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Media Analyses





Ha'aretz on Prisoners: A Correction, and An Error


Ha'aretz's English print edition today runs a timely correction, prompted by CAMERA's Israel office, of a page-one article which understated the sentences handed out to Palestinian prisoners slated to be released this week. Unfortunately, though, today's front page contains another error about the soon-to-be-released Palestinian prisoners, this time a photo caption which falsely states that "several were convicted of attacks in which Israelis were killed." In fact, all were convicted of murder.
 
As first noted yesterday on our Snapshots blog, the front-page article by Barak Ravid and Jonathan Lis had erroneously reported:
The Prime Minister’s Office stated that all of the prisoners slated for release were involved in attacks before the Oslo Accords were signed, and all received sentences of between 17 and 27 years in prison.
 
All of the prisoners slated to be released tomorrow received sentences longer than 27 years. While prisoners slated to be released served 19 to 28 years, almost all received at least one life term. The exceptions were Mukbal Mahmed Badawi Najach (38 years), Ashur Masabach Khalil Mhamed (30 years), and Karan Azzat Musa Musa (28 years, the shortest sentence). Thus, even the shortest sentence received was longer than the 27 years reported in the English edition. (The Israel Prison Service released a list, in Hebrew, of all of the prisoners to be released tomorrow, and their sentences.)

As for the
statement from the Prime Minister's Office, it stated:

All of the prisoners slated for release perpetrated offenses before the Oslo accords and served prison sentences of 19-28 years. (Emphasis added.)


Finally, the more accurate Hebrew edition reported (CAMERA's translation):

According to the Prime Minister's Office, the released prisoners carried out the attacks for which they were imprisoned before the signing of the Oslo Accords and served 17 to 28 years in prison.

As a result of CAMERA's communication with Ha'aretz editors, the following correction appears on page 2 today:
 
 
In addition, editors quietly fixed the online article, but did not append a correction at the end of the article noting the change. The text now appears as follows:
 
 
For previous Ha'aretz corrections prompted by CAMERA and our Hebrew site Presspectiva, please see here.
 
Today's Error: Whitewashing Murderers
 
In today's front-page error, Ha'aretz whitewashes the brutal crimes of the 26 Palestinian prisoners set for release this week, all of them convicted of murder. The page-one photo caption errs, claiming that only "several" of them were convicted of murder:
Thousands of Israelis protested last night outside the Ofer detention center in the West Bank against the planned release of 26 Palestinian prisoners. The prisoners, several of whom were convicted of attacks in which Israelis were killed, had been brought to the Ofer facility earlier in the day, ahead of their scheduled release today.
 
The Israel Prison Service's Hebrew list of the prisoners and their crimes confirms that all were in for murder. In addition, BBC Watch, an affiliate of CAMERA, has published an excellent detailed English list of the prisoners, their crimes, and the murder victims.
 
Unfortunately, Ha'aretz's erroneous photo caption is consistent with a history of mainstream media outlets downplaying or minimizing the brutal crimes of Palestinian prisoners.
 
CAMERA has contacted Ha'aretz editors about the error. Stay tuned for news of a correction.

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