In what can only be described as a clear, direct, open and unequivocal attempt at state censorship and political bias, Agence France-Presse (AFP), France’s state press agency, came under fire by the country’s senate for its coverage of Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip for not being pro-Israel enough.
The news agency’s CEO Fabrice Fries testified Tuesday in the senate about AFP’s editorial policy that was considered not pro-Israel.
He rejected criticism that AFP is being biased, according to the Le Parisien newspaper.
Fries also backed the agency’s editorial policy to not use “terrorist” as an adjective except in quotes. He noted it was a 20-year-old policy and explained that it applies to “all movements, without exception.”
In a statement published on AFP’s website about an article he wrote on Nov. 12 for Le Monde, Fries lashed out at critics who “push the old idea that AFP actually stands for Agence France-Palestine.”
Right-wing senators and members of parliament have frequently been unhappy with AFP about its coverage since Oct. 7.
Since that date, at least 11,500 Palestinians have been killed by Israel, including more than 7,800 women and children, and over 29,200 others have been injured, according to the latest figures from Palestinian authorities.
Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques and churches, have also been damaged or destroyed in Israel’s relentless air and ground attacks on the besieged enclave.
The Israeli death toll, meanwhile, is around 1,200, according to official figures.