Disparity in the UC San Diego’s Guardian Reporting
The Guardian more than misses the mark in its Monday May 21st article, “Students Hold Peaceful Protests,” through its disparity in its coverage of the events. Although the article spreads across the front and third pages, the front page was devoted solely to discussing the display of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and only offers casual readers SJP’s perspective without providing context or rebuttal.
The author references the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and SJP as “Pro-Palestine” students. When students in the MSA and SJP are exclusively labeled as Pro-Palestine, this implies all of the other student groups on library walk during week 7, especially Tritons for Israel, are anti-Palestinian. This is inaccurate and obscures reality of the situation.
Yet this article’s shortcomings pale in comparison to the SJP’s wall of lies. Even the symbolism of the wall itself is a lie. Although there is a-mostly fence-barrier in Israel, its purpose is not to separate one “race” from another, as SJP claims by labeling it an “apartheid” wall.
In actuality, the fence protects people living in Israel after a huge wave of terror originating from the West Bank and other disputed territories erupted in the early 2000’s. Since the fence was constructed, the rate of suicide bombings, murders, and other attacks targeting civilians has been significantly reduced. It also helps calm tensions between both sides mutually because this sharp decrease in Israeli (Jewish, Muslim, and Christian) civilian casualties. It may not solve the Israeli-Arab dispute, but the fence saves lives and SJP is wrong to demonize it.
Although there are graphs, statistics and other information on SJP’s wall, just because something is drawn or written in paint on life size panels does not automatically make the information factual. SJP’s wall falsely portrays all of Jerusalem as located in the West Bank, and yet this panel is shown every year. Ironically, there is also a panel encouraging students to educate themselves as a first step of joining the movement.
Fortunately, Tritons for Israel took on the task of creating a display to challenge SJP’s misleading presentation. TFI’s clear and accurate panels respond to the false accusations of apartheid. It also includes an explanation regarding of Jewish refugees from Muslim countries as well as the evolution of the Middle East.
However, the most important panels were the ones that discussed Hamas. Mention of this internationally recognized terrorist organization, does not appear at all on SJP’s wall. This notable exclusion is presumably due to the effort to portray the sorry state of affairs of Gaza as the exclusive fault of Israel.
In the article, Omar Ahmad (a member of SJP) calls the Gaza Strip as “one of the world’s largest open-air prisons.” Yet the real culprit for the situation is Hamas, the elected leadership in Gaza.
SJP’s list of lies continues. These falsehoods are easily rebutted by the facts, although it requires students to educate themselves rather than read biased articles.
Kelsey Doiron is a Fourth Year, Earth Science student in Revelle College. Kelsey is the Layout Editor for The California Review and is a campus fellow for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).