AP Corrects on Saudi ‘Hostility’ Towards Israel

CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted correction of an Associated Press article which erroneously reported that Saudi Arabia regards Israel with hostility. The Feb. 19 article (“China, Iran meet amid efforts to preserve nuclear deal“) had originally stated:

At the same time, China has sought to remain a friend to Israel – which both Saudi Arabia and Iran regard with hostility – partly to avail itself of the country’s cutting-edge technologies.

Saudi Arabia’s view of Israel has warmed in recent years, precisely because of their common foe, Iran. That warming has found expression in, for instance, the recent opening of Saudi air space for Air India flights to Israel. As AP reported Dec. 10, 2018:
Saudi Arabia broke a decades-long ban on the use of its airspace for flights to Israel last spring, when it allowed India’s national carrier to cross its skies.
And as AP reported on May 16, 2018 (“Gulf Arab states rebuke Israel, but alliances inch closer“):
In March, just as the weekly Gaza protests were getting underway, the crown prince met with pro- Israel Jewish American leaders, where he was quoted by Axios, an online newsletter focused on Washington politics, as saying the Palestinians should accept the proposals or “shut up and stop complaining.” The prince later appeared to acknowledge Jewish claims to Israel, telling The Atlantic that Israelis “have the right to have their own land.”

Adel al-Jubeir

Most recently, Saudi Arabia participated in the American-Polish conference last week in Warsaw focused on the Middle East. The head of the Saudi delegation, Adel al-Jubeir, minister of state for foreign affairs, said that the biggest challenge facing the Middle East is “the Iranian role in destabilizing security and stability in the region.” The Warsaw conference was the first time that Arab leaders attended an international conference focused on the Middle East, together with an Israeli leaders, since 1991.

In response to communication from CAMERA, AP yesterday commendably removed the anachronistic reference to Saudi hostility towards Israel. The revised text now states:

At the same time, China has sought to remain a friend to Israel – which Iran regards with hostility – partly to avail itself of the country’s cutting-edge technologies.

CAMERA’s timely action vis-à-vis yesterday’s AP article underscores the value of the organization’s work monitoring and responding to wire stories in the same news cycle as they appear. With this preemptive work CAMERA helps prevent misinformation from appearing in media outlets around the world.