CNN: Istanbul Terror Victim “Palestinian Citizen of Israel”


HRsuccessThanks to our many readers who took action and complained to CNN, the story has been updated. Leanne Nasser is now accurately and appropriately described as a “citizen of Israel” in the sub-header and photo caption.




The story text, however, still refers to Nasser as a “Palestinian from the town of Tira.” We will continue to request that CNN also changes this.

Please continue to send your comments to CNN and demand that the article is corrected in its entirety.


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The appalling New Year terror attack at an Istanbul nightclub claimed at least 39 lives and left scores of injured. Among the dead is 19 year old Israeli, Leanne Nasser.

Her death is a national tragedy and Israel’s Foreign Ministry has done its utmost to support its citizens who have been caught up in this horrible terrorist attack, including some of Leanne Nasser’s friends.

While Israel treats its citizens equally, this evidently doesn’t fit CNN‘s framing of the country judging by its report on Leanne’s murder.




Leanne Nasser was a citizen of Israel. Period.

While many Arab citizens of Israel self-define in a variety of ways depending on how they view their multiple identities, it is not for CNN to define Nasser or any other Arab-Israelis / Israeli Arabs as a “Palestinian citizen of Israel.”

Neither we nor CNN know how Leanne Nasser defined herself.

This terminology is employed by anti-Israel activists and Palestinian extremists as a way of deliberately driving a wedge between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel. Given that Israeli authorities have not made any issue of Leanne Nasser’s ethnicity, it is implausible that any Foreign Ministry officials would have described her as a “Palestinian citizen of Israel.” We confirmed with MFA spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon that this was not the language used by the MFA.

And what’s more, CNN has listed 13 other countries whose nationals were murdered in the terror attack. Yet only one state is the ethnic identity of its citizen focused on.




Israel is not discriminating based on Leanne Nasser’s religious or ethnic background. This is CNN’s description and it is unacceptable.

HR CEO Joe Hyams adds:

It is appalling that CNN has deliberately injected its own politics into what is a tragic event as well as falsely attributing words to Israel’s Foreign Ministry and its spokespeople to fit its own prejudices.


Leanne Nasser was not a “Palestinian citizen.” Leanne Nasser was an Israeli. Period. And Israel mourns her loss.


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