Since 2019, Independent Arabia referred to Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital 400 times

“All editorial practices and output will conform to the world-renowned standards, code of conduct and established ethos of The Independent”. (The Independent announces the upcoming launch of its Arabic edition, July 2018)

Last Friday, CAMERA UK prompted The Independent to correct an article falsely suggesting that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital. The editor’s note which followed the correction reads as follows:

This article was amended on 9 December 2021 to change a reference to “relations between Washington and Tel Aviv” to “relations between Washington and Israel.”

However, their acknowledgment that Tel Aviv is not Israel’s capital, and shouldn’t be used as shorthand for the country, will likely be ignored by editors at The Independent’s Saudi-owned Arabic edition, despite the aforementioned promise.

In fact, since Independent Arabia launched in January 2019, we’ve counted over four hundred articles at their site where such misleading Tel Aviv references appear .  Though this lie about Tel Aviv is well-entrenched within traditional Arab journalism, in the case of Independent Arabia this habit has produced some of the strangest formulations, such as:

American ambassador in Tel Aviv David Friedman

(16 June 2020)

Israel appoints six women ministers of Iraqi and Moroccan origins – their mothers have immigrated to Tel Aviv since the 1950s

(21 June 2021)

The release of hundreds of detainees from Tel Aviv’s prisons [i.e. Israeli prisons]

(12 September 2021)

Lebanon still flounders over the decree to amend its southern border with Tel Aviv

(3 October 2021)

And, of course, the immortal lines:

Tel Aviv considers all of Jerusalem its capital

(18 April 2020)

Tel Aviv considers Jerusalem “united and indivisible”

(21 September 2021)

Independent Arabia reporters have also repeatedly fabricated references to Tel Aviv in direct quotations by Israeli officials. In just the last four months, this occurred at least three times:

Gantz did not directly announce that Israel decided to strike a blow against Iran, but he said that he “does not rule out […] Tel Aviv […] taking action”

(27 August 2021; original quote used “Israel”)

Gantz added that “Tel Aviv has no ability to lead a real plan B, we can’t put together an international economic sanctions regime. This has to be led by the U.S.”

(16 September 2021; original quote used “Israel”)

Eiland implied to Israel standing behind latest cyber attack on Iran, saying: “The paralysis of Iran’s gas stations […] may indicate that Tel Aviv is not neglecting this vital area of operations.”

(29 October 2021; original op-ed used “Israel”)

With the third anniversary of The Independent’s Arabic edition approaching, we wish to remind our readers of several other reports still featured on its website. Most were covered by CAMERA Arabic in the past:

  1. A theater critique where the author applauded a Beirut play, with an ‘adaptation’ of Anne Frank depicting her as a bloodthirsty Israeli looking to deprive a Palestinian widow of her home, 27 September 2019
  2. A piece about the Hebrew language where fake experts on Jewish history claimed that modern Hebrew “was fabricated out of Arabic for specific purposes,” 20 December 2019
  3. An op-ed which argued that “many” Jews still live “an ordinary life” in countries like Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq; there, they “are freely practicing their rituals and engaging in various walks of life”, 29 April 2020.
  4. A piece which featured the following Palestinian civil society take on Israel: “the Jews had the infrastructure and the physical power to establish a state, but they lacked anything to connect them to Palestine, and that is what they are trying to form,” 14 February 2021
  5. A report that argued (it is unclear whether in the reporter’s voice or her interviewee’s) that in recent years, “religious Jewish families” and “settlers” took over “most of the streets of Jaffa in the Arab neighborhoods”, 18 November 2021

(All translations, emphases and in-bracket remarks are by CAMERA Arabic)

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  1. says: Grimey

    The Independent is just a sick joke – childishly advertising its anti-Israel and antisemitic (new spelling of “anti-Semitic”) proclivities.

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