A commentator speaking on the Israeli public broadcaster’s Arabic-language radio station refused to use the term “terrorists” when referring to two Palestinian men who brutally murdered Jewish Israelis with axes, Channel 12 reported.
Makan, the Arabic-language version of Israel’s taxpayer-funded Kan public broadcasting station, was slated to report a story involving As’ad Alrafa’ani and Sabhi Shajir on Tuesday.
Alraf’ani and Shajir attacked Jewish residents of the central Israel city of Elad on Israel’s Independence Day in May 2022, stabbing seven people and striking them with axes.
Three of the men died from their wounds, and four suffered serious injuries. The terrorists escaped, sparking an intense two-day manhunt. The Shin Bet security agency eventually found the perpetrators hiding in a nearby forest.
Despite the fact that the pair attacked unarmed civilians in a public park, a Makan commentator objected to a script for a news report THAT referred to the two men as terrorists.
The journalists who wrote the report turned to the station’s vice president, who sided with the commentator and said that an alternative term should be used.
He added that any report using the word “terrorist” to describe the perpetrator of an attack on Jews must be cleared with him in advance.
According to screenshots from a WhatsApp internal discussion of the station’s staff obtained by Channel 12 News, journalists were told to refer to the murderers as “the perpetrators of the event in Elad.”
Media outlets that are hostile to Israel and hold pro-terror positions often maintain policies that require their journalists to avoid using the term “terrorist” to describe perpetrators of deadly attacks on Jews.
The writer of the report about the Elad terrorists refused to use an alternative term, and the report was not broadcast.
In a statement to Channel 12 about the incident, Makan said that “consultations with editors regarding terminology is acceptable” in the world of journalism.
The station added that its use of terminology is based on “journalistic, professional and matter-of-fact editing standards,” adding that in previous reports, the outlet had referred to Alraf’ani and Shajir as terrorists.