Telegraph

Telegraph falsely claims that Likud is the most centrist part of coalition


The Telegraph not only joined the herd of independent media voices suggesting that Israel is moving dangerously right (‘US voices unease over birth of the ‘most right-wing government’ in Israel’s history, May 27), but included a straight-out factual error in their report.

Here’s the concluding paragraph, in reference to the inclusion of Avigdor Lieberman as the country’s new defence minister:

Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party will become the most centrist element of a coalition that will represent an alliance between the religious right and the nationalist right.

Leaving aside the fact that the left-right paradigm in Israel is inherently problematic, the current coalition includes Kulanu – a party almost always characterized as centre or centre-right, including by the Telegraph in previous reports.  So, it is not accurate to describe right-wing Likud as “the most centrist element” of the coalition.

We contacted Telegraph editors alerting them to the error, and received a prompt reply letting us know that the passage will be corrected. 

UPDATE: Shortly after this post was published, Telegraph editors removed the false claim from the article. 

27 replies »

  1. This is the level of present days journalism. In this light the press cards given to laughable ignorant and intellectually challenged morons like Webber can be understood. Googleing the string “political parties Israel” directly opens the appropriate Wiki page clearly stating that Kulanu – one of the main component of the coalition – is a centrist party. Anyway everybody who knows the history of Israel knows that the government led by Itchak Shamir was much more to the right side of the political spectrum than the present coalition.

    • You can’t really expect run-of-the-mill journalists to know something of the history of a not very important and far-away country when they hardly know the history of their own country. However, sneering and stupid comments is a cheap way of sounding au fait – hence its popularity.

      • So we can’t really expect from journalists writing in the mainstream media read by millions of readers influencing public opinion to know the basics of the subjects they are writing about and must understand why they are free to publish crap full of factual errors. I’m sure Jan you have press card too.

        • dearest peter, I do not have a press card and I do not regard myself as a journalist. However, it seems that from now on when I intend to write something sarcastic, I must carefully label it as such – even if such a label takes away the humour of it all. So please re-read my entire comment as being sarcastic – you know, something said “tongue-in-cheek” and meaning, roughly speaking, the opposite of what was written. From now on, when I want to write something sarcastic I will label it as such so that so that my remarks will not be taken too literally. OK?

            • Sir, you are a gentleman. And I simply wish that all those people who make sneering and stupid remarks as a cheap way of sounding au fait would follow his example. Perhaps spend a bit of time commenting on the article or adding to it, instead of indulging in nyah nyah

              • Considering me a gentleman shows your catastrophic inability to correctly judge a character. The distance between a gentleman and myself can be measured only in light years.

  2. Likud is left of center and so are most of the coalition parties. We keep electing the right and even though leftists make up only 15% of the population they remain in control

    • @gee59 –

      RE: “Likud is left of center and so are most of the coalition parties….”

      The key difference between Right- and Left-wing ideologies is this:

      Those on the Right believe social inequality is both “natural” and beneficial to the community; those on the Left believe social inequality is something that can, and should, be reduced as far as possible.

      The extent to which inequalities are allowed to prevail or are eroded depends on the “extremity” of governments espousing Right- or Left-wing positions.

      In Israel – where Likud has held sway since 2001 apart from a two-year break – government policies have resulted in the following current social inequalities (among others):

      * A gap between rich and poor second only to the US among OECD countries.(The richest 10% of Israelis earn 15 times that of the poorest, compared to an average ratio of 9.6 times across the OECD.) In addition, Israel has the highest poverty rate among OECD countries – around 21% of the population recorded as “below the poverty line” – with ultra-Orthodox Haredi and Arabs being the worst off.

      * According to an Israeli Finance Ministry document released in August 2015, the country’s Arabs are allocated less State money than Jews by every single ministry, and in every area of the economy, including education, health and housing.)

      * In Area C of the West Bank, where Israel retains almost complete control – namely, over security and all land-related civil matters such as land allocation, planning, construction and infrastructure development – Arabs are unable to vote in Knesset elections. They are therefore completely disenfranchised when it comes to influencing government policies directly affecting their daily lives, while Jews in Area C have full voting rights.

      If these don’t seem to you to be evidence of a prevailing Right-wing government agenda (and I haven’t even touched on the inequalities of military v. civil law applied exclusively to Arabs) all I can suppose is that the extremity of your own Right-wing position is … well… EXTREMELY extreme.

      • The ‘poverty line’ is a statistical construct invented by economists for the sake of setting up convenient – but almost meaningless – formulae and equations, in an attempt to paint themselves and their ‘discipline’ as ‘scientific’ and ‘mathematically coherent’ (they and it aren’t any such thing). This construct is then used to promote social engineering policies with actual effects in the real world, even though it is nothing more than a meaningless scribble.

      • You’re concerned about Social Inequality but don’t want Israel defending itself. I guess Israelis aren’t on par with the Arabs who want to murder them?

        Racist. Bigot. Blood Drinking Nutbag. That’s you.

      • Basner you just successfully demonstrated your complete and total illiteracy concerning economic policies in general and Israeli economy in particular. But your ignorance is not surprising at all, you have the same level of knowledge on any other matters too.
        The key difference between Right- and Left-wing ideologies is this:
        Those on the Right believe social inequality is both “natural” and beneficial to the community; those on the Left believe social inequality is something that can, and should, be reduced as far as possible.

        Nothing about the difference regarding individual and social rights, nothing about the role and direction of social progress, nothing about equality issues, nothing about the different views on the government allowed interventions in the market and society – Basner you are more ignorant what I have thought before and believe me this is your biggest achievement in your life.
        In Israel – where Likud has held sway since 2001 apart from a two-year break – government policies have resulted in the following current social inequalities (among others).
        You conveniently forgot to mention some small details: The huge improvement regarding unemployment – Israel is among the best – better than Finland, Sweden, Canada, and much better than the EU average and the huge improvement of the living standard of the average Israelis exactly in the same period when every other OECD countries were compelled to introduce serious austerity measures.
        A gap between rich and poor second only to the US among OECD countries.(The richest 10% of Israelis earn 15 times that of the poorest, compared to an average ratio of 9.6 times across the OECD.)
        These numbers were much worse during the so called “left” governments. FYI the most significant steps improving the lives of the weakest groups of society (including the Arab population) have been taken by Naftali Bennett – a right wing politician – when he was the Minister of Industry and Labor.
        In addition, Israel has the highest poverty rate among OECD countries – around 21% of the population recorded as “below the poverty line” – with ultra-Orthodox Haredi and Arabs being the worst off.
        The poverty line is a very misleading name – it depends on the average income in the given country- in Israel those living under the poverty line are much more “rich” and living much better than huge masses in other OECD countries above the same line. If you ever visited Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and/or any ex communist countries you certainly wouldn’t write down this idiotic and meaningless crap.
        Regarding the Arab community – exactly the Netanyahu government did the most to change the really existing inequality – much more than any other previous administration. And an other thing you obviously doesn’t know, more than 60% of the so called “cash economy” (no statistics on income and naturally no taxation) belong to the same Arab population not to mention the inequality of their no participation in the burden of the two/three years of military service – costing those who do it about an average 200,000 NIS per person. Now try to find out why the ultra-orthodox are so poor – my suggestion is – because they don’t work at all – those who do – and it is a growing number – are not poorer than the average. (The 10-14 children/household somehow don’t improve their situation either).
        Greece and Brasil with their left-wing governments has the biggest difference between rich and poor.
        To make a long story short – the social inequality statistics of a country says exactly nothing about its left or right wing orientation only for those who are on the literacy level of your kind.
        Disclaimer: I’m not a fan of the present government just simply can’t resist to point out the laughable stupidity and ignorance of some of its “critics.”

  3. Adam,

    Typo:
    That should read, “the herd of independent media voices,” rather than “heard.”

  4. Left vs. Right offers an incomplete political compass. Authoritarian vs. Libertarian is needed to round it out.

    • Adam corrected that one. But the word “independent”, in the very same sentence, should really be in quotes.

  5. There is very little doubt that the “Daily Telegraph” is not the quality newspaper it once was.
    Recent events at the paper along with staff changes have diminished it as a quality print newspaper and the online version which seems to be their main focus, is also not very good.
    I agree with those above who see a marked decrease in the standards and quality of journalism together with the growing tendency to substitute facts and background for opinion as well as the use of second and third hand sources usually via a ‘Google’ search on the internet, with very little if any fact-checking of those sources before quoting them.

    When I read an article either in print or on the internet, or if I’m watching TV news or listening to Radio news I want facts. Give me the facts and I will form my own opinions.
    To quote Charles Dickens;
    “Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts; nothing else will ever be of any service to them.”

  6. They (Detractors both Media and governments) have been saying this type of stuff since Menachem Begin. In fact when Begin was going to make a trip to England several in Government & Paliament in the UK wanted him arrested as a terrorist for his IrGun Days. They cosidered his realm to almost be a Facist Government between him Sharon and others from Pre State fighting and just as today elements on the Left helped fuel the fire though it wasn’t in the best interest of Israel.

    • George Washington was never arrested by the British either.

      Both Washington and Begin defeated and out performed the envious British.