Times of London

Times of London headline fail on Israeli settlers and Donald Trump claim (UPDATE)


Here’s the headline accompanying a Jan. 1st Times of London article by Gregg Carlstrom.

times-headline

There are two elements of the headline that are interesting.

First, the article primarily deals with Palestinian complaints over Jews buying property in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, a development which Carlstrom ties into the impact of the Obama administration’s decision to abstain on a UN security council resolution condemning settlements – rather than ‘veto’ it, as they usually do.

The “messiah” and settlers bit doesn’t come into play until the eleventh paragraph down. Here’s the relevant paragraph along with the conclusion of the article:

The interior minister, Aryeh Deri, chairman of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, has described Trump’s election as presaging the coming of the Messianic age. “We are really in the era of the birth pangs of the Messiah when everything has been flipped to the good of the Jewish people,” he said.

Naftali Bennett, the leader of a pro-settler party, plans to introduce a bill that would annex Ma’ale Adumim, one of the largest settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Much of the world considers Israeli settlements illegal, but Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Israel, the bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman, agrees with Bennett. He believes Israel should annex the entire West Bank.

During the presidential campaign, Trump promised to be Israel’s “best friend” in Washington. Last week he refused to comment when asked whether he opposed the settlements: he instead tweeted in response to Kerry’s speech that Israel should “stay strong” until January 20 — the day of his inauguration.

So, despite the fact that the headline claims that “settlers” have hailed Donald Trump the new “messiah”, in fact the only person in the article credited with evoking such language is (west) Jerusalem resident Aryeh Deri.

We’ve complained to editors about this blatantly misleading headline, and encourage you to do the same by using this Times of London complaint form.

Also, those of you active on Twitter can retweet this:

6 replies »

  1. I’m not sure if I would call it a “fail” if it fulfills its purpose of disseminating propaganda. Calling it a distortion is undeniable.

  2. I have followed your encouragement and have made the following complaint to The Times:

    “These two paragraphs are so woefully wrong, that they also amount to discrimination, given that, though appearing as reportage (“much of the world considers”), it is clear the reporter agrees because he doesn’t correct that consideration:

    ” ‘Naftali Bennett, the leader of a pro-settler party, plans to introduce a bill that would annex Ma’ale Adumim, one of the largest settlements in the occupied West Bank.

    ” ‘Much of the world considers Israeli settlements illegal, but Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Israel, the bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman, agrees with Bennett. He believes Israel should annex the entire West Bank.’

    “The Fourth Geneva Convention (which is what the so-called “much of the world”, that well-known “international community”, is relying on) bans nations from moving populations into and establishing settlements in the territory of another nation won in war. But that is just the point: another nation.

    “The territories Jordan conquered in 1948 were part of the League of Nations Mandate (already summarily truncated by the British in 1921 in order to create Transjordan (modern Jordan) out of the eastern part of the mandated territory). That mandate called for the close settlement of Jews on the land.

    “Now, Jordan never annexed the West Bank, therefore in international law the Fourth Geneva Convention DOES NOT APPLY as the West Bank never formed part of ‘another nation’, was in fact a nationless territory.

    “Therefore in international law, the law that governs the actions of the administering power of a territory acquired through war but whose national status remains undefined, is the law of the last legally recognized authority: in this case the British government acting through the League of Nations, whose mandates and rules were subsumed under the UN. That legal authority calls for the close settlement of Jews on the land and, inter alia, the demolition of the homes of terrorists and their harbourers.

    “Therefore: the recent SCR violates the UN’s own rules.”

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