The Times retracts claim Palestinians fled in ’48 due to Israeli “rape and torture”

Following an exchange of emails between CAMERA UK and The Times, editors finally agreed to remove the ahistorical claim that the flight of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the 1948-49 War was due to Israeli aggression, “rape and torture”.

As we posted about at the time, a May 26th article at The Times, by Scottish political editor Kieran Andrews, was based on recent comments by Richard Lyle (member of the Scottish Parliament) referring to the ‘Nakba’ as a “self-inflicted tragedy”. The Times editor, in his own voice, provided this background on the cause of the flight of Palestinians during the war – to help put Lyle’s comments in context:

Historians argue that it was largely driven by Israeli aggression, including rape and torture, and to a much lesser degree by local Palestinian authorities urging people to flee.

As we noted in our post, there are no serious, non-propagandistic historians who’ve made such a claim – and in fact, when pressed, editors couldn’t provide the name of even one historian who holds this view.  After promising to do so, we just confirmed that the sentence in question has in fact been deleted, though, unfortunately, there’s no editor’s note explaining the revision.

Nonetheless, we commend The Times – which is normally one of the fairest UK media outlets on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict – on ultimately upholding our complaint and removing the sentence.

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8 replies on “The Times retracts claim Palestinians fled in ’48 due to Israeli “rape and torture””
  1. in fact, one of Ilan Pappe’s proteges received her Phd based on her thesis that Jews did not rape Palestinians (Arab non-Jews) because they were racist. A wholly disgusting idea that takes virtue and damns it for propaganda purposes.

  2. says: Andrew

    It is annoying that “freedom of the press” is understood by so many in the press as “freedom to make up whatever one wants” (and then watch the consequences for the people one lied about).

  3. says: Rachel

    Great result, Adam! But didn’t the Glasgow Herald publish a similar claim around the same time?

  4. says: Yosef Dov

    When your hate is based solely on evil- facts and truth are irrelevant. It is well known that the ignorati will scan headlines or bits of articles and often glean what they wish if it supports some predisposition to a prejudice in their own minds. And then will continue to parrot the lie to others with a disclaimer “I saw this on XXXXXX source so it must be true”.

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