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Thursday, February 05, 2004

HonestReporting achieving some response from Reuters

HonestReporting Communique
5 February 2004
Dear HonestReporting Subscriber,

HonestReporting media activists have scored another important victory for accuracy in Mideast coverage:

A cornerstone of our 2003 Dishonest Reporting 'Award' was Reuters' attempt to legitimize Hamas by falsely describing their goal as the 'pursuit of independence'. For example:
The military wing of the Islamic militant group Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement faxed to Reuters. Hamas has spearheaded a 28-month-old Palestinian militant uprising against Israel for a state in Gaza and the West Bank. (Feb. 15, 2003 - emphasis added)
Hamas makes it perfectly clear in their official charter and at speaking events that their goal is the destruction of the State of Israel - not merely an independent Palestinian state - yet the highly influential Reuters persisted in this charade, regularly casting Hamas as 'freedom fighters'.

We are now pleased to report that the thousands of emails that HonestReporting subscribers directed to Reuters in recent months have paid off - Reuters has fundamentally improved the way they describe Hamas in news reports:

In December, Reuters began indicating that Hamas' idea of 'independence' includes the complete destruction of Israel:
Hamas, sworn to Israel's destruction, has led a suicide bombing campaign during the three-year-old Palestinian uprising for independence. (Dec. 15, "Israel Remands Arab-Canadian in Alleged Bomb Plot")
And by January 26, Reuters was describing Hamas in no uncertain terms - "a faction sworn to destroy Israel," adding:
Hamas has led a suicide bombing campaign that has killed hundreds of Israelis during more than three years of violence. It has rejected peace talks and demanded that a Palestinian state be formed on all the land that was Palestine under the British mandate preceding the creation of Israel more than five decades ago.
Though not yet calling Hamas 'terrorists', Reuters' current, far more accurate descriptions properly frame Hamas' actions as beyond the pale of legitimate political struggle. Reuters' millions of worldwide readers thereby understand the need for Israel's tough stance against Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups.

Congratulations to HonestReporting subscribers for this important accomplishment.
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