New Year, New Precedent: Ha’aretz Corrects

As Jews around the world prepare to usher in a new year, a new and welcome precedent graced the pages of the Israeli daily Ha’aretz today. CAMERA’s Israeli staff prompted a correction at the newspaper, which until now has resisted correcting substantive errors, even those that had been corrected at several Western media outlets. In his column today, veteran Ha’aretz correspondent Akiva Eldar acknowledges that in an earlier news story he erroneously claimed that a Hebrew University poll had found that 21 percent of settlers polled endorsed the use of arms to resist the evacuation of most West Bank settlements. The error and correction follow:

Error (Ha’aretz, Akiva Eldar, 3/21/10): Twenty-one percent of settlers believe that all means must be employed in to [sic] resist the evacuation of most West Bank settlements, including the use of arms, according to a recent Hebrew University study.

Correction (9/7/10): A few months ago, it was reported here that a survey by the Hebrew University’s Truman Institute shows that most settlers support the use of legal means to thwart a government decision to evacuate communities in the West Bank. I also reported that over a fifth of those surveyed “believe that all means must be employed in to resist the evacuation of most West Bank settlements, including the use of arms.” Following a reader comment, it should be noted that the appendage, “including the use of arms” was not actually part of the question and was too broad an interpretation for it to be included in “all means.”

CAMERA first wrote about this misrepresentation on our English site as well as our Hebrew site, Presspectiva. At the time, we noted that Eldar’s misinformation was picked up and reproduced in a lengthy Chicago Tribune Op-Ed by John Mearsheimer, author of the error-ridden tome The Israel Lobby. The Tribune Op-Ed was corrected immediately after CAMERA communicated with editors.

CAMERA commends Ha’aretz for setting the record straight, and hopes that this move represents the start of a new era at the paper in which journalistic accountability is taken seriously. Will Ha’aretz editors now correct the repeated falsehood regarding “Jewish-only roads” in the West Bank, the last instance having appeared just last week?

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