Times of London

Times of London barely ‘revises’ headline about law which WON’T make Arabs 2nd class citizens

timesUnder any version of a ‘Jewish nation-state bill’ which may eventually be voted on in the Israeli Knesset, one thing is certain: Arab citizens of the state would NOT become “second class citizens”.  

Whilst efforts by the government to formally codify Israel as the “Jewish nation-state” have been the object of some serious criticism by thoughtful observers, we’ve yet to see one critic explain how the bill which Binyamin Netanyahu’s cabinet voted to approve on Sunday would even minimally erode the civil rights of Israel’s non-Jewish minority. 

Yet, as we’ve noted in three posts over the last two days, Times of London editors chose headlines for a Nov. 24th article by Gregg Carlstrom, another article on the same day by Catherine Philp, and a print edition version of Carlstrom’s report which all grossly mischaracterized the proposed bill based merely on the hyperbolic criticism of a few critics.  

(You can read an excellent backgrounder on the legislation by Haviv Rettig Gur at Times of Israel, here)

After multiple complaints to Times of London, we received the following reply explaining the “revisions” to the articles:

The headline on the first had “second-class citizens” put into quotation marks – “Israel set to make Arabs ‘second-class citizens’” – to make clear that this was a point of view expressed in the story…The second headline was similarly edited: “Israel wavers on ‘2nd-class Arabs’ law”.

So, this original headline…


…was ‘revised” to this:


The same minor tweak – simply placing quotes around the words “second class citizens” – was made to the other headline (for the Catherine Philps article) as well.

We feel it’s an insufficient change to a scare headline which plays into the shameful ‘apartheid’ charge – a smear more befitting the Guardian than the Times of London, whose coverage of Israel is generally the fairest among the mainstream, serious newspapers in the UK.

45 replies »

  1. I find it incredulous that any nation that has a formal state religion, such as England, would chastise any other nation that wants to define its own national identity.But of course we are talking about Europe, which lives by hypocrisy when it comes tot he Jewish people.

  2. So, does The Times also think Catholics are ‘second-class citizens’ in the UK, because the Churches of England & Scotland (both Protestant churches) are the official churches of the State?

    • It’s not about thinking Neil. Someone at the Times prefers to use inflammatory headlines that are designed to tarnish Israel as a country and its Jewish citizens. The image of an apartheid society is engraved on the minds of many: this headline just adds grist to the mill. The result is a shameful example of bigotry from a respected newspaper that should no better and to accurately report the news, not an individual’s opinion of the news..

    • Presumably it does; I’m surprised that they haven’t started an “apartheid” campaign because Catholics (and Jews, and Muslims) are not allowed to marry into the Royal Family.

      • The Act of Settlement of 1701 which excludes Catholics from the throne and would bar any heir to the throne who marries a catholic, does not apply to either Muslins or Jews. However the Succession to the Crown act of 2013 allows an heir to marry a catholic (but a catholic may still not take the throne).

        So Catholics have taken 300 years to catch up with Jews and Muslims in this regard (and perhaps others)

        • The Throne is one thing Dinkle and is a law unto itself. But… Catholics living in Britain do not sit at the back of buses, sit in different train carriages, live in townships, are discriminated in nearly every law passed by Parliament, are they?

          It’s absolutely bizarre to think this way, from my honest point of view.Everything gets reduced to fallacious arguments. A Catholic cannot be king/queen ergo Catholics are second class citizens.

  3. From your previous article on this:
    “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”.)”

    You asked for quotations, and quotations you got. Now that’s suddenly not good enough for you?

    If you’re looking for critics of Bibi’s new law, why not start with Israel’s own President? Or is he an evil antisemite as well?

  4. Well, they are a “newspaper” who “claims” “NOT” to be anti-Semitic, or something.

    Fun times with quotation marks! Here’s my revised headline:

    The Times of London, “A True Shithole of Stupidity”, Demands to be Taken Seriously.

  5. To be fair, I think Arnold does have a point. It is certainly alleged by some within Israel that this bill could lead to treatment of Arabs (and other non-Jews) as second-class citizens, so it is accurate to place quotes around the phrase.

    Personally, however, I think it would be more accurate still (and with no change in word-count to say … ‘Israel “set to make Arabs second-class citizens” or even better “considers plan that could make Arabs second-class citizens”.

    Or even better, Israeli cabinet REJECTS plan to make Arabs second-class citizens (as they did reject the more controversial elements of the proposed bill, so I understand).

      • I am afraid you are both leaning over backwards to legitimise antisemitic garbage. Editing means selecting what to print. The Times has chosen for its headline the most slanderous statement it could come up with. Why should it be given a free pass?

        • I’m not saying they are not peddling garbage, but it’s a step forward. Not a big step to be honest, but… :/

          • As it was, political Zionism intervened with a definition of Jewosh
            nationhood that was in reality nothing other than the ethnic Ashkem
            identity grafted onto the rest. In other words, the East European
            Ashkenazim reinterpreted themselves as the pan-Jewish nation, an
            imagined community with a fabricated unifying narrative. (Israel‘s
            national anthem, it may be noted, was nothing other than a medley of
            nostalgic Russian tunes.)”

            So you see, they’ve been at this 2nd class shit for over 100 years.

            Apartheid, pure and simple.

            • Jeez. So your definition of “apartheid” includes a people choosing their own identity? Wow.

              What garbage you come out with, TamTam.

                • We don`t dispute the stupidity of an antisemite like TamaraKelvin Holocaustdenier, and the Ottomans left the land and sold it to Jews. So bye, bye.

                • If you must go into your BS again, it was proven genetically that both Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews can be traced to ancestors in what is now Israel. Genes don’t lie. You do.

            • 100 years ..
              Dumb as bread TamaraKelvin Holocaustdenier knows nothing about classes in the Ottoman Empire. This antisemite personifies the problem of undereducationed people, computer nerds or not, in a complex world they are not fit enougn to comprehend, therefore paranoia and reductionism, a conspiracy manichaeism and the simplest emotional hate crime, antisemitism which illuminates their world.

    • Their ‘cartoons’ have been getting more and more antisemitic in recent years. There is a new one about Theresa May that equates the Mossad with the Stasi. That one also exhibits ignorance about what the Mossad (as against the Shin Beth) does, of course, but then hook-nosed Jews all look alike to such troglodytes, I suppose.

  6. What about all these failed “Islamic” republics ? In Iran non Muslims can be executed for sleeping with a Muslim. Saudi ? Pakistan ? I think Libya even forbids Jews to enter the country altogether the worlds truly first judenrein Muslim Reich. Are Kurds not third class citizens in Turkeyland which is in negotiations to join the EU ? I never recall it being an issue that Kurdish was simply banned in Turkey, yet going on cheap holidays to that country was never an issue.