CAMERA Israel’s office prompted correction of an Op-Ed which erroneously reported that Israel revoked the citizenship of a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip living in Israel due to the fact that she and her Israeli husband divorced.
Rachel Harris’ March 3 Op-Ed entitled “Israeli and Palestinian Men Are Uniting — To Destroy This Arab Woman’s Political Career” erred:
In [Ibtisam Mara’ana] 2007 film, “Three Times Divorced” (2007), Khitam, a Gaza-born Palestinian woman has an arranged marriage with a Bedouin from Israel. She bears him six children, but after experiencing domestic violence and abuse, she wants to leave, only to discover that her Israeli citizenship is contingent on remaining married. If she divorces him, she loses her citizenship, and is then ineligible for the services available for Israel’s battered women.
Khitam, the protagonist from Mara’ana’s documentary, did not have Israeli citizenship when she was married to her Israeli husband and thus could not have lost it due to the divorce. In the documentary, Khitam says she does not have an Israeli ID.
About Khitam’s story, The Economist wrote:
Khitam is Palestinian, so her marriage has won her only a visitor’s permit in Israel, not residency or citizenship. She cannot turn to the state for legal aid or asylum in a women’s shelter. “She has no status in this country,” a social worker explains.
The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, which has been renewed on a yearly basis, “lets the government withhold legal status in Israel to Palestinians married to Israelis or who have first-degree relatives in the country.”
In response to communication from CAMERA, Haaretz commendably amended the passage. The updated digital edition now states:
She bears him six children, but after experiencing domestic violence and abuse, she wants to leave, only to discover that since her husband never secured an Israeli I.D. for her, she has no official standing or citizenship recognized by the Israeli government or police.
Contrary to common journalistic practice, Haaretz did not append a note to the article alerting readers to the change. As of this writing, the correction has yet to appear in the print edition.