December 12, 2010

Jewish Chronicle lies again and again

More evidence that zionists just can't hold their own in forensic situations comes in the form of a Press Complaints Commission ruling that the Jewish Chronicle misled its readers over a meeting on Palestine at SOAS late last year.  Here's the press release from Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (JBIG) and the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP).

A complaint to the Press Complaints Commission by campaigners for Palestinian rights has forced the Jewish Chronicle to modify an article alleging anti-Jewish racism during a public meeting at the School of Oriental and African Studies last December.

For almost a year, the JC’s website carried a story stating that a Jewish man was subjected to “overpowering racist jeering” when asking a question at the London meeting, called to consider the parallels between apartheid in South Africa in the past and in Israel now.

The story alleged that Jonathan Hoffman ‘was told he was “not welcome” after revealing his Jewish name.’

The JC story did not say that this was vehemently denied by many of those present, including many Jews, that the panel included veteran Jewish anti-racism campaigner Ronnie Kasrils, a former member of Nelson Mandela's ANC government, and that Hoffman, co-vice chair of the Zionist Federation, was well-known for disrupting meetings opposed to Israel’s illegal activities.

Mike Cushman, a Jewish member of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, was one of the organisers of the meeting. He told the commission that his words had been, inadvertently or maliciously, misheard and misinterpreted on the publicly available video recording.

 “No-one jeered at Hoffman for being Jewish,” Mr Cushman said. “It was his history of hostility to Palestinian human rights that made him unwelcome."

The Commission said the JC story had made “serious allegations.” It breached the Editor’s Code on accuracy by failing to take care "not to publish inaccurate or misleading information" and by failing to tell readers that its account was strongly contested (full PCC text attached).  

JC editor Stephen Pollard responded dismissively when asked last May by one of the sponsors of the meeting, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, to retract the story.

“We drew his attention to the fact that the BBC Editorial Complaints Unit had acknowledged errors in a BBC Online story that was the source of the JC’s report, but he refused point blank to discuss it,” said Ms Wimborne-Idrissi.

In an email exchange in June Mr Pollard insisted the JC story was "entirely accurate" and wrote: "I do not propose to enter into a correspondence with you or your contemptible organization."

“Only after we involved the PCC did the paper admit to misleading its readers,” Ms Wimborne-Idrissi said.

She said it was disappointing that the PCC had fallen short of requiring the JC to admit that its story was plain wrong, not just “contested”.

But she said it was positive that the Commission had insisted on the statement which now follows the JC’s online story at
And here's an extract from the PCC ruling:
the Commission concluded on balance that the newspaper had not taken care as required under Clause 1 not to publish inaccurate or misleading information. It had not made clear to readers that its account – and the account of those quoted in the article – was contested, nor that there existed strongly competing alternative views, including the complainant’s. To that extent, the article may have significantly misled readers as to the underlying position. The result was a breach of the Code.
Not the greatest of victories though. I first blogged about this when the BBC ran the bogus allegation of antisemitism at the SOAS meeting.  Here's the BBC's response to the PCC ruling:

ECU Ruling: Jewish man jeered at SOAS university debate, News Online, 17 December 2009

Publication date: 7 May 2010
The item reported a claim that a Jewish contributor from the floor had been the subject of anti-Semitic abuse. News Online quickly acknowledged that this claim was contradicted by others present, and replaced the original report with a more accurate account of the situation within 24 hours. However, two people involved in the organisation of the debate complained that this action was insufficient.
Although the action taken by News Online would be sufficient to resolve a complaint in most circumstances, in this instance the original report had been reflected in other online items and in the press. In addition to replacing it with a more accurate account of the situation, it should have been made clear to visitors to the page that the original account had been misleading. Upheld
Further action
A note has been added to the revised article to make clear that the original version had been at fault in reporting the claim of anti-Semitic abuse uncritically. News Online staff have been reminded of the importance of adhering to the guidelines on handling corrections to online material.
And here's the Jewish Chronicle's response to the same thing:
The facts of this story are in dispute. Since it was published, the organisers of the meeting have been in touch to tell us that they absolutely deny that there was any “racist jeering”. In their view, the words reported were misheard. They say what was actually said was: “Do you really want to know?”, in response to Mr Hoffman’s question, “Why don’t you let me speak?”. They say that Mr Hoffman was unwelcome because of his views, not because of his Jewish name.
The BBC's response was to correct a report based on lies. The JC's was simply to repeat the lies. Still, at least they've been exposed.


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