Earlier today, an article in The Telegraph on Prince William’s upcoming trip to the region (Prince William’s Middle East tour to include trips to family grave, Kate Middleton’s former home, and meetings with Netanyahu and Abbas, June 11) included this gratuitous and misleading quote from Amnesty International.
Leaving aside the question of why precisely an article by the newspaper’s Royal correspondent felt the need to contextualise the piece by throwing in such anti-Israel agitprop, it’s clear that the “exclusive settler roads” claim violates the accuracy clause of the Editors’ Code.
As we’ve demonstrated previously, there are not currently, nor have there ever been, “Jewish-only” or “settler-only” roads anywhere in Israel or the West Bank. There are a small number of roads in the West Bank which are restricted to Palestinian traffic, but Israeli citizens of any religious background, and all foreign nationals, can use them. So, it’s not accurate to claim that there are any such roads “which are for the exclusive use” of settlers.
We tweeted the journalist, who, to her credit, asked us to email her and present our information. After a series of emails, she conferred with editors and agreed to amend the sentence to remove the part of the quote which falsely claimed the existence of roads ‘exclusively for settlers’.
Though the quote is still highly problematic, we’re glad that we were again successful in convincing editors that such claims about ‘racist roads’, which of course serve to amplify dishonest ‘Apartheid Israel’ smears, are completely counter-factual.