Under any version of a ‘Jewish nation-state bill’ which may eventually be voted on in the Israeli Knesset, one thing is certain: Arab citizens of the state would NOT become “second class citizens”.
Whilst efforts by the government to formally codify Israel as the “Jewish nation-state” have been the object of some serious criticism by thoughtful observers, we’ve yet to see one critic explain how the bill which Binyamin Netanyahu’s cabinet voted to approve on Sunday would even minimally erode the civil rights of Israel’s non-Jewish minority.
Yet, as we’ve noted in three posts over the last two days, Times of London editors chose headlines for a Nov. 24th article by Gregg Carlstrom, another article on the same day by Catherine Philp, and a print edition version of Carlstrom’s report which all grossly mischaracterized the proposed bill based merely on the hyperbolic criticism of a few critics.
(You can read an excellent backgrounder on the legislation by Haviv Rettig Gur at Times of Israel, here)
After multiple complaints to Times of London, we received the following reply explaining the “revisions” to the articles:
The headline on the first had “second-class citizens” put into quotation marks – “Israel set to make Arabs ‘second-class citizens’” – to make clear that this was a point of view expressed in the story…The second headline was similarly edited: “Israel wavers on ‘2nd-class Arabs’ law”.
So, this original headline…
…was ‘revised” to this:
The same minor tweak – simply placing quotes around the words “second class citizens” – was made to the other headline (for the Catherine Philps article) as well.
We feel it’s an insufficient change to a scare headline which plays into the shameful ‘apartheid’ charge – a smear more befitting the Guardian than the Times of London, whose coverage of Israel is generally the fairest among the mainstream, serious newspapers in the UK.