Gregg Carlstrom’s Feb. 25th report at Times of London (Israel refuses visa for human rights director) detailed a controversial decision by Israeli authorities to deny a visa to anti-Israel activist Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director of the far-left NGO, Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Though the report was largely unproblematic, the opening sentence caught our attention.
We reviewed multiple media reports on the incident and couldn’t locate any other such claim alleging that an Israeli official characterised HRW as a “fake” group. The letter sent to Shakir by the Israel Interior Ministry denying his visa did accuse the NGO of engaging in “Palestinian propaganda, while falsely raising the banner of human rights”, but there’s no evidence that any official said HRW was a “fake” group, as Carlstrom alleged. (“Quotes” in journalism are sacrosanct, and are only used when precisely attributing exact words, either in written or spoken form.)
We contacted Times of London editors, and they upheld our complaint about the “fake” quote. Here’s the revised, accurate opening sentence.
We commend editors on the correction.