British outlet dismisses our complaint, doubles down on its misinformation

Yesterday, we sent the following email to editors at i news which included the following:

An Oct. 25 article on page 2 (“Israel approves 2,800 settler homes”) omits crucial information that was covered by Associated Press (AP) and other media outlets in their stories about the announced settlement construction.

In addition to the 2,800 Israeli settlement homes, “Israel is also set to approve 1,600 units for Palestinians in the areas of the West Bank that it controls”, per AP .

This is important context, and I ask that, under the terms of the accuracy clause, a correction be issued clarifying this point.

(We sent a similar email to Western Daily Press about the same issue, and they admirably printed a correction in today’s print edition.)
A staffer at i news replied, informing us that our email was forwarded to the relevant editors and that they’d soon respond.  However, instead of a prompt response, they published an op-ed by their foreign correspondent, Michael Day (“Israeli settlements: more illegal homes means little hope for Palestinians even with Trump and Netanyahu gone”, Oct. 26) attacking Israel whilst seemingly mocking our complaint.
Here’s the relevant section mentioning us:
When i reported that another illegal 1,355 homes were on the way, the CAMERA pro-Israel lobbying group was quick to complain that we hadn’t mentioned, that “Israel is also set to approve 1,600 units for Palestinians in the areas of the West Bank that it controls”, a fact that is said was needed for “context”.

Well, here’s some more context.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, along with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — areas Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war — to build a state they don’t have. The presence of 700,000 Israeli settlers is the main obstacle to peace.

First, CAMERA is not a “lobbying” group, as the term refers to organisations which try to influence government decisions – something we don’t do.  Rather, CAMERA is a non-profit media-monitoring, research and membership organisation devoted to promoting accurate and balanced coverage of Israel.  Our focus is on media outlets, and we attempt to hold them accountable to their own standards of accuracy and professionalism.
Moving to the substance of Day’s argument, he seems to forget that the antisemitic extremist group Hamas, which is at odds with the PA and rejects the continued existence of Israel within any borders, rules Gaza, making any peaceful two-state solution which would include the coastal strip impossible to achieve.
Day also reiterates the media mantra that Israeli homes across the green line represent the “main obstacle to peace”, an ahistorical claim which ignores the injurious impact of the 2nd Intifada, the PA’s rejection of several peace offers, and the Palestinian culture of incitement and antisemitism, all of which eroded Israeli trust in the intentions of Palestinian leaders.

As with so many journalists, the i news correspondent fails to impute agency to Palestinians, insisting that Israel is the only party in the conflict that matters.
Further in the piece, Day writes the following:
Settlement construction has accelerated in the last few years thanks the Netanyahu government and the Trump regime, which pandered to an unholy alliance between the conservative Jewish lobby and right-wing evangelists. Israel had carte blanche.
However, data by the Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics contradicts this claim, concluding that “West Bank settler growth rate dropped to an all-time low of 2.3% in 2020, the last year of…both former president Donald Trump and…Benjamin Netanyahu”.  The Jerusalem Post’s analysis of the data noted that there’s “a big gap between the high rate by which the IDF’s Civil Administration advanced building projects compared to the low rate of actual construction”.
Moreover, CAMERA’s analysis showed that there were 6764 constructions starts in Trump’s four years, yielding a 1691 yearly average, vs 14,722 construction starts in Obama’s eight years, for an annual average of 1840 starts” – nearly 150 more than the average number of starts under Trump.
Day then writes:

After this year’s one-sided mini-war with the Hamas thugs in Gaza, in which 67 Palestinian children died, there was an outcry among many US Democrats.

Soon after, Israeli defence minister Benny Gantz arrived in Washington, cap in hand, in search of $1bn in emergency military aid in order to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome defences and restock its bomb supplies.

However, the $1bn was only for Iron Dome defence rockets, not for offensive “bomb supplies”.

He closes with this:

Some Democrats questioned why billion-dollar military handouts should be given to a wealthy country like Israel, whose per capita income ranks 19th in the world. Those Democrats were clearly in a minority, however,

A month ago, with overwhelming bipartisan support, US Congress agreed to hand Israel the $1bn it wanted. Even with Trump and Netanyahu gone, it seems very little has changed.

Day’s disgust with US aid towards the Iron Dome system is as palpable as it is incomprehensible.

The reason why only a handful of House members voted against the bill is because it’s hard to justify opposition to a system which protects innocent civilians from rockets launched by religious fanatics who oppose, in principle, the very idea of ever living in peace with the Jewish state.

Also, as some observers have argued, Iron Dome actually serves to protect Palestinian lives (as well as Israeli lives), as, without such a system knocking down deadly projectiles, Israel would be far more likely launch large-scale wars and initiate ground invasions of the territory in response to such attacks.

Moreover, as the House of Representatives noted in announcing the bill’s passage, the funding “is consistent with the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding” between then President Obama and Israel, “which commits the United States to providing additional assistance to replenish the Iron Dome after periods of fighting to allow Israel to continue to defend itself from attack.”

Day, clearly out of his depth in trying to explain the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, grossly misled inews readers – another example of why CAMERA’s mission, grounded in the imperative on journalism being governed by facts rather than narratives, is so vital.

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  1. says: Wayne Goldstein

    So given i news & Michaels Day’s libelous invective, will Adam file with IPSO? If not, why not and if so, why is it not mentioned?

  2. says: Dan+Kelso

    The U.N’s 1947 partition resolution referred to the hill country of Judea and Samaria. There was no mention of the West Bank.

    There was never such a thing as Palestine. It was always a colonial province filled by a foreign empire. Prior to that, it was the kingdoms of Judea and Israel.

    The only state where Israel is located today in the last 3000 years has been Israel and Israel re-established in 48.

  3. says: Dan+Kelso

    Just some facts for Michael Day on Jerusalem.

    Jerusalem has had a Jewish population majority since the late 1850s – that’s 130 years already, before ‘Palestinianism’ was invented:

    Jews were expelled from East-Jerusalem by the Arabs in 1948. The Jews lived in East-Jerusalem for thousands of years. They returned to their homes after Israel liberated the city in 67.

    Jerusalem was never in history the Capitol of any Arab country. Jerusalem has been only the Capitol of Israel.

  4. says: Malone Cooper

    “Israeli homes across the green line represent the “main obstacle to peace”,
    If that’s the case Mr. Day, please inform me why the ‘Palestinians’ didn’t make peace pre 1967 when all the land they claim was in Arab hands. Not only didn’t they create their own state at that time and make peace with Israel but, instead, they initiated another war by shutting the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships and removing UN security forces from the Egyptian border.
    So, obviously, Israeli homes across the green line were NOT an obstacle to peace as much as you’d like the world to think that it was. It would be nice if ‘journalists’ stuck to the truth.

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