Guardian corrects suggestion Palestinian was convicted of “insulting a soldier”

In our recent post on a distortion-filled Guardian op-ed by Palestinian writer Raja Shehadeh, we noted this highly misleading claim in the following paragraph:

On 6 January, Issa Amro, a UN-recognised human rights defender, and the founder and coordinator of Youth Against Settlements, a Hebron-based group, was convicted in an Israeli military court near Ramallah on six counts. He was first put on trial in 2016 on 18 charges dating back to 2010, including incitement, insulting a soldier…

As we noted in our complaint to editors, the very source Shehadeh included in that paragraph (a Reuters article) was clear that the six counts he was convicted of did not include “insulting a soldier”.  He was convicted however on the charge of “assaulting” an Israeli settler.

We also noted that Amro, a resident of Hebron, faces additional charges in the Palestinian Authority courts, which includes one count of “insulting” Palestinians authorities in a Facebook post, which shows that the Guardian writer either accidentally or intentionally conflated the charges Amro faces within the two legal systems.

The Guardian upheld our complaint and revised the relevant sentences thusly:

On 6 January, Issa Amro, a UN-recognised human rights defender, and the founder and coordinator of Youth Against Settlements, a Hebron-based group, was convicted in an Israeli military court near Ramallah on six counts, including protesting without a permit, obstructing soldiers’ activities and assault — charges that he denied.

The correction is important because the broader narrative advanced by Shehadeh, that we refuted in our post, was that Amro is a ‘progressive’ and strictly non-violent protester.

The following addendum noting the change appears at the bottom of the article:

  • This article was amended on 3 February 2021 to clarify the charges on which the military court convicted Amro.

(Here’s the Arabic version this post, published by CAMERA Arabic)

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