Times of London headline fail on Israeli settlers and Donald Trump claim (UPDATE)

Here’s the headline accompanying a Jan. 1st Times of London article by Gregg Carlstrom.


There are two elements of the headline that are interesting.

First, the article primarily deals with Palestinian complaints over Jews buying property in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, a development which Carlstrom ties into the impact of the Obama administration’s decision to abstain on a UN security council resolution condemning settlements – rather than ‘veto’ it, as they usually do.

The “messiah” and settlers bit doesn’t come into play until the eleventh paragraph down. Here’s the relevant paragraph along with the conclusion of the article:

The interior minister, Aryeh Deri, chairman of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, has described Trump’s election as presaging the coming of the Messianic age. “We are really in the era of the birth pangs of the Messiah when everything has been flipped to the good of the Jewish people,” he said.

Naftali Bennett, the leader of a pro-settler party, plans to introduce a bill that would annex Ma’ale Adumim, one of the largest settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Much of the world considers Israeli settlements illegal, but Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Israel, the bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman, agrees with Bennett. He believes Israel should annex the entire West Bank.

During the presidential campaign, Trump promised to be Israel’s “best friend” in Washington. Last week he refused to comment when asked whether he opposed the settlements: he instead tweeted in response to Kerry’s speech that Israel should “stay strong” until January 20 — the day of his inauguration.

So, despite the fact that the headline claims that “settlers” have hailed Donald Trump the new “messiah”, in fact the only person in the article credited with evoking such language is (west) Jerusalem resident Aryeh Deri.

We’ve complained to editors about this blatantly misleading headline, and encourage you to do the same by using this Times of London complaint form.

Also, those of you active on Twitter can retweet this:

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