While the Guardian has commendably corrected a subheadline and article last week which falsely reported that Israel violated a High Court injunction by removing Palestinian protesters from their tent encampment, Ha'aretz has yet to answer calls to correct the very same error. Earlier this month Charlotte Halle, Ha'aretz's English editor, boasted of the "best English-language journalism in Israel." So why won't the paper set the record straight, making clear that the Jan. 12 removal of Palestinian protesters from the controversial E-1 area of the West Bank did not violate the injunction?
As reported earlier by CAMERA, an erroneous Ha'aretz (print) headline Jan. 14 stated: "Troops evacuate Palestinians from E-1 tent protest despite court injunction." The false assertion that Israel violated a High Court injunction also appeared in the second paragraph of the article, which stated:
The evacuation -- which involved about 500 police and Israel Defense Forces soldiers -- was carried out despite a temporary injunction issued by the High Court of Justice preventing the state from evacuating the encampment for six days, pending deliberations.
In addition, as we noted later in our Snapshots blog, Ha'aretz columnist Bradley Burston repeated the falsehood, absurdly comparing Israel's alleged violation of the High Court ruling to "a peculiarly contemporary reinterpretation of the Naqba."
But as CAMERA had explained:
the evacuation was not in violation of any court injunction. The court injunction, issued Friday (Jan. 11) by Justice Neal Hendel, and available in Hebrew on the High Court's Web site, merely forbade the removal of the tents that the Palestinian activists had set up. Furthermore, it noted that the state could in fact remove the tents in the event of an urgent security need, so long as the state replied to the court within six days that there was a security need. It reads:
After studying the petition I hereby impose a temporary injunction according to clause 1 -- preventing the removal or destruction of tents that were erected by the petitioners on a-Tur lands, east of Kfar al-Azeem, unless an urgent security need arises.
The respondents [the state] will respond to this temporary injunction within six days.
The injunction did not forbid the removal of the activists, and thus the removal of protesters was not in violation of a High Court injunction.
CiF Watch, a CAMERA affiliate, prompted the Guardian correction, the second on the very same article. The Guardian's error and correction making clear that Israel did not violate the court injunction follow:
Error (Guardian, subheadline, 1/13/13): Israeli military detain activists in early morning swoop on Bab al-Shams encampment despite supreme court ruling
Correction (1/17/13): Israeli military detain activists in early morning swoop on Bab al-Shams . . .
(Guardian, Harriet Sherwood, 1/13/13): On Saturday evening, Netanyahu demanded the Israeli supreme court overturn an injunction preventing the removal of the protesters, and ordered the area to be declared a closed military zone. . .
Correction (1/17/13): The activists sought legal protection from the supreme court, which granted an injunction against eviction and gave the state of Israel up to six days to respond.
On Saturday evening, Netanyahu demanded the Israeli supreme court overturn an injunction preventing the removal of the tents, and ordered the area to be declared a closed military zone. . .
In addition, the following note was appended to the end of the article:
This article was amended on 14 January and 17 January 2013. Activists were detained but not formally arrested. In addition a sub-heading and text were amended to make clear the Supreme Court injunction referred to tents rather than the protesters. This has been corrected.
If the Guardian can bring itself to correct, then surely "the best English-language journalism in Israel" can too.