Exhibit 15. Example short letter on bias. For AP wire stories go to http://wire.ap.org/
Sent to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org November 27, 2002
AP shows very variable reporting on the Israel/Palestine Issues but some writings by certain reporters are consistently biased.
Mark Lavie continued his biased reporting in the Associated Press today. He wrote:
"Marking the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and two full months since rioting erupted, Palestinians scaled back clashes with Israelis, and Israeli soldiers held their fire Monday, the first day in three weeks when no one was killed. After nightfall, Palestinians opened fire on the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo in east Jerusalem. Israeli forces shot back at the Palestinian town of Beit Jalla with machine guns. Israel radio reported earlier that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had ordered a halt to gunfire from Beit Jalla during Ramadan. "
Laurie Copans in an AP wire story today also reports using the same language "Palestinians opened fire on the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo in east Jerusalem after nightfall Monday, shattering what had been a relatively quiet day."
What evidence do those reporters have that Palestinians initiated clashes and then scaled them back? As for a quiet day; there were five Palestinians killed today by Israelis in an unprovoked attack/ambush on a civilian car (two of the passengers killed were teenagers). Eyewitnesses said this was a cold blooded murder. What gives your reporters the right to use AP to spout Israeli versions of events and terminology and ignore Palestinian versions of events or eyewitness reports.
As for Gilo, Gilo is an illegal Israeli colony/settlement (according to International law) built on confiscated Palestinian land. It is not simply a "Jewish neighborhood." Further if you bother to check available resources you will see that this settlement is ringed by Israeli tanks and heavy artillery. These were deployed over two weeks ago (indeed after a Palestinian with a rifle shot a few bullets at Gilo and was arrested by the Palestinian Police). Later Israel shelled Beit Jala in retaliation and collective punishment (prohibited by International law). Over 150 homes have been damaged by Israeli shelling of this predominantly Christian town since then. If there is any shooting today it is obviously first going to hit the Israeli tanks and forces surrounding Gilo and thus the terminology you use should be "shooting at Israeli forces surrounding the settlement of Gilo." In either case, Palestinians state that Israeli shell Beit Jala whenever they feel like it and not in response to any Palestinian "opening fire." Continuing to allow your reporters to blame the victims and report in very biased way on the issues (not even reporting both versions of events or checking with independent eyewitnesses) does not serve your journalistic integrity.
Please check excellent and relevant Op-Ed by President Jimmy Carter published yesterday in the Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56757-2000Nov25.html
Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
Chair, Media Committee, Palestine Right to Return Coalition
(contact info provided)