Australian broadcaster pushes back at criticism over use of 'Palestine' instead of 'Israel' on map

Australian broadcaster ABC has pushed back against charges that it is biased against Israel following its decision to append the label Palestine, rather than Israel, to a map it used in a story broadcast last week.

Several media outlets, including the Daily Mail, picked up on a Facebook post by Melbourne-based Krav Maga instructor Avi Yemini accusing the station of having "wiped Israel off their map.”

"They’re literally doing the Islamists’ dirty work for them. We must DEFUND these traitors immediately,” the Israeli expatriate wrote.

In a statement to Australia’s J-Wire news website, ABC painted a very different picture, however, with an unnamed senior executive countering that the "story was about the repealing of a law in Lebanon that allowed rapists to escape punishment if they married their victims.”

"The map showed other countries where this law had already been repealed (in the blue) and countries where campaigners are actively trying to have it repealed (in the yellow). As this law does not exist in Israel, and never has, it was not shown on the map. In context, I wonder if including Israel in the map might have attracted more warranted criticism ... the story had nothing at all to do with it,” the executive said.

J-Wire reported that it asked why Israel was shown in yellow while Yemini rejected the explanation.

“The ABC is very triggered this morning at my Facebook post from last week. They’ve hit back with an excuse that could almost work. Except for one ‘minor’ detail: PALESTINE IS NOT A COUNTRY,” he wrote in a subsequent post.




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