By Adam Levick
The Telegraph’s coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is generally fairer and more accurate than other British publications we comment on. However, as we’ve noted since monitoring the paper consistently over the past year, they do, on occasion, inexplicably demonstrate the kind of egregious bias more typically found in the Guardian, Independent,or Economist.
A passage in a February 26 Telegraph report by Raziye Akkoc represents the latest instance of such skewed coverage. Akkoc’s story on the British graffiti artist known as Banksy, who produced a video criticizing conditions in Gaza, included a perfect contrast in credulity when faced with Israeli and pro-Palestinian ‘claims.’
First, the pro-Palestinian claim:
In the less than two-minute long video published on the artist’s website, Banksy refers to the “development opportunities” then adds that no cement has been allowed in to the area.
The Telegraph reporter doesn’t challenge Bansky’s allegation that “no cement has been allowed into the area,” despite the fact that Reuters and other media outlets, including a separate Telegraph story on the video also published on February 26, all reported that cement is indeed entering Gaza under an agreement struck with the UN.
Now, for the Israeli “claim.”
The destruction the artist depicts was a result of the 50-day conflict which left 539 Palestinian children dead and close to 3,000 injured.
In total, more than 2,000 Palestinians and 67 Israeli soldiers were killed, according to United Nations figures.
Six civilians in Israel were also killed. Israel argued that Hamas militants attacked the country with rockets.
That’s right, Israel has “argued” that Hamas fired rockets at the country during the summer war!
The language used by the Telegraph journalist suggests she had no doubts regarding Bansky’s allegation that “no cement has been allowed into Gaza” – but wasn’t ready to confirm the veracity of the Israeli “argument” that “Hamas militants attacked the country with rockets.”
We have contacted Telegraph editors to request corrections to both passages and will update you when we receive a reply.
Adam Levick is the managing editor of UK Media Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)