CiF Watch sends letter to the Guardian’s Reader Editor, asking for a correction to Mya Guarnieri’s CiF post

Mr. Elliot,

Regarding Mya Guarnieri’s recent post at CiF, Israeli rabbis’ racist decree strikes at the soul of Judaism, CiF Watch seeks a correction pertaining to the last sentence in the following passage:

“It could be argued that those who signed the proclamation – a group of men who are distorting Judaism to the point that I refuse to acknowledge them as rabbis – are extremists, that they don’t represent the majority. Even if that is true, it doesn’t change the fact that many are government employees. And, so far, the state has done nothing to put them in check.”

Also, note the sub-title:

“Telling Jews not to rent houses to Arabs is religious fascism. So far, the state has failed to intervene.”

As I pointed out in my post at CiF Watch yesterday, government officials have, indeed, acted and quite emphatically condemned the rabbi’s bigoted remarks before Guarnieri’s story went to print. – a fact which Ms. Guarnieri should have been aware of.

As your own correspondent, Harriet Sherwood, noted in her Dec. 2 piece, Denounced as a traitor:  The Holocaust Survivor who rents rooms to Israeli-Arabs:

  • “Now an Israeli cabinet minister is calling for Eliyahu to be removed from his post. Avishay Braverman, the minister for minority affairs, last week lodged a formal complaint with the justice ministry, saying Eliyahu’s “continual incitement against the Arabs in the Galilee harms the fabric of relations between Jews and Arabs and does not serve the interests of the state”.

The Israeli paper, Ha’aretz, reported the following on Dec. 7, the day before Guarnieri’s story appeared:

  • Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasized that “Such things cannot be said, not about Jews and not about Arabs. They cannot be said in any democratic country, and especially not in a Jewish and democratic one. The state of Israel rejects these sayings.”
  • Education Minister Gideon Saar also related to the rabbis’ letter, saying that “the Torah commands one to have good relations with Gentiles.”

Also, on Dec. 8, the day Guarnieri’s story was posted, this was published at Ha’aretz:

  • Israeli President Shimon Peres harshly condemned the rabbis’ petition, stating, “the state of Israel is composed of Jewish citizens and non-Jewish citizens, and we all have the same rights…this fundamental right is engraved in our Declaration of Independence, as well as in legislation forged in the Knesset.”

We seek a correction from Ms. Guarnieri, noting that her initial claim regarding Israeli government silence over the remarks in question was not accurate.

Please also note that, in the absence of a correction to the piece within 24 hours, we are prepared to file an official complaint with the PCC – which states the following:

  • The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.
  • A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published.

We look forward to your reply.


A. Levick

Managing Editor

CiF Watch

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