UK Media Watch prompts substantive improvement to Times of London water story

On June 16th, we posted on the latest viral smear against Israel – the ‘claim’ that water was cut off to Palestinians in the West Bank ‘during Ramadan’.  Both the Independent and Times of London (among other publications) amplified these charges in articles that were, at best, extraordinarily misleading.

More recently, we posted on the relatively superficial changes both publications made to their original stories, despite evidence we presented to their editors demonstrating that their stories were fundamentally inaccurate.

However, though the Independent still refuses to budge, after a series of emails to editors at Times of London – which included information we received from COGAT and Mekorot – they agreed to make one substantive change, adding the following additional text to the online version of their article:

new textThis is important, and reinforces our central arguments from the beginning of this story – facts which totally undermine Palestinian charges.

  1. Water Shortages were largely caused by an increase in demand and a shortage of supply from the mountain aquifer.
  2. These water shortages has affected both Jewish and Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
  3. Israel actually increased the water supply to Palestinians in Hebron and Bethlehem to accommodate Muslims observing Ramadan.

Unfortunately, they only made a small, relatively insignificant revision to the headline and opening sentence.

However, we sincerely commend editors at Times of London for agreeing to add the additional text.


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4 replies »

  1. The Jesuits used to say, or so we are told, “give us the child till it is seven, and we’ll give you the man.” A more modern, and more relevant version is “Read the headline and leave the rest to us”. The article in gives us a more detailed example and refers back to the original article in the Science Post with its “lorem ipsit” article. Consclusion? Changing the wording of the text is just one small step, but the smear heading remains, and it’s the heading that people read, remember and pass on.