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How disinformation works: science and tech magazine misleads on Jerusalem


How It Works is a science and tech magazine launched in 2009, and is published by the UK-based Imagine Publishing.

The magazine, available in print, digital and online editions, describes itself thusly:

How it Works’ expert explanations, dynamic cutaways and breathtaking images provide fuel for imaginations across all ages, helping its eager audience to understand and explore the wonders of the modern world, and making complex topics into accessible entertainment. How it Works stands for clarity, authority, intelligence and knowledge, which is why the brand is successful worldwide in all its forms – print, digital and online.

The latest edition, Volume 5, is currently on sale. A friend purchased one this week at a Toronto bookstore. 

photo 1It includes a two page feature about the history of Jerusalem.

 

headline

The piece includes a timeline, graphics and a short article explaining the city’s historic significance.

Here’s a blurb at the bottom of the article:

temple mount

The blurb of course omits the fact that Jerusalem is not just “considered holy” to Jews, but is Judaism’s holiest city. Note also that the magazine – while informing readers that the city is home to one of Islam’s holiest mosques – fails to mention the presence of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the holiest site in Judaism.

However, there’s another significant mistake, which we highlighted below:

two capitalsWhilst Palestinians would like east Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state, the claim that, today, it is the capital of the “sovereign state” of Palestine is of course completely erroneous. Not even the most pro-Palestinian UK media outlets make such a patently false assertion.

We’ve contacted the magazine’s publisher to complain about the errors, and will update you when we receive a reply.

22 replies »

  1. Well it is not really that much of a howler. Jerusalem is not that much different from Paris……….

      • If my comment was a tad elliptical then maybe this will help:
        The terrorist atrocities Paris only underscores the need for France to immediately engage in negotiations with French Muslims that will result in the creation of two states for two peoples, living side by side in peace and security, with Paris as a shared capital…

        • I would expand your insight to include all of Europe and the UK.

          Two states for two peoples in Europe, now!

          • It was clear from the outset that Michael Zeffertt (and now you) was indulging in a little joke.

            But what/who are you getting at here?

      • If my comment was a tad elliptical then maybe this will help:
        The terrorist atrocities in Paris only underscores the need for France to immediately engage in negotiations with French Muslims that will result in the creation of two states for two peoples, living side by side in peace and security, with Paris as a shared capital…

  2. It also says: “For Crusaders the city needed to be recaptured from Muslim rule, as it was essential for pilgrimages” – likewise a bit of a simplification.

    But why complain that it “fails to mention the presence of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem”? Surely that potted history of the city is merely intended to show that J’lem is important to followers of three religions.

    The later reference to it being the capital of Israel and Palestine is obviously silly, however. Although how can you know it’s part of some sneaky “disinformation” campaign?

    • I don’t think “it’s part of some sneaky disinformation campaign”. But, for a magazine whose entire raison d’être is the promotion of “clarity, authority, intelligence and knowledge” to claim that J’lem is currently the capital of the sovereign state of Palestine is pretty remarkable. I’m not imputing motives, just trying to get them to acknowledge their error and issue a correction.

    • Islam does not consider Jerusalem to be holy. Only ignorant people repeat that canard.

      Try looking up a Muslim scholar of renown Abdul Hadi Palazzi has to say about Jerusalem.

    • I think the ‘Jews believe it was designed for them’, is a very loaded description. I would be interested to know the author’s name, especially if he or she is an academic historian.

  3. At the risk of being impugned again, I think Pretzelburg has got the right idea. ‘How It Works’ is a magazine aimed primarily at children which tries to engage them without over loading on detail. Just enough to stir their interest. Picking up the Temple Mount question is a little bit nitpickey.

    The title of the piece clearly has the word ‘disinformation’. This implies an act of information dissemination which is deliberately misleading and false, usually for some co-ordinated aim. You may claim that you are “not imputing motives” but your wording suggests otherwise.

    • Well, explaining the problem to kids is simple. Like this; Y’know how your kid brother always complains that you’ve got more on your plate than he does? Well, the so-called Palestinians are like your kid brother – always complaining, childish and pretending to be hard done by.

      Any kid would understand that!

    • “‘How It Works’ is a magazine aimed primarily at children which tries to engage them without over loading on detail” –
      yes, the minor, nay unimportant detail of which countries actually exist. Pffft, who cares about facts.

    • “The title of the piece clearly has the word ‘disinformation’. This implies an act of information dissemination which is deliberately misleading and false”

      Yes, how did this incorrect info fall into the hands of this magazine? Someone at How It Works got the idea from somewhere that there exists a sovereign state of Palestine, i.e., a state that’s never existed.

      • I’m not saying ‘How It Works’ is factually correct (ie I know, as does anyone who looks at the situation, that there actually is no sovereign state of Palestine). I am, rather, challenging (in a not very antisemitic way) Adam’s use in this instance of the word ‘disinformation’. It is a loaded word which means a deliberate and knowing effort to put out false information. Which I think anyone who looks reasonably at it would see that it’s not; it’s a mistake (or misinformation if you want to be a bit more formal) but it most certainly is not how ‘disinformation works’

        • You do a poor job in searching for excuses when propaganda and indoctrination are produced and disseminated. You are one of many patronising self conceited idiots who came here to explain us what is antisemitic propaganda and what not. They are all gone, these ‘experts’ on Jews.

        • I challenge the entire article – Jerusalem isn’t holy to Muslims, it is not the capital of any Arab country in it’s entire history and there is no such country called ‘Palestine’ and never has been.

          So having gotten everything wrong you still wouldn’t call it disinformation. I call it an series of outright lies

  4. well bless them for trying to cover one of the most controversial pieces of real estate in nice simple terms to motivate kids interests . however facts are facts .
    If it is to be used as resource book then there is obligation to get it right by publishers .
    If someone posts an incorrect fact here or disputable fact , do not other peeps try and correct and provide facts and cross referencing ?

  5. An effective slogan might work: the Koran is really mostly a Zionist book ,
    Four or five examples of Biblical and Talmudic passages along side the Koranic rephrasing might help to crack the dogma somewhat