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Monday, January 12, 2004

THE WAR OF WORDS


Palestinian Authority: Slain Arabs are "martyrs"
JPost: The Palestinian Authority is demanding that all journalists who work for Arab satellite TV stations refer to a Palestinian who is killed by the IDF as a 'shaheed' (martyr) and refrain from voicing any criticism of the PA in their reporting.

Yussef al-Qazzaz, a senior official with the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, lashed out at Palestinian journalists for not placing the interests of their people above everything else, and dubbed some of them "primitive." Qazzaz's attack was directed mostly at Palestinian correspondents who work for the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya 24-hour news channel, who have been using the term "dead" instead of "martyred" when referring to Palestinians killed in the ongoing violence.

PA officials have accused the journalists of displaying "insensitivity" by not referring to the victims as martyrs. A spate of suicide bombings in Riyadh and other parts of Saudi Arabia has prompted Al-Arabiya to start referring to these attacks as terrorist actions . . .

Qazzaz said he cannot understand how some Palestinian journalists make harmful remarks to their people at a time when even foreign journalists are careful not to alienate the PA.