An article published in the Independent (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blames Palestinians for lack of peace in region, Sept. 23) summarized Netanyahu’s speech thusly:
Addressing the UN General Assembly, Mr Netanyahu said Israel is prepared to revive peace talks, but rejected a freeze on Israeli settlement building, saying the issue has “always been about the existence of a Jewish state”.
“I am ready to negotiate all final status issues, but one thing I will never negotiate is our right to the one and only Jewish state”, the prime minister said.
“He also rejected the 1967 borders as the basis for talks and denounced what he called Palestinian incitement.”
However, if you read the transcript of the speech, it’s clear the Indy’s claim that “he also rejected the 1967 borders as the basis for talks” is not true. At no point during the speech does he say such a thing.
We contacted Indy editors, and they upheld our complaint.
However, instead of removing the false claim in the sentence, they instead merely tweaked the wording.
It now reads:
Mr Netanyahu has previously rejected the 1967 borders as the basis for talks and denounced what he called Palestinian incitement.
The words added (“has previously”) to the sentence are quite curious to say the least.
Editors, in an effort to render the false claim accurate, used the past tense, reflecting the fact that Netanyahu has previously (prior to this speech) rejected 1967 borders as the basis for talks. Of course, his previous statements have little relevance in an article which narrowly focuses his speech to the UN, and this one (newly revised) sentence now represents the only reference in the entire article to the previous positions of either Netanyahu or Mahmoud Abbas.
Additionally, no where in the article are readers informed of the change.
Once again, we see the extraordinary lengths British media outlets will go to avoid admitting error.