CAMERA yesterday prompted correction after an Op-Ed in Ynet incorrectly stated that American journalist and anti-Israel activist Peter Beinart had not apologized after retweeting a false Haaretz headline in 2014 that settlers had torched a Palestinian orchard in Hebron, embellishing with his own “Lag Ba’omer pogrom” fabrication. The English version of Ben-Dror Yemini’s Op-Ed (“Peter Beinart is neither a Zionist nor a liberal,” July 12) had stated:
In 2014 the Hebrew language daily Haaretz published a news report about settlers who set a Palestinian orchard on fire. The paper later retracted the story and issued an apology. There was no fire.
But Beinart posted “A Lag Ba’omer pogrom” on his Twitter account. Pogrom? Even the news report he had referred to did not use that term. Not only was no one hurt, but no tree was damaged. But Beinart did not apologize for his tweet. (Emphases added.)
Beinart had acknowledged that he was wrong about the “Lag Ba’Omer pogrom,” tweeting on May 20, 2014: “Reported ‘assault’ on photographer disturbing, but I shouldn’t have called Lag B’omer bonfire in Hebron a ‘pogrom.'”
In addition, there was, indeed, a fire. According to Amira Hass and Yair Ettinger, settlers had made a bonfire in a Palestinian grove and the fire “approached” the olive grove. They had not at all reported that settlers set trees on fire. Rather, it was the (English) headline only which alleged that settlers “torched” the grove, and Haaretz‘s correction retracted the headline in the wake of CAMERA’s complaint, stating: “The headline of an article by Yair Ettinger and Amira Hass in yesterday’s paper was incorrect. It should have read: ‘Lag Ba’Omer in Hebron: Settlers light bonfire in Israeli orchard.”
The latter inaccuracy was a translation error. Yemini’s original piece in Hebrew
correctly reported that there was no “torching.”
In response to communication from CAMERA, the writer commendably removed the erroneous claim about Beinart’s lack of apology in both Hebrew and English, along with the inaccurate claim in English that there was no fire. Contrary to common journalistic practice, there is no note appended to the article alerting readers to the corrections.
In his Op-Ed, Yemini deconstructs Beinart’s highly deceptive
calls in Jewish Current
and The New York Times
to dismantle the Jewish state in favor of a binational state, which he promises will work despite the overwhelming evidence showing otherwise.