AP’s Erroneous Captions Expand Ayman Odeh’s Campaign to West Bank

UPDATE, 1:10 pm EST:

AP Corrects

In response to communication from CAMERA's Israel office, editors commendably corrected the captions, and they now accurately refer to Ayman Odeh campaigning in Taibeh, Israel. See below for a detailed update.

According to a series of Associated Press captions last week, Arab List MK Ayman Odeh campaigned Friday (Feb. 21) in a Palestinian West Bank location, "Yabeh, West Bank," for the upcoming Israeli elections. Since Palestinians living in the West Bank do not vote in Israeli elections, the claim is quite strange. (Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip vote in Palestinian elections. The last presidential election was in 2005, when Mahmoud Abbas won a four-year term. The last Palestinian parliamentary elections took place in 2006.) Moreover, there is no known location called Yabeh, either in Israel or the Palestinian territories.

A sampling of the photos and their captions follows:

 

Ayman Odeh, Israeli Arab parliament member and leader of the Joint List alliance, meets a supporter during an election campaign event in then town of Yabeh, West Bank, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Ayman Odeh,center, Israeli Arab parliament member and leader of the Joint List alliance, walks during an election campaign event in then town of Yabeh, West Bank, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Ayman Odeh, Israeli Arab parliament member and leader of the Joint List alliance, walks during an election campaign event in then town of Yabeh, West Bank, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

 

Yellow Israeli license plates can be seen in some of the photographs.
CAMERA Arabic staff checked with sources who identified the location as Taibeh, in central Israel next to Kfar Saba, and also recognized some of the photographed people as political activists from Taibeh. The misnomer "Yabeh" apparently derived from an erroneous rendering of "Taibeh." The relocation of the Israeli Arab town into the West Bank, however, is less understandable given that those well versed in regional politics would know that West Bank Arabs do not vote in Israeli elections.
In addition to the large Israeli Arab town of Taibeh (population more than 40,000) in central Israel, there is a smaller Israeli Arab village by the same name next to Nazareth. In addition, there are two Palestinian locations with the same name; one in the Jenin district, and a second, Christian village in the Ramallah district, which is where the popular Taybeh Brewing Company is located.
CAMERA contacted the Associated Press about the error. Stay tuned for an update.
With research by CAMERA Arabic.

Update (1:15 pm EST): AP Corrects

In response to communication from, editors commendably corrected the captions, which now accurately report that the pictured scenes of Ayman Odeh campaigning took place in Taibeh, Israel. A sample of one of the corrections is below.