Sunday Times omits the extremism of its ‘academic’ source on Israel

The Sunday Times published an article on pressure allegedly being placed on Ireland’s tanáiste (deputy prime minister), Micheál Martin, to take action against Jerusalem’s “de facto annexation” of “Palestinian lands” during his visit to Israel, Jordan and the West Bank later this week.

The article, (“Micheál Martin urged to speak out against Israel during visit”, Sept. 3), written by Claire Scott, a political correspondent for the Irish edition of The Sunday Times, is problematic for two reasons: First, it fails to explain which individuals or groups are pressuring Martin to take action against Israel. Second, it quotes only one source in the article, an academic named Brendan Ciarán Browne whose extremist political orientation is omitted.

Here are the last two paragraphs of the article:

Brendan Ciarán Browne, assistant professor in conflict resolution and reconciliation at Trinity College Dublin, said that while Ireland might seem like a vocal supporter of Palestine, it continued to seek the benefits of trade agreements with Israel.

“Irish representatives will push for the two-state solution, which was never a real solution. It was a ploy to get the Palestinian side to acquiesce to some kind of stalling of the process so that Israel could complete its annexation of Palestinian land. The strongest message the tanaiste could send is by meeting with the Palestinian side and not with the Israeli side. Of course, he won’t do that but that would send a strong message.”

First, Browne’s conspiracy theory the two-state ‘ruse’ isn’t challenged by the Times reporter, who could have noted that the Palestinian leadership turned down multiple Israeli offers that would have created two-states. But, by far the most egregious problem with the piece is Scott’s failure to disclose that, far from being a mere academic, Browne is an extreme anti-Israel activist who supports BDS, opposes “normalisation“, has accused the state of “genocide” and justified Palestinian terrorism.

In this tweet, he accuses Israel of genocide.

Here, Browne praises Palestinian “martyrs” and the “resistance”.

In that vein, in a 2021 op-ed he co-authored for the Irish Times, Browne – the professor in “conflict resolution and resolution”! – opposed “peace building” efforts between Israelis and Palestinians, disagreed with the ‘claim’ that Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas, and opined that Palestinian terrorists enjoy the “right of resistance”.

We consider Scott’s omission of Browne’s clear extremism on the Israel-Palestinian conflict to be so misleading to readers that it arguably constitutes a violation of the accuracy clause of the Editors’ Code, and we’ll be contacting the outlet asking that the article be amended to add that vital context.

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