#JusticeForShireen: Condemn the Killing but Hold the Killers Accountable Too
The International Criminal Court must fully investigate Israel's murder of Shireen Abu Akleh and hold those who perpetrated the crime, those who issued the orders, and the entire political leadership of apartheid Israel accountable.
On 11 May 2022, apartheid Israeli forces killed the beloved and highly respected Palestinian journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, in the occupied Palestinian city of Jenin. She was wearing a press flak jacket and helmet. #JusticeForShireen demands ending complicity in maintaining Israel’s apartheid regime and holding those responsible for her murder accountable.
This murder is part of a consistent pattern of Israeli violent attacks against journalists revealing to the world the brutalities of its 74-year-old regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.
It is also an attempt to instill a deep sense of fear and insecurity among all Palestinians struggling for freedom, justice and equality. Yet Shireen’s courage was reflected in the inspiring courage and commitment of the tens of thousands of Palestinians participating in her long funeral procession across the occupied Palestinian territory, especially in Jerusalem, where many Palestinian flags were waved in defiance of apartheid Israel’s violent attempt to prevent them.
Forensic evidence and investigations of the murder by Al-Haq and B’Tselem have all forced apartheid Israel, known for its compulsive lies in attempting to whitewash the murder of its Palestinian victims, to finally admit that the fatal shot that extinguished Shireen’s precious life was indeed fired by one of its snipers. This amounts to willful killing, a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC must fully investigate this murder and hold those who perpetrated the crime, those who issued the orders, and the entire political leadership of apartheid Israel accountable.
Though Israel killed Shireen Abu Akleh, her blood is also on the hands of the enablers, funders and defenders of apartheid, primarily the US, EU, UK, Canada and Australia. We call for public BDS pressure to end the West’s colonial hypocrisy and shameless complicity in Israeli crimes and ongoing Nakba against Indigenous Palestinians.
It’s high time for the UN to investigate Israeli apartheid and to impose proportional, legal and targeted sanctions to dismantle it, as was done against apartheid South Africa.
Many journalist syndicates have condemned the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, including the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and PEN International. Yet mainstream media coverage remains as biased to the colonizers and dehumanizing to the colonized as ever.
In response to Israel’s attempts to silence Palestinian voices like Shireen’s, urge local/national journalist syndicates and federations to take concrete action, including:
- Ending ties with complicit Israeli institutions.
- Pledging to refuse junkets to Israel funded by the Israeli government, complicit Israeli institutions and Israel lobby groups.
- Supporting journalists who refuse to cover assignments in Israel on ethical grounds.
- Supporting the IFJ case before the ICC on Israel’s systematic targeting of Palestinian journalists.
- Pledging to respect the ethical and professional journalistic guidelines developed by the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate and the Palestinian BDS National Committee.
- Pledging to center Palestinian voices and eyewitnesses instead of centering Israeli government spokespersons.
Urge media studies and journalism faculties and departments to:
- Respect the Palestinian BDS call by ending ties with complicit Israeli institutions.
- Refuse to host official representatives of complicit Israeli institutions.
Palestinians do not need charity. We need meaningful solidarity, and we demand accountability.