January 09, 2019

Reuters Falsely Links Jerusalem Embassy, Two-State Solution

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The Jerusalem office park which houses Guatemala's embassy

Multiple recent Reuters articles incorrectly report that moving the Brazilian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a dramatic move away from the two-state solution. For instance, a Dec. 30 article, "Brazil moving its embassy to Jerusalem matter of 'when, not if': Netanyahu," (Dec. 30) reported about the possible Brazilian move:

Such a move by Bolsonaro would be a sharp shift in Brazilian foreign policy, which has traditionally backed a two-stated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

That piece appeared in Arabic as well.

A Dec. 31 article, "Bolsonaro takes office in Brazil, says nation 'liberated from socialism," took an even more extreme line, saying a Jerusalem embassy move would be a "break" from the two-state solution:

As a clear sign of that diplomatic shift, Bolsonaro plans to move the Brazilian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, breaking with Brazil’s traditional support for a two-state solution to the Palestinian issue.

In fact, as is apparent from the cases of the American and Guatemalan embassies, relocation to Jerusalem is not a shift away from a two-state solution.

Daniel Shapiro, who served as Ambassador to Israel under President Obama, wrote in The Washington Post:

[N]othing about our embassy’s location there would prevent the emergence of a shared city with two capitals as part of a two-state solution. Perhaps inadvertently, President Trump’s decision has opened the door for much more frank discussion about an eventual Palestinian capital, and U.S. Embassy to Palestine, in East Jerusalem.

He explained:

West Jerusalem has served as Israel’s capital since the founding of the state, and no plausible two-state map would change that. Our embassy’s presence in the city reinforces the legitimacy of historic Jewish ties to the city, which are too often denied by Palestinians.

Indeed, as Reuters itself just reported, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently expressed openness to a two-state solution ("Pompeo says US open to 'two-party solution"):

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested on Monday he was open to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, saying a “two-party solution” was likely in his first extensive comments on peace efforts since taking the job last week.

In addition, as Reuters reported Sept. 26: "Trump says he wants two-state solution for Middle East conflict."

These lines are being written dozens of meters away from Guatemala's embassy in southern Jerusalem. There is no evidence that Guatemala does not support a two-state solution.

Thus, there is no linkage between the location of a country's embassy in Jerusalem and its policy vis-à-vis a two-state solution. The location of foreign embassies in Jerusalem does not preclude the future establishment of a Palestine state, even one whose capital lies in part of the holy city of Jerusalem.

Posted by TS at 04:10 AM |  Comments (0)

December 19, 2018

American Lutheran In Jerusalem Affirms that IDF Soldiers Are “Stormtroopers,” Backtracks

Rev. Carrie Ballenger Smith is a pastor at the Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem. She ministers to the English-speaking congregation that meets at the Lutheran church, which is located in the Old City of Jerusalem. She is also listed as “special assistant to the Bishop” of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. Her husband is Rev. Dr. Robert O. Smith who used to work for the University of Notre Dame’s Jerusalem Global Gateway before he stepped down from this position in June. (More about him below.)

In a recent discussion on Facebook, one of Ballenger Smith’s friends referred to Israeli soldiers standing guard near Damascus gate in the Old City of Jerusalem as “stormtroopers.” Ballenger Smith’s friend declared, “nothing about Zionist stormtroopers is ‘normal’.”

In response, Ballenger Smith declared “exactly!”

Upon being challenged by an Israeli expert in Christian-Jewish relations, Ballenger Smith backtracked a bit, declaring, “I didn’t use that word but am affirming that nothing about the situation is normal. Should have clarified.”

Here is a screenshot of the Facebook conversation:

Carrie Ballenger Smith.jpg

It is laudable that Rev. Smith “clarified” her apparent affirmation of a description of Israeli soldiers as “stormtroopers.” It is regrettable that it took a challenge from an expert on Christian-Jewish relations to make it happen. Israeli police officers should be able to protect Jews in their homeland without being called Nazis. But that's what happened.

Continue reading "American Lutheran In Jerusalem Affirms that IDF Soldiers Are “Stormtroopers,” Backtracks"

Posted by dvz at 05:36 PM |  Comments (0)

December 11, 2018

LA Times, Places Not Banned, and Inaccurate Terminology

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Not on Trump's travel ban list: Egypt, Afghanistan, 'Palestine'

At least eight times in the last 14 years, The Los Angeles Times has corrected the inaccurate use of the term "Palestine," but that fact did not stop the paper from again misusing the term.

Most recently, the Calendar article Friday (Dec. 7, page E4) by Mark Swed (online here), the article states:

With the house lights down, it was not possible to read the program and thus keep track of what came from Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Somalia, Palestine or elsewhere ("Kronos Quartet aims to transcend borders; The string group lines up pieces from 'banned' nations. The result: universal").

On at least half a dozen occasions, The Los Angeles Times has corrected references to Palestine relating to Israel, the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, post 1948. Considering that the article last week is referring to the contemporary Palestinian music group Ramallah Underground (located in the West Bank), the reference to Palestine is inaccurate. The most recent correction, June 28, 2018 (also concerning a calendar article), stated:

German art exhibition: An article in the June 24 Arts & Books section about a German exhibition called “Unbuilding Walls” at the 2019 Venice (Italy) Architecture Biennale said it features video testimonials gathered by architects at border walls around the world, including Israel and Palestine. It should have said Palestinian territories.

Earlier corrections of the same error were:

"Roger Waters: An article in the June 22 Calendar section about Roger Waters' new album said Waters supports Palestinians' rights but incorrectly referred to tensions between Israel and Palestine. It should have said tensions between the Israeli government and the Palestinians" (June 28, 2017)

"Gerald A. Larue: In the Sept. 22 LATExtra section, the obituary of USC religious scholar Gerald A. Larue referred to archaeological digs in Palestine. The digs occurred in Israel and the West Bank." (Sept. 22, 2014)

"Carter speech: An article in Friday's California section included a subhead saying former President Carter urged students to travel to Palestine. The area referred to is the Palestinian territories." (May 5, 2007)

"Istanbul Biennial -- An article in the Dec. 11 Calendar section about an international art exhibition included Palestine in a list of nations from which artists had contributed works. It should have said the Palestinian territories." (Dec. 23, 2005)

"Bail bonds investigation–An article in the California section Sunday about the arrest of American Liberty Bail Bonds owner Adnan 'Dan' Yousef and members of his family reported that they had ties to Palestine. The reference should have been to the Palestinians territories." (Sept. 29, 2004)

"Palestinian film–Articles about Palm Springs International Film Festival that ran in Calendar on Dec. 20 and Jan. 8 referred to the movie 'Divine Intervention' as coming from Palestine. They should have said the Palestinian territories." (Jan. 13, 2004)

Accurate language would have been to refer to music which came from "the Palestinian territories," or "the Palestinian West Bank."

Moreover, in a separate error in the Dec. 7 piece, the subheadline claims that "The string group lines up pieces from 'banned' nations," and then goes on to discuss music from Egypt, Afghanistan and "Palestine" [sic], none of which was on the travel ban list. As The Los Angeles Times reported June 27, 2018 ("Justice vote to uphold president's travel ban"):

The current ban covers five Muslim-majority nations -- Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen -- as well as North Korea and some government officials from Venezuela.

lat bannedcountries.jpg

The digital headline of the online article likewise misleads: "Review: In defiance of Trump, Kronos Quartet plays music from banned countries." An accurate headline would read: "Review: In defiance of Trump, Kronos Quarter plays music from Muslim-majority countries."

CAMERA has contacted The Los Angeles Times about corrections. Stay tuned for an update.

Posted by TS at 02:36 AM |  Comments (0)

November 29, 2018

The Washington Post Ignores Antisemitic Attack in Los Angeles

The Washington Post has warned about a “rising tide of antisemitism.” But as CAMERA has highlighted, The Post’s coverage of antisemitism has frequently been selective and is often politicized. More recently, the newspaper even ignored a high-profile antisemitic attack.

On the night of Nov. 23, 2018 a Mogadishu-born man named Mohamed Mohamed Abdi used a rented car to try to run over two Jewish men outside of a Los Angeles synagogue. Authorities arrested Abdi who reportedly “made anti-Semitic remarks” at the Jewish men and made several U-turns in his attempts to target them.

Los Angeles Police and the FBI are investigated the incident as a hate crime. Several major U.S. news outlets, including ABC, Fox News, and others reported on the crime. Some, such as The Los Angeles Times, obfuscated on Abdi’s antisemitic motivations.

As the journalist Armin Rosen noted in Tablet Magazine:

“Readers had to hack through this thicket of self-contradiction that begins a Nov. 26 Los Angeles Times report on the incident: ‘Authorities are trying to determine the motivations and background of a 32-year-old Seattle man who allegedly tried to run down two men outside of a synagogue in Hancock Park last week in an attack that police have described as a hate crime.’”

The motivations, however, seem clear enough: Abdi had “yelled several expletives at the victims referencing their Jewish heritage,” according to the LAPD’s deputy chief.

As Rosen pointed out, The Los Angeles Times’s report was “perhaps, an improvement on The New York Times and Washington Post’s coverage of the attack”; both papers failed to provide readers with original reporting on the incident.

The Washington Post, for all of its professed concern about rising antisemitism, merely reprinted an Associated Press brief.

Posted by SD at 12:53 PM |  Comments (0)

November 23, 2018

Think Tank: Iran Was Closer to Building a Bomb Than Previously Thought

A Nov. 20, 2018 report by a Washington D.C.-based think tank, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) argues that Iran’s illegal nuclear weapons program was “more advanced than Western intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency had thought.” ISIS analyzed documents seized by Israeli intelligence operatives in a daring raid for their study.

That raid, first revealed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an April 30, 2018 speech, resulted in thousands of documents being taken from Tehran’s nuclear archive. The documents were subsequently authenticated by the United States.

As CAMERA noted in a Nov. 8, 2018 Daily Caller Op-Ed, several commentators — many of them supporters of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, popularly known as the “Iran deal” — immediately claimed that Israel’s findings revealed “nothing new.”

For example, a May 3, 2018, CNN report by CNN was headlined “Israel reveals nothing new about Iran’s nuclear program, experts say.” But these “experts” made their claims —which were uncritically parroted by nearly every major Western news outlet — without having viewed any of the thousands of documents.

The Institute’s study, however, proves that they were wrong. In fact: analysts are “still sifting through the archive,” according to David Albright, the organization’s executive director. The archive is more than 10,000 pages long and covers the period from 1999 to 2003.

Iran, the ISIS report said, “made more progress” towards creating nuclear weapons than was “known before the seizure of the archives.”

ISIS noted that the documents show that Iran had planned to manufacture 5 nuclear warheads, to acquire highly enriched uranium (HEU) from abroad, to achieve the ability to carry out underground nuclear tests, and to produce HEU via constructing a “parallel fuel cycle.”

The archive also showed that Iran had created a “Supreme Council for Advanced Technologies” to “oversee these efforts.” The Supreme Council made the decision in late 1999 or early 2000 to create nuclear weapons. Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s current president who is frequently labeled a “moderate” by the media, was serving on that Council at the time in his post as the National Security Council Secretary General.

According to ISIS:

“Mr. Rouhani was a central, on-going figure in the nuclear weapons program in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It is difficult to find evidence that his support for nuclear weapons ever ended. If anything, he seems to offer continuity for finding ways to deflect international pressure while continuing the program, awaiting a day when Iran can decide whether the program should fully re-emerge and build nuclear weapons.”

The Institute pointed out that prior to their analysis of the captured documents, the world—including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a watchdog agency tasked with ensuring compliance—did not know how many nuclear weapons Iran planned to make, or how it was going to do so. But now, “the IAEA has access to much, if not most, of the content of the Iranian archives seized by Israel in Tehran.”

Troublingly, ISIS noted, “there is no visible indication that the IAEA is yet acting on the new information.”

ISIS’s report can be found here.

Posted by SD at 10:41 AM |  Comments (0)

November 21, 2018

AFP Headline Casts Palestinian Assailant as Victim

Jerusalem police station attack.JPG

Agence France Presse yesterday published a throwback headline, bringing us back to the period almost two years ago in which media outlets serially produced headlines which depicted Palestinian attackers as the victims.

The wire agency's grossly misleading English-language headline yesterday was:

Palestinian in Jerusalem police station attack dies of wounds

As the article itself states, the Palestinian was actually the assailant -- basic information that should have been made clear in the headline. The article begins:

A Palestinian teenager shot last week after attacking Israeli officers at a police station in annexed east Jerusalem died of his wounds on Tuesday, a hospital said.

"The terrorist from the incident in the Armon Hanatziv police station has died," the Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem said in a statement.

AFP's French headline, in contrast, clearly identifies the Palestinian as the perpetrator of the Jerusalem police station attack. It states: "Jerusalem: a Palestinian assailant succumbs to his wounds (hospital)." (Translation by InfoEquitable.) The original French headline is:

Jérusalem: un assaillant palestinien succombe à ses blessures (hôpital)

Posted by TS at 07:19 AM |  Comments (0)

November 20, 2018

Founder of Women's March Distances Herself from Linda Sarsour and Other Haters

Teresa Shook, founder of the Women's March, has asked Linda Sarsour and other haters to step down as co-chairs of the movement.

In her Facebook posting, Ms. Shook laments that Sarsour and others -- Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, and Carmen Perez -- "have steered the Movement away from its true course..." and recognizes that "in opposition to our Unity Principles, they have allowed anti-Semitism, anti- LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform by their refusal to separate themselves from groups that espouse these racist, hateful beliefs".


Posted by RH at 10:14 AM |  Comments (0)

November 19, 2018

More Hypocrisy and Anti-Semitism From Linda Sarsour


In an earlier CAMERA exposé, we pointed out the self-serving allegiances and disgraceful hypocrisy of Linda Sarsour (of Women's March fame). We demonstrated how she poses as a universal activist who embraces all marginalized people while excluding those minorities whose views do not totally align with hers; she poses as a black and Muslim feminist,while trying to silence other black and Muslim feminists who expose oppression against women; she poses as an opponent of anti-Semitism and a proponent of racial justice who fights for Palestinian national self-determination, while denying Jews the same right; she demands free speech for herself and for her BDS campaign, while shutting down the free speech of anyone who disagrees with her.

In her latest example of hypocritical anti-Semitism, she attacks as Israel-firsters those progressive American Jews who exercise their democratic and free speech rights by criticizing BDS-supporter and politician Ilhan Omar. Sarsour turns truth on its head by accusing them of "put[ting] allegiance to Israel over democracy and free speech" merely because they disagree with positions expressed by Omar.


Of course, when Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib danced with a Palestinian flag, rather than an American flag at her victory party following her election to Congress, Sarsour made no such accusations of her compatriot being a "Palestinian-firster" or placing other allegiances over her American allegiance.

In short, there is no better personification of hypocrisy than "Linda Sarsour"!

Posted by RH at 11:44 AM |  Comments (0)

New Yorker's Ostensible Accuracy on Gaza Fisherman

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Nov. 20 Update: New Yorker Corrects on Gaza Fisherman's Death

After severely tripping up in its Gaza coverage earlier this year, The New Yorker -- a publication ostensibly "known for its high standards" in fact-checking -- once again failed to deliver accurate coverage.

In his Nov. 15 "Daily Comment," Bernard Avishai wrote ("The Ceasefire in Gaza: A Turning Point for Hamas and Netanyahu"):

Yet it is anything but clear that the ceasefire will hold: during the agreement’s first hours, Israeli naval forces reportedly killed a young Gazan fisherman, ostensibly for sailing past the six-mile limit. (Emphasis added.)

Yet, according to both the Israeli military and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry, Nawaf Ahmed Mohammed al-Attar was shot dead while on the beach. According to the Israeli military, he was shot dead for approaching the security fence. According to the Gaza fishermen's union, he was shot dead while he was working on the beach. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, on the other hand, he was in the water 100 meters off from the shore -- well within the six nautical mile fishing zone -- a claim contradicted by both the IDF and the Gaza Health Ministry. (There are 1,852 meters in a nautical mile.)

The Associated Press reported the day of the incident ("The Latest: Group says strikes damaged dozens of Gaza homes"):

4:40 p.m.

The Israeli military says a Gaza fisherman was killed by Israeli fire in northern Gaza Strip was illegally advancing toward the security fence dividing Gaza and Israel.

The military said in a statement that the army shot him Wednesday in adherence with military protocol for anyone approaching the fence at that range.

The fishermen's union says the 20-year-old man was working on the beach near the land-maritime fence separating Gaza from Israel when he was shot in the stomach.

According to the Times of Israel:

A Gaza man was shot dead by Israeli troops Wednesday after approaching the security fence on the Israeli border, according to the Hamas-controlled Gaza health ministry, as tensions persisted after a ceasefire Tuesday ended some of the heaviest fighting in years.

The Israeli military confirmed that soldiers opened fire as a group of Palestinian men were spotted walking toward the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip, near the Israeli community of Kibbutz Zikim.

According to media reports, the suspect was shot as he continued approaching the fence despite warning shots being fired. . .

Palestinian media outlets reported that al-Attar had been killed at sea — something the IDF denied.

CAMERA has contacted The New Yorker to request a clarification. Stay tuned for an update.

Posted by TS at 05:45 AM |  Comments (0)

November 15, 2018

Small Steps: Improved NY Times Language on Target of Hamas Rockets


Earlier this week, we pointed out how a New York Times article about fighting between Israel and Hamas neglected to inform readers that Palestinian rockets were fired indiscriminately toward civilians in Israeli towns and cities.

This was part of how the newspaper created a false equivalence between Hamas's rocket attacks against civilians, each one a war crime, and Israel's counterstrikes against Hamas assets in Gaza. Instead of being clear about where those rockets were aimed, the report said only that they were fired "into Israel" or "across much of southern Israel." It even suggested Israel's civilians were unintended targets: "On both sides of the Gaza border,” wrote David Halbfinger, the newspaper's Jerusalem bureau chief, “civilians caught up in the fighting said they felt terrorized by it.” Israel's civilians weren't "caught up" in the fighting. They were targeted in the fighting.

With an article published today, entitled "With Small Steps, Palestinians and Israelis Try to Tackle Gaza’s Ills," the same author took a… small step in the right direction. This article makes clear, at least, that the fighting involved "hundreds of rockets raining down on Israeli cities." It might not sahre that Hamas is viewed internationally as a terror organization, or that indiscriminately firing into cities is a violation of international law. But rockets raining on cities is certainly more informative than rockets fired into Israel.

Posted by GI at 12:22 PM |  Comments (0)

November 09, 2018

AP Avoids Calling Farrakhan Comments "Anti-Semitic"

For some mysterious reason, the Associated Press felt Louis Farrakhan's mutterings on international relations deserve close attention. "Louis Farrakhan, in Iran, warns Trump a Mideast war possible," a Associated Press headline announced, as if the firebrand anti-Semite's views on Persian Gulf tensions are any more newsworthy than David Duke's overview of China's transportation infrastructure.

The subject of the news article, though, wasn't the only thing funny about it. Here's how AP's anonymous author addressed Farrakhan's long history of anti-Semitism:

The 85-year-old Farrakhan, long known for provocative comments widely considered anti-Semitic, criticized the economic sanctions leveled by Trump against Iran after America's pullout from the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

His "provocative" comments are "considered" anti-Semitic. Those comments include descriptions of Jews as "termites," as a "synagogue of Satan," and as responsible for "filth and degenerate behavior," the 9/11 attacks, and evil in general. They are as straightforwardly anti-Semitic as it gets.

So did AP avoid straightforwardly describing Farrakhan's anti-Semitism as "anti-Semitic" due to some journalistic constraint — a disciplined refusal to editorialize or even characterize?

No. A look back at the archives proves the agency's journalists are certainly willing to pass such judgment, for example about David Horowitz who an AP reporter described as "known for anti-Muslim rhetoric." Not known for provocative comments considered anti-Muslim. Just anti-Muslim.

Farrakhan is newsworthy. Not for his prognosticating about Iran, but because he is at the center of an ongoing controversy involving appointed leaders of the Women's March and their expressions of support for Farrakhan. It's particularly important, then, that AP get it right — and be forthright.

Posted by GI at 04:03 PM |  Comments (0)

July 26, 2018

Israeli Peace Offers, Palestinian Rock Throwing Are M.I.A in Post Report

A June 28, 2018 Washington Post report, “Prince William visit Jerusalem’s holy sites, concluding historic visit,” omitted key context and details about the Duke of Cambridge’s trip to Israel and areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Prince William was the first member of the British Royal Family to make an official trip to Israel since the Jewish state was recreated in 1948. Washington Post correspondent Ruth Eglash noted the significance of the Prince’s visit and claimed that it comes “at a time when peace seems more elusive than ever for Israelis and Palestinians.”

The Post, however, failed to provide readers with details as to why that might be the case.

As CAMERA has detailed, the PA has refused numerous U.S. and Israeli offers for a Palestinian state in exchange for peace with the Jewish state. More recently, the PA refused offers in 2000 at Camp David, 2001 at Taba, and 2008 after the Annapolis Conference—as well as U.S. proposals to restart negotiations in 2014 and 2016. Yet, not only did the PA reject these opportunities, its leaders refused to so much as make a counteroffer.

The Washington Post failed to mention this history—despite its obvious relevance to their report. Indeed, Eglash reported that “some Israelis were upset that the Jerusalem portion” of the Prince’s itinerary was “billed as part of a visit to the ‘occupied Palestinian territories.’”

“Much of the world,” the reporter wrote, “does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the eastern parts of the city, which Palestinians hope will become the capital of the future state.”

Yet, the 2008 offer, among others, would have provided the Palestinians with a state with its capital in eastern Jerusalem. It is odd that The Post chose not to mention that the PA rejected precisely what they claim Palestinians “hope” to obtain.

The Post also omitted other aspects of the Prince’s visit. According to Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Israeli journalist, on June 27, 2018: “Palestinian children threw rocks at Prince William’s convoy in Jelazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. No one was hurt and there was no damage.”

That same day, the Israeli Knesset approved a law that would deduct funds to the PA “commensurate with the amount of money the Palestinians pay to terrorists and their families,” the writer Bassam Tawil noted. The PA responded to the Israeli law by vowing that it would “not abandon the prisoners and the families of the martyrs.” The “martyrs” that the PA is talking about “are in fact Palestinian terrorists, who were killed by the Israeli army or police during attacks on Jews,” Tawil noted in a June 28, 2018 Gatestone Institute report.

The PA’s promise to pay terrorists—and the passage of an Israeli law to discourage the policy—was not mentioned in The Post’s report. Indeed, although the paper noted that the Prince “visited [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas in Ramallah,” they failed to report the Palestinian leaders comments during the meeting. On the same day that his government vowed to keep paying terrorists, Abbas told the Prince he was “serious about reaching peace with Israel” and Palestinians were “committed to combating terrorism.”

Apparently, The Post didn’t deign the PA’s duplicity—or its support for terror and rejection of peace—to be worth reporting.

Posted by AS at 01:35 PM |  Comments (0)

July 11, 2018

Media Story About Ultra-Orthodox Responsibility for Lengthy El Al Delay Disputed

Israeli journalist Sivan Rahav Meir reports in The Times of Israel today ("That Ultra-Orthodox flight delay? It didn't happen") that media claims, based on a Facebook post by Israeli rapper Chen Rotem, that a group of ultra-Orthodox men refusing to sit next to women delayed a flight for over an hour are not true. According to Meir, both a passenger on the flight and El Al dispute the claim, saying the bulk of the delay occurred even before passengers boarded, and that the seating delay lasted for approximately five minutes.

Passenger Katriel Shem-Tov wrote to Meir:

“Dear Sivan, I was on that flight from New York, the one that the media reported ‘took off an hour and a quarter late because of the Haredim.’ My wife and I celebrated our silver wedding anniversary and at 6 p.m., we were supposed to take off on our way home. However, before we even boarded, there was an announcement of a 45-minute delay and take-off would be at 6:45 p.m. The same information appeared on the screen in the departure lounge. Of course, the delay had nothing to do with any of the passengers.

“Boarding took a long time, ’till at least 7:10, I believe. My guess is that the whole business with the Haredim didn’t take more than five minutes. Of course, I am not justifying their behavior and one should not cause a delay of even one minute. I am Haredi myself, but I have never seen such behavior like theirs.

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El Al told Meir:

The details that were reported about the incident were not accurate, to put it mildly. In actual fact, the delay was totally unconnected to the incident. The plane’s journey to the runway at the airport in New York took about one hour and had nothing to do with the incident. Taking care of the two passengers who refused to sit in their allocated places occurred after the plane had already left the gate and only took a few moments. We will continue to do our best to transport our customers safely, comfortably, and according to schedule.

According to Haaretz ("El Al Flight From N.Y. Delayed 'After ultra-Orthodox Men Refuse to Sit Next to Women,'" June 23):

An El Al Israeli Airlines flight from New York to Tel Aviv was delayed last week by more than half an hour.

Such delays are not out of the ordinary, but the reason for this specific delay, according to an Israeli rapper who was aboard the flight, was the refusal of a group of ultra-Orthodox male passengers to sit next to women on the aircraft. . . .

Efforts by the flight crew to resolve the situation were initially unsuccessful and the men were only willing to speak to male members of the flight crew, Rotem wrote, adding that Orthodox or ultra-Orthodox male passengers expressed abhorrence at the four men’s conduct. Members of the crew threatened that if the four would not take their seats, they could disembark immediately, Rotem wrote.

"While on the El Al plane they were dealing with matters of practical theology and personal faith versus the rights of the individual and civil order, 12 planes from other carriers jumped the line ahead of Flight 002. The flight to Israel took off an hour and 15 minutes late.�?

Posted by TS at 04:42 AM |  Comments (0)

One Haaretz Page-One Sentence, Lots of Errors

One sentence in a page-one article of Haaretz's's English print edition yesterday packed in multiple errors. Headlined "Netanyahu: Israel to close commercial Gaza crossing over airborne firebombs," the article erred:

Palestinians began flying the devices into Israel after many weeks of protests at the Gaza-Israel border in which over 130 demonstrators were killed by Israel Defense Forces sharpshooters and some 4,000 were wounded by live fire.

This sentence is wrong on multiple counts.

First, as Haaretz itself has previously reported, the kite attacks began less than two weeks after the "March of Return" events began on March 30, not after "many weeks of protests at the Gaza-Israel border." As Almog Ben Zikri reported April 16 ("Gazans Fly Firebombs Tied to Kites Into Israel, Sparking Several Blazes"):

Gaza Palestinians have begun flying kites with firebombs attached to them over the border fence into Israeli territory. Officials from the Eshkol region adjacent to the border informed residents on Sunday that the firebombs had caused several fires but had not caused injuries.

In the first incident last Wednesday [TS: ie April 11], a blaze was put out in the vicinity of Kibbutz Be’eri, where fire investigators found a burnt kite.

Two days later, on Friday, the Israeli army reported that demonstrators on the Gazan side of the border fence had attempted to fly a kite with a Molotov cocktail attached to it into Israeli territory. The kite fell to the ground in the Gaza Strip and caused no injuries.

On Saturday, a kite string was found in the vicinity of another fire near Kibbutz Be’eri. That was followed on Sunday by a kite in the colors of the Palestinian flag that fire investigators found at a blaze near Kibbutz Kissufim.

The Israeli army spokesman’s office said on Sunday that three kites with Molotov cocktails attached to them have been located, and that two of them started fires near the border fence.

Kites April16.jpg

Second, at the time that Palestinians started launching the kite attacks, at most 33 Palestinians had been killed and some 1000 reportedly wounded; not 130 and 4,000, respectively, as reported. As Ben Zikri reported (ibid):

Thirty-four Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army weapons fired near the border fence and more than 1,000 have been wounded by live weapons fire.

In last Friday’s protests, one Palestinian was killed and more than 230 wounded.

Third, even until now, it is not true that "130 demonstrators were killed," because as even Hamas acknowledges, active and armed combatants were among the casualties. Among those killed were those who attacked Israelis with firebombs, gunfire, rocks, grenades and pipe bombs. On June 21, The Los Angeles Times corrected the identical error, stating:

Gaza kites: In the June 19 Section A, an article about the use of kites as weapons in the Gaza Strip said the Israeli military has killed about 130 protesters in Gaza. Those killed include armed militants, as well as one press photographer and one medic.

The error-ridden sentence does not appear in the online version of this article. Nor does it appear in the Hebrew edition. CAMERA alerted editors about the inaccuracies. As of this writing, they have yet to publish a correction.

Posted by TS at 02:58 AM |  Comments (0)

June 26, 2018

'Fake News' Catches Up With Haaretz's Chemi Shalev

Yesterday, Haaretz ran a news analysis by veteran reporter Chemi Shalev which, in part, castigated President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for depicting "the media's reports and opinions . . . as 'fake news'" ("By Bashing the Media, Trump and Netanyahu Foster Their Tribalist, Right-wing Support"). Ironically, Haaretz today published a correction about that very column, clarifying that "a quote was attributed erroneously to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, which she did not say."

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What exactly was the quote "which she did not say"? Shalev wrote:

Reacting to allegations made last year by Police Chief Roni Alsheikh that police officers investigating Netanyahu were being harassed and followed, Shaked noted that the police commander was "the new protected darling of the left and the media."

But as Israeli journalist Amit Segal (of Channel 2 and Makor Rishon) tweeted, the quote, in fact, derives from an anonymous talkback to an article in Rotter, an Israeli news site, which mentions both Alsheikh and Shaked in the context of investigations of Netanyahu.

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That Haaretz was compelled to correct a fake quote in a news analysis, which ironically dismissed complaints about "fake news" as a deplorable political ploy, is reminiscent of a recent New York Times correction later dubbed "the correction of the year."

Haaretz deleted the fake quote from its digital article, but, contrary to standard journalistic practice, did not alert readers to the change.

Posted by TS at 05:02 AM |  Comments (0)

June 25, 2018

Media Largely Ignore Alleged Hamas Payment to Dead Baby's Family

A New York Times caption which definitively claims that Layla Ghandour "fell ill after inhaling tear gas," despite the fact that the accompanying article itself acknowledges that the story involving tear gas was disputed

Western media outlets have largely ignored a significant development in the story of eight-month-old Layla al-Ghandour of the Gaza Strip, whose May 15 death was widely reported when her family claimed that she accidentally ended up at the border clashes and was killed by Israel's use of tear gas. According to the indictment of Layla's relative, Mahmoud Omar, Hamas paid the family to claim that tear gas caused her death though the real culprit was a blood condition, which also killed her brother the year before.

According to Haaretz ("Hamas Paid Gaza Family $2,200 to Blame Israel for Baby's Death, Indictment Says"):

Under interrogation in Israel, Omar, who is Layla al-Ghandour's cousin, said Hamas leader Sinwar paid the baby's family 8,000 shekels ($2,200) to accuse Israel of the death of the 8-month-old. The claim came despite the fact that members of the family had previously said that she died of a blood disorder, a condition that the baby's six-month-old brother apparently also died of last year.

When news surfaced of the claim that Layla al-Ghandour had died from inhaling tear gas, Israeli army officials cast doubt on the allegation, saying that the army had evidence that called the family's claim into question.

According to the indictment against Omar, on the day that Layla al-Ghandour died, Omar's mother called him while he was participating in a demonstration near the border fence and told him about the child's death. Omar is said to have been told on returning home that the baby had died of the same blood disease that took the life of her brother.

Numerous media outlets which dedicated entire stories to the disputed circumstances of Layla's death, and others which unequivocally blamed it on tear gas, despite the fact that the Associated Press had reported that a Gaza doctor noted the preexisting condition and expressed doubt that she was killed by tear gas, have ignored the new information concerning Hamas' alleged payment to the family.

Exceptions to the vast majority of Western media outlets which ignored the development, UPI and Agence France Presse did commendably report that Omar said Hamas leader Yihya Sinwar paid his family to falsely blame Layla's death on tear gas.

Posted by TS at 05:53 AM |  Comments (0)

June 22, 2018

Former PCUSA Moderator Advocates for "Activist" Who Harassed Palestinian Reformer

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This is a screenshot of a video of a June 18, 2018 meeting in an office of the America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, Missouri. The meeting took place after the person recording the video, Bassem Masri, posted video of himself harassing Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid in the convention center. The man on the far right is Fahed Abu Akel, past moderator of the PCUSA. (Screenshot from

By now Snapshots readers are familiar with Bassem Masri’s ugly harassment of Palestinian reformer Bassem Eid at the General Assembly (GA) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) currently taking place at the America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, Missouri. (The GA, which will ratify a number of overtures condemning Israel while remaining silent about the misdeeds of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, ends tomorrow.)*

What they don’t know is how a prominent Presbyterian leader, former moderator Fahed Abu Akel, defended Masri’s “right? to stay in the convention center even after abusing Eid, who was an invited guest of Presbyterians for Middle East Peace. Nor do they know that Akel said that the victim of Masri’s abuse, had “lied? to the General Assembly’s Middle East Committee.

Here’s the rundown:

Continue reading "Former PCUSA Moderator Advocates for "Activist" Who Harassed Palestinian Reformer"

Posted by dvz at 11:09 AM |  Comments (0)

June 20, 2018

PCUSA Stands By While Palestinian Activist Harassed by Extremist

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Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid walks away from an aggressive and hostile "intersectionality" activist Bassem Masri outside the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s General Assembly taking place in St. Louis. (Screenshot from Twitter.)

Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid was harassed and accused of being a “traitor,? a “spy? and a collaborator after criticizing Palestinian elites at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, USA currently being held in St. Louis, Missouri.

These accusations, which, in Palestinian society, could be used to justify violence against Eid, were leveled by Palestinian American activist Bassem Masri, who was attending the proceedings at the invitation of the Israel-Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church, a PCUSA institution with a long history of promoting hostility toward Israel and its Jewish supporters in the United States.

Curiously enough, Masri himself videotaped himself harassing Eid and then posted the videos on Twitter. In the videos, which were posted on Twitter on Monday June 18, 2018, Masri can be heard accusing Eid of betraying the Palestinian people. In one video, Masri calls Eid, “a f-----g collaborator,? a “piece of s—t? and a “sympathizer with the Zionists.? In another video, Masri calls Eid gasus — Arabic for spy. “He speaks on behalf of the Jewish lobby,? Masri said.

These accusations could very well incite people to harm Eid, a regular speaker in the United States, upon his return home. (Eid divides his time between East Jerusalem and Jericho.) “People will watch the video where I am called a traitor. This is a clear call to kill me,? Eid said.

Despite the hostility directed at him by Masri, the videos indicate Eid kept his composure during the confrontations. At one point, Eid asks Masri to stop talking to him. Masri refused.

“I can talk to whomever I want,? Masri says in the video. “Call the police. This is America. I have freedom of speech.? At this point, Eid says, “You are threatening me. You said you are going to kill me.?

In response, Masri calls Eid a liar. “You’re a collaborator with the Israelis. You’re an Arab Zionist.? Moments later, Masri declares “You’re turning your back on your people.?

Eid says that prior to taking the videos, Masri twice threatened to kill him.

Continue reading "PCUSA Stands By While Palestinian Activist Harassed by Extremist"

Posted by dvz at 06:47 PM |  Comments (1)

June 19, 2018

AFP Whitewashes Gaza's Serial Arsonists as 'Activists'

June 20 Update: Multiple Media Outlets Amend Captions Calling Gaza Arsonists 'Activists'

Numerous Agence France-Presse photo captions in the last couple of days misidentify Gazans responsible for airborne arson attacks which destroyed 28,000 dunums of Israeli farmland and nature reserve land. The smoke from these deliberately set fires two days ago caused 1000 turkeys to choke to death. The arsonists also launched explosives-laden kites and balloons across the border, reaching a highway and even the roof of a home.

AFP captions misidentified these serial arsonists as "activists" or "protesters." A sampling of these erroneous captions follows:

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Palestinian activists fill hilum [sic] gas in a ballon [sic] that will be attached to flammable materials to be flown toward Israel, at the Israel-Gaza border, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on June 17, 2018. SAID KHATIB / AFP

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A Palestinian protester holds a bag containing with flammable materials that will be attached to ballons [sic] and flown toward Israel, at the Israel-Gaza border, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on June 17, 2018. SAID KHATIB / AFP

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An Israeli man and a boy extinguish a fire in a filed next to Kibbutz Beeri reportedly caused by inflamable [sic] material attached to kites and flown across the border to Israel by activists in the Gaza strip on June 18, 2018. Kite-borne fire bombings have reportedly caused significant damage to Israeli fields. MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP

"Arson" refers to the very specific crime of purposefully setting property on fire, which is precisely what these people are doing. But AFP did not once use this clear and accurate terminology, and instead opts for the misleading and grossly inaccurate terms: "activists" and "protesters."

Haaretz's English print edition yesterday published one of the AFP captions which had referred to "A masked Palestinian activist launches a balloon with flammable material . . . " Haaretz editors went to the trouble of amending the caption: changing the wording from "activist" to "protester."


See also: "CAMERA Prompts Improved Reuters Captions on Palestinian Arson Attacks," June 5

Posted by TS at 03:04 AM |  Comments (0)

June 18, 2018

Newsweek Headline Fail on Israeli Attacks in Syria

A grossly misleading Newsweek headline ("Israel Bombs Syria to Stop Refugees Fleeing to Europe, Netanyahu Says," June 14) falsely suggests that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is bombing Syria in order to stop refugees from fleeing to Europe.

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He did not. According to Haaretz, he did cast Israeli attacks on Syria -- meant to prevent the flow of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah and to curb Iranian entrenchment in Syria -- "as potentially helping to stem a Syrian Sunni Muslim refugee exodus to Europe." In other words, Israel's attacks, meant to curb Iran in Syria, also may have the by-product of slowing the tide of refugees, he reportedly stated.

Haaretz elaborated:

Netanyahu accused Iran, which has been helping Damascus beat back a seven-year-old rebellion, of bringing in 80,000 Shi'ite fighters from countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan to mount attacks against Israel and "convert" Syria's Sunni majority.

"That is a recipe for a re-inflammation of another civil war - I should say a theological war, a religious war - and the sparks of that could be millions more that go into Europe and so on ... And that would cause endless upheaval and terrorism in many, many countries," Netanyahu told an international security forum.

"Obviously we are not going to let them do it. We'll fight them. By preventing that - and we have bombed the bases of this, these Shi'ite militias - by preventing that, we are also offering, helping the security of your countries, the security of the world."

CAMERA has contacted Newsweek to request clarification of the headline. Stay tuned for an update.

June 19 Update: Amended Headline is No Improvement

Newsweek yesterday amended the flawed headline, but unfortunately the newer version is neither more clear nor more accurate. It states: "Israel Bombs Syria, Stopping Refugees Fleeing to Europe, Netanyahu Says."

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CAMERA notes Haaretz's straight-forward and accurate headline on the very same subject: "Israeli Strikes on Iranian Targets in Syria Slowed Refugee Flow to Europe, Claims Netanyahu." Haaretz's reference to "strikes on Iranian targets" makes clear that Iran was the target of the Israeli strikes. In contrast, both the original and the amended Newsweek headlines mislead, falsely suggesting that Israeli bombings of Syria were directed at refugees, or at stopping them from fleeing to Europe.

CAMERA continues to call on Newsweek to clarify its headline.

Posted by TS at 02:36 AM |  Comments (0)