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Media Analyses





CAMERA Obtains NYT/IHT Correction on Palestinian Refugees


CAMERA obtained corrections in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune regarding a Dec. 16, 2004 news analysis by Neil MacFarquhar which grossly inflated the number of Palestinian refugees inhabiting refugee camps since 1948. MacFarquhar errroneously reported:

Economic issues here often come secondary to the emotional desire to see some sort of overall settlement that will return occupied lands, particularly the holy mosque in Jerusalem, and find some solution for millions of Palestinian refugees stuck for generations in camps.

The correction ran in the New York Times Jan. 27 as follows:

A news analysis article on Dec. 16 about a thaw in relations between Egypt and Israel referred imprecisely to the numbers of Palestinian refugees living in refugee camps. Currently almost 4.2 million Palestinian refugees are officially registered, of whom 1.3 million live in camps, according to United Nations figures. The number of officially registered refugees passed one million in 1957; the camp population passed one million in 1995. Thus the number of Palestinian refugees who have lived in camps for generations is not in the millions. (Official refugee numbers do not reflect Palestinians who fled the West Bank during the 1967 war or their descendants, now believed to exceed 800,000; they are officially considered displaced persons.) The error was reported to The Times on Dec. 16; this correction was delayed for checking with several refugee organizations.

The International Herald Tribune ran a nearly identical correction a day later:

A news analysis article on Dec. 16 about a thaw in relations between Egypt and Israel referred imprecisely to the numbers of Palestinian refugees living in refugee camps. Currently almost 4.2 million Palestinian refugees are officially registered, of whom 1.3 million live in camps, according to United Nations figures. The number of officially registered refugees passed one million in 1957; the camp population passed one million in 1995. Thus the number of Palestinian refugees who have lived in camps for generations is not in the millions. (Official refugee numbers do not reflect Palestinians who fled the West Bank during the 1967 war or their descendants, now believed to exceed 800,000; they are officially considered displaced persons.) This correction was delayed for checking with several refugee organizations.


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