Following CiF Watch post, Guardian amends false Jewish demography claim

corrections to storiesWe posted yesterday about a March 19 Guardian report by Chris McGreal, Obama urged: act tough on Israel or risk collapse of a two-state solution‘, which contained an egregious error regarding the Jewish population in Israel.

In the context of warning about the ‘urgent need’ to quickly create a Palestinian state, McGreal grossly mischaracterized a recent study on Jewish demography.

Here’s the passage:

Others have pointed up a recent Hebrew University demographic study, which showed that Jews are now in a minority in the occupied territories – suggesting that Israel’s democratic and Jewish character are threatened by its reluctance to give up territory to an independent Palestine.

We noted that even causal Israel observers would surely know that Jews are of course a minority in “occupied territories” and have been so since Israel’s founding. Further, in locating the Hebrew University professor who he was citing, we demonstrated that the demographic study in question was in fact only claiming that Jews are a minority (relative to non-Jews) in the historic land of Israel – from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, including Gaza, the West Bank and Israel proper.  (As we noted, the political significance of citing the Jewish population within these territorial parameters, which includes Gaza, is uncertain.)

McGreal either conflated the data, or, at least by inference, was characterizing all of Israel (including the state within pre-67 boundaries) as ‘occupied’ Palestinian territory.

Roughly eight hours after our post, which we Tweeted directly to McGreal, the Guardian revised their erroneous claim (which was also originally included in the caption of the accompanying photo) and noted the error.

Here’s the editor’s note:

correctionWhilst in unclear how an “editing error” could explain the original misleading claim, we’re pleased of course whenever the Guardian is prodded into recognizing a factual error and acts promptly to correct it. 

8 replies »

  1. a. the “editing” was probably done by McGreal himself.
    b. that is not a correction because McGreal and the Guardian believe that Israel, Gaza and the West Bank are all “occupied territories”

    • McGreal and the Guardian believe that Israel, Gaza and the West Bank are all “occupied territories”

      The question as ever is: does this poster actually believe this delusional guff? Or is it just a pathetic attempt to smear the Guardian?

      • Pretzelberg did you ask Seumas Milne about his position? Or the authors of the editorial claiming that Abbas alleged readiness to compromise on the “right of return” is craven opprtunism? I don’t think so you did…
        this poster actually believe this delusional guff
        pot, kettle etc.
        Or is it just a pathetic attempt to smear the Guardian?
        No it is your attempt to smear a poster who knows much better than you.

  2. Dearie, CiF smears itself; this website merely points out the scores X scores ways that they do so. That being said, and as much of a propagandist and hack as McGreal is, I don’t believe he thinks Israel is “occupied territory” as much as he likely thinks it would be nice if there was a single state there run by Hamas and the PLO. Which is an opinion he has the right to hold, just like I have the right to point out he’s a genocidal hypocrite for doing so (as any one-stater ultimately is, whether they want to be/admit to being).

    • To be clear, not only a state run by Hamas and the PLO, but one in which every Jew had been extirpated, and every trace of thousands of years of habitation destroyed in their zeal to wipe all Jews, and all memories of Jews, from the face of the Earth.