HRC Campus Media Fellow Published In Times Of Israel: Dee Family: Reporting Honestly To Achieve Peace

On May 25, 2023, one of our Campus Media Fellows, Goldie Benarroch, was published in The Times Of Israel and poses the question of when are news outlets going to portray the reality and gravity of the situation in the Middle East as it is and stop accusing Israel of killing terrorists to prevent more attacks on innocent civilians?


Dee Family: Reporting Honestly To Achieve Peace

By: Goldie Benarroch

Imagine peacefully driving to Tiberias for a holiday with your family when suddenly your car is driven off the road as gunmen shoot at you and your family, killing your mom and two sisters. This happened to the Dee family, a British-Israeli family who immigrated to the Israeli town of Efrat from the United Kingdom nine years ago.

Following the murders of Lucy, Maia, and Rena, in a terror attack in the Jordan Valley, a family of seven became a family of four in a matter of days, raising the Israeli death toll from Palestinian terrorism to 17 in 2023 alone. Make no mistake, members of the Dee family were not murdered in a shootout or accident; this what a deliberate act of terrorism on an innocent family looking to go on a family trip.

The family’s decision to move to Israel should not be called into question, nor should their city be referred to as an “illegal colonial settlement,” indirectly blaming them for the murder of their family members simply because they decided to live where they thought best for their family.

Nor are the Palestinians who were killed by the Israeli army during an overnight raid ‘suspects’ implying doubt of genuineness or truth, but they are terrorists who committed an atrocious malicious tragedy against civilians.

Two of the three Palestinian terrorists were identified as Hamas members, a terrorist organization that has orchestrated countless suicide bombings, launched thousands of rockets at civilians, inspired many lone-wolf attacks, and now carried out the terror attack on three members of an innocent family.

When are news outlets going to portray the reality and gravity of the situation as it is and stop accusing Israel of killing terrorists to prevent more attacks on innocent civilians?

Said Arikat, Washington’s Bureau Chief at Al Quds news agency, accused Israel of killing the Dee’s family terrorist. According to Arikat, should Israel just allow the terrorists to run wild? To have the ability to live in safety, Israel must defend itself and prevent further crime. That is what any nation or country would do to protect its citizens, so why is Israel condemned for its actions by outside parties?

The Foreign Ministry of Israel worked on a complaint letter to CNN after a host reported that the Dee family members were “killed in a shootout.” A shootout implies that the innocent civilians were not so innocent after all because they had a hand in the shooting. Even though the CNN anchor, Christiane Amanpour, may not have meant to make such an implication, it is a grave wording mistake that should be corrected and apologized for. After a week of Rabbi Leo Dee, the father and husband of the victims, and several news outlets asking Ms. Amanpour to apologize, she did, but an apology is not a preventive measure but a causative reaction to mistakes. CNN needs to ensure that they have measures in place to prevent such a mistake from happening again.

Christiane Amanpour, the host of CNN International since 2012, who has worked for news outlets since 1983, has no excuses for using wrongful dictation because, as an experienced professional in reporting, she understands the importance and responsibility of providing accurate information to the public to avoid misinterpretation or distortion of the facts to maintain credibility and integrity of the news outlet. These subtle but not-so-little inaccuracies keep adding fuel to the fire that blindly strengthens terrorism and hatred.

Let’s get the facts straight: A mother and two daughters murdered simply because they were Jewish, not based on an attack that happened in the so-called occupied West Bank, but by a terrorist.

The land of Israel is closely linked to the Jewish people and that has been proven and traced back for thousands of years. How can the murder of innocent civilians be called resistance? How can a terrorist who opened fire at innocent civilians shot over twenty times be given justifications for their actions because they are suffering? No matter how grave the suffering, people who ‘suffer’ do not have excuses to murder members of an innocent family.

I call on those who are unsure of the reality on the ground, who are ignorantly distorting the facts, who are seeking more answers, to conduct their own research, look at multiple news outlets, be skeptical in their search for the truth and be open-minded to the possibility of something different that your own opinion.

Goldie Benarroch is a Business Management and Organizational studies student at the University of Western Ontario and a HonestReporting Canada campus media fellow.

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