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Media Analyses





Haaretz Legal Follies


Jan. 26 Appended to End of Post: Haaretz Corrects on NGO Bill
 
In recent days, Haaretz's English edition has tripped up on three separate legal issues.
 
First, there is a mistranslation of Amos Schocken's Op-Ed ("Only international pressure will save us") Friday, resulting in the introduction of erroneous information into the English edition. The very first sentence of the piece in the English edition erroneously refers to the Green Line as an "internationally recognized border." It states:
There are many differences between conditions in South Africa during the apartheid era and those current in the land from the Jordan River to the sea, especially in the territories that Israel controls beyond its internationally recognized borders.
The original Hebrew article correctly refers to the armistice line between Israel and the West Bank as the Green Line. It states (CAMERA's translation):
There are many differences between conditions in South Africa during the apartheid era and those in the land from the Jordan River to the sea, especially in the territories that Israel controls beyond the Green Line . . .
The West Bank and Gaza frontiers were demarcated by the temporary 1949 Israeli-Jordanian armistice line and the 1950 Israeli-Egyptian armistice line, respectively. UN Security Council Resolution 242 (adopted several months after the 1967 war) called for negotiations to reach Arab-Israeli peace including "recognized and secure boundaries," since they did not then exist. Security Council Resolution 338 (1973) reiterated 242's call for such talks. Of course, an agreement on a border has yet to be reached.
 
In 2013, USA Today corrected an article which similarly misidentified the Green Line as an internationally recognized border, as did i24 News in 2014. In addition, last year The New York Times corrected an article which erroneously referred to Israel's "1967 borders with Palestine." Haaretz has yet to respond to CAMERA's request that it, like USA Today, The New York Times and i24News, correct the erroneous reference to the armistice line as an "internationally recognized border."
 
Second, a page-one article on the Hebron evictions yesterday refers incorrectly to the NGO bill up for vote in the Knesset today ("PM: Settlers can return to Hebron houses once they receive permits"). It states that the bill "requires NGOs that receive over half their funding from abroad to reveal their funding sources." In fact, the requirement would apply to NGOs which receive over half their funding from foreign governments. It would not apply to NGOs which receive over half their funding from foreign private sources. This error does not appear in the Hebrew edition.
 
In a third, unrelated factual error, Kathleen Peratis, co-chair of the Middle East North Africa Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch and an emerita member of its board of trustees, wrote Jan. 19 ("The New Frontier for BDS: Targeting Settler Businesses") that "Calling for [BDS] explicitly would be illegal in Israel." In fact, it is not "illegal" to call for BDS in Israel. If it were, Peratis' Haaretz Op-Ed itself could constitute criminal activity. Rather the law passed in 2011 concerning boycott calls exposes those who call for boycotts to civil suits, but it does not make their actions "illegal."
 
Editors were informed yesterday of the errors.
 
 
Jan. 26 Update: Haaretz Corrects on NGO Bill
 
Following communication from CAMERA's Israel office, editors of Haaretz's English edition have corrected the Jan. 24 article to make clear that the NGO bill would only apply to organizations which get over half their budget from foreign governments, and not other foreign sources.
 
The amended text states:
The bill, which requires NGOs that receive over half their funding from abroad to reveal their funding governments, is unanimously supported by Habayit Hayehudi and Likud, and it is unlikely that the parties' lawmakers would let it be rejected on Monday.
In addition, editors commendably appended the following note alerting readers to the change:
 

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