Guardian corrects story with false translation of Noam Shalit interview after his son’s release

On March 17th we posted a piece (“Lost in anti-Zionist translation? Guardian misquotes Noam Shalit on Palestinian hostage taking“) which noted that the Guardian’s Phoebe Greenwood cited an incorrect translation of a Noam Shalit interview on Israeli TV.

According to Greenwood Shalit stated, in the context of discussing his son’s recent release after five-years of captivity by Hamas, that he would kidnap Israeli soldiers if he were a Palestinian.

JTA had a Hebrew-speaking colleague track down the interview with Israel’s Channel 10 and it turns out Shalit didn’t say that at all.

Here’s a transcript (translated from Hebrew) of what Shalit actually said:

Q: If you were a Hamasnik, would you abduct an Israeli soldier?

Shalit: I don’t know but maybe I would fight IDF forces in a different way, I don’t know.

Clearly, Shalit didn’t say that he would kidnap an Israeli soldier if he were a Palestinian, as Greenwood claimed.  He essentially suggested that he didn’t know exactly what he would do if he were a Palestinian, while stating that (if he were Palestinian) he might have tried to fight the Israeli army “in a different way.” 

In the Guardian’s ‘Corrections and clarifications’ section today, there was this.

Those of you fluent in Hebrew may want to read the text of the interview at the Israeli site here and let us know whether the incorrect translation could have been an honest “misinterpretation”. 

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