Reuters and the Guardian Deny Israel’s Right to Self-Defense

In recent days,Israel has evidently offended Western standards of fair play by striking back against Gaza-based terrorist rocket launches. Covering this developing story, the Guardian chose to post a rather under- researched news item, courtesy of the Reuters international news agency.

According to the Reuters piece, Israel“…blamed a pro al-Qaida fringe Salafist Islamist group… for a cross-border attack from Egypt’s Sinai that killed an Israeli man…”

Reuters implies that Israel is playing the blame game so that the besieged country can unleash hell in a military action that resulted in the death of six “militants”.  In truth, Israel reacted to the following verifiable facts on the ground: over 20 rockets fired into the country, amounting to nearly 150 since the latest round of hostilities began.

As previously mentioned, this paragraph refers to a “Palestinian militant” being killed as a result of the IAF’s strike. There is, however,  much more behind the use of the term “militant”, instead of “terrorist”, than editorial discretion.

Evidently, the esteemed Reuters international news agency works off a style guide that draws no distinction between the unauthorized use of violence and intimidation and the value-neutral actions of a “militant”.

This piece may well have been written by two cub reporters typing simultaneously since whereas the term “militant” is used in the beginning of the news flash, the true allegiance of this Palestinian freedom fighter is alas revealed further down the column: a pro al-Qaida fringe Salafist Islamist group.

This anti-Israeli screed being passed off as news also suffers from a slight case of historical myopia. First off, Israel’s actions are said to threaten the Egyptian-brokered truce between Gaza and Israel. What the Reuters piece fails to mention is that Israel never agreed to this call for a cease fire. While a six month reprieve would allow Hamas’s terrorists to catch their breath and re-arm, such a move doesn’t serve Israel’s national security interest.

Furthermore, there is something ironic if not downright farcical about Egypt playing the role of Henry Kissinger in this latest round of Middle East shuttle diplomacy. It’s the country’s current state of instability that is increasingly being used by the Gaza terrorists to launch cross border attacks on Israel’s southern border with Egypt.

Another example of lazy research is when the Reuters blurb states that the IAF took aim at a poor, defenseless refugee camp.

Truth be known, Hamas has long made a habit of cynically using civilian facilities as bases of attacks against Israel. This, along with the indiscriminate firing of rockets against civilian populations in Israel, is a clear violation of international humanitarian law.

While the argument can be made that Hamas was not directly behind the behind most of the recent rocket fire, the organization that was democratically elected by freedom loving Palestinians should be expected it to rein in the other terror factions in Gaza and to stop their rocket attacks.

Another disturbing pattern in the Reuters story about Israel’s attack on Gaza is the vagueness of any of the information whose detailed reporting may actually elicit a hint of sympathy for Israel by putting a human face on the terrorists’ targets.

When Gaza terrorists launched this most recent barrage on “southern Israel”, the rockets were specifically aimed at the men, women and children of the Sha’ar HaNegev district. This region, located in the north-western Negev, has a population of over 6,000 young people, veterans and new immigrants in an area that covers over 45,000 acres.

This region, located deep inside the ‘Green Line’, is comprised of 11 communities, including 10 kibbutzim and one moshav.

Another target of the terrorists has been Ashkelon, a coastal city about 30 miles south of Tel Aviv that is home to approximately 110,000 Israelis. From its ancient Biblical roots, Ashkelon has developed into a thoroughly modern community that’s renowned for providing a high standard of living at low cost.

While Reuters should be condemned for what amounts to several sins of editorial omission, the Guardian should be taken to task for its sin of commission. By picking up and posting the Reuters news item, the Guardian granted legitimacy to a scurrilous attack on a free, democratic nation’s basic right to defend itself from incoming rocket fire.

Such a right isn’t opinion and isn’t open for debate; It is enshrined in international law and codified in Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.


About the Author
Gidon Ben-Zvi, former Jerusalem Correspondent for the Algemeiner newspaper, is an accomplished writer who left behind Hollywood starlight for Jerusalem stone in 2009. After serving in an Israel Defense Forces infantry unit from 1994-1997, Ben-Zvi returned to the United States before settling in Israel, where he and his wife are raising their four children to speak fluent English – with an Israeli accent. Ben-Zvi's work has appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, the Algemeiner, American Thinker, the Jewish Journal, Israel Hayom, and United with Israel. Ben-Zvi blogs at Jerusalem State of Mind (