The following letter, published in the Jan. 26 Seattle Post-Intelligencer, refuted false information contained in an earlier Op-Ed column by Ghada Karmi. Karmi, a former information consultant to the Palestinian Authority, erroneously claimed that “Sharon planned … to annex the West Bank land on Israel’s side of the wall, leaving the rest – 40 percent to 50 percent – to the Palestinians ….”
Only a few months earlier, Post-Intelligencer associate publisher Kenneth Bunting touted the newspaper’s corrections policy in a column entitled, “Correcting mistakes gains readers’ trust.” (Read that column here.) Yet, despite the newspaper’s policy “to promply correct factual erros in editorials and in opinion essays,” the newspaper refused to run a correction to the above error. Instead, it published a letter by CAMERA.
As CAMERA has noted in the past, running a letter does not obviate the need for a formal correction by the newspaper.
The letter appears below:
String of misinformation distorts situationInstead of helping readers better understand the situation in Israel and the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas, Ghada Karmi’s Jan. 13 guest column unfortunately distorted matters with a string of misinformation.
For example, the column falsely claimed Israel’s security barrier is cutting off 50 percent of the West Bank. In fact, 93 percent of the West Bank remains east of the barrier. (The other 7 percent is separated to protect large Israeli population centers from the suicide bombers and other terrorists who had freely infiltrated to kill innocent men, women and children.)
What was most misleading about the column was its casting Israeli security measures as arbitrary, malicious actions designed solely to “demolish” the Palestinians, with no indication the Jewish state needs to defend itself against deadly attacks.
Such distortion of details and broader concepts is aimed at harming Israel, but those harmed by Karmi’s anti-Israel crusade are also readers denied an accurate understanding of the conflict.
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America