The New Zealand Jewish Press (NZJP) has been an active voice in the Israeli-Palestine debate, particularly on the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.
Since the US announced it would end its longstanding policy of recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in June 2020, NZJP has been a regular source of commentary and analysis, as well as providing commentary on the issues of the day.
But its coverage of Israel’s military offensive against Gaza has been under fire, with some critics accusing the organisation of bias against Israel.
The New Yorker published an article in May 2018 titled “New Yorker’s David Remnick’s New York Observer: Why I don’t believe Israeli attacks on Gaza are war crimes”, in which Remnick argued that it was wrong to equate Israeli military action with war crimes, and that the New Yorker had done so “without any regard to what happened in Gaza”.
While Remnick did not address the issue directly in his article, the article garnered widespread criticism, and many commentators questioned the editorial standards at the New York-based newspaper.
“The New Yorker’s editorial policy has been clear that we will not use Israel as a platform to advocate for the Palestinians, and will not allow it to be used to promote Israeli interests,” the organisation wrote in a statement to Al Jazeera.
“It is clear that there are important and pressing issues at stake in Gaza, and we are going to stand with our colleagues, the people of Gaza, in the fight against these wars and the atrocities that they cause.”
The New England Journal of Medicine published a similar editorial on July 12, 2018, in which the journal’s editorial board wrote that it “would like to express our deepest regret and our solidarity with the people and the state of Israel in the ongoing conflict with Hamas and their allies in Gaza and across the region.”
The journal’s policy also stated that the newspaper would not “make a judgment on the merits of the claims made by Israel or its supporters”.
“We believe that there is a difference between Israel and Hamas,” the editorial board said.
“In the context of this conflict, the distinction between the two is a false one.
Israel is not an occupier of Gaza.
The Palestinian people are its rightful inhabitants.
In the context where we have a situation where Israel is being blamed for the atrocities committed against the Palestinian people, we think that the best way to resolve the conflict is through peaceful negotiation.”
On December 1, 2018 the journal published a follow-up editorial on the conflict in Gaza.
“Israel’s military aggression against Gaza was a clear violation of international humanitarian law,” the article said.
In an article published on February 27, 2019, The Guardian called for the establishment of a UN commission to investigate allegations that Israel had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip.
“This is a critical moment in the conflict, but the Israeli government must be held accountable,” the author, Ben Norton, wrote.
“If the Israeli authorities do not stop their aggression, and if their actions do not end in an end to the blockade and other forms of persecution of the Palestinian population, the international community will continue to look to the International Criminal Court to hold Israel accountable.”
A spokesperson for The Guardian said in a letter to Al-Jazeera that the paper would not comment on “internal matters”.
“It was not possible to respond to all of the issues raised by the article,” the spokesperson said.