Monday, January 07, 2013

Reminder For Journalist Responsible For Middle East Coverage

• Never forget that it is always the Arabs who attack, Israel is only defending itself and always acts in retaliation.
• When the Israeli army kill Arab civilians, it is always in self-defence. When Israeli civilians are killed, it’s called terrorism.
• The Israelis do not kidnapped Palestinian civilians, they capture them. Always mention security needs to explain these catches.
• Conversely, Palestinians and Lebanese are not authorized to capture Israeli military! If they do, the term to use is kidnapping.
• It is not appropriate to mention the number of Palestinian prisoners (11,000, including 300 children) currently captured. If, however, you need to state, call them terrorists or suspected terrorists.
• Use as little as possible the term Palestinian and prefer Arab, the Israeli government official term to describe non-Jewish inhabitants of both territories.
• When you mention the “Hezbollah”, always add the expression “supported by Syria and Iran”. But when you talk about Israel, it is superfluous to add supported by the U.S. and Europe. One might think that this is a unbalanced conflict.
• Do not use the term “occupied territories” but disputed territories. In this regard, it is better to say Judea and Samaria rather than West Bank.
• Never remind the various UN resolutions or Geneva Conventions that are unfavourable to Israel. Ditto for convictions by the Court of Justice in The Hague … This may disturb the reader, viewer or listener.
• It is best not to say Israeli army, but to use the nicer term Tsahal.
• It is good form to suggest that the “Hamas” is a terrorist group that does not recognize the State of Israel (The comment those Islamists who do not want Peace is welcome). Above all, make no mention of the acknowledgment made in 2002.
• It is not appropriate to mention Israel has always refused to set its boundaries and does not recognize Palestine.
• The word colonies must be rejected in your text, talk instead ofsettlements.
• To affirm the symmetry of the conflict, never bring Israeli expansionism but always talk about two people fighting over a territory.
• In case you need to discuss projects of nuclear development of Iran, it is not necessary to insist on the Israeli military nuclear arsenal … Neither to mention that it is the sixth world power in this field.
• When you need to report the Palestinian refusal to accept Israeli conditions for the cessation of hostilities, always add that “Israel considers that it has no partner for peace process” … If possible in a tone of regret.
• If you are asked to cite the “separation wall”, never mention it was established on annexed Palestinian lands, but always mention that this wallwas built to stop terrorist attacks … And especially avoid quoting the sentence of the “International Court of Justice” demanding its dismantling.
• For opponents of Israel, never use the words resistants or militants … Always talk about activists. Even if they demonstrate only for peace, they must be qualified of pro-Palestinians.
• In case you’d want to talk about “Cast Lead”, always take the Israeli thesis: it was Hamas who broke the truce (add “unilaterally” for a better understanding), and that Israel had warned Palestinians before the bombing (no need to quote phosphorus bombs).
• In case of a new operation aiming to break the blockade of Gaza, use expressions such as “this flotilla supposedly pacifist” or ” act of defiance” … and especially avoid comments like “illegal blockade of Israel, condemned by the UN.”
• If you have the opportunity, say that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Do not, of course, add that this quality concerns only the white and  Jewish population of the country.
• Do not criticize the current government’s desire to transform the term Israel in Jewish state, thus excluding de facto the 20% Muslim population. Always avoid the religious reference in this regard.
• Israelis speaking better French than the Arabs, often give them the floor. They can better explain the above rules and you and your will therefore assert your journalistic neutrality.

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