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September 25, 2013

UPDATED: AP Claims Claimed Rouhani Speech "Absent" of Anti-Israel Rhetoric

rouhani on el al.jpg


9/25 Update: After CAMERA communicated with CNN about the erroneous lede sentence, AP amended its story. The piece now states that "The Iranian president's first speech to world leaders toned down anti-Israel rhetoric," not that the speech was "absent" of such rhetoric.

An AP story today opens by informing readers that "The Iranian president's first speech to world leaders was absent anti-Israel rhetoric...."

The problem is, Rouhani in fact leveled some of the harshest, most inflammatory anti-Israel slurs available during his UN speech yesterday, describing Israel as engaging in "brutal repression" and as practicing something even worse than apartheid.

In language that differed little from the predictable anti-Israel venom often heard from Iranian leaders, Rouhani told delegates at the United Nations that

What has been – and continues to be – practiced against the innocent people of Palestine is nothing less than structural violence. Palestine is under occupation; the basic rights of the Palestinians are tragically violated, and they are deprived of the right of return and access to their homes, birthplace and homeland. Apartheid as a concept can hardly describe the crimes and the institutionalized aggression against the innocent Palestinian people.

Much later in the piece, the AP reporter, Lara Jakes, does assert that Rouhani "briefly touched on what he described as Palestine's depravation and subjugation." But obviously this understated elaboration does not eliminate the need for an opening sentence that doesn't misinform.

It's also worth noting is that, while the Jakes mentions that Rouhani referred to "crimes the Nazis created toward the Jews," she inexplicably omits any reference to the more controversial part of his statement to CNN — "I have said before that I am not a historian, and that when it comes to speaking of the dimensions of the Holocaust it is the historians that should reflect on it" — an equivocation that virtually all other reports recognized was relevant to the story.

CAMERA has informed CNN of the error and the omission and called for a correction. We'll update this post with any further developments.

Posted by GI at September 25, 2013 11:05 AM


This photo deserves a caption, don't you think?

Posted by: Jacob at September 25, 2013 01:44 PM

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