Times of London falsely reports apartheid-style “bus ban on Palestinians”

Despite what Times of London claims in an Oct. 28th story by Gregg Carlstrom, there is no ‘apartheid-style’ proposal by Israeli officials to ‘ban Palestinians from riding Israeli buses’.
headline

According to Haaretz (and other media sites which covered the story), the new security edict being proposed by the Defense Ministry would require Palestinian laborers who enter Israel through the Eyal checkpoint (mostly those heading to work in Tel Aviv or central Israeli towns) to head home at night through the same IDF checkpoints from which they entered.  Previously, on the return trip back into the West Bank, Palestinian workers were free to choose alternative routes which would allow them to get closer to their homes and with less delay – including those bus lines passing straight through checkpoints and stopping at settlements.

Reportedly, the new proposed rules would only apply to the Eyal checkpoint and not initialy apply to those entering at other crossings.

Also, note this official statement from the Israeli Defense Department, which Carlstrom didn’t include in his report:

A security official told Haaretz that the criticism was out of context. “There is no ban on taking buses with Israelis,” the official said. “The only thing that will happen is that laborers who are citizens of the Palestinian Authority will need to return through the same crossing they left so there will be supervision of entry and departure like in any sovereign country that protects itself and takes care to admit foreign residents into its territory in orderly fashion, through arranged crossings.”

Indeed, Carlstrom – unlike other sites which covered the story, including Haaretz – didn’t included even one statement from an Israeli official contradicting his characterization of the proposed new rule, or explaining its rationale.

It would be quite fair to say that the new policy, if implemented, would have the effect of making it extremely less likely that Palestinians in the West Bank entering Israel via Eyal will use Israeli bus lines to return from work in Israel. However, to state, as the Times of London article did, that Palestinians will be “banned” from Israeli bus lines is false.  No such rule has been proposed.

Indeed, whilst commentators can reasonably take issue with the new proposed rules, and the injurious impact it may have on Palestinian laborers, based on what’s been reported thus far there is no reason to believe that even one Palestinian will be denied service on Israeli bus lines – the necessary condition to claim that there’s a “ban”.

Examining an alleged quote by Golda Meir about the Holocaust cited by Gideon Levy

(CAMERA senior research analyst Gidon Shaviv assisted in this post)

We recently posted about an Irish Times article by Lara Marlow which highlighted Haaretz’s Gideon Levy (“Holocaust makes Israelis think international law doesn’t apply,” Sept. 11th) in which Levy recycled a previously discredited quote by former prime minister Golda Meir.

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Gideon Levy recycles a likely fabricated Golda Meir quote for the Irish Times

As CAMERA has previously documented, in 2004 Gideon Levy claimed in a Ha’aretz column that “Golda Meir said that after what the Nazis did to us, we can do whatever we want,” but was later forced to admit that he had no source for the quote. In an email to CAMERA, he acknowledged: “Therefore we dropped the quotation in the original version in Hebrew and by mistake it was printed in the English version.”

He’s at it again.

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Giles Fraser finds one righteous Jew – and his name is Gideon Levy

One of the most edifying political experiences I had before making Aliyah occurred in 2007 when I observed an anti-Israel event outside Philadelphia, in which an anti-Zionist Jew named Marc Ellis was asked by an anti-Zionist non-Jew, at the Q&A after the event, how many ‘righteous Jews’, like him, there actually were in the world.  

Ellis’s answer: “Sadly, not very many“.

Indeed, many within the Guardian Left often insist upon the virtue of ‘left-wing’, ‘peace activist’, ‘human rights-advocating’ Israelis, in contrast to the living, breathing obstacles-to-peace represented by the ‘right-wing’, ‘settler’, ‘ultra-Zionist‘, ‘war-hungry’, ‘anti-Arab’ variety Israeli – a paradigm that’s been compromised of late by the near universal Israeli support for their country’s war against an extremist movement which calls for the mass murder of Jews known as Hamas.

Israeli writer Amos Oz, a founder of “Peace Now,” explained recently why he supports the war, by stating quite simply: “The only way to repel aggression is unfortunately by force”.

This clearly presented a dilemma for the Guardian’s Giles Fraser, in his Aug. 7 op-ed, “Against the war: the movement that dare not speak its name in Israel“. 

The Guardian’s Giles Fraser

So, what to do?  

Find a ‘brave’ Israeli peace activist.

Gideon Levy

Gideon Levy

Fraser’s protagonist is Ha’aretz’s prolific anti-Zionist, Gideon Levy, whose infamous record of baseless claims includes falsifying a poll to suggest Israeli support for apartheid (for which he was forced to apologize) and parroting the ‘Zionism = Racism’ canard in declaring that “a Jewish state means a racist, nationalistic state, meant for Jews only.”

Much like an interview with Levy in 2010 at the Independent (by the radical anti-Israel journalist Johann Hari)Fraser presents the Ha’aretz columnist as a courageous voice who strives to expose Israel’s immutable sin.

Fraser writes:

In his column in Haaretz, [Levy] has long since banged the drum for greater Israeli empathy towards the suffering of the Palestinians. He is a well-known commentator on the left, and one of the few prepared to stick his head above the parapet

Levy’s unpardonable crime is vocal opposition to the war and to the bombing of Gaza. According to recent polls, support for the military operation in Gaza among the Jewish Israeli public stands somewhere between 87% (Channel 10 News) and 95% (Israel Democracy Institute). Even those who are secretly against the war are cautious about voicing their opinion openly.

Of course, the suggestion that Israelis who oppose the war are “cautious about voicing their opinion openly” would be news to the thousands who have turned out for anti-war protests in Tel Aviv over the past several weeks.

 Fraser then seeks an alternative explanation for the overwhelming Israeli support for their country’s war with Hamas.

Most newspapers and TV channels are simply cheerleaders for the government line, offering a constant diet of fear and fallen heroes, with little evidence of any of the atrocities going on in Gaza. The problem is, ordinary Israelis have little idea what has been going on. I know so much more about what is happening in Gaza when I’m sitting in London than I do in Tel Aviv. Under this level of information manipulation, how can ordinary Israelis be expected to be critical?

Fraser’s hubris is extraordinary. Not only does he fail to empathize with the citizens of a nation sharing a border with an Islamist extremist group which seeks their annihilation, but actually seems to think that Israelis don’t share his views because they don’t live in London, and therefore evidently aren’t privy to what’s ‘really’ happening in Gaza.

Fraser continues: 

Later I go for a drink at a friend’s flat in Tel Aviv with a group of broadly leftwing activists in their late 20s and early 30s, NGO types that I was expecting would share my exasperation. And I make a mistake, assuming too much common ground. I ask whether their fear of rockets is properly calibrated to reality, given that people are so much more likely to die in a car accident in Israel than at the hands of Hamas. And there is an awkward reaction. The question was insensitive. 

‘Insensitive’, indeed.  In addition to the psychological terror which countless Israelis – including young children – suffer from the thousands of rocket attacks since Hamas’s rise to power in 2006, over the past fifteen years alone more than 1,200 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian terror attacks. An additional 8,500 or so were maimed and wounded.

Finally, after expressing his dismay at the failure of even peace activists to condemn their country, Fraser’s protagonist again speaks:

Levy had warned me earlier. “The young people are the worst. More ignorant. More brainwashed. They have never met a Palestinian in their lives.”

However, the suggestion that young Israelis are uninformed because they have never met Palestinians is absurd. There are (to cite just one example) more than 370,000 Palestinian residents of Israel in east Jerusalem alone – permanent residents of the state who Jewish Israelis meet in cafes, shops, places of work, hospitals and every conceivable public and private venue. 

Indeed, if you want to throw around words like “brainwashed” and “ignorant”, we could certainly point to fact that the Guardian’s resident Anglican Priest came to the Jewish state in search of righteous Israeli Jews and, save Gideon Levy, found ‘sadly not very many‘.  

Economist’s Nicolas Pelham Deceives About Christians in Israel

Cross posted by CAMERA’s Israel Director, Tamar Sternthal

Charging “Israel’s multiple self-professed lobbyists” for having “donned the mantle of Christian saviors,” The Economist‘s Nicolas Pelham cites Proverbs to excoriate: “Deceive not with thy lips.” Writing yesterday in Haaretz (“Christians in Israel and Palestine“), it is Pelham himself who repeatedly deceives.

Population Decline or Growth?

First, he completely misleads about Israel’s Christian population, claiming it has declined, when in fact it has increased by 268 percent since 1949. He writes:

What [Israel’s lobbyists] do not say is that Israel’s population of native Christians has fallen by roughly the same proportion. From 8 percent in 1947 (in all of mandatory Palestine), it numbered 4 percent in 1948, and is now less than 2 percent. The reasons for the decline are largely the same. Jewish, as Muslim, birth-rates are much higher. [Note: The last sentence appears only online. It is not in the print edition.]

What Pelham does not say is that according to The Statistical Abstract of Israel, there were approximately 34,000 Christians living in Israel in 1949. This figure was not broken down by ethnicity, but the vast majority of these people were Arab Christians. And at the end of 2011, there were approximately, 125,000 Arab Christians living in Israel. By citing relative figures instead of absolute figures, Pelham deceives readers into believing Israel’s Christian population “has fallen,” when the opposite is true.

Deceive not with thy lips.

St. George’s Harmony of Violence?

Painting a dubious picture of mutual respect and harmony among Muslim and Christian Palestinians, Pelham deceives:

On St. George’s Day, Muslims join Christians to commemorate his martyrdom at his shrine in Al-Khader, near Bethlehem.

Hardly the picture of coexistence, last week’s celebration of the feast of St. George at St. George’s Orthodox Church ended in a violent clash, as was documented on a YouTube video that went viral:

According to Lela Gilbert, author of Saturday People, Sunday People, Israel through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner:

A Bethlehem Greek Orthodox Church (St. George’s Church – Khadar – near Beit Jala) was attacked by Muslims during its annual St. George’s Day services on May 6. … Some local Muslims either tried to park a car too close the church and/or tried to enter the church during a service honoring St. George – the initial instigation isn’t clear. But when the intruders were asked to leave, one of them stabbed a Christian man who was outside the church serving as a guard. He was hospitalized. Several then started throwing stones at the church. 7 or 8 Christians were injured and some physical damage was done – broken windows etc. The police didn’t show up for an hour.

“Despite the contradictory reports, it seems pretty obvious that whatever police presence there was at St. George’s on its feast day, it was insufficient to prevent an outbreak of violence, which resulted in several injuries including one broken nose,” observed Dexter Van Zile, CAMERA’s Christian Media Analyst. “In sum, stones were thrown at Christianity’s living stones near the city of Christ’s birth.”

“No matter how you look at it, the episode represents a failure on the part of the Palestinian Authority, one that local journalists and Christian leaders are – for understandable reasons – reluctant to highlight,” Van Zile added.

Deceive not with thy lips.

Islamist Bullying in Gaza A Thing of the Past?

Pelham depicts a false rosy picture for Gaza’s Christians, falsely suggesting that intimidation was limited to “the early days of Hamas rule in Gaza.” He writes:

In the early days of Hamas rule in Gaza, militants firebombed a church and attacked its worshippers uncannily close to a police station. But the Islamists have since clamped down on their own; their prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, pointedly attended church to honor a local Christian politician.

The U.S. State Department’s International Freedom Report for 2012 (the most recent report available) paints a more sober picture of the status of Gaza’s Christians. “The de facto Hamas authorities in Gaza continued to restrict religious freedom in both law and practice, and the negative trend for respect of this right was reflected in such abuses as arresting or detaining Muslims in Gaza who did not abide by Hamas’ strict interpretation of Islam . . . ” The report noted:

Hamas largely tolerated the small Christian presence in Gaza and did not force Christians to abide by Islamic law. However, Hamas’ religious ideology negatively affected Christians, according to church leaders. For example, local religious leaders received warnings ahead of Christian holidays against any public display of Christianity. Christians raised concerns that Hamas failed to defend their rights as a religious minority. Local officials sometimes advised converts to leave their communities to prevent harassment against them. Hamas officials on July 19 publicly denied allegations from the Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza that Hamas-affiliated officials coerced Ramez Ayman and Hiba Abu Dawoud and her three children to convert to Islam. Christians staged a protest at Gaza’s main church in late July.

What Pelham does not say is that as recently as July 2012, Palestinian Christians living in the Gaza Strip were reportedly kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam. “According to the Greek Orthodox Church in the Gaza Strip, at least five Christians have been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam in recent weeks,” Khaled Abu Toameh reported in Gatestone Institute (“Who Will Save the Christians in the Gaza Strip”?). He added:

The church blamed an unidentified terror group of being behind the forced conversions and called on the international community to intervene to save the Christians.

Church leaders also accused a prominent Hamas man of being behind the kidnapping and forced conversion of a Christian woman, Huda Abu Daoud, and her three daughters. Shortly after she disappeared, the woman sent a message to her husband’s mobile phone informing him that she and her daughters had converted to Islam.

In a rare public protest, leaders and members of the 2,000-strong Christian community in the Gaza Strip staged a sit-in strike in the Gaza Strip this week to condemn the abductions and forced conversions in particular, and persecution at the hands of radical Muslims in general.

Deceive not with thy lips.

Christmas Tree Ban in the Knesset?

The Jerusalem-based journalist and writer on Arab affairs erred when he wrote:

haaretz knesset bans christmas trees

The online article helpfully provides a link to a Dec. 26, 2013 AP story which appeared at the time in Haaretz. The AP article does not support Mr. Pelham’s claim that the Knesset bans Christmas trees “from its premises.” In fact, it states:

Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein says he refused to display a Christmas tree in the parliament because of the “painful memories” it evoked among Jews.

Edelstein told Israel Radio Thursday such a public display of a Christian symbol could be construed as offensive.  Earlier this week, Edelstein rejected the request of a Christian-Arab lawmaker. He said the parliamentarian could display a tree in his office and party’s conference room. (Emphasis added.)

Thus, while a Christmas tree was not permitted in public space in the Knesset, it was permitted in private offices and party conference rooms. In other words, Christmas trees are not banned from the Knesset “premises.”

What Pelham does not say is that it is prohibited to publicly display Christmas trees in all of Gaza City and the rest of the Strip, while Christmas trees are distributed for free in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel. In fact, the free Christmas trees are available twice a year in Israel, once for western Christians and then a few days later for Greek Orthodox Christians.

The Guardian reported in 2011 (“Gaza Christians long for days before Hamas cancelled Christmas“):

There hasn’t been a Christmas tree in Gaza City’s main square since Hamas pushed the Palestinian Authority out of Gaza in 2007 and Christmas is no longer a public holiday. . . .

[Peter Qubrsi, a Catholic from Gaza] describes being stopped in the street by a Hamas official who told him to remove the cross. “I told him it’s not his business and that I wouldn’t,” Peter said. After being threatened with arrest he was eventually let go, but the incident scared him.

Deceive not with thy lips.

Following communication from CAMERA’s Israel office, Haaretz editors changed the online text to the following accurate wording:

knesset christmas tree corrected

Editors also appended a vague note at the bottom of the article which fails to make clear what was amended and why:

knesset christmas tree appended

Haaretz has not yet corrected in print.

Why Did Azmi Bishara Leave?

In another deception, Nicolas Pelham asserts:

The country’s most prominent Christian politician, Azmi Bishara, was hounded out of Israel amid cries of treachery after he dared to suggest that Israel should be a state for all its citizens.

In fact, Haaretz itself reported at the time a very different account of Bishara’s departure to Jordan shortly before he was charged with passing information to Hezbollah:

azmi bishara hezbollah

Haaretz added:

A senior Shin Bet official told reporters earlier in the day that Bishara had had prolonged contact with Hezbollah members who were involved in gathering information on Israel.

Bishara allegedly provided “information, suggestions and recommendations,” including censored material, to his contacts in Lebanon during the war.

The Shin Bet official said that Bishara was fully aware of the sensitivity of the information. According to the Shin Bet, he was given “missions” from Hezbollah, which he then carried out.

Bishara allegedly advised Hezbollah on the ramifications of firing missiles further south than Haifa. At the time, Hezbollah was debating whether to strike at targets deeper inside Israel. A few days later, missiles struck south of Haifa for the first time.

The former lawmaker is also suspected of helping Hezbollah with assessments regarding a possible Israeli assassination attempt on Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, as well as offering advice on waging psychological warfare against the Israelis.

Deceive not with thy lips.

Many of the pieces in The Economist are unsigned, so it’s hard to know whether or not Pelham is responsible for the now infamous (and since corrected) reference to Kochav Yair as a “fanatical settlement.” (It is neither.)

….

(See our follow-up post on this story, here)

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What the Guardian won’t report: Pew study reveals extreme homophobia in Palestinian society

One of the more bewildering aspects of the UK media’s advocacy on behalf of the Palestinian cause is how many putatively liberal journalists reconcile their views on Israel-Palestine with undeniable evidence attesting to decidedly reactionary political values within Palestinian society.  

While news of Israel’s liberal advantages in the region on a myriad of social issues are often cynically dismissed as ‘hasbara’, or even framed as efforts to ‘whitewash the occupation, news of Palestine’s less than enlightened views on the rights of gays, women and religious minorities are either buried or, sometimes, even excused as the result of Israeli oppression.

As case in point of such news which won’t reach the pages of the Guardian – or, likely, any other UK broadsheet – is the recent publication of a Pew Global Survey on Morality. 

The Pew survey asked tens of thousands of respondents in 40 countries what they thought about moral issues such as homosexuality, abortion, premarital sex, alcohol consumption, divorce, and the use of contraceptives. For each issue, respondents were asked whether this is morally acceptable, morally unacceptable, or not a moral issue. 

Though an April 27th Haaretz report on the poll’s results focused narrowly on the conclusions regarding Israel – noting that Israel was more liberal than most of the world, on average, when it comes such moral issues, Haaretz didn’t focus on the results for Palestinians (in Gaza and the West Bank).

Here’s the Pew graph for the ‘Palestinian territories’. (Note that orange is used to indicate ‘unacceptable’, green is ‘acceptable’, while grey indicates people who didn’t believe the topic was a moral issue.)

pal views

As the graph show, only 1% of Palestinian respondents believe that homosexuality is morally ‘acceptable’ behavior.  (The only other countries with the same results were Egypt, Pakistan, Ghana, Nigeria, and Uganda.)

Further, such results are fully consistent with reports detailing the climate of fear Palestinian gays and lesbians endure due to widespread and often codified intolerance. While the Palestinian Authority has no civil right laws that protect LGBT people from discrimination or harassment, and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association issued a report entitled “State-sponsored Homophobia” which noted that the penal code in Gaza renders homosexual conduct a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. 

Moreover, “Palestinianism” has never included, for all but a small number of its proponents, a sober reflection on the likely moral and political consequences – for Jews and Palestinians – of the new political entity.

So, while it would be fair to ask ‘liberal’ pro-Palestinian activists if they have any realistic cause for hope that a newly independent Palestinian state would inculcate their citizens with a spirit of tolerance towards its sexual minorities, and enact legislation protecting their rights under the law, perhaps the more important question is: Do they even care?

 

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CAMERA monitors media coverage of Israel, Feb. 26 – March 10: Guardian, NYT, Al-Jazeera, Ha’aretz

English Posts

Al-Jazeera America TV News Aims Against Israel
Twisted coverage of Israel is consistent with the network’s indirect connection through its owner to the creation of the Palestinian Hamas terrorist entity sworn to Israel’s destruction. The CEO, aiming at the opinion makers, admits to unconcern about profits and viewer ratings. (CAMERA)

Where’s the Coverage? The Truth about “Israel Apartheid Week”
The latest untold story. (CAMERA Snapshots)

Ha’aretz Veers Off Course with Ports Story
In the latest false media account of a supposed anti-Israel BDS victory, Ha’aretz incorrectly reports that two foreign companies withdrew from a ports tender due to boycott fears. (CAMERA)

When Media Cover for Palestinian Terror Groups
Martin Kramer has excellently exposed how The New York Times covers for Rashid Khalidi. (In case it’s not clear, the job of a serious newspaper is to cover the PLO spokesman-cum-professor, not cover for him.). (Snapshots)

Just the Facts: Stripping Down Ha’aretz Coverage on Airport Search
Ha’aretz news article describes a “he said/she said” dispute about the alleged strip search of an Israeli Arab teacher. Ha’aretz headlines and opinion pieces upgrade the disputed claim to fact. (CAMERA)

Ha’aretz Lost in Translation on Strip Search
Today, in an apparent case of “lost in translation,” the Ha’aretz English edition continues to report as fact the disputed claim that Israeli Arab teacher Ezies Elias Shehada was subjected to a strip search. (Snapshots)

Mitnick, the U.S., and “Illegal” Settlements
American policy on the legality of the settlements has been consistent for decades. And Joshua Mitnick’s coverage of that policy has also been consistent. Consistently wrong, that is. (Snapshots)

Did Mahmoud Abbas outrage Syria’s Palestinian refugees by waiving their right to live?
The Guardian failed to report news that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had rejected an Israeli offer to allow thousands of Palestinian refugees, caught in war-torn Syria, safe travel into the West Bank and Gaza – citing his fear that they may be forced to forfeit their “right of return”. (CiF Watch)

Hebrew Posts

Yossi Sarid’s Boycott
What are the aims of the BDS Movement? (Presspectiva)

The Media is a little too fast in reporting BDS successes
Did Dutch and Italian companies really withdraw tender application to build new ports in Israel, due to political reasons?. (Presspectiva)

Abu-Mazen’s True Position
What Abu Mazen says in English is not always identical to what he says in Arabic . (Presspectiva)

Ha’aretz No Longer a Newspaper
Has Ha’aretz decided to come out of the closet, shrugging off any pretense of being a news organization? What other explanation is there for publication of the full text of a petition by Rashid Khalidi and Judith Butler without any comment or context? (Presspectiva)

Portraying Israel as if it was North Korea
A Ha’aretz Op-ed is too happy to grossly mischaracterize and declare as a fact, incidents which are very much in dispute. (Presspectiva)

Ma’ariv Finally Corrects!
Days before an ethics committee hearing on Presspectiva’s complaint, Ma’ariv finally corrects a six month old story. (Presspectiva)

Spanish Posts

ABC: ¿Por qué fue Merkel a Israel?
El diario español ABC se encarga de que los palestinos estén en el titular de la noticia sobre la visita de Merkel a Israel, que era relevante por otros motivos. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

¿Dónde está la cobertura?
La prensa en español suele recoger y reproducir noticias provenientes de periódicos israelíes, siempre y cuando los hechos que relate esa noticia sirvan para reforzar la imagen de Israel que se pretenden instalar entre el público lector. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

La agencia EFE: acusación particular contra Israel
La agencia gubernamental española presenta los argumentos de la acusación, pero en ningún momento nos permite conocer qué alega el acusado en su defensa. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Un elefante rosa 
Es grande, ruidoso, muy visible en un lugar pequeño y, aún así, nadie quiere verlo. Lo mismo sucede con Hamas, y con los grupos terroristas que operan desde Gaza, en el marco de las conversaciones de paz entre Israel y la AP. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Pincelada propia 
La agencia española de noticias Europa Press, tomaba el material deReuters y no podría evitar darle un giro muy propio. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Hamás condena la enseñanza de los DDHH en Gaza
La organización terrorista condena el curricula de la UNWRA por incluir asignaturas sobre derechos humanos. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

5 razones que alejan a los palestinos de la paz
Utilizar los medios de comunicación para difamar a Israel y difundir odio gratuito desde la cúpula de la Autoridad Palestina, son razones de peso que alejan a los palestinos de la paz y que usan como plataforma de difusión los medios de comunicación masiva. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

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False charge of ‘Palestinian Kids in Cages’ lives on in Australian documentary

The following was published at CAMERA

The false accusation that Israel maintained a longstanding practice of caging Palestinian children outdoors was repeated in several media outlets before being corrected by those outlets and repudiated by multiple sources. Yet it continues to gain new life as one Israeli media outlet steadfastly refuses to set the record straight.

The media charges began with a news article on Dec. 31 in the Jerusalem Post, Livni halts practice of placing detained Palestinian children in outdoor cages.” The story cited an NGO, The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), to allege that there was a “longstanding” Israeli policy of torturing Palestinian children by caging them outdoors. The following day, a London-based newspaper, The Independent, published a similar article entitled “Israel government tortures Palestinian children by keeping them in cages, human rights group says.” Two subsequent Ha’aretzarticles also mentioned the Israeli practice allegedly targeting Palestinian children.

PCATI, the original source of the false allegations, wrongly conflated the holding of Israeli detainees in outdoor prison cells (referred to as “cages”) with general accusations of ill-treatment targeting Palestinians.  Referring to  “caging” as an example of the alleged torture of Palestinian children, the NGO linked to an earlier Hebrew-language statement from the Office of the Public Defender, which in turn was based on interviews with Israeli detainees at a prison transit facility. (There was no mention here of any Palestinians.) Those detainees reported being held temporarily in outdoor cells during severe weather as they awaited transfer to their court hearings. The Public Defender’s Office gave the report to Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who contacted the Minister of Public Security and the commissioner of the Israel Prison Service.  The practice, which had been in place for several months, was immediately stopped.  From the start, this was a domestic issue related to conduct by the prison system toward Israeli detainees of whatever background that was distorted into an allegation of torture and abuse targeting Palestinian children.

After CAMERA pointed out the discrepancy between PCATI’s accusation and the statement to which it was linked, the NGO acknowledged that Palestinians were never mentioned in the Public Defender’s report and posted a clarification to that effect on its website. CAMERA also contacted The Independent and Ha’aretz, who similarly corrected their stories.

CAMERA and its affiliates gathered additional evidence from multiple sources, including statements from the Public Defender’s Office, the Justice Ministry, the Israeli Prison Authority, as well as remarks about the matter by the Minister of Public Security at a Knesset session following the release of the Public Defender’s statement, the Knesset Public Petitions Committee session that was referenced in the Jerusalem Post article and Hebrew-language reports about the matter, all of which made it undeniably clear that the short-term practice of temporarily holding detainees in outdoor holding cells, or  “cages,” was never directed at Palestinian children or Palestinian adults.

 For the past six weeks, since the Jerusalem Post article was originally published, CAMERA has appealed repeatedly to the newspaper’s journalists and editors, urging them to correct the misleading story, but to no avail.  
 
Unfortunately, the Jerusalem Post’s  inexplicable refusal to set the record straight has opened the door to the ongoing perpetration of an egregious falsehood, as evidenced by a vitriolic Australian documentary yesterday. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation documentary, “Four Corners,” promoted a narrative of brutal abuse by Israel of Palestinian children. It included the Jerusalem Post‘s story of holding children overnight in outdoor cages. At approximately 32 minutes into the broadcast, the documentary zooms in on the Post‘s print story, graphically underscoring just how much damage the uncorrected report inflicts:
jerusalempostfourcorners

 

 

CAMERA monitors media coverage of Israel, Dec.19-31: Guardian, BBC, Ma’ariv, Ha’aretz, Ynet

Our periodic round-up of posts from CAMERA affiliated sites:

BBC Watch

Crude stereotyping of ‘expansionist’ Israelis in BBC 3 comedy showBBC guidelines permit national stereotyping “for comic effect” if there are “audience expectations”, but does BBC coverage of Israel in fact create such expectations? (BBC Watch)

BBC’s Knell amplifies UNRWA’s political campaigning on R4′s ‘The World Tonight’BBC reports on the recent flooding in Gaza cite “tight restrictions” on imports of fuel which do not exist . (BBC Watch)

CiF Watch

Guardian: Non-Jewish Israelis who live in settlements should not be called ‘settlers’According to the Guardian’s ‘Style Guide’, the term “settler” can only be used to characterize ‘Jewish’ Israelis who live beyond the green line. So, according to this logic, a Christian or Muslim citizen of Israel living in a “settlement” in the West Bank or “East” Jerusalem would NOT be considered a “settler”. (CiF Watch)

In Focus

Brandeis and Penn State Harrisburg Pull Out of ASA Program in Response to BoycottASA takes a more extreme stance on Israel than the president of the Palestinian Authority. (in Focus)

Review of the Fall Semester 2013: Israel Awareness Week at the University of HoustonOver 70 students attend an event with Israel’s highest ranking Muslim diplomat during Israel Awareness Week at the University of Houston, organized with CAMERA’s help and support. (in Focus)

Event Held at the University of Miami Celebrates Gay Life in Israel: About 70 students attend event at the University of Miami to learn about the rights that Israel gives gays in Israel. (in Focus)

The Failures of Sam BahourJ-Street at Brandeis helps bring to campus a speaker that is against Israel’s existence, and that suggested that Israel is responsible for chemical weapon use in Syria. J-Street is part of Hillel on that campus. (in Focus)

CAMERA Helps Bring Jeff Jacoby to Florida: Jeff Jacoby connects Zionism to American history and covers the big lies – big truth phenomenon. Our Owls for Israel Board member at Florida Atlantic University writes about it. (in Focus)

Senior Campus Coordinator at CAMERA Writes to Hampshire College President, Calling on Him to Condemn the ASA BoycottRead her well written letter here. (in Focus)

Review of Fall Semester 2013: Gil Magen at Ohio State University Photography Under Fire event draws in many people, including adults over age 50, students from a diverse number of academic department such as Middle East Studies, photography, sociology, political science and others. (in Focus)

Review of Fall Semester 2013: Sgt. Benjamin Anthony at George MasonAbout 70 students attend event designed to decrease apathy and increase awareness of Israel. Students involved in Greek life, students enrolled in ROTC and others learn about what drove Benjamin Anthony to leave all he knew in his native U.K. and enlist in the IDF. (in Focus)

Professor Rotella, Director of the American Studies Program at Boston College, Speaks Out Against the ASA Boycott of IsraelRead his letter here. So far 55 institutions have condemned the ASA boycott. (in Focus)

CAMERA

The Samer Issawi TestReleased Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi is an important test case for journalists. His hunger strike continues to garner news coverage. His conviction for multiple attempts of murder, not so much. (CAMERA)

CAMERA Prompts NY Times Correction on Gaza Shortages, ‘Palestinian’ CitiesCAMERA prompts a New York Times correction after the newspaper claimed Israeli cities are “Palestinian,” blamed Israel for water, gas and electricity shortages in Gaza. (CAMERA)

At end of 2013, Ha’aretz Drops Ball on Depo-Provera StoryIn an end of the year round up of most read articles, Ha’aretz drops the ball on the Ethiopian contraception story, repeating errors that the very same news outlet corrected back in March. (CAMERA)

CAMERA Prompts Corrections on Ethiopians’ ContraceptionMonths after CAMERA’s Israel office prompted Ha’aretz to correct coverage about Depo Provera injections for Ethiopian women, the media watchdog sets off another round of corrections at the Israeli news outlet. (CAMERA)

In Jordan Valley, Ha’aretz LostA Ha’aretz photo caption wrongly states that Israel “had voted to extend Israeli law over parts of the Jordan Valley,” even though the original AP caption correctly identified the proposed legislation in question as “a proposed Israeli bill.” (Snapshots)

Presspectiva

Ma’ariv’s Misplaced RageThe cause of a demonstration seems to baffle Ma’ariv (Presspectiva)

Is Israel’s Christian Population Really Declining?A nasty Independent Op-Ed repeats a modern day slander (Presspectiva)

Ma’ariv and Makor Rishon Greatly Over report European antisemitismA report on a new poll on European antisemitism manages to cite every figure wrong. (Presspectiva)

The Reemergence of the Green LineHa’aretz’s updated style guide, no longer encourages translators to avoid using the term “The Green Line”. (Presspectiva)

Who Needs To Check Facts If You Can Read Ynet?A scathing op-ed in the “7th eye” against the Simon Wiesenthal Center, was completely based on an error published in Ynet (Presspectiva)

ReVista de Medio Oriente

Who condemns Palestinian terrorism?: In the Spanish-speaking press, very few voices were given space to condemn the attack to the 240 bus line near Tel Aviv, while only a handful of papers actually published news about the incident. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Middle East headlines in the Spanish-speaking press: These are the weekly highlights about Israel and the Middle East in the Latin American and Spanish press. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

CAMERA monitors media coverage of Israel in 3 languages, Nov. 5: Guardian, BBC, El Pais, NYT & Haaretz

Our regular roundup of posts from CAMERA affiliated sites:

BBC report on building tenders presented in one-sided political terminology
The BBC embraces the politically motivated terminology used by the Palestinian Authority and fringe groups of radical anti-Israel campaigners in a report on construction plans in Jerusalem suburb. (BBC Watch)

BBC coverage of prisoner release in pictures
The imbalance in BBC coverage of the recent release of convicted Palestinian terrorists is reflected even in the images selected to illustrate reports. (BBC Watch)

Guardian columnist compares Israel to an autistic child
Guardian columnist Giles Fraser evokes the refrain that ‘Israel doesn’t play well with others’ by advancing a bizarre analogy between the ‘stubborn’ Jewish state and a cognitively underdeveloped child. (CiF Watch)

CSUN Stands Back as Professor Klein Uses University Resources to Promote Israel Boycott
California State University Northridge fails to remove Professor Klein’s webpage, posted on the university server, that promotes the boycott of Israel. (in Focus)

Recap of Dr. Anat Berko’s Campus Tour
Anat Berko just recently completed her October campus tour, visiting ten campuses that stretched from Florida to Ohio. (in Focus)

Students at ORT University in Uruguay Attend Lecture Given by Professor Jack Drassinover
CAMERA’s first Fellow in Uruguay organizes an event about Israel on his campus. (in Focus)

Lost in the Israeli geography 
European TV channel Euronews continues to believe that the capital of the Jewish State is Tel Aviv. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Argumentative illusionism 
An op-ed by ReVista published in the Argentinean newspaper Clarín. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Answering Marcelo JelenE 
Article by Ilan Bajarlia, Ort University of Uruguay CAMERA Fellow. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

CAMERA Presents: Dr. Anat Berko at Tulane University
Students learn about terrorism in the Middle East, through sociological psychological lenses at a CAMERA supported event. (in Focus)

El Pais publishes a letter from ReVista de Medio Oriente
The letter was sent to the Spanish newspaper as a response to a couple of articles with several inaccuracies. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Always Human Error? 
Presspectiva responds to Haaretz blog post explaining away the “Rihanna incident” (Presspectiva)

Zionism and Religion
Are the two contradictory? (Presspectiva)

The New York Times, Haaretz and Maariv – An Empirical Experiment
Within 48 hours three papers made the same mistake. Who published a correction? (Presspectiva)

Hassidim, Soya and Dubious Sources
A viral story about Gur Hassidim was based on some rather dubious evidence. (Presspectiva)

British journalist who admitted to anti-Jewish prejudice plays ‘dual loyalty’ card

Mira Bar Hillel is Property and Planning correspondent for the Evening Standard.  

bar

And, though she is Jewish, she is also prejudiced against Jews.  In fact, Jews scare her quite a bit.

Don’t take our word for it. Here are her exact words, in a Haaretz interview:

The Jews of today scare me and I find it almost impossible to talk to most of them, including relatives. Any criticism of the policies of Israel – including the disgraceful treatment of Holocaust survivors as well as refugees from murderous regimes – is regarded as treason and/or anti-Semitism. Most papers and journals will not even publish articles on the subject for fear of a Jewish backlash. Goyim (gentiles ) are often treated with ill-concealed contempt, yet the Jews are always the victims. Am I prejudiced against Jews? Alas, yes.”

She also recently complained, in a column at The Independent, that Zionist Jews try to gag her into submission.

My most vicious Twitter trolls are Jews from all over the world accusing me of treason for daring to criticise Israel’s racism and other excesses and trying their best to gag me.

Since arriving in London I have not ONCE experienced anti-Semitism, although jews talk about it a lot, as Marcus said. I am not a self-hating jew - I hate people who use the label to gag into submission any critic of Israel and its deplorable actions. And very effective they are too.

Yet, somehow, Bar Hillel evidently hasn’t been effectively muzzled by the British Jewish community, as her recent column at The Independent (Israel and the US: Drawing up lines of allegiance, Oct. 30) demonstrates.

Bar Hillel begins her meditation on Jewish allegiance by noting the ‘inflammatory’ nature of the topic:

Ask British Jews whether they feel more loyal to this country or to Israel – and expect to be instantly labelled anti-Semitic and sent packing. The same, only more so, applies in the USA.

When Israeli positions conflict with British ones, nothing is more inflammatory than allegations of “dual allegiance”,  not to mention putting Israel first. The pro-Israel lobbyists do their work subtly, although in the US their activities, especially among politicians, attract more attention…

Bar Hillel then pivots from British Jews to American Jews, per the focus on her column:

…Which makes it even more peculiar that tens of thousands of leaflets have recently been distributed to Jewish Americans, as well as to Israelis living in the United States, asking them to indicate where their allegiance would lie in the case of a crisis between the two countries

Within days, following the report of the story in the Israeli press, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu hastily directed the ministry to stop backing the questionnaire, which was commissioned by the Israeli American Council, a private nonprofit group established in Los Angeles in 2007

According to the IAC, this expansion is to be sponsored by Vegas casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

Bar Hillel fails to note that the head of the umbrella organization of American Jews denounced the questionnaire as well. 

Now, for a hint of conspiracy, Bar Hillel writes the following:

In October 2013  Adelson called upon the US to warn Iran it would use Nuclear missiles if necessary, initially aimed at the desert and subsequently threatening to hit Tehran if it did not halt its nuclear programme . This could have been – and possibly was – scripted by Netanyahu.

Now, for the question of loyalty:

I wouldn’t dare ask Sheldon Adelson, whose wife is Israeli, where his allegiances lie. But I would dearly love to hear his answer.

No, Bar Hillel “wouldn’t dare ask” the question she in fact just asked, about the loyalty of Jewish Americans, just as I wouldn’t dare ask editors at The Independent how they reconcile their recent defense against charges of antisemitism with their decision to publish a column evoking the charge of ‘dual loyalty’ by a writer who has admitted being prejudiced against Jews.   

But, ‘I would dearly love to hear’ their answer.

CAMERA monitors media coverage of Israel, Oct. 28th: NYT, Haaretz, Mail & Guardian, El Universal

Our regular roundup of posts from CAMERA affiliated sites:

Among the Turmoil, Israel Can Be a Model For Stability
Our CAMERA Supported group at the University of Minnesota, Students Supporting Israel, publishes a letter to the editor in their campus paper educating their campus about Israel’s democracy. (in Focus)

‘Mail & Guardian’ parrots description of Marwan Barghouti as a “political prisoner”
What term would you likely use to characterized an imprisoned Palestinian terrorist, who was convicted for his leading role in scores of deadly terror attacks against innocent Israelis? Well, if you’re the (South African) ‘Mail & Guardian’ you’d describe such a violent terrorist as a “political prisoner”. (CiF Watch)

Author Asks “Will We Ever Be Forgiven for the Holocaust?”
Prize-winning author Howard Jacobson took on anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in this year’s Jerusalem Address at the B’Nai Brith World Center in Jerusalem. (Snapshots)

Rihanna, Haaretz and Palestine
Did Rihanna sing about Palestine in her Israeli concert? Only in Ha’aretz. (Presspectiva)

Missing: The Facts
Why did Amnesty International Israel not mention the facts about UNHRC anti-Israel bias in his op-ed? (Presspectiva)

NYT’s Rudoren Apologizes to Sara Netanyahu
The New York Times corrects a report which erroneously states that Sara Netanyahu faced harsh public criticism for the way in which she educates her children. Bureau chief Jodi Rudoren sends an apology letter. (Snapshots)

Life Sentences Lost in Ha’aretz Translation
In the latest “Ha’aretz, Lost in Translation,” Palestinian prisoners who participated in murder get their life sentences drastically reduced thanks to Ha’aretz translators. (Snapshots)

A potpourri of errors
The Mexican newspaper El Universal misinformed its readers about the “Rihanna affair”. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Where’s the coverage?
A bomb hurled at an Israeli school bus is not deemed newsworthy for Spanish media. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Why report well when you can do some harm to Israel?
The Spanish state-owned Radio Television Corporation managed to overshadow Israel’s goodwill gestures in releasing Palestinian prisoners. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Middle East headlines in the Spanish-speaking press
The Latin-American press focuses on the Israel-Gaza tension and on the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

NYT: Telling Readers How to Think About Israel
CAMERA Op-Ed in Times of Israel explains the latest ploy by The New York Times to influence readers against Israel. (CAMERA)