is no point of trying to explain this situation to my fellow misinformed americans,we did the samething to the native americans here in america,izrael is just doing as they r told to do so by america.

Posted by sidney | Report as abusive

Pursuant to my previous post about how Reuters presents a one-sided and distorted view of events in the conflict, please note that Senior EU envoy Louis Michel touring Gaza today has definitively blamed Hamas for the war, destruction, and humanitarian crisis in the region. Yet at the time of this posting, Reuters has not seen fit to report it.

QED

Posted by HIS | Report as abusive

hmm, there’s a surprise, a UN offical blamming hammas for the conflict. the same UN that is controlled by the U.S who by the way helped start this problem 60 years ago. the same UN that is incapable of prosecuting the israelis for war crimes, the same UN that allowed the US to invade iraq over the mythical WMDS.the same UN that is incapable of doing anything with out its strings being pulled by the U.S, yea, that really speaks volumes, it’s not worth reporting on because no one is surprised.

Posted by sidney | Report as abusive

Obama has opened his mouth to the Muslim World in general and Palestinians in particular but has not extended his heart. He still dictating in civilized way that America cannot dictate anything to Israel what is best for her but still telling Palestinians that he cannot talk with their elected Hamas, Hamas has to accept Isarel’s existance and boarders without having any existance or boarders for Palestinians and he may go on using Veto power is any resolution displeases Israel.Security of Israel is paramount for him but Palestinian’s security or even human rights has no priority.
Mr. President, since last 40 years all American Presidents have used the same unwise, unjust, unfair and WRONG policies to resolve Arab-Israel issue and all have failed miserably. If you want to change that history, You will have to change the POLICY not the Envoys and talks. Sweet or cowboy talks and dictates had invited hatred towards America and it will stop only if we stop our unjust policies.

Posted by john dahodi | Report as abusive

I always find worrying the suggestion that good journalism requires that a `balance’ be struck fair to both sides, where -for example WW11- one side clearly has illegal territorial ambitions and determined at whatever moral cost to achieve it’s aim is it either fair or sensible to endeavour to see the conflict in a manner such as to do `justice’ to their tyrannical ambitions? I’m satisfied that any genuinely disinterested person who honestly and fairly researches the background to this Middle East conflict must inevitably conclude that basic Right and Legality lies mostly with the Palestinians deprived of their homes and land without reparation, thrown onto Gaza no man’s land, and subject to appalling privations by Israel -aided and abetted by US- ever since. It is to the eternal shame of the wider world that we have done nothing to force the above two nations to redress this situation over the succeeding 60 years: and I am far from convinced that Obama will change that situation one iota – sadly the American Jewish lobby far too powerful.

Posted by terence kelly | Report as abusive

I wonder if Reuters website readers are aware that over 300 civilians were killed yesterday in Sri Lanka by the army fighting against the Tamil Tigers. No? What a surprise! Reuters doesn’t even cover it. You see, no Jews were involved in the killing.

Smashing job you’re doing with your unbiased news coverage, Mr. Wright. Carry on.

Posted by HIS | Report as abusive

HIS — You’ll find extensive coverage of the Sri Lanka conflict on Reuters.com via a simple search: http://search.us.reuters.com/rsearch/rco mSearch.do?blob=sri%20lanka&WTmodLoc=uss rch-top-quote

Here’s a story from today: http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/id INIndia-37704520090128

Posted by Richard Baum | Report as abusive

Richard Baum

Check the placement of those stories yesterday; they were BURIED. Now compare with the daily unremitting front-page hysteria over the conflict in Gaza — the profiles, interviews and emotive photos of injured Palestinian children. Note also Reuter’s one-sided treatment of claims of Israeli human rights violations in Gaza while their story on the conflict in Sri Lanka highlights human rights violations BY THE TERRORISTS:

Human rights watchdogs and the government accuse the LTTE — designated a terrorist group by India, the United States and the European Union — of keeping civilians in its territory to use them as fighters, battlefield labourers or human shields.

Hamas commits the same atrocities and Reuters self-censors the fact. Also, note the absence of sneer quotes around the word “terrorist” when referring to the Tamil Tigers while assiduously including them in any mention of Hamas as a terrorist group.

Posted by HIS | Report as abusive

HIS, your knowledge on the tamil tiger issue seems to be very high and correct but by you claiming that reuters or others don’t refer to hamas as “terrorist” organization clearly shows your lack on knowledge on the middle east issue. infact, you can’t read a report or watch a new report without hearing the term “terrorist group” associated with hamas. infact, hamas, went from “terrorist group” to a DEMOCRATICALLY elected political organization. whether we like or not, the people vote for them.Hamas is just as much a terrorist group as israel is, there is no difference between them. the tamil tiger issue is no where near smiliar to the middle east conflict.

Posted by james | Report as abusive

james, you’ve misread my comment. Reuters has no difficulty referring declaratively to a group like the Tamil Tigers as terrorists but specifically uses QUOTATION MARKS when referring to Hamas as terrorists, as in this article today:

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/i dUSLU64529020090130

We call these “sneer quotes” because they reflect Reuters’ editorial efforts to undermine and belittle the view of the international community. This is Reuters bias, pure and simple. All of Europe and the US consider Hamas a terrorist group; the fact that they were democratically elected does not change the facts.

Hamas deliberately targets Israeli civilians and uses their own civilians as human shields. They are responsible for the death and maiming of hundreds of civilians in suicide bombings, shootings, and rocket attacks. They also overthrew the democratically-elected president of the Palestinians, Mahmoud Abbas, in a violent coup in Gaza. These acts are the very definition of terrorism.

If you want to suggest that the Israeli defense forces are “terrorists”, you must also say the same for the Sri Lankan army, the Turkish army, the Egyptian army, the British army, etc. All are seeking to protect the lives and security of their citizens and all have, from time to time, caused civilian casualties in carrying out that mission but none — except perhaps the Egyptians — deliberately target civilians.

Posted by HIS | Report as abusive

As HIS notes, the cited story uses quotation marks around the word ‘terrorist’ in way that breaks a rule in the Reuters style guide. We’re reminding our editors and reporters of the rule.

Posted by Dean Wright | Report as abusive

someday the Jews will find themselves trading places with the Palestinian and they will eat their words they say today.

Posted by dan | Report as abusive

“War begets War”. Substituting military solutions for diplomatic has produced it’s harvest. It is now time to reap. Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India; the people of these nations will suffer death from the weapons provided by the western powers in order to gain influence over fossil fuels. The twentieth century has twice proved that war is a cancer that will consume the planet.

When will man rule his nature instead of man’s nature ruling him?

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

[...] written in the past about how we depend on our journalists to rise above their biases to cover stories in [...]

[...] during the war in Gaza, one of the Reuters own articles addressed the controversy over bias. The article used the old tactic of citing criticism from both sides as an example of how balanced they are, for [...]