Google+ Followers

Friday, 25 September 2015

Correcting the Guardian's Correction - When is Syrian Annexed Territory an Israeli Border?

IMAGINE IF - when Nazi Germany annexed most of Poland - Jonathan Freedland had reported that 'Germany is holding urgent talks over the threat to its Warthegau border and attacks on the Reich city of Danzig from the Polish Home Army.  Hitler called the threats to the residents of Auschwitz/ Oswiecim from Polish terrorists 'unacceptable aggression'

Readers’ Editor Chris Elliott’s Quibble over whether Illegally Annexed Territory can constitute a new  border  

  
Freedland sees himself as a foreign policy and Middle East expert.  In fact he knows little or nothing about the  Arab East or indeed Israel from the perspective of its Arab citizens.  The Guardian got rid of people like David Hirst who were knowledgeable and today it is The Independent which has the legendary Robert Fisk and people like Patrick Cockburn.  Since it was the Labour Zionists who settled the Golan Heights, Freedland doesn't encourage recollections of the Golan's legal status or the atrocities Israel carried out there.

The Guardian finally gets it half-right (& half wrong!)

Professor Moshe Machover - a long standing Israeli anti-Zionist and political opponent of all that Freedland stands for
It began as a simple correction 3 days ago from Professor Moshe Machover, an Israeli anti-Zionist and founder of Matzpen and the Socialist Organisation in Israel.  He pointed out that an article in The Guardian (Israel and Russia discuss Syrian civil war, 22 September) had referred to the Golan Heights as “bordering Syria”. Since the Golan Heights are Syrian territory illegally annexed by Israel, it takes a particular pedanticism to suggest that the Golan ‘borders’ the state of which it is a part.

When the Guardian had not published or acknowledged the correction by the following day Moshe asked why.  I then wrote to the Guardian and I received the following:  Moshe was not copied in! 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Letters" <guardianletters.mail@guardian.co.uk>
Date: 23 Sep 2015 16:05
Subject: Re: Pro-Israel guard at the Guardian?
To: "Tony Greenstein" <tonygreenstein111@gmail.com>

Thanks for this. We are aware of this and the readers' editor is looking into it.
Many thanks,
Mike

The Guardian then made the most sneaky of all corrections, by altering the original article rather than posting the clarification on the letters page.  The correction read ‘This article was amended on 23 September 2015. An earlier version said that the Golan Heights “bordered” Syrian territory. this has been corrected.’   No hint was given as to why there was a correction or the circumstances surrounding it.
Moshe Machover speaking at the Hands of People of Iran conference
 As Moshe noted:  ‘the “corrected" article still refers to Netanyahu’s fear of "Syrian and Iranian aggression in the Golan Heights,” as though Syria could be an aggressor against Israel in Syrian territory

Moreover, the “corrected” article refers to the Golan Heights as "Syrian territory but occupied by Israel” – which avoids the fact that the territory has been illegally annexed by Israel’ i.e. stolen.

'The way the Guardian went about “correcting” its mis-reporting is clearly calculated to draw as little attention to it as possible. Very few readers are going to read online an article that is a couple of days out of date…

The question arises: what is it that the Guardian is trying not to draw attention to?’

Moshe’s conclusion was that 
'someone quite senior in it – wishes to avoid drawing attention to Israel’s illegal annexation, massive ethnic cleansing and colonization of the Syrian Golan Heights.'

Jonathan Freedland - Guardian's resident Zionist Editor, possibly one of the most mediocre of the Guardian/Observer's journalistic talents.  Supporter of the New Labour Right, is a 'liberal Zionist' who always manages to end up supporting the Zionist Right.
Ariel Sharon - the butcher of Sabra & Shatilla - Freedland claimed to oppose his version of Zionism but always managed to end up supporting Likud
Given his role in purveying the continual lie that Jeremy Corbyn associates with holocaust deniers and assorted anti-Semites, the identity of this person is not hard to work out – step forward the talentless but arrogant senior editor, Jonathan Freedland, who has made the agonies of the liberal Zionist into an art form.  His conscience is always to the fore whilst always ensuring that he comes down on the side of the Zionist Right whenever push gives way to shove.
Freedland dreamed that he was in love with a different, democratic and egalitarian Israel.  And then he woke up.
Throughout the campaign to elect a new Labour leader, Freedland has played the role of an echo chamber to the gutter accusations of 'anti-Semitism' by the editor of the Jewish Chronicle Stephen Pollard.  Now it would seem that he is continuing to regale the same lies and distortions. Friends who are enemies
Jonathan Freedland and the Zionist Establishment's Bete Noir.
ex-Editor of the Daily Express, owned by Britain's largest porn magnate Richard Desmond, now editor of the Jewish Chronicle, which he has ruined.  Supporter of the attacks on Welfare.  A cold war warrior and member of the Henry Jackson Society.  He also bears a remarkable similarity to Kaminski.  Blood brothers?
It takes a master of contortions to claim anti-racist and anti-fascist credentials whilst occupying the same bed space as Jewish Chronicle editor, Stephen Pollard.  It was Pollard who, when the Tories and Cameron were being attacked for forming the European Conservatives & Reform Group, containing the far-right in the European Parliament, defended the leader of that group, Michal Kaminski.  Kaminski it was who campaigned against an apology for the burning alive in 1941 of over 300 Jews in the village of Jedwabne by local Poles.  Kaminski insisted that it was Poland’s Jews, those 10% or less who had escaped the holocaust  who should do the apologising!  
Michal Kaminski MEP - a Zionist anti-Semite
‘If you are asking the Polish nation to apologise for the crime made in Jedwabne, you would require from the whole Jewish nation to apologise for what some Jewish Communists did in Eastern Poland.’ 

The logic is impeccable, at least as far as Pollard was concerned, as he managed to write an article ‘‘Poland's Kaminski is not an antisemite: he's a friend to Jews’ without a hint or trace of irony.  Such as the friends that Freedland keeps.   

Correspondence re Guardian ‘Correction’
Dear Friend,

Today the Guardian finally published a correction http://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/sep/24/corrections-and-clarifications to its erroneous description of the Syrian Golan Heights – which Israel illegally purported to annex – as “bordering Syria’.

However, ‘The “correction” still refers to "a meeting between Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to discuss security concerns along Israel’s northern border”. This is an uncorrected residue of the original error. What is referred to here as “Israel’s northern border” is no such thing. It is the line dividing the territory illegally occupied and colonized by Israel from the rest of Syria.

Moshé Machover

  
Dear Friend,

This is an update of the story about the Guardian misreporting – see previous emails pasted below. 

You may have noticed that I changed the question mark in the Subject rubric to an exclamation mark. This is because the Guardian did something really underhand and shameful – or should I say shameless.

It did not publish my original letter (sent on 22 September).

It did not publish a correction in its Corrections and Clarifications column.

Instead, it went back to the online version of the original report and retrospectively corrected it, adding a note:

“ • This article was amended on 23 September 2015. An earlier version said that the Golan Heights “bordered” Syrian territory. this has been corrected.”

By the way, the “corrected" article still refers to Netanyahu’s fear of  "Syrian and Iranian aggression in the Golan Heights,” as though Syria could be an aggressor against Israel in Syrian territory

Moreover, the “corrected” article refers to the Golan Heights as "Syrian territory but occupied by Israel” – which avoids the fact that the territory has been illegally annexed by Israel. 

The way the Guardian went about “correcting” its mis-reporting is clearly calculated to draw as little attention to it as possible. Very few readers are going to read online an article that is a couple of days out of date…

The question arises: what is it that the Guardian is trying not to draw attention to?

Given that the Guardian is normally quite conscientious in correcting its own factual errors, I conclude that it – or someone quite senior in it – wished to avoid drawing attention to Israel’s illegal annexation, massive ethnic cleansing and colonization of the Syrian Golan Heights.

Moshé Machover

From: Moshé Machover <moshe.machover@kcl.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: Pro-Israel guard at the Guardian!
Date: 24 September 2015 11:38:27 BST
To: Readers' Editor <guardian.readers@theguardian.com>

Dear Chris Elliott,

It seems to me that your online correction is itself in need of correction. The Golan Heights are not merely “occupied” by Israel: unlike the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, but like the eastern part of Jerusalem, they have been illegally annexed by it. This point is germane to the conflict that is the subject of the article.

Now you are compounding the error by claiming that “[t]he annexed Golan Heights is geographically bordering Syria”. This is absurd: would you say that the British occupied part of Germany following the Second World War was “geographically bordering Germany”?

I look forward to reading a forthright printed correction in your column.

Best wishes,

Moshé Machover

On 24Sep2015, at 10:19, Readers' editor (Guardian) <guardian.readers@theguardian.com> wrote:

Dear Moshé Machover,
If you look at the terms and conditions of the readers' editor's role you will see we aim to provide a substantive response within two or three working days. We did. There wasn't room for the correction this morning so I made the change last night and we will probably run it tomorrow. I think the footnote fairly reflects how the error occurred and the action taken. The annexed Golan Heights is geographically bordering Syria although you are absolutely right to point out that it is, in fact, part of Syria's sovereign territory. The correction I have drafted slightly amplifies that point but a correction is not meant to be an essay and I can assure you, as someone who regularly has to address allegations that the Guardian is an anti Isreal newspaper, nobody would accuse us of thinking other than the Golan Heights is part of Syria.


Best wishes

Chris Elliott

_______________________________
[Sent on 23 September]

Hi,

Yesterday morning I emailed the factual correction pasted below to <guardian.letters@theguardian.com>. The Guardian has not seen fit to publish this as a letter. Nor has it published a correction in its Corrections and Clarifications column. 

Please draw your own conclusions.

M Machover


___________________________________

[Sent on 22 September]

In your report from Jerusalem (Israel and Russia discuss Syrian civil war, 22 September) you mistakenly refer to  the Golan Heights as “bordering Syria”. The Golan Heights do not “border” Syria: they are part of Syria, occupied by Israel since 1967. Israel’s annexation of that territory is illegal and not  recognized internationally. 

Sincerely,

Professor emeritus Moshé Machover


No comments: