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Same story, two countries

Posted by Richard on July 10, 2011

While researching the current state of the Gaza flotilla for my previous post, I found the same July 7 Reuters story in two places. But there are some not-so-subtle differences (emphasis added throughout). On the Reuters UK website, the second paragraph states:

Greece, just over a year after nine people were killed when Israeli marines stormed a pro-Palestinian flotilla, imposed a ban on all Gaza-bound ships saying it feared for the safety of the activists who are now trying to find a way to set sail. 

I wouldn't call descending onto the deck by ropes from a helicopter "storming," but I won't quibble about that. But that sentence makes it sound like the whole flotilla was the scene of violence and leaves the impression that the Israelis were responsible for it. All the vessels were boarded peacefully except one, the Turkish ship Mavi Marmora. And there's ample video evidence proving that the Israelis were brutally attacked on the Mavi Marmora by "peace activists" who were members of a Turkish Islamist group allied with Hamas.

So the version from the Jerusalem Post (still under the Reuters byline) is somewhat more accurate: 

Greece imposed a ban on all Gaza-bound ships saying it feared for the safety of the activists who are now trying to find a way to set sail. A year ago, nine people were killed when IDF commandos stormed a Turkish flotilla ship and were met with violence.

Toward the end of the story, an even bigger difference jumped out at me. The Reuters UK version states: 

Israel says its blockade of Gaza is aimed at stopping weapons from reaching the enclave's rulers, Hamas — an Islamist group that is branded a terrorist group by some Western nations.

 

That smarmy bit of equivocation is corrected in the JPost version: 

Jerusalem says the blockade on Gaza is aimed at stopping weapons from reaching the Strip's rulers, Hamas — an Islamist terrorist group.

I wonder if a JPost editor made those changes or if Reuters routinely matches its "narrative" to the local audience in this way. 

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