CAMERA Elicits Caption Correction in New York Times

A caption accompanying a February 7, 2008 photograph of an Israeli family fleeing their Sderot home which that had been hit by Palestinian rockets placed the blame on Israel.  The attack was characterized as “retaliation for an Israeli airstrike in southern Gaza.” CAMERA pointed out to editors that by presenting as fact the terrorists’ own false justification for their rocket attacks, the Times inappropriately appears as a partisan in the conflict. 

Are the daily rocket attacks against civilians in Sderot “retaliating” for Israel’s counter-terrorism operations, or are Israel’s attacks on Palestinian rocket attackers a reaction to the mortar and rocket attacks on their civilians?

For more than six years, Palestinian terrorists have been targeting civilians inside Israel with Qassam rockets and mortar attacks, killing 13, wounding hundreds and causing much property damage. The frequency of these attacks has increased since Israel withdrew its military presence from the Gaza Strip–i.e. despite Israel’s withdrawal. Hamas has always been clear about its motive in attacking Israel–to destroy the Zionist entity and replace it with an Islamic state.


Error (New York Times, photo caption, 2/7/08): Bat El Ifrah, 10, removed articles on Wednesday from her home in Sderot, Israel, as her family prepared to flee…Two children on a playground near the Gaza border were also wounded in the attack, which was in retaliation for an Israeli airstrike in southern Gaza that killed seven Hamas policemen. [emphasis added]
Correction (Corrections: For the Record, 2/11/08): A caption on Thursday with a photograph of a home in Israel hit by a Palestinian rocket described the events surrounding the attack imprecisely. While the rocket attack followed an Israeli airstrike in southern Gaza, it was not known whether it was in fact in retaliation for the airstrike.

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