Haaretz Corrects After Misidentifying Israeli Arab Victim as Palestinian

CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted correction after Haaretz‘s English edition misidentified an Israeli Arab killed by an explosive device as Palestinian. The English edition’s digital headline had stated: “Palestinian Killed by Explosive Device, Found Dead on Side of Road in Israel.”

Similarly, the headline in yesterday’s English print edition (page 2) stated: “Palestinian killed by explosive device, found dead by road.”

The text of the article itself also misidentified the victim as Palestinian, with the opening sentence erring: “A Palestinian man was killed by an explosive device and found dead on the side of the road on Thursday.”

But as the next paragraph accurately reported, the “Palestinian” in question was “Amir Bedas from the village of Jatt in the Triangle area.” In other words, he was an Israeli Arab, not Palestinian.

Haaretz‘s international English-readers are not necessarily well informed about Israeli geography, and might have no clue that Jatt, and the Triangle Area, are inside Israel, not the West Bank. The inaccurate “Palestinian” label further confounds and misleads this less knowledgeable readership.

The Hebrew edition refrains from calling him Palestinian, precisely referring to him as a “resident of Jatt.”

Interestingly, web archives indicate that Haaretz‘s English edition initially did not call Bedas a Palestinian. On March 31, the headline referred only to a “Man Found Dead” and the story began:

A 25-years-old man from the village of Jatt in the Triangle area (a concentration of Arab communities in the country’s center) was found on the side of the road after being shot to death on Thursday.

By the next morning, a source at Haaretz decided that Israeli Arab Bedas is a Palestinian and changed the headline to say just that. Additional problematic edits included removal of the informative description of the Triangle’s location within Israel, and the introduction of the “Palestinian” error into the first sentence as well.

In response to communication from CAMERA yesterday, Haaretz editors commendably corrected both the headline and the article. The corrected headline now accurately states: “Israeli Killed by Explosive Device, Found Dead on Side of Road.” The amended text correctly reports:

An Israeli man was killed by an explosive device and found dead on the side of the road on Thursday.

The man, identified as 25-year-old Amir Bedas, an Arab Israeli from the village of Jatt in the Triangle area in central Israel . . .

This is not the first time that Haaretz corrected after misidentifying Israeli Arabs as Palestinian.

Haaretz‘s quick action correcting the erroneous label is a welcome contrast from The New York Times’ stubborn refusal to correct its erroneous reference to Rameh, an Arab town in northern Israel, as “Palestinian.”

For additional instances in which errors which hadn’t appeared in Haaretz‘s Hebrew edition are introduced into the parallel English reports, please see Haaretz, Lost in Translation.