New York Times Israel Correction Needs a Correction

the-new-york-timesAlways read the Corrections box in the New York Times–you never know what you might find. From today’s edition:

Because of an editing error, a picture caption on September 9 with an article about a request by Secretary of State John Kerry that the European Union suspend its planned restrictions on financial assistance to Israeli institutions to show the Israeli public the benefit of pursuing a peace agreement with the Palestinians misidentified the setting of the photograph. It is the Palestinian village of Beit Jala in the West Bank–not Gilo, a nearby Israeli development in Jerusalem.

The print edition of the paper had a caption that called Gilo “an Israeli development.”

This is inadequate. Gilo is an unlawful Israeli settlement–or colony, if you prefer–on the occupied West Bank. Gilo is the subject of intense controversy–see the 2009 Times headline, “Plan to Expand Jerusalem Settlement Angers U.S.,” over a story that called Gilo

an area in southern Jerusalem considered by Israel to be a neighborhood of the city and by the Palestinians and much of the world to be a settlement that violates international law.

As Phillip Weiss of Mondoweiss noted (10/29/10), Gilo

is on a hill a few miles south of Jerusalem and it is now gobbling up the lands of Walaje, a Palestinian village. There are demonstrations against this further illegal expansion all the time. Palestinian houses are being demolished, lands seized, farmers dispossessed. The unending narrative of 43 years of military-religious occupation.

So when the Times decides to call Gilo an “Israeli development in Jerusalem,” they’re essentially taking a side: For the Israeli view and against international law.

Gilo (cc photo: David King)

Gilo (cc photo: David King)

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.