CAMERA Prompts New York Times Magazine Caption Correction on ‘Palestine’

CAMERA staff have prompted a correction of an online New York Times Magazine photo caption which identified Israel, the West Bank and Gaza as “Palestine.” Flagged by a CAMERA researcher, the original caption stated: “A young resident holds a necklace with an outline of Palestine.”

Following communication with CAMERA’s Israel office, editors today amended the caption to refer to “Palestine before Israel’s 1948 war of independence.” For clarity, an optimal caption would have made clear that Palestine, pre-1948, was a British mandate. Editors also added a note stating:

An earlier version of this picture caption referred incompletely to the pendant shown. It depicts a map of Palestine before Israel’s 1948 war of independence; it is not a current “out of Palestine.”

The photo and caption in question accompanied a feature by Rachel Kushner about Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp (“We Are Orphans Here“). The article came under heavy criticism for Kushner’s failure to disclose that her visit to Shuafat was part of an initiative by the controversial NGO Breaking the Silence. NGO Monitor reported:

Left unsaid in the article, and in a “Back Story” interview with the author, is the central role that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) played in the creation of Kushner’s confused narrative.

Kushner did not travel to the Shuafat refugee camp, or to Israel in general, on her own – she was brought with other well-known authors as part of a Breaking the Silence political campaign. These authors are each expected to contribute to a forthcoming book about Israel, due to be published in June 2017 to coincide with “50 years of occupation.” (See this April 2016 article in Haaretz for more details on the Breaking the Silence/authors tour.)
Kushner also relies on Ir Amim, an NGO with a particular and highly politicized approach to Jerusalem. In her article, Kushner approvingly cites Ir Amim’s creative attribution of a tragic traffic accident to “the multiple challenges of living beyond the separation barrier.”
Likewise, Moriel Rothman-Zecher is acknowledged as accompanying Kushner throughout her visit to the refugee camp. What is not mentioned is that Rothman-Zecher is a regular contributor to +972 Magazine – a website that publishes articles that promote a marginal agenda, from the fringes of Israeli discourse.

For additional New York Times corrections prompted by CAMERA, please see here.

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