CiF Watch reader fact-checks Telegraph claim; achieves positive result

A CiF Watch follower on Facebook named Rafi recently contacted us concerning an article in The Telegraph in late September which included the erroneous claim (in the strap line) that an El-Al flight was delayed “for hours” because of disruptions by Ultra-orthodox Jews”.

How did he determine the error? Well, he did some basic fact-checking by searching for the departure and arrival times on El-Al’s Live Flight Tracker. As it turns out, the flight departed 24 minutes late and arrived 14 minutes late compared to the previous 7 day average.

Here’s the graphic he created to illustrate the error.

telegraph false claim

Rafi pointed out that the story was the most read article on that day and later for the entire week – per the area circled in the graphic.

After multiple attempts by Rafi to get the claim revised, Telegraph editors eventually did change the strap line and removed the erroneous claim.


Rafi added that they never posted a correction or acknowledged the error, but “just edited it on the sly”.

As CiF Watch counts on such vigilance by our many fans in keeping the media honest, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you spot a factual error at the Guardian (or elsewhere in the UK media).

You can email us at, or like our Facebook page and send us a message.

(To those of you in Israel, here’s information on an upcoming CAMERA workshop for activists who want to hone their skills to counter and correct biased media coverage of Israel.)

18 replies »

  1. “Keeping media honest”. An impossible (but obviously worthy) task. All journalists lie or embellish everything all the time. The fact of the matter is that the world on the whole is rather boring and predictable but that doesn’t sell copy.

    • “All journalists lie or embellish everything all the time”
      – in my experience, certainly in areas I happen to know quite a bit about, most journalists are stupid, ignorant and too lazy to do proper research, resulting in horrendous howlers all the time.

      This is different. These are not random errors, as they would be if due to ignorance etc: Jews are demonised almost all the time, not their enemies. Therefore it’s not due to the above factors, but to antisemitism.

  2. Times of Israel seems to agree with the Daily Telegraph.

    I know that your mission is to expose lies in British media but in this case I don’t think you should take at face value the ‘proof’ offered by the vaguely named ‘Rafi’ There is no corroboration between the flight tracker dates and the dates (not mentioned) in either the Telegraph nor the Times of Israel. You should ensure they are referring to the same flight.

    As you keep saying: its important to be accurate.

    • From the TImes of Israel article you linked to:

      “In a statement responding to an inquiry from JTA, El Al made no mention of the Sept. 22 and Sept. 23 incidents, but said that the airline’s staffers “are trying their best to respond to every request of any of the passengers.”

      Comment from arm chair quarterback, vaguely named ‘Dinkle’:

      “There is no corroboration between the flight tracker dates and the dates (not mentioned) in either the Telegraph nor the Times of Israel.”

      It’s import an to be accurate (including the use of apostrophes).

    • Care to explain what is the point in your view?
      Perhaps care to mention another 30 minutes delay that was so important it made it to the national news?

      I tell you something that should have but didn’t.
      The Jordanian parliament (yes, that’s an ally of the West and a country Israel has a peace agreement with) decided to recite two verses from the Koran and say a prayer about the two brave “Martyrs” who murdered five Israelis, four of them civilians who had nothing to do with anything relating to the current troubles.

      Do you support such a vile provocative act?

      • Also notice, Itisk, that this obscene act by the Jordanian Parliament went strangely unreported by the Guardian. The same Guardian who seem to be utterly fascinated with reporting and warning about every minutia of Parliamentary and government proceedings in Israel.