There are now two Guardian obituaries of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir online. The latest one is by Lawrence Yoffe and was published on July 1st at 17:43. The first to appear was written by Cass Jones and was published on June 30th at 21:00. Jones’s article was, however, changed some 21 hours later and the updated version carries the following note:
“This article was amended on Sunday 1 July. The original version suggested Shamir moved to Palestine after the Holocaust. This has been corrected.”
In fact, the original version of the article included the following sentence:
“Born in Poland in 1915, Shamir moved to Palestine in 1935 after his mother and sisters were killed in the Holocaust.”
In other words, neither the author of the article nor the editor who reviewed it before publication noticed that Jones had essentially either put the end of the Second World War ten years prior to its actual date, or alternatively – depending upon one’s understanding – suggested that the Holocaust took place before the war. Contrary to the statement in the footnote, it did not suggest that Shamir had left Europe after the Holocaust because the year of emigration was correct.
However, the Guardian is not alone. Interestingly, the Daily Telegraph – in an obituary published just over an hour before the original Guardian one – made exactly the same mistake:
“Born in Poland on October 15, 1915, Shamir emigrated to British-ruled Palestine in 1935 after his family perished in the Nazi Holocaust”.
Interpret as you will…