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Middle East Issues





UPDATED: After Contact by CAMERA, The Washington Post Corrects on 'Illegal' Settlements


(Note: This post was updated on Oct. 26, 2016 to reflect recent developments).

After contact from CAMERA, The Washington Post has changed inaccurate language in the online version of its Oct. 21, 2016 article “These Sukkot guests live a mile and a world apart.”

That Post report claimed, among other things, that “The residents of Efrat live the good life in a growing hilltop community that the United States considers illegal and an obstacle to peace.”

Yet, as CAMERA highlighted in correspondence to Post editors and staff on October 21, the U.S. government does not consider settlements illegal. CAMERA noted that “since the Reagan administration, which explicitly said it did not believe the settlements were illegal, U.S. administrations have instead characterized the settlements as illegitimate.” Indeed, as CAMERA pointed out to Post staff, the paper itself acknowledged this distinction in an April 18, 2016 article (“Israeli settlers see tourism as a new route to legitimacy”).

An online version of The Post article (“Jewish settlers invited Palestinians over for the holidays. All went well until the guests headed home,” October 20) initially mirrored the print version's inaccurate language.

Following contact from CAMERA, The Post changed the online version of the article to read that “The residents of Efrat live the good life in a growing hilltop community that the United States considers illegitimate and an obstacle to peace.”

Initially The Post did not formally acknowledge that a change was made to the original article. However, after CAMERA contacted Post editors and staff on October 24, the paper issued a correction in its October 26 edition.

The Post noted that “An Oct. 21 Page One article about a group of Palestinians who were invited to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot by resident of the Efrat settlement misstated the U.S. government’s position on Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The Obama administration describes the communities as ‘illegitimate’ and ‘an obstacle to peace,' but not as illegal.”


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