The use of the term “settlements” by Sky News Arabia to refer to Israeli towns may potentially legitimize attacks on civilians and delegitimize the Jewish presence in the region.
Sky News Arabia has been accused of potentially legitimizing attacks on civilians by referring to Israeli towns as “settlements” in its reporting.
In recent months, an investigation has found dozens of instances where Sky News Arabia has used the term “settlements” to describe Israeli towns. This comes after the Hamas massacre on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,400 Israelis. The terrorists, who entered Israel from Gaza, targeted southern kibbutzim, towns, and villages within Israel’s internationally recognized borders.
Media monitors have expressed concerns that by using the term “settlements,” Sky News Arabia risks confusing these Israeli towns with contested Israeli developments in the occupied West Bank. This confusion may delegitimize the Jewish presence in these towns and undermine their rightful place within Israel’s borders.
Sky News Arabia, based in Abu Dhabi, is editorially independent from Sky News UK. However, two executives from the British broadcaster sit on its editorial board. The news service is 50% owned by Comcast, Sky News UK’s parent company, and the other half is owned by the Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation, ultimately controlled by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and the owner of Manchester City Football Club.
One specific example of this usage can be seen in an online article with an accompanying video, where Sky News Arabia described the Israeli army releasing a video claiming to document “the elimination of members of Hamas by the Sheldeg unit in the Be’eri settlement.” The Be’eri kibbutz, located just east of the Gaza perimeter fence, was the site of one of the most brutal Hamas attacks.
By referring to Israeli towns as “settlements,” Sky News Arabia may inadvertently contribute to the delegitimization of these towns and the Jewish presence within them. This language not only risks confusing the situation but also potentially justifies attacks on innocent civilians.
In conclusion, it is essential for media organizations to use accurate and unbiased terminology when reporting on sensitive geopolitical issues. In the case of Sky News Arabia, referring to Israeli towns as “settlements” may have unintended consequences and perpetuate harmful narratives. It is crucial for news outlets to exercise caution and responsibility in their reporting to avoid further polarization and conflict.