Home Daily Brief Globe's Mackinnon Downplays Terrorist's Violence

Globe's Mackinnon Downplays Terrorist's Violence

by Mike Fegelman

Barghouti1_3622910_1 In 2004, an Israeli court convicted Marwan Barghouti, a former Palestinian Fatah-Tanzim militia commander, of murder for his involvement in three terrorist attacks that left five dead. These included a June 2001 attack in which a Greek monk was murdered, and a March 2002 attack at a seafood restaurant that left three dead. An Israeli court sentenced Barghouti to five consecutive life terms plus 40 years. Barghouti is suspected of involvement in other killings as well.

Reporting from Jerusalem, the Globe and Mail’s Middle East Bureau Chief, Mark Mackinnon, described Barghouti as "a Fatah leader with wide popularity jailed by Israel for his involvement in intifada violence."Mackinnon3_1

Mackinnon’s description of why Israel jailed Barghouti was woefully inadequate. "Involvement in intifada violence" could be interpreted as simply throwing stones. One might similarly refer to Paul Bernardo as having been "jailed by Canada for making violent home movies."

If Mackinnon’s goal was to achieve accuracy while constrained by brevity, he could have more accurately described the reasons for Barghouti’s imprisonment with an equal or lesser number of words.  For example, Mackinnon’s version:

"A Fatah leader with wide popularity jailed by Israel for his involvement in intifada violence"

could be more accurately written as:

"A Fatah leader with wide popularity jailed by Israel for his involvement in intifada killings"

or:

"A Fatah leader with wide popularity jailed by Israel for multiple murders."

This wasn’t the first time Canadian reporters downplayed Barghouti’s terrorism. See how the Toronto Star‘s Mitch Potter described Barghouti’s actions here.

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