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Chicago Tribune Corrects Misquote by UCSD's Gary Fields


A correction in the March 6, 2009 Chicago Tribune noted that UCSD's Gary Fields relied on an "unverified" quote in his Feb. 22, 2004 Op-Ed, entitled "Build bridges, not walls."

In that piece, Fields wrote of Israel's security barrier:

More than a physical barrier imposed by the powerful upon the region's stateless and dispossessed, the wall expresses a collective psychology of conquest articulated most succinctly by one of its leading proponents, Moshe Yaalon, the Israeli army chief of staff.

He insists that "the Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people."

The correction in the Tribune notes:

In a Perspective piece by Gary Fields, professor of communications at the University of California, San Diego, that ran in Feb. 22, 2004, editions of the Chicago Tribune, an unverified quote was used and attributed to the Israeli army's chief of staff, Moshe Yaalon. The op-ed quoted Yaalon as saying that "the Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people." While cited frequently over the years, this quote does not appear in the Israeli newspaper article to which it has been attributed, and the writer of that article said Yaalon did not say this. Fields could not confirm the origin of the quote. A spokesman for Yaalon said Thursday that Yaalon was misquoted and did not say the sentence attributed to him. Since the exact origin of the quotation has not been found and verified, it should not have been used in the Tribune.

The correction ran after CAMERA brought the fabricated quote to the attention of editors.

The New York Times and International Herald Tribune recently published corrections after those newspapers ran an Op-Ed by Columbia professor Rashid Khalidi that relied on the misquote. See here for details about those corrections, and for information about what Ya'alon actually said.


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