An article in the Sunday Times on US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital included the false claim that east Jerusalem Palestinians, who are permanent residents but not citizens, have “no political rights”. After communication with UKMW, editors agreed to amend the passage to reflect the fact that east Jerusalem Palestinians have the right to vote in local elections and to run for city council.
As we explained in our complaint to Times editors, the language used by their reporter erroneously suggests that then opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited a uniquely ‘Muslim’ holy site, when in fact his 34 minute tour was to the Temple Mount (Judaism’s holiest site). Though al-Aqsa Mosque is located within the larger Temple Mount compound, Sharon did not visit the mosque itself.
For the sixth time in less than two years, UK Media Watch has prompted a correction at Times of London to the false suggestion that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital.
Following our complaint to Times of London over an Oct. 13th article by Bel True and Anshel Pfeffer which erroneously suggested that only Israel considers Hamas a terror organisation, editors revised the sentence to note that the UK, US and EU also official designate Hamas a terror group.
Following communication with UK Media Watch, editors at Times of London corrected the false claim that the Arab boycott of Israel was in effect since 1967. As the correction now notes, the boycott was ‘in effect’ the moment Israel declared independence in 1948.
The story of the eviction of the Arab Shamasneh family from a house in east Jerusalem’s Shimon Hatzaddik neighbourhood has spread like wildfire, including in the British media. These media outlets have failed to report that the Shamasnehs were evicted largely because they owed hundreds of thousands of shekels in back rent.
Carlstrom’s egregiously misleading tweet, reinforcing the dominant far-left view that Israeli society is lurching dangerously ‘right’, is a perfect example of the bias and advocacy journalism which informs British media’s coverage of the region.
A Jerusalem court recently ruled in favor of a female passenger who sued El Al when she was asked by a flight attendant to move seats at the behest of an ultra-Orthodox man. She was not forced to move seats, but was merely asked – a request the court still found to be illegal. Nonetheless, reports by Times of London and the Guardian botched this crucial detail.
As we explained in a subsequent complaint to Times editors, the Gush Etzion main communities were founded before 1948, in the 1920s and 1930s, on land legally purchased by Jews. Jews living at the original Kibbutzim were killed during the 1929 Arab riots, then re-established and destroyed again during Arab revolt of 1936-1939. Though the communities were re-established in the 1940s, they were again destroyed by Arabs fighters during the 1948 war.
Times of London editors upheld our complaint and revised the sentence in question to note that it was only the opinion of former UN General Secretary that Israel had committed crimes against children, not an indisputable fact.
The Guardian’s Tareq Baconi wishes us “to talk to Hamas” urging that now is the time due to Hamas’ new Document of General Principles which, he writes, “supports the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders”. As we argued, this document is a sham meant to trick the gullible and aid those desperate to push the Palestinian cause.
Once again, we see how the media’s default narrative, regardless of the particulars, is to hold Israel responsible for every conceivable social and political ill within Palestinian society, while downplaying or ignoring the role its leaders plays in perpetuating their suffering.
The Times of London headline – suggesting the existence of heretofore unseen Hamas peaceniks – is absurd. There are no “hawks and doves” within the movement, but only extremists who differ slightly in their willingness to tailor their message for Western audiences.
The report (“Israel ‘blocking human rights researchers’”, March 3), by Gabriel Samuels, cited HRW’s accusation that Israel has been “preventing foreign researchers from entering the Gaza Strip to document potential abuses”, but failed to seek comment from NGO Monitor, the group most knowledgeable about the Israel related work of the group.
We contacted Times of London editors regarding the quote, and they upheld our complaint about the fake use of the word “fake”.
For the third time in three weeks – and the fifth time since last June – we’ve prompted a correction at Times of London over this erroneous suggestion regarding the status of Tel Aviv. The latest example involves a March 1st article by Gregg Carlstrom titled “Netanyahu lambasted by report on Gaza war”.
Contrary to the Times of Israel claim, the bill says that Palestinians who proves ownership of the land is entitled to financial compensation of 125% of the land value, or an alternative plot of land, according to his or her choice.
Though most countries don’t recognize Jerusalem as the capital (for diplomatic reasons pertaining the peace process), Israel declared Jerusalem its capital in 1949 (only ‘West’ Jerusalem until 1967) and the Knesset, Supreme Court, Prime Minister’s Office, Bank of Israel and most government ministries are located in the city. So, it would seem intuitive for journalists and editors – whatever their views regarding the political issues at play – would use the word “Jerusalem” to convey this simple fact to readers.
It’s important to note that, in 2012, the Press Complaints Commission ruled that it is wrong to state that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel.
Whatever one’s views on Israeli construction across the green line, the narrative often advanced in the UK media – of new settlements expanding at ‘a record pace’, eating away at ‘huge swaths’ of Palestinian territory and rendering a future Palestinian state nearly impossible – is, at best, extraordinarily misleading.