Newsweek Corrects on Hamas Document, Israel’s Capital

CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted correction of a Newsweek article which misinformed about a May 2017 Hamas policy document and which misidentified Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital.
The online article (“What Does Hamas Want? Islamist Olive Branch Could Be Thorn in the Side for Mahmoud Abbas,” Sept. 17) had incorrectly reported:

Then in May 2017, Hamas again surprised with a pledge to alter its charter and accept in principle a deal with Israel based on 1967 borders, effectively abandoning its commitment to Israel’s destruction and paving the way for pace talks.

In fact, Hamas published a new policy document (“A Document of General Principles and Policies,” May 1, 2017), which in no way replaced the terror group’s 1988 founding charter calling for the destruction of Israel. Hamas’ own Mahmoud al-Zahar made clear that the new document does not in any way replace the founding charter of 1988. As Reuters reported:

One of Hamas’s most senior officials said on Wednesday a document published by the Islamist Palestinian group last week was not a substitute for its founding charter, which advocates Israel’s destruction.

CNN had previously corrected an article in June which misidentified the new policy document as a charter.

In addition, the new policy document itself explicitly states its commitment to the liberation of Palestine, “from the river to the sea,” meaning the destruction of Israel. It states:

Hamas believes that no part of the land of Palestine shall be compromised or conceded, irrespective of the causes, the circumstances and the pressures and no matter how long the occupation lasts. Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea. However, without compromising its rejection of the Zionist entity and without relinquishing any Palestinian rights, Hamas considers the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital along the lines of the 4th of June 1967, with the return of the refugees and the displaced to their homes from which they were expelled, to be a formula of national consensus.

In response to communication from CAMERA, Newsweek commendably amended the text, which now states:

Then in May 2017, Hamas again surprised with a pledge to accept in principle a deal that would see a Palestinian state established on 1967 borders, paving the way for a role in peace talks—even if it retained its commitment to establishing a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea.” …

In a separate factual error, the article originally used the common journalistic practice of citing a nation’s capital city as shorthand for the country’s government, erroneously citing Tel Aviv, instead of Jerusalem. It had stated:

Here, too, following communication from CAMERA, Newsweek promptly corrected, changing “Tel Aviv” to “Israel.”

CAMERA commends Newsweek for the timely corrections, including a note appended to the bottom of the article notifying readers of the changes.

For additional Newsweek corrections prompted by CAMERA, please see here.

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