The Times imagines a ‘mass exodus’ of Israelis

(Editor’s note: We do not take political positions, including on the extraordinarily contentious judicial overhaul plans of Israel’s current government.  However, as our mission is to promote accurate reporting about Israel, we will continue to push back against distortions and factual errors within British media reports about the legislation.)

Here’s the headline and strap line of a July 30 article in The Times written by Inna Lazareva, a “British investigative reporter in the Middle East”.

Now, here’s the text in the article, focusing on the fears of many Israelis over the judicial overhaul plan, which inspired the headline and strap line:

In 2019 Oded, a man in his late thirties leading a comfortable life in Canada, boarded a plane with his husband and two young children to return to his native Israel for good — or so he thought.

Next week the family are flying back to Canada, having reversed their life plans as a result of the political situation in Israel, which culminated last week in new legislation that had reignited mass protests around the country, with people chaining themselves to the roads and reservist soldiers declaring that they would no longer show up for active duty.

“We lived through what we considered some very bad governments in the past,” said Oded, who did not want to disclose his last name for professional reasons, “but it never felt like this — the political situation never scared us before as much as it does now.”

They are among tens of thousands of Israelis who are either emigrating or considering doing so in the wake of a radical judicial overhaul pushed through by the most right-wing government in their country’s history in defiance of eight months of unprecedented nationwide protests.

A poll by Israel’s television channel 13 this week said that more than a quarter (28 per cent) of Israelis were considering leaving the country, with many already possessing a foreign passport.

However, while the Channel 13 poll does, as the article notes, determine that 28% of Israelis were considering leaving the country, the Times article fails to cite evidence of Israelis (yet alone thousands or tens of thousands) having already left or are in the process of leaving in light of the judicial overhaul proposals – an element of which was passed by the Knesset last week.

Moreover, our research was unable to find any data supporting their claims.  So, we contacted Times editors asking them to either provide a source to back up the allegations or correct the article.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Marvin Peyser

    Dear editor: When you write about an article in “The Times,” please remember that there are major newspapers called ‘The Times” in England, the US, and Israel. Your headline to this story just says “The Times.” It would be helpful (at least to me) if it would specify which “Times”
    you are referring to.

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