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December 23, 2009

Other False Headlines Remain After Guardian Correction

As noted below, the reliably anti-Israel Guardian has, to its credit, corrected a misleading headline about Israel, which it blamed on a "serious editing error."

While this is slightly encouraging news, it hardly suggests that the British newspaper is committed to keeping the record clear of outlandishly false headlines. Still unchanged, for example, is the following series of Guardian headlines about the Palestinian "Prisoners' Document":

• "Hamas performs about-turn on Israeli state; Document recognises Israel's right to exist" (6/21/06)
• "Climbdown as Hamas agrees to Israeli state" (6/22/06)
• "Hamas takes step to recognize Israel" (6/28/06)

These headlines are not only broadly false — ever since the Guardian trumpeted Hamas's "climbdown," the terror group has continued to repeatedly and explicitly make clear it does not accept a two-state solution nor Israel's right to exist — but they are also patently untrue in their more specific context. The "Prisoners Document" discussed in these articles does not "recognize Israel's right to exist," and when Hamas had signed onto the Document, it did not "agree to an Israeli state." This was apparent based on the text of the document itself, and also based on contemporaneous descriptions of the document by Hamas leaders.

It's unfortunately safe to expect that, with respect to the Arab-Israeli conflict, we won't be seeing too much of the Guardian that corrected a distorted headline, and will continue to encounter the Guardian that so frequently distorts the conflict (and the Guardian whose culture allows an editor to unblinkingly announce that "In Israel they murder each other a great deal" only because "they don't like their political style and what they've got to say.")

Posted by at December 23, 2009 11:35 AM


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