The Guardian ‘would’ be commended if its revision of Sherwood’s apartheid smear were substantive

On Oct. 23, we posted about a characteristic smear of Israel by Harriet Sherwood, based on distorted poll results – suggesting Israeli support for apartheid – egregiously misinterpreted by the original reporter covering the story, Gideon Levy of Haaretz.

Sherwood’s story contained this title  ’Israeli poll finds majority in favor of ‘apartheid’ policies‘, conveying to readers the idea that Israelis indeed support apartheid.  

The text in Sherwood’s story echoed this title, beginning thus:

“More than two-thirds of Israeli Jews say that 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank should be denied the right to vote if the area was annexed by Israel, in effect endorsing an apartheid state…” [emphasis added]

However, Sherwood failed to acknowledge the vital other poll results demonstrating that only 38 percent of the Israelis surveyed want Israel to annex some of the territories in the first place.

The suggestion that most Israelis support denying Palestinians the right to vote in Israel is necessarily undermined by this additional information which Harriet Sherwood did not report.

It would be more accurate to report that only a minority of Israelis would deny the vote to Palestinians, and then only in a hypothetical scenario which most Israelis don’t wish to see happen.

As Yehuda Ben-Meir wrote in Haaretz, Most of us don’t want apartheid, Oct. 28, after having compared the article’s conclusions with the survey’s findings:

“[Israelis] oppose the annexation of territories. That’s the survey’s most important finding, and its conclusion is exactly the opposite of what’s written in the [Haaretz] headline.”

the…majority [of Israelis are] also unwilling to live in a country with an “apartheid regime,” so it opposes the annexation of territories. That’s the survey’s most important finding…”

Further, Haaretz issued a retraction. Here it is, translated from Hebrew by CAMERA.

“The wording of the front-page headline, “The majority of Israelis support apartheid in Israel” (Ha’aretz, Oct. 23), did not accurately reflect the findings of the Dialog poll. The question to which most respondents answered in the negative did not relate to the current situation, but to a hypothetical situation in the future: “If Israel annexes territories in Judea and Samaria, in your opinion, should 2.5 million Palestinians be given the right to vote for the Knesset?” 

Additionally, even the Haaretz journalist who published the story, Gideon Levy, offered this retraction:

“Most Israelis do support apartheid, but only if the occupied territories are annexed; and most Israelis oppose such annexation. Haaretz explained this in a clarification published in the Hebrew edition on Sunday.” [emphasis added] 

Nowhere does the Guardian cite the extremely vital qualification that most Israelis, in fact, DO NOT SUPPORT annexation. Evidently in response to criticism of Sherwood’s incredibly misleading story, and the accompanying headline, the Guardian, on Oct. 30, issued this correction:
So, the title was changed from the original…
…to this:

Nothing in the the story’s text was changed, and there’s still nothing to inform readers that a majority of Israelis don’t support annexation and, thus, by logical inference, a majority DO NOT support denying Palestinians the right to vote.

If the Guardian had made such a substance change – providing the public with information necessary to properly understand and contextualize the poll – they would resemble a serious newspaper rather than an anti-Zionist propaganda sheet.

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