Following UKMW complaint, Indy tones down conspiratorial headline

A March 1st article by Robert Fisk in the Independent about the recent Indian attack on a training camp of the Islamist terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan included the following headline:

The headline caught our eye because “Israeli fingerprints” is a term often used by extremists to suggest some sort of false flag operation, in which it is alleged that Israel is secretly behind attacks or crimes launched or committed in other countries. If you Google the term “Israeli fingerprints”, anti-Israel conspiracy theories like these come up:

Journalist Yair Rosenberg aptly noted that the headline also evokes the bigotry which sees a Jewish hidden hand behind all the world’s woes.

Tellingly, the Indy article was picked up by Iranian’s PressTV:

It was also featured in two Pakistani news sites.

Moreover, upon reading the article, it’s clear that Fisk – whilst engaging in his usual Israel bashing – doesn’t actually allege “Israeli fingerprints” on India’s anti-terror operation in Pakistan, insofar as the term in this context implies Israeli culpability for the conflict. Rather, his primary focus is the fact that Israel is a big arms supplier to New Delhi.

We complained to Indy editors about the headline on two grounds: first, that it was inflammatory and feeds conspiracy theories. Second, that it isn’t supported by the article.  In response, they changed the headline to this:

Though the new headline is still very misleading, it is, we feel, a slight improvement as the new words at least avoid conveying an overtly conspiratorial narrative.

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8 replies »

  1. Just to underscore what a sick, obsessive mind Fisk has, this is the first sentence in his article: “when I heard the first news report, I assumed it was an Israeli air raid on Gaza. Or Syria.”

  2. So insulting to India and Pakistan. They cannot even have a war with each other without israel’s help..

  3. I hope Fisk’s address in Beirut is in the IAF’s target data bank for the next and final war with these clowns. That man deserves his very own JDAM.

  4. When you consider the likely weapons used, the suppliers are located not in Isreal at all , but Russia, China, locally made or the USA. Frisk merely wanted to feed his obsession and the Ind is always happy to let him do it .