Last month, we sent a complaint to editors at The Independent over an op-ed (“Missiles have been launched ‘by both sides’ in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – let’s take a closer look at that”, May 20) by British comedian, columnist and radical-left activist Mark Steel that included the following:
“The Israeli army refers to the deaths of 227 civilians as “unfortunate, unintended civilian casualties”.
However, as we pointed out in our complaint, the claim by Steel – who, in 2014, literally referred to Israelis as “child murderers”- that all of those killed in Gaza were civilians wasn’t even asserted by Hamas, which had, at the time, merely released information on the total number of casualties, without breaking them down by civilians vs combatants.
Though the actual breakdown is of course currently disputed, with Israel claiming that a large majority of those killed were terror operatives, even the United Nations reports that only half of those killed were civilians.
After a series of follow up emails over nearly four weeks, editors finally agreed to amend the article, and revised the sentence thusly:
The Israeli army refers to the deaths of civilians among the 227 dead as “unfortunate, unintended civilian casualties”.
The following addendum now appears at the bottom: