Sky News (in Arabic) refers to pre-’67 Israel cities as “settlements”

Sky News Arabia – a joint venture of Comcast (the American owner of UK-based Sky News) and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation – has a long tradition of calling Jewish communities inside Israel’s Green Line “settlements”.  As we’ve previously shown, this word choice, in effect, delegitmises the entire Jewish population of Israel.

Unfortunately, after a considerable period of time where this false phrasing was largely avoided by the outlet, the last round of escalation reintroduced it to Sky News Arabia’s news cycle.

Between May 10th and May 20th, we have counted no less than sixteen incidents where Jewish communities inside Israel’s internationally recognised territory were referred to as “settlements”, and their residents as “settlers”. Other problematic terminology such as “the 1948 Lands” is also common in these reports.

Here are a few examples:

  • May 13th – “An Israeli settler was stabbed in the city of Lod in the 1948 Lands” (the victim was a local Lod resident).
  • May 15th – “Sky News Arabia’s Gaza correspondent has reported that rockets were launched from the Strip towards the city of Beer Sheva in Southern Israel, and the settlement of Kiryat Mal’akhi”
  • May 17th – “Home Front Command has advised that the residents of the settlements near the border with Lebanon seek shelter”
  • May 20th – “Recent days’ rocket and bombshell launches have brought residents of the Gaza envelope settlements to run away by the thousands”

Notably, although other news outlets have also erroneously referred to towns which are actually located inside the Green Line as “settlements” (BBC did so on May 14th, and Reuters on May 17th; both corrected on May 18th. AFP did so on May 14th, then twice on May 19th, and never corrected), no Western-branded, Arabic-speaking outlet has done this so repeatedly and consistently as is the case with Sky News Arabia. This is despite CAMERA Arabic’s repeated communication with the outlet’s reporters and editors on the matter over the past month.

As a part of the Sky network, and being half-owned by Comcast, Sky News Arabia is subject to Sky and Comcast’s Code of Conduct, which states:

“We strive to report accurately, fairly, objectively, and independently, and recognise the importance of working with integrity, honesty, and transparency”.

Given that Sky News Arabia seems to be exempt from this particular guideline, it looks like Comcast  discriminates against its audience based on the language they speak – Arabic.

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