Times of London

Times of London claims (as fact) Israeli bill will ‘make Arabs 2nd-class citizens’

In early August, amidst the fighting in Gaza, we demonstrated that a headline used by Times of London editors in an article by Gregg Carlstrom included a charge – that Israel “admitted” to violating a truce with Hamas – which wasn’t accurate, and (just as importantly) wasn’t even minimally supported by the subsequent text.  

Following our communication with newspaper editors, they eventually revised the headline accordingly.

Today, editors again chose a headline for an article by Carlstrom which leveled a charge not supported by the text, and which mischaracterizes a proposed bill designed to enshrine Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people”.


In fact, the article actually notes that – under the version of a bill Binyamin Netanyahu’s cabinet voted to approve on Sunday – “equal individual rights for every citizen” will reportedly continue to be protected, and that the law is specifically designed to establish “national rights” for the Jewish people, such as the right of every Jew to immigrate to Israel. 

In fairness, it was reported on other new sites that a few opposition voices in Israel’s Knesset claimed the bill would have the effect of turning Arab Israelis into “second class citizens”, and the term was used in the article by Carlstrom in the sentence in bold below:

Mr Lapid, who heads the centrist Yesh Atid party, called it “a bad law, which is badly worded”. After voting against the bill, his faction held an emergency meeting to discuss further steps.Mr Lapid said that the bill would alienate Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up about 20 per cent of the population. They enjoy equal rights under the law, but in practice have long been subject to discrimination.Last week the mayor of Ashkelon tried to ban Palestinian construction workers from schools, a move met with derision. “This morning I spoke with the family of Zidan Saif,” Mr Lapid said, referring to a police officer from the Druze sect who was killed in a shootout with the synagogue attackers. “What can we say to this family? That he is a second-class citizen?”

However, if the sub editor responsible for the headline extracted the “second class citizen” charge from the comment by Lapid, it’s highly misleading to readers.  An accurate headline can not pass off as fact – without quotes or some other qualifier – an accusation which is only claimed by some. (Note that the Accuracy clause of the UK Editor’s Code demands that the Press “must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact”.)

We have contacted Times of London editors to request a revision of the headline, and will update you when we receive a reply.

53 replies »

  1. There are MANY countries in the world, including enlightened European countries, where the the law or the constitution defines certain Nationalities or ethnicity. The minorities in this country are not second-class citizens and it doesn’t have any effect on their lives or their legal status.
    But do not hold your breath about a correction.

    • No distinction, you sure?

      “The joint document The Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel, asserts: “Defining the Israeli State as a Jewish State and exploiting democracy in the service of its Jewishness excludes us, and creates tension between us and the nature and essence of the State.” The document explains that by definition the “Jewish State” concept is based on ethnically preferential treatment towards Jews enshrined in immigration (the Law of Return) and land policy (the Jewish National Fund), and calls for the establishment of minority rights protections enforced by an independent anti-discrimination commission

      • You are citing a document written by Arab Israelis… Not exactly an objective side on the matter. You wouldn’t cite the prosecutor to determine the trial, would you?

        • You only care WHO posts / quotes something as you Hasbara training teaches you to attack the ‘messenger’ and not the ‘message’.

          Do you have enough critical faculties to engage with the content of the quote? Can you disprove it? (Site your sources!)

          I thought not.

          2nd class, all the way, and you know it.

          • Tamara,
            I think everyone here gave you enough chances to defend yourself and provide sources to support your allegations.
            Sadly you failed time and time again.
            Epic Flop.

          • Hmmm… I don’t remember ever having any HASBARA TRAINING, you troll.

            “Can you disprove it”

            Disprove WHAT? How can one disprove an opinion?! Do YOU have any “critical faculties”?

            “preferential treatment towards Jews enshrined in immigration ”

            MOST countries have such rules. If you want a Romanian passport you need to prove you speak Romanian. However there are people in Romania who only speak Hungarian. Why not make an article on that? This law is symbolic and will have NO effect to any citizen of Israel.

            The idea is to make Arab accept Israel and Jews living in it as a fact. So far they have not.

            • No, the idea is not ‘to make Jews living in it a fact’ , you idiot – have you been underground for the last 70 years?

              The idea is to make ‘Israel the Jewish-only homeland’, which is arrogant as not all Jews even want it to be so and above all ethnocentric, as democracies respect EQUALLY all those that live within them.

              So what are you – Democratic, or an Ethnocentric Apartheid state?

              Which one?

              • “No, the idea is not ‘to make Jews living in it a fact’ , you idiot – have you been underground for the last 70 years?”
                Tamara, have you been around for the past 70 years?

                “The idea is to make ‘Israel the Jewish-only homeland’”

                Absolutely wild.
                Here’s some news: Tamara hates Jews.

              • You can`t explain an idiot like TamaraKelvin Holocaustdenier that he is one, self evidently.

              • If you don’t understand the motive for making a statement about Israel as the homeland for the Jewish people then you really have no clue about the Israel-Arab conflict.
                You can retire now.

      • Dub as bread TamaraKelvin Holocaustdenier firstly diffames Israel as apartheid state, but now claims that only this bill will make them second class.
        It is a complete idiot, besides being a despicable antisemite.

  2. Good work, Adam. It’s cheap, lazy and biased journalism – and above all risk-free – to hit on Israel all the time. Many journalists these days have lost all credibility but at least the Internet allows the public to get to the truth. Just because Haaretz keeps accusing Israel of being less than perfect doesn’t mean it’s right.

    Fact: Arabs/Muslims are de facto second-class citizens in all European countries, not least Great Britain.

    • “Fact: Arabs/Muslims are de facto second-class citizens in all European countries, not least Great Britain.”

      Care to support that notion?

    • Well, give us some facts about towns and education if you bring up this topic. Strangely you maintain that they are second class citizens whereas you formerly said it is an apartheid system So what, idiot?

    • external, corruption in Arab towns and villages is higher than in the Jewish counterparts.

      That said, specific communities may have grievences against the budget system, police abbuse, lack of opportunities in every single country in the world.
      Saying that this is institutionalised in Israel is not accurate.

      If it was you wouldn’t have so many minorities filling up high ranking positions in Israel.

      I suggest you climb down from your high horse and show me a perfect country.

      A true fact is that in comparison to its neighbours Israel treats its minorities in a far better way.

      It’s fashionable to pick on it these days, isn’t it?

    • @external: watch how the cowards avoif this post like the plague! They’ve noting to say – are the really going to attack the credentials of Mr ‘Nazi Olmert?!!?

      Good work, they’re on the ropes and all lubed up!

      “Discrimination against Arabs deliberate: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says longtime discrimination against Israeli Arabs seeking public service posts deliberate; PM says that complete absence of Arab employees at Bank of Israel ‘terrible.

      So, straight from the horses mouth eh?

      • So make up your mind- Is there already discrimination or will the law create discrimination? Which one is it?

        P.S. “Mr ‘Nazi Olmert”?…. I don’t like the guy too, but… Jeez.

      • PM Olmert… Next you’d be quoting PM Eden complaining about Sexism in Britain…

        Stick to the time.

        Out of curiousity, if the then Israeli PM voiced his opinion about items that need work in order to better society would you say it’s a sign of weakness?

        Remind me the last time any Muslim PM, royal or President elect or otherwise voiced such a frank debate about the dreadful state of affair in the Muslim Middle East countries they ran?

        The answer is never. They complain a lot about others but never about their own houses.

          • Hey Everyone! What’s Tamara gonna say next? How about I ask her to read a book like From Time Immemorial, which contains about 450 pages of text plus another 200 pages of cited references that proclaims, quite simply, how the mass rush of Arab immigration into Israel has to do with both Jewish industry (as in, poor nomads follow the money) and relentless political bullshittery from religious fanatics.

            Would you read that book, Tamara? Especially if I gave you crayons to color in the maps?

            But don’t eat the crayons. I know you were raised by mules, but not everything we give you goes in the mouth, Pookie.

            • Time Immemorial!?

              AAAAHHH I’ve shit a gasket! Can it be that you really are as dumb as you sound?

              That academic text?! No f**king way man, no way (you can’t pay for this kind of idiotic drivel even if you wanted to!)

              Koufuxyourmum, you are an absolute bell-end.

              I think even your mates must be thinking ‘own goal’ at this point.


  3. All the Times is doing is accurately reporting Lapid’s wording. It’s not their job to act as advocates on behalf of Netanyahu’s pro-bill coalition! If members of Netanyahu’s own coalition accuse him of damaging the country, it is not the Times’ job to not report that because it may make work for some of those at CIFWatch harder.

    It’s not the Times’ job to do PR on Israel’s government’s behalf: if its own cabinet wishes to stain Israel’s already tarnished image (note I say ‘image’, not necessarily pertaining as to +substance+) in the world generally by this self-destructive idiocy (and, yes, I know this bill in and of itself will not change much of substance), that is its own affair. It can blame no one but itself for how others (perhaps most) construe it. Act stupidly, expect a stupid perception of the same.

    • “All the Times is doing is accurately reporting Lapid’s wording”

      The said wording is written without quotes, as a matter of fact! Do you not see the difference?

        • The quote of Lapid according to Times of Israel
          “What can we say to the [Saif] family now? That we are passing a law that would turn them into second-class citizens?” Lapid asked

          The quote of the Times
          Mr Lapid said, referring to a police officer from the Druze sect who was killed in a shootout with the synagogue attackers. “What can we say to this family? That he is a second-class citizen?”

          It is not an accurate reporting if the version of Times of Israel is correct, but a polemical emphasis, appropriate for tabloids when spinning facts and creating an emotional atmosphere. In this sense, together with the impression created by the caption of the article it is the usual anti-Israel spin, instrumentalising Jews as excuse for the own bias (politely phrased).

          By the way, TamaraKelvin Holocaustdeneir is dumb as bread.

  4. As Itsik says, no country is perfect, and discrimination happens everywhere – including in Israel. The fact is, however, that it hardly ever makes the British media when it occurs in any country outside the UK or US – except when it comes to Israel, when events of alleged discrimination are ALWAYS reported as fact, even when they are not actually true.

    A quick search through this site highlights many such occasions – I seem to recall one about supposedly segregated water fountains, and of course several about supposedly segregated bus/train lines which were blatant distortions of the truth.

    Now, this law being discussed by the Knesset is certainly troubling from an egalitarian point of view, though I admit I don’t know the detail. I would be interested to hear from a supporter of the bill the arguments in favour of it and against the accusation that it is discriminatory.


    • Thank you Adam and CiFWatch.

      I agree with Labenel that this proposed law seems rather worrying but I simply don’t know enough about the details to be able to make an informed opinion concerning it. I also agree with Labenel that it would be useful if a supporter of this Bill could explain it here.

        • “to be honest”
          He/She/It ‘Tamara’ the next time you are honest will be the first time.
          Now slither off and drown in a pool of your own drool you retarded, lying sack of shit.

          • “This is a law that has a black flag flying over it,” she said, invoking an Israeli military term indicating an order that is patently illegal and should thus be refused. “Netanyahu and all of his extreme right-wing coalition members are partners in a crime against Israeli democracy, and will be responsible for one of the blackest stains in Israel’s law books.”

            • It’s just shocking — SHOCKING — that this comes after about a month of relentless murder that racist, unintelligible, reptillian dipshits like our favorite Nazi whore (that’s a bi-sexual thing) have been advocating all along.

              Did you really think that shooting 3500 missiles into Israel wasn’t going to lead to a war?

              Whether I like this law or not doesn’t matter; nothing has been passed as it’s been drafted. But drafted with emotions due to relentless attacks on a peaceful population.

              But the real kicker is that scummy piece of shit like Sibyl Nazi actually thinks we give a flying fuck what s/he/it has to think. We don’t, actually. No matter how desperate your vindictiveness gets, the bottom line is Tamara happens to be dumber than the corn in my dog’s poo, and s/he/it always will be, no matter the dog.

            • Tamara quoted:
              “Netanyahu and all of his extreme right-wing coalition members are partners in a crime against Israeli democracy, ”

              So hang on, are you now saying Israel is a democracy or are you quoting something you disagree with?
              Make up your mind.

        • Thanks once again Tamara for your helpful, constructive response to an honest question.

          P.S. Just in case you don’t understand sarcasm, I am not really thanking you and I did not find your response at all helpful or constructive.

  5. 5000 Jews live in the 22 Arab countries.
    1.6 million Arabs live in Israel.

    Jews are barred from living in practically all the Arab countries except a few thousand Jews who live in Tunisia and Morocco.

    In Tunisia, only a Muslim President is allowed.

    In Saudi Arabia, only Islam is permitted. No other religion is permitted there

    In Jordan no Jews are allowed to live there.

    In Morocco, you have the president of the soccer federation there preventing Moroccans kids from playing soccer with Israeli kids in France.
    Google this article.
    Moroccan Soccer Fed Protects Kids From Jews
    Jewish Press News Briefs
    June 2nd, 2014

    In Tunisia, you have one of their top Clerics calling for Allah to Annihilate Them
    Google this article.

    Tunisian Cleric Al Suhayli Calls the Jews Apes, Prays for Allah to Annihilate Them

    Also in Tunisia.

    Arab Conspiracy Theory Preceded Kidnap Attempt of Jewish Boy in Djerba
    By: Shalom Bear
    Published: October 13th, 2014

    Last week, the Tunisian newspaper Alshruk, began making strange claims that ISIS has been kidnapping Syrian and Iraqi children, transporting them to Turkey, and then selling them to Jews in Tel Aviv at the rate of $10,000 a child.

  6. You can look elsewhere but you are incapable of being honest. Your foul language reminds me of another troll that used to frequent these websites but I suppose the language of Jew/Israel Hatred is universal amongst you trollers.

  7. This is an amazing headline to be coming from a newspaper situated in a country with a head of state who also happens to be the head of the state religion.

    • But not the ‘State of the Religion’. You do get the difference right?

      Are you sure you get the difference? I mean, the words are in a different order after all. If you get stuck, just ask.

      • Here comes the antisemitic interpretation of dumb as bread TamaraKelvin Holocaustdenier. Seek shelter with your moolahs in Iran, the Islamic Republic of Holocausdenying.