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Demonizing the 'other' in Gaza conflict [Letter]

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.Palestinian National AuthorityPalestine

The article that appeared on the front page of Monday's Baltimore Sun with the headline "Sharp rise in Gaza deaths" had the sub-header "13 Israeli soldiers, 70 others killed." Who are these "others" the editors are talking about? The article makes it clear that they are Palestinians and residents of Gaza and that many of them are civilians. Your editors however decided to completely dehumanize the Gazan casualties by referring to them literally as "others." This is completely unacceptable by any standard of journalism.

Setting aside that the article is entirely sourced with Israeli Defense Forces spokesmen with a one-word scare quote from Palestinian Authority President Mahmound Abbas ("massacre"), by labeling the Palestinian casualties as "other," you are furthering a mindset in the American public that blames the Palestinians for their suffering. At least have the decency to refer to the deceased by their nationality/ethnicity.

If you had read even a single Wikipedia article on this subject you couldn't be more wrong in describing the conflict as between Israelis and others.

Here's some research to start with.

I am ashamed to say that this occurred on the front page of The Baltimore Sun and you should be as well.

Eric Van de Castle

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To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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