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The Assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh

A photo of slain Al Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, with the al-Aqsa Mosque and all of Jerusalem behind her.
Photo: Al Jazeera/AFP/Getty Images

The United Jewish People’s Order (UJPO) strongly condemns the Israeli assassination of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Known in the region as the voice of Palestine, Abu Akleh was a reporter for Al Jazeera since 1997. She was shot while covering an Israeli army raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. Israeli forces continued shooting Abu Akleh after she collapsed from the first bullet. As a journalist, Abu Akleh was wearing a helmet and a flak jacket clearly marked as “Press.” She is the 55th journalist to be murdered by Israeli forces. In the words of scholar Steven Salaita, “One or two might be an aberration. Fifty is a policy.”

In addition to Israelis attempting to blame Palestinians for the murder of Abu Akleh, they attacked her funeral procession the following day. Israeli soldiers assaulted the pallbearers with batons, causing them to almost drop Abu Akleh’s casket. Abu Akleh’s execution and the targeting of both her family home and funeral procession are outrageous abrogations of the rights of Palestinians as well as the rights of journalists. These incidents must be seen within their broader context: they are part of Israel’s ongoing denial of civil and human rights to Palestinians as well as that state’s attempt to erase Palestinians and Palestine.

As Jewish people, we know all too well the effects of these kinds of actions. Targeting and killing a journalist is a war crime, and we call on the Canadian government and the international community to demand justice. We also call on all people of conscience to act and speak out.

Words never die.

الكلمات لا تموت

alkalimat la tamut

ווערטער שטאַרבן קיינמאָל

verter shtarbn keynmol

United Jewish People’s Order-Canada, May 24, 2022

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