UK Media Watch prompts Times of London correction to false Israeli “book ban” claim

Our post yesterday, comparing UK media outlets’ coverage of an Education Ministry decision not to include a book depicting an Israeli-Palestinian love affair on the literature curriculum, named a Times of London article by Catherine Philp as the most inaccurate report on the row.

Specifically, both the headline and text erroneously claimed that Israel “banned” the book Borderlife, by Dorit Rabinyan.

Original Times of London headline

We argued thusly:

The article by Catherine Philp doesn’t at all clarify the remarkably misleading headline and opening passage claim that “Israel’s education ministry has banned” the book “from being taught in schools”. (Philp also claims that the ministry’s statement on the book cited a fear that it would promote “miscegenation”. However, it did not cite “miscegenation”. It cited “assimilation” (התבוללות).  The word “miscegenation” of course possesses more racist connotations than “assimilation”.)

This morning, we asked Times of London editors to revise the headline and passage to more accurately reflect the ministry’s decision, and recently we learned that they upheld our complaint.

Here’s the revised, slightly more accurate headline.

times new headline

Additionally, per our complaint, the incorrect word “miscegenation” was changed to “assimilation”.

We commend Times of London editors on the prompt correction.

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