UK Media Watch prompts Telegraph correction to Jerusalem bus bombing claim

An article by Raf Sanchez in the Telegraph on the terror attack in Jerusalem on Monday (Jerusalem bus bomb – at least 20 injured in explosion, April 19th). The article included the claim that “the explosion was the first time a bomb has been used against Israeli civilians in the current wave of violence, which began in October”.

Here’s a snapshot of the original claim via a Google search.


This is extremely misleading.

Whilst there have been numerous attempted firebomb attacks on Israeli civilians during the latest wave of violence (as well as thwarted attacks involving pipe bombs), several ‘successful’ attacks have occurred as well. On Nov. 26th, an Israeli man was injured when his car was hit by a firebomb on Route 443. On Oct. 23rd, an Israeli couple and their three small children were injured in a firebombing attack on their car near the settlement of Beit El.


The charred baby seat of a 4-year-old girl who was wounded when the car she was traveling in was hit with a firebomb hurled by Palestinian terrorists. (IDF)

We contacted Telegraph editors and complained about the claim. They agreed that it was misleading and removed the sentence in question from the online edition of the article. 

We commend editors on the speedy correction.

27 replies »

    • That’s nothing compared to the misleading pro-Israel narrative. Research by Glasgow Universities Media Group headed by Professor Philo has concluded pro-Israeli media bias is systemic,

  1. Quality in Journalism is an oxymoron and fact checking is an expense that many news organizations are unwilling to pay, both in dollars and in time. Getting a story out there as quickly as possible and getting it right are goals that are in conflict with each other. What is not clear is how the error got there in the first place – did the writer make it up, do an imperfect search or not have the data in front of them. Were they simply told from a source, in which case what was the source, or is this simply a rewrite from a news service. Was the error done by Mr. Sanchez or added by an editor?

    Or is the Telegraph being lazy, relying on the eyes of its readers to correct its mistakes?

    A bomb that is planted such as this one is different from one that is tossed into a vehicle – there is a difference in scale which could have led to Mr. Sanchez’s mistake.

    I’m writing this purely in the spirit of curiousity. The Telegraph is under no obligation to report on the process of its reportage, though it should be a matter of ongoing internal concern within the operations management of the paper itself.

    That being said I don’t find the article to be particularly biased either with or without the error. It does understate the extent of injuries but highlights Hamas’s support for the attack. And while I would have liked to have seen a greater exposure of Hamas’s paranoia over Al-Aqsa and a hiliting that 6 pm would be during rush hour, it’s not a requirement in an article of this kind. Nor is exposing the support these so called martyrs get from Fatah after the fact, inciting more people to do the same, which appears to be a no go zone in the press.

    • “Quality in Journalism is an oxymoron and fact checking is an expense that many news organizations are unwilling to pay, both in dollars and in time. Getting a story out there as quickly as possible and getting it right are goals that are in conflict with each other.”

      I agree with you on that point. Overall, contrary to the mythology peddled on this site, the media is actually systematically biased in favour of Israel.

  2. And CNN called the bus bombing a Bus Fire. Weird how when the Gaza hospital was struck by Hamas missiles, it took less than 20 minutes for the news to get out that Israel bombed a hospital. And yet…. Fog of war, anyone?

    Notice how Israel police are the source for this being a bomb, and not just a generalized understanding. ISIS for sure blows up the airport in Belgium, but we’re never quite sure how to describe the violence Israelis civilians face on a daily basis.

    Nope. Can’t trust those Jews to tell us the News. We must Goyischesplain it. Or, better, Islamosplain it away. Never, ever let the Jews give the official record.

    If I learned one thing from such stalwarts of bullshit as UNESCO this week, it’s that.

  3. It is time that we and the Government Press Office in Israel recognised that the reporters/journalists in Israel do not bother to check facts and employ local stringers (who are left wing) to provide them with news from the Hebrew Press. As such their reports are contaminated by their and more importantly their news editors lack of knowledge of fact.

    We have to be on top of them the whole time but it is also up to the Israeli Government Press Office that provides them with journalstic Press Cards to warn them that no repeats will be tolerated. Unfortuately, PM Netanyahu is not prepared to do this and declare them personna non grata – he is a coward.

    I was in India recently and spoke to educated locals – they asked the size of Israel -population wise- guess what they thought it was between 20 to 40 million. So we can see the media overkill situation and the government lacks the will to surpress incorrect reporting to its detriment!