The lead reporter on Monday's Washington Post story on Palestinian protests is Britain Eakin, whose Twitter bio reads "Graduate Student Extraordinaire in Journalism and Middle East Studies at UA, Tucson."
Eakin is in no way a neutral observer of the Israel-Palestine conflict. As she's reporting "objectively" for the Post, she's tweeting out an editorial she'd written defending the Palestinians against "Israel's disproportionate war on Gaza" for al-Jazeera America:
The credit line lists Eakin as a “research fellow with the Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts (SISMEC) and a dual MA student in Journalism and Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona.”
SISMEC’s Facebook page highlighted Eakin’s Monday Post story with the line “SISMEC Researcher Britain Eakin for The Washington Post”.
As with the WashPost story Eakin authored on Monday, the focus in her al-Jazeera commentary is entirely on Israel's cynical aggression:
The current Israeli assault and the launching of a ground invasion will exacerbate Palestinian suffering immensely. And this is actually the point of Israel’s strategy of disproportionate force — to punish Palestinians in Gaza to such a degree so as to enable Israel to impose a cease-fire on its own terms, which likely includes an attempt to steadily erode the ability of Hamas to govern, if not to outright remove the organization from power.
Eakin doesn't refer to 1,700 rocket attacks on Israeli civilians until the very last paragraph: "If Israel truly wants to put an end to Palestinian rocket fire, it will stop punishing Gaza and start dealing with the underlying causes of violent resistance to its policies: decades of dispossession and military occupation, and the denial of the right of Palestinians to live a dignified life in safety and security, in control of their own destinies."
SISMEC also promoted on its Facebook page a Britain Eakin commentary for the leftist website Counterpunch, where Eakin briefly acknowledge Hamas rocket attacks, but suggested they were justified enough that Israel cannot claim self-defense:
Moreover, it must be kept in mind that Israel is an oppressive and occupying power; it can’t in good faith claim self-defense. The rockets flying from Gaza indicate that something is deeply wrong. And so it’s time to ask: what is wrong? In short, nearly fifty years of Israeli occupation, more than 60 years of dispossession and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the failure of the peace-process to deliver justice.
Furthermore, Eakin criticized American media coverage: “Although there are signs this is changing, U.S. media coverage often fails to address the underlying root causes of the violence and give adequate time to Palestinian narratives and experiences.”
Eakin is certainly working her biases to remedy that opinion. After several hours, Washington Post PR rep Kris Coratti did not respond to an e-mail asking for comment on Eakin's transparent activism while she has a Post byline. We'll update if a statement is sent.
PS: Eakin is also petitioning the president to take sides on her Twitter page: