Guardian uses partial quote to do what they do best: mislead about Israel

The following sentence in a Guardian report by their Jerusalem correspondent Oliver Holmes (“Benjamin Netanyahu becomes longest-serving Israeli PM”, July 20th) uses a truncated quote by Benjamin Netanyahu, thus egregiously distorting the meaning of his words.

In the latest election in April, he was accused of appealing to racist voters when he stated Israel was “not a state of all its citizens”, referring to the country’s minority population of Palestinian citizens.

To demonstrate how this is misleading, all you have to do is go back to how the Guardian itself originally reported on the comments, in a March 10th AFP report published on their website. 

Here’s the relevant section:

Israel is not a state of all its citizens,” he wrote in response to criticism from an Israeli actor, Rotem Sela. “According to the basic nationality law we passed, Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people – and only it. 

As you wrote, there is no problem with the Arab citizens of Israel.They have equal rights like all of us and the Likud government has invested more in the Arab sector than any other government,” he said of his rightwing party.

As you can see, the March 10th article includes the same quote, but provides important political context (he was referring to the nation state law which defines Israel as a Jewish state) and, most importantly, included Netanyahu’s clarifying comments stressing that Arab citizens of Israel “have equal rights”.

In contrast, the partial quote used in the July 20th article by Holmes, along with the lack of relevant context, leaves the false impression that the prime minister was using racist rhetoric by suggesting that Arabs are second class citizens.

The truncated quote significantly alters the true meaning and significance of the prime minister’s words, and thus fails to adhere to the Editors’ Code, which demands that newspapers avoid publishing inaccurate, misleading or distorted information.

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37 replies »

  1. Adam’s post shows that there is essentially no possibility whatsoever that the Oliver Holmes framing of Netanyahu’s
    statements was a good faith mistake — no one could read the clarification about “equal rights” and fail to grasp its vital significance in context.

  2. I am waiting for the Guardian to say something negative concerning the Muslims who are causing terrible problems for the Brits. According to the Guardian – no one is worse than Jews. The Jewish Britishers have started to leave the country. They have been loyal citizens for a very long time.
    The Muslims will not be good for the Brits or the Europeans for that matter. Let us see if the Guardian will ever apologize for their rabid antisemitism. I doubt it – they hate too much.

  3. There is no such thing as a “Palestinian citizen”.

    “referring to the country’s minority population of Palestinian citizens”

    In Israel there are Arab Israeli citizens, that is Arab citizens of Israel, they are Israelis.

    There is no such thing as a Palestinian state, therefore there is no such thing as a “Palestinian citizen”.

    • There has never been a people group called palestinians. That name or word was based on the mistake of the roman caesar Hadrianus. And because he was not able to write word filistines, he made the mistake. So arabs have already their own peace of land. With the names for their respective countries.
      I am sorry for the peoples misused by their leaders…

    • Watcher is correct.

      In Israel there are Israeli citizens. Some are Jewish…. some are Muslim …. some are Christian … some are tall …. some are fat … some are thin.

      What they ALL are is ISRAELI CITIZENS.

      p.s there WAS a country called Palestine, as there is a country called Jordan … as there was a country called Israel, then there was not a country of Israel … then there was again.

      • There were fruits and there were nuts, there was a butterfly net, there was Farmer in a straight jacket, then there was Farmer on a keyboard typing a fictional history to suit his obsessive and sick political fantasies, …then there was Farmer in a straight jacket again. THE END

        • Jeff didn’t know that there has been a Palestine?

          Jeff didn’t know that there had been an Israel before?

          Jeff is ignorant!

          • Jeff knows that there is an amorphous area called “Palestine” which has never existed as a state and in which some Arabs call themselves “Palestinian” to suit the mendacious, vile agenda of anti-Zionist anti-Semites.

          • A colonialist name imposed on the land of the Jews by the Romans, a people of southern Europe. They took the name from the Philistine’s, a colonizing people from southern Europe. Colonialists continued to use the name. Palestine is a colonialist name.