Guardian prompted to correct Yitzchak Navon obit’s references to Sabra & Shatila Massacre

On Nov. 8th, the Guardian published an obituary for former Israeli President Yitzchak Navon, who died three days earlier at the age of 94.

The obituary, written by Lawrence Jaffe, included three misleading passages or omissions, all pertaining to context and background on Navon’s role in Israel’s decision to create the Kahan commission in response to the massacre of 700-800 Palestinians in Lebanon in 1982.

  • In referencing the attack on Palestinian civilians in Lebanon, it failed to note that the massacre was actually committed by Christian Phalangists.
  • It falsely claimed that a “UN Commission” found that Israel was responsible for the massacres. In fact, the commission was not formed under the auspices of the United Nations. Rather, it was a relatively obscure (non-UN affiliated) “international commission“, but one so biased that their report actually accused Israel of committing “genocide” in Lebanon.
  • It failed to even mention the Israeli inquiry into the massacre, the Kahan Commission.

The following day – in part due to a Twitter conversation we had with the journalist – the Guardian issued the following correction:

corex at g

We commend Mr. Jaffe for his prompt and courteous reply to our concerns about an element of the obituary.

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