CAMERA Prompts Forward Correction: Israel Doesn’t Ban Disinfectants to Gaza

After a columnist wrongly charged that Israel bans the entry of certain disinfectants into Gaza, the Forward today corrected the falsehood. The correction was prompted by CAMERA after a correspondence with editors at the newspaper. 

The March 24 column by Muhammad Shehada had claimed that officials in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip “have a shortage of the chemicals necessary to make disinfectants, including hydrogen peroxide and chlorine” because “Israel bans both from entering Gaza under the pretext of ‘dual-use’ items — items they say can also be used for building weapons.” He also blamed Israel for a lack of “protective clothing and N95 masks” in the territory. 

As CAMERA explained at the time, 

Shehada’s attribution of the shortage of protective clothing and masks to the blockade flies in the face of the shortages of these items everywhere, including New York, which obviously is not under any blockade, and exemplifies the tendency of anti-Israel propagandists to attribute every bad thing that happens in the West Bank and Gaza to Israel. And as he’s done in the past, he disingenuously calls Israel’s restrictions on “dual-use” items – items that have both civilian and military uses – a “pretext,” even in the wake of weekly riots on the Gaza-Israel border and arson-balloons floated over it.

Moreover, following his pattern of making claims unsupported by his own sources, he says that Israel “bans” both hydrogen peroxide and chlorine, even though the document he cites, from the group Gisha, says that “items it [i.e., Israel] considers to be “dual-use” . . . require special permission to enter.”

And as the blogger Elder of Ziyon subsequently noted, hydrogen peroxide at its typical disinfectant concentrations is not restricted at all, and the transfer of dual-use goods continues to enter the Gaza Strip.

The Forward’s correction states: “An earlier version of this piece stated that Israel bans hydrogen peroxide and chlorine. Israel does not ban either; it restricts hydrogen peroxide. We sincerely regret the error.”