CiF Watch prompts Indy correction to erroneous ‘Gaza Holocaust’ passage

As we noted previously, The Independent published a story on December 24th about the ongoing Sony hacking scandal by the newspaper’s Deputy People Editor, Ella Alexander.

However, in attempting to explain the nature of a series of leaked emails (a reply-all chain argument featuring Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Russell Simmons and Ryan Seacrest) from film producer Ryan Kavanaugh, who is Jewish and a vocal Israel supporter, the Indy flubbed a key passage in the story.

Here are the relevant passages in the Indy article:

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The claim that Kavanaugh compared the situation in Gaza to the Holocaust is grossly inaccurate.

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Poll: 82% of UK Jews believe media bias against Israel fuels antisemitism in Britain

The Campaign Against Antisemitism just released a report based on two new YouGov polls measuring both antisemitic sentiment amongst the British public, and its effect on British Jewry.

Here are the highlights:

British Public’s Attitudes Towards British Jews

  • 25% of Britons believe that “Jews chase money more than other British people.”  
  • 20% of Britons believe “Jews’ loyalty to Israel makes them less loyal to Britain than other British people.” 
  • 17% of Britons believe that “Jews think they are better than other people” and that “Jews have too much power in the media.” 
  • 13% of Britons believe that “Jews talk about the Holocaust too much in order to get sympathy.” 

The Jewish Community’s Reactions to Antisemitism

  • 25% of British Jews have considered leaving the country in the past two years because of rising antisemitism. 
  • 45% of British Jews feel their family is threatened by Islamist extremism.
  • 77% of British Jews have witnessed antisemitism disguised as a political comment about Israel.
  • 84% of British Jews consider boycotts of businesses selling Israeli products to be intimidation.

Most interesting, from our perspective, was this:

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CiF Watch prompts correction to Indy claim that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital

Last week, we posted about an article at The Independent reporting on a recent Delta flight from New York to Tel Aviv which was delayed after some ultra-Orthodox Jewish passengers refused to sit next to women. The story, by Jon Stone, included the following passages:

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Of course, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, not (as the passage suggests) Tel Aviv.

(As we noted previously, other UK media outlets, including the Guardian and Times of London, have made that same mistake over the years.)

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Another British journalist evidently believes that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital

We don’t know much about UK-based journalist Jon Stone, other than the fact he used to work for BuzzFeed and now contributes to publications such as the Independent, where he published a story on Dec. 30th.

The article, about a recent Delta flight from New York to Tel Aviv which was slightly delayed after a few ultra-Orthodox Jewish passengers refused to sit next to women, included the following passages:

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Independent flubs key passage in story about Natalie Portman & the Sony hacking scandal

The Independent published a story on December 24th, by their Deputy People Editor Ella Alexander, about the ongoing Sony hacking scandal.

Here’s the headline, photo and strapline.

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So far so good.

As Alexander reports, “Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Seacrest were among a select few to receive emails from Relativity Media CEO and The Social Network executive producer Ryan Kavanaugh about anti-Semitism in relation to the Gaza conflict”.

However, in attempting to explain the nature of those emails (a reply-all chain argument leaked by Sony hackers about Gaza, featuring Russell Simmons, Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and Ryan Seacrest) from Kavanaugh, who is Jewish and a passionate Israel supporter, the Indy reporter gets a serious element of the story wrong.

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“Don’t you hate it when Santa gets dragged into politics?”

Our headline was taken from this Dec. 23rd article at i100 (The Independent’s BuzzFeed-style website) by the site’s news editor Matthew Champion.

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Whilst you can read the brief article (ranked 3rd overall in popularity on the site) here about the flagdisplayed in Hedge End, Hampshire - we were even more intrigued by another trending article on the site (ranked 6th overall) posted by Champion on the very same day.

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CiF Watch prompts correction to Indy claim that Western Wall is Judaism’s holiest site

Yesterday we posted about an article in the Independent representing the latest example of a mainstream news site erroneously claiming that the Western Wall in Jerusalem is Judaism’s holiest site.

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We noted that the Temple Mount (where the First and Second Jewish Temples stood) is in fact the holiest site, while the Western Wall is merely the holiest site where Jews are currently allowed to pray.

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Independent falsely claims the Western Wall is Judaism’s holiest site

Since 2013, CiF Watch has prompted two corrections at the The Telegraph to reports erroneously claiming that the Western Wall is Judaism’s holiest site. As we noted in previous posts, the Temple Mount (where the First and Second Temples stood) is in fact the holiest site, while the Western Wall (The Kotel) is merely the holiest site where Jews are currently permitted to pray.

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The latest British newspaper to make this mistake is the Independent, in Adam Sherwin’s Dec. 19th article (Sarah Silverman accuses Jerusalem authorities of sex discrimination).

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UK media absurd political analogy watch: The Berlin Wall & Israel’s Security Barrier

Ben Zygier (known as Prisoner X) was the Australian-Israeli Mossad agent imprisoned at Ayalon Prison in Ramla on espionage charges who committed suicide in his cell in 2010.

The 2013 row over revelations regarding Zygier’s incarceration and suicide received saturation coverage at the Guardian, and included this claim by Peter Beaumont – then foreign affairs editor for The Observer, sister site of the Guardian – in a report on Feb. 14th.

“The latest revelations come amid a growing outcry over the case in Israel, with some comparing the treatment of Zygier to that meted out in the Soviet Union or Argentina and Chile under their military dictatorships.”

The comparison, as we noted at the time, was simply bizarre. Indeed, the very term “Prisoner X”, implying that his identity and whereabouts were mysterious, was itself a misnomer, as Zygier’s original arrest warrant was issued by an authorized court, his incarceration was supervised by the Israeli judiciary, and the proceedings were overseen by the most senior Justice Ministry officials. Zygier was also legally represented by a top Israeli lawyer.

To evoke a comparison with the USSR – where several million Soviet “enemies of the state” died (due to overwork, starvation, torture or summary executions) after being sent, without anything resembling due process, to Gulag camps – is risible.

More recently, we found another example of the media’s use of a blatantly false analogy – in an article published at i100 (The Independent’s Buzzfeed-style news brand).

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CiF Watch prompts another UK media correction to ‘fired’ Arab workers claim

As we noted in a post yesterday, CiF Watch recently prompted a correction to a Dec. 1st Times of London article (Israel poised to vote on law for ‘Jewish state’) which alleged that the mayor of the Israeli city of Ashkelon barred Palestinian construction workers from city schools.  We demonstrated that Mayor Shimshoni, per multiple press reports over the last week, at first did announced his intention to prevent Arab workers from working at city kindergartens, but later rescinded his order following criticism from across the Israeli political spectrum.

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Indy buries the lead on Arab Jerusalemite support for synagogue massacre

The mayor of Ashkelon is already backtracking, after rightfully coming under fire from politicians across the political spectrum, from his pledge to fire Arab workers installing bomb shelters in city kindergartens.  Mayor Itamar Shimoni, who issued the threat after Tuesday’s deadly terror attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, admitted his decision was “disproportionate”, and that he has agreed to allow Arab laborers to continue working at the sites.

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Cover of Israel newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth the day following the synagogue massacre

 

Though Ben Lynfield’s report on the row in The Independent, titled, ‘Synagogue attack: Israeli mayor accused of racism after suspending 30 Arab workers for ‘security’ reasons‘, was straight forward enough, there was an extraordinary sentence buried without comment in the second paragraph:

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Guardian omits key context in quote by Israel spokesman about Mads Gilbert

Mads Gilbert is a Norwegian doctor, commentator and “radical Maoist politician” who openly supported the “moral right” of Al Qaeda to murder thousands of Americans on 9/11.

Mads Gilbert

Gilbert was also one of the authors of a letter published in the medical journal Lancet during the Gaza war which accused Israel of intentionally “massacring” Palestinian women and children. The journal’s editor later apologized for the letter, explaining that it “did not convey the level of complexity that is the reality in Israel.”

More recently, Gilbert was in the news after he was banned ‘for life’ from entering Israel.

Though the Guardian and Independent both covered Gilbert’s banning, a look at the way in which they cited a quote from the Israel Foreign Ministry about Gilbert is quite revealing.

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CiF Watch prompts Indy correction to claim about Muslim prayer at the Mount

In addition to the bizarre suggestion by Ben Lynfield at The Independent that recent violence in Jerusalem can be attributed to Israeli restrictions on Muslim “access to al-Aqsa Mosque”, his Nov. 6th report included the following historical error concerning the history of Muslim prayer at the Temple Mount Compound.
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Lynfield omits the Crusader period (1099 to 1187) in which Christian prayer was of course permitted. (In the 13th century, there were several years of additional Crusader control, before Muslim rule was re-established in 1244.)

After contacting Indy editors, they revised the passage to note the period when Christians ruled the holy city.

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We commend Indy editors on the prompt correction.

 

UK media lie begins: Jewish prayer rights activists cause Palestinian terrorism

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Chaya Zissel Braun (3 months), killed by a Palestinian terrorist in Jerusalem on Oct. 22

The question of whether the recent increase in Palestinian terror attacks – which has included two lethal stabbings, and the murder of three Israelis by Palestinians who intentionally ran their vehicles into crowds of pedestrians in Jerusalem – will one day be categorized as the start of a new intifada is debatable.  

However, we can already see how the UK media will likely be framing the story if indeed the uptick in deadly attacks continue and increase: that demands by some Jews to be able to pray at the Temple Mount (the holiest site in Judaism) is responsible for the violence. 

A Nov. 6th article by the Guardian’s Peter Beaumont, following the two vehicular terror attacks, opined that “Demands for greater access have been blamed by Israelis and Palestinians for a recent increase in violent confrontations in Jerusalem”.

The Economist suggested – in an article in their print edition on Nov. 8th titled Temple Madness – that “dangerous campaign for Jewish prayer rights” is a form of “Jewish agitation” which is driving Palestinians to violence.

And, Ben Lynfield of The Independent – in a Nov. 10th report titled “Fears of new intifada: Israel is hit by wave of Palestinian violence linked to concerns over al-Aqsa mosque – was even more brazen in arguing that the recent deadly attacks on Israelis “was triggered largely by a Palestinian perception of an Israeli threat to al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, Islam’s third holiest shrine.”

There is, of course, no threat to the al-Aqsa Mosque, and Israel’s prime minister has been adamant about the need to preserve the status quo at the holy site – where Jews are allowed to visit the site, but not to pray.

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Indy buries shooting of Yehuda Glick, focuses instead on Temple Mount closing

For the second time in a week, the British newspaper The Independent has buried the lead in a story involving a Palestinian terrorist attack on Israelis.

We recently noted that an Oct. 23rd article in the Indy featured news on a briefly detained Palestinian stone thrower, while relegating the terrorist murder of a Jewish infant to a relatively brief mention at the end of the article.

Now, here’s how the same paper covered yesterday’s news regarding the shooting of Rabbi Yehuda Glick by a Palestinian terrorist in Jerusalem. 

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