The following letter was published in the August 1, 2005 edition of the New Statesman. The magazine would not publish a formal correction to the factual error addressed in the letter. An editor told CAMERA that the magazine’s policy is to publish letters instead of corrections to rectify errors. But according to a news database, the magazine publishes a fair number of corrections – including four thus far in 2005. Since the magazine seems to freely publishes corrections on other errors, why does it refuse to do so on the serious error by Pilger, who is notorious for fabricating information?
Below is the letter by CAMERA setting the record straight:
John Pilger made a serious factual error in claiming that “there were no suicide bombers in Palestine until Ariel Sharon . . . came to power”. Dozens of suicide bombers killed Israeli civilians well before Sharon took office. Beginning in 1994, during Yitzhak Rabin’s tenure and as Israel was withdrawing from territory as part of the nascent Oslo process, nine suicide bombers killed 78 men, women and children. When Shimon Peres became prime minister, four devastating suicide bombings in February/March 1996 convinced the Israeli public to elect security-minded Binyamin Netanyahu. Eleven other suicide attacks preceded Sharon’s taking office on 7 March 2001. Clearly, Sharon was not responsible for those bombs. Can Pilger, then, still argue the 7 July bombs were “Blair’s bombs”?
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America