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November 04, 2015

USA Today Refuses to Correct, Maintains Jaffa a Separate City from Tel Aviv

The following letter was sent via email to the standards, world and military and the deputy world editors at USA Today on Nov. 3, 2015:

“Dear Editor:

This is to request a correction to ‘Preschool in Israel tries to teach peaceful coexistence’ by correspondent Shira Rubin. The article appears on page 6A in the October 30 print edition.

The report lists the dateline as “Jaffa, Israel,� which it later describes as being “just 3 miles south of Tel Aviv.� However, Jaffa is in fact part of Tel Aviv and has been since the two cities were unified in 1950.

Jaffa, which has a long history that predates by millennia that of Tel Aviv’s and was a separate municipality in the manner that Brooklyn was, for some time, separate from New York City prior to being consolidated in 1898. Yet, since Jaffa and Tel Aviv were unified, the former has been but a large neighborhood or subsection of the latter. Much as it would not be accurate to presently describe Brooklyn as being separate from New York City, your otherwise informative article does not reflect the contemporary reality of Tel Aviv.

Given this important distinction, we request a correction reflecting the above reality. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sean Durns
Media Assistant
CAMERA-Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America�

Standards Editor Brent Jones replied the same day and said that USA Today would look into the matter. The following day, November 4, deputy world editor Katharine Lackey contacted CAMERA. She replied that:

“after careful review, we don’t believe a correction is needed and support our correspondent’s explanation that Jaffa did not merge into Tel Aviv. Rather, it merged to become Tel Aviv-Jaffa and remains 3 miles south of Tel Aviv. In addition, the Israeli tourism site lists Jaffa as a separate town, calling it ‘Tel Aviv’s older sister.’�

Jaffa is indeed Tel Aviv’s “older sister� but since 1950, has incorporated into it and has been for 55 years now, one of “the Big Orange’s� more note-worthy neighborhoods.

Posted by SD at November 4, 2015 04:10 PM


To be fair, the city itself uses the name Tel Aviv-Yafo on its website, documents, etc. Not just Tel Aviv.

And Israelis do not think of Yafo as a neighborhood of Tel Aviv. Neve Tzedek or Kerem Hateimanim are neighborhoods. Yafo is something else. Ask an Israeli where they are going, they will not say 'to Tel Aviv' if they are going to Yafo. They will say they are going to Yafo.

So even though Yafo is part of the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality; the issue isn't so simple in this case. I think both sides have it partly wrong; but the way Brent Jones worded it is pretty good.

Posted by: Mordechai Y. Scher at November 4, 2015 05:19 PM

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