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New York Times Restricts Use Of Word 'Genocide' In Stories On Israel-Palestine Conflict: Report

17.04.2024 17:42

American news outlet The Intercept says a New York Times memo 'contains blunt instructions' about how to write a news piece on Gaza crisis.

The New York Times instructed its employees to avoid expressions such as "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" in stories about Israel's attacks in Gaza, according to the American news outlet The Intercept.

In a guideline prepared for its employees, The New York Times asked to avoid using some words in stories about Israel's attacks on Palestine and Gaza, The Intercept said in a report on Monday.

The news outlet also said the New York Times memo "contains blunt instructions."

About the word "Palestine," the memo was "ed as saying: "Do not use in datelines, routine text or headlines, except in very rare cases such as when the United Nations General Assembly elevated Palestine to a nonmember observer state, or references to historic Palestine."

The guide also said the expression "refugee camps," which has been used by the UN since 1948, should not appear in the stories.

In a statement to The Intercept, some employees stressed that some of the contents of the guide "show evidence of the paper's deference to Israeli narratives."

"I think it's the kind of thing that looks professional and logical if you have no knowledge of the historical context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," the Intercept "ed a New York Times journalist as saying, who later added: "But if you do know, it will be clear how apologetic it is to Israel."

The guide, which was first written in November, is constantly updated, some employees said, noting that such "guidance" is a standard practice.

While The New York Times claimed that there were discussions about the "language used" for Israel's attacks on Palestine, the guide suggested that the words like "massacre" represented emotions rather than information.

Word 'massacre' used 53 times for Israeli civilians, only once for Palestinian civilians

A previous report by The Intercept said that not only The New York Times, but also other well-known US newspapers, such as The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, avoided the words "massacre" and "horrible" for the killed Palestinian civilians.

In the report in question, it was stated that in a Nov. 24 story by The New York Times, the word "massacre" was used 53 times for Israeli civilians and only once for thousands of Palestinian civilians that were killed.

The report noted that The New York Times, in its stories immediately after Oct. 7, described the Palestinian attack on Israel as a "terrorist act," but did not use the word "terror" for Israel's attacks that resulted in the death of thousands of civilians, including children and women.

Since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Hamas which killed some 1,200 people, Israel has waged a relentless offensive on Gaza, taking the lives of nearly 34,000 people, most of them women and children, and injuring almost 77,000 others.

Israel's war on Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while over 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.​​​​​​​

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza. -

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