AP Corrects Captions Which Erroneously Stated Israel Barred Protests

CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted correction of a series of Associated Press photo captions which wrongly reported that Israel has banned protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against the backdrop of coronavirus closures. The Oct. 8 captions erred, The Israeli government has extended an emergency provision that bars public gatherings, including widespread protests against Netanyahu, for an additional week.” (Emphasis added.) In fact, protests are not banned.

The current restrictions, which were in effect last Thursday, allow for demonstrations (against Netanyahu or for other causes) within one kilometer of the demonstrators’ homes. Demonstrators are permitted to congregate in groups of up to 20 people. Each capsule of 20 must maintain remain at least 20 meters away from the next capsule, though police officers may ask them to adjust the distances depending on the circumstances, assuming that the concept of separation is maintained. Within capsules, demonstrators must maintain a two-meter distance from each other.

Indeed, in light of the restrictions limiting protesters to demonstrations within one kilometer of their homes, smaller protests have taken place in over 1000 locations in recent days.

A sampling of the erroneous Oct. 8 captions follows:

A woman holds a placard that reads, “go,” during a protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020 during a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The Israeli government has extended an emergency provision that bars public gatherings, including widespread protests against Netanyahu, for an additional week. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

 

A woman holds a placard that reads, “go,” right, and a child holds another reading, “bring our democracy back,” during a protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020 during a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The Israeli government has extended an emergency provision that bars public gatherings, including widespread protests against Netanyahu, for an additional week. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

 

A protester chants slogans during a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jaffa, Israel, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020 during a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The Israeli government has extended an emergency provision that bars public gatherings, including widespread protests against Netanyahu, for an additional week. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

In response to communication from CAMERA, AP amended the captions, removing the phrase “including widespread protests against Netanyahu.” The amended captions now more accurately state:

A woman holds a placard that reads, “go,” during a protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020 during a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The Israeli government has extended an emergency provision that bars public gatherings for an additional week. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Contrary to standard journalistic practice, the amended captions appearing in AP’s photo archive do not indicate that a correction was made.

Starting today, the restrictions on protests beyond one kilometer from participants’ homes will be lifted.