The union of Portuguese journalists has rejected a complaint by the Palestinian Authority about a reporter’s use of the word “murder” to describe only victims of terrorist attacks and not their perpetrators.
Portugal’s Syndicate of Journalists published its decision last week on a complaint that Hikmat Ajjuri, the Palestinian Authority’s envoy to Portugal, filed in December against Henrique Cymerman, the Israel reporter for Portugal’s Independent Communication Company, or SIC.
The December 13 report by Cymerman focused on incitement in the Palestinian Authority “to kill Jews,” as Cymerman, who is Jewish, described it. In the report, Cymerman said that many of the perpetrators of attacks against Israelis regard their actions as part of a holy war. He also interviewed people who said it was in reaction to the Israeli occupation.
The item had an on-screen caption that read “22 Israelis were murdered and roughly 100 Palestinian assailants were killed.”
Ajjuri complained the article was biased because it “equates the occupier and the occupied and goes further to justify the cold-blooded murder by the Israeli occupation forces of Palestinian youths and children.”
The syndicate found that Cymerman used terminology “that can be neither condemned nor deemed inappropriate,” wrote Sao Jose Almeida, the organization’s president.
In defending against the allegation, Cymerman cited his close contact with the Vatican and Pope Francis for the promotion of peace. But Almeida said this was irrelevant to complaints against his journalistic integrity.
Twenty-eight Israelis and three foreign nationals have been killed in a wave of Palestinian terrorism and violence since October. Nearly 170 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.