Corrections

CiF Watch prompts Guardian correction. Robert Serry DID attend Easter ceremony in Jerusalem


Last week we posted about an extraordinarily dishonest article in the Observer (sister publication of the Guardian) by Peter Beaumont, the paper’s new Jerusalem correspondent.  Beaumont pulled off quite a feat. He managed to turn a few security delays which occurred in the midst of thousands of Christian pilgrims freely attending Easter celebrations in Jerusalem last weekend into a story suggesting that Israel was abrogating the rights of Christians to freely worship.

The brief delays were caused by security and crowd control measures designed by Israeli security personnel to keep masses of worshipers from surging into the church.  Indeed, such measures are likely the main reason why there were no reports of violence despite the incredibly large number of visitors, and why Christian officials reportedly thanked Israeli police for their professional handling of the event.

Undaunted by the broader fact that Israel remains the only country in the Middle East where Christian aren’t being persecuted for their beliefs, Beaumont had a tale of Israeli oppression to tell, and was no doubt heartened when he ‘learned’ of reports that the UN’s peace envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry (and his delegation), were ‘denied’ entry to one of the Easter-related ceremonies at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Beaumont made the following claim which, in fairness, was evidently based on reports originally published by Reuters:

On Sunday morning it emerged that Israeli police had prevented the UN’s peace envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry, other diplomats and a crowd of Palestinians from attending the Holy Fire ceremony on Saturday.

Beaumont then quoted Serry’s complaint that Israeli authorities engaged in “unacceptable behavior” and noted his demand that all parties “respect the right of religious freedom”.

However, there was one big problem.  As we reported in our initial post on Beaumont’s article, Serry and his party, after a 30 minute delay, were indeed permitted to pass, and in fact attended the Holy Fire ceremony.

We based our conclusion on reports in the Washington Post which we later confirmed with Israeli Police Spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld.

After contacting editors at the Observer, the paper acknowledged that Serry did attend the ceremony, and revised the passage accordingly.

It now reads:

On Sunday morning it emerged that for 30 minutes Israeli police had prevented the UN’s peace envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry, other diplomats and a crowd of Palestinians from attending the Holy Fire ceremony on Saturday.

Additionally, there is this addendum:

update

So, one of the main ‘incidents’ used by Beaumont to suggest that Israel was oppressing Christians on Easter never actually occurred.

Though we commend Observer editors for revising the passage in question, the broader narrative of the day’s events in Jerusalem advanced by Beaumont again demonstrates the Guardian’s capacity to frame almost any event in the Jewish state in a manner consistent with their rigid anti-Zionist ideology. 

 

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12 replies »

  1. It would be interesting to know how long the delays, caused by crowd control and security measures, are at other religious sites around the world.
    From personal experience at the Vatican even after pre-booking on a normal day, not including festivals or special days, 30 minutes would be an improvement.

    Obviously Beaumont and co. were just looking for a stick to beat Israel with.

    • The Vatican has not been occupying the territory if its neighbour state since 1967.

      • Are you a liar or an idiot?

        You must be one. Are you genuinely unaware of for how many centuries the Papacy claimed sovereignty over not only all of Rome but a large part of what is now known as Italy.

  2. Given the problem of suicide bombers, these evens are a security nightmare. It is a wonder they are possible at all.

    Just how bad things are at The Guardian can be seen from this report of them falling for an April Fool. They just don’t get it.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/27/verifying-pieces-age-so-much-information

    In this case the paper fell for a delightfully executed spoof about the Vatican. But what strikes me is that if a report fits their prejudices, or can be twisted to fit their prejudices, then never mind checking the facts, go for it. Now while it is nowhere near as bad as the anti-semitism the Guardian has an anti-catholic touch, at times so heavy that even non-Catholics feel embarrassed by it. In this case, the April Fool was a story about the Vatican supposedly engaging a hawk to protect doves. Ah perfect. A loopy story about those clowns at the Vatican.

    For the ordinary reader, it is very difficult to keep up with these blunders. So we can be sure that, just as I believed a front page report for over a year that Didier Drogba had signed a BDS style petition against Israel (he didn’t), there will be readers believing that the Vatican has hawks protecting doves in St Peter’s square.

    I have been reading the Guardian for 55 years now and feel the current editor is a disgrace, who should resign. The only way to be sure about stories about Israel is to follow CIFWatch. For the rest of the content, you may need to do 15-20 minutes checking with other sources to be sure. In some cases, you will discover within five minutes that you have been reading a porkie.

    Pulitzer Prize my elbow.

    • Kevin, in case you had noticed, CIF watch does not show you the facts, only the views of those among rightists who support the illegal settlements and the occupation of the Palestinian territory since 1967.

  3. Though we commend Observer editors for revising the passage in question, the broader narrative of the day’s events in Jerusalem advanced by Beaumont again demonstrates the Guardian’s capacity to frame almost any event in the Jewish state in a manner consistent with their rigid anti-Zionist ideology.
    My recommendation for Beaumont is to sign up at this perverse site, http://www.shoah.org.uk/
    It fits him.

    • 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homeland when the State of Israel was created in 1948. This is reality.

      • ‘Wunderbabar’ as you clearly are not the sharpest tool in the toolbox I’ll repeat my question to you above, it is “Are you a liar or an idiot?”

        And the answer to my question is?