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February 27, 2018

Newsweek: Fake Traffic, Fake News

March 4 Update: CAMERA Prompts Newsweek, AFP Corrections on Shelved Expropriation Bill

Earlier this month, Newsweek fired senior editors and reporters after they reported on accusations that Newsweek Media Group had purchased fraudulent web traffic to secure significant advertising at the International Business Times, a sister publication.

In the wake of massive legal troubles, along with the departure of editor in chief Bob Roe and executive editor Ken Li, misreporting about an Israeli bill which has yet to come to vote is barely a blip in Newsweek's turmoil. But Newsweek's real readers -- as opposed to the fake bots -- may actually care to know when Newsweek fails to deliver real news.

This brings us to Tom Porter's Feb. 25 article ("Jerusalem Church Where Jesus is Said To Be Buried Closed After Tax Dispute With Israeli Government"), in which he falsely wrote that Christian leaders in Jerusalem issued a joint statement criticizing a "recent bill passed by the Israeli parliament that allowed the Israeli state to take over Christian buildings leased to private companies, and plans to begin imposing taxes on Christian church properties."

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First, the bill was not passed. In fact, Sunday, after church officials decided to close the holy site, the Israeli Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee postponed a discussion of the bill.

Second, the bill would not allow "the Israeli state to take over Christian buildings leased to private companies." It would enable Israel to expropriate church land sold to private developers since 2010. In other words, it would only apply to properties that no longer belong to the church. (See here for more information on the bill and the Jerusalem Municipality's intention to start collecting tax on church-owned properties used for commercial purpose or other purposes excluding worship.)

CAMERA has contacted Newsweek to request corrections. Stay tuned for an update.

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Posted by TS at February 27, 2018 05:39 AM

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