CAMERA Prompts ‘NewsHour’ Correction About Lebanon’s Palestinian Refugees

CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted an on air correction of last week’s PBS “NewsHour Weekend” report which had grossly inflated the number of Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon and overstated the percentage of the registered refugees living in refugee camps.

As CAMERA previously reported, the Dec. 20 segment entitled “Palestinian refugees celebrate Biden-Harris win, hope for relief” repeatedly inflated the number of Palestinian refugees residing in Lebanon. Host Hari Sreenivasan introduced the segment, stating: “The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees or UNRWA says more than 470,000 refugees are living in Lebanon, most of them have been there for generations.”

Later in the broadcast, correspondent Leila Molana-Allen repeated the inflated 470,000 figure: “There are more than 450,000 Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon . . .”

In fact, according to UNRWA, “Over 470,000 refugees are registered with UNRWA in Lebanon, with 180,000 estimated for planning purposes to be residing in the country.” Similarly,UNICEF reports: “Currently, the number of Palestine refugees in Lebanon is approximately 192,000 (174,422 Palestine refugees in Lebanon and 17,706 Palestine refugees from Syria).”

In a separate error, Molana-Allen reported that “Most of [the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon] live in camps like these, which were never meant for long term use.” Yet, according to UNRWA, “About 45 per cent of them live in the country’s 12 refugee camps.” In other words, according to UNRWA, most do not live in the refugee camps.

In response to communication from CAMERA, PBS last night commendably broadcasted a correction.

Host Michael Hill closed the Dec. 27 broadcast with the following correction:

Finally tonight, a clarification on a story we aired last weekend on Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. The segment stated that more than 450,000 refugees are living in Lebanon. According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, more than 470,000 are “registered,” while fewer than 200,000 reside there; and 45% of those live in the country’s refugee camps, not “most,” as was reported in the segment.

 

PBS has informed CAMERA that it will be posting a correction on the segment’s page as well.

CAMERA’s criticism last week of the PBS segment went beyond the discreet factual errors concerning Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon, slamming the program’s blatant advocacy on the part of the controversial United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

Dec. 29 Update: PBS Corrects Online Segment

PBS has commendably posted the following clarification at the top of the segment's page:

A clarification: This segment stated that more than 450,000 Palestinian refugees are living in Lebanon. According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, more than 470,000 are registered, while fewer than 200,000 reside there; 45 percent of them live in the country’s refugee camps, not “most” as was reported in the segment.