New York Times admits misinformation about Gaza poet after CAMERA briefing


the New York Times repudiated his own story about a poetry teacher from Gaza who allegedly taught students empathy for Israelis.

In an editor’s note published Tuesday, the newspaper admitted that its reporting did not accurately reflect the facts. “Had the Time reports more in-depth on Mr. [Refaat] Alareer, ”the note said,“ the article would have presented a more complete picture. “

The pointed six paragraph editorial note is added topped the article online and was published Tuesday in the print edition of the newspaper. It begins: “After the publication of this article, Time The editors have considered additional information that contradicts the description of the article by Refaat Alareer, professor of literature at the Islamic University of Gaza, which has been described as presenting Israeli poems in a positive light to his Palestinian students.

The note summarized the premise of the November 16 article by Jerusalem bureau chief Patrick Kingsley. In front of the Time As a journalist, he explained, Alareer hailed a poem by a famous Israeli poet as one that emphasizes “shared humanity” between Israelis and Palestinians. “However,” the newspaper continued, “in a class video of 2019, he called the same poem” horrible “and” dangerous. “

In light of additional information reviewed by the editors, the newspaper “concluded that the article did not accurately reflect Mr. Alareer’s views on Israeli poetry or the way he teaches it.”

The Committee for Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), which To analyse inaccuracies in history and correspondence with the journal led to the correction, commended the New York Times to delete the folder but called the journal to ensure that “the facts will matter more than the story” in future stories.

CAMERA research analyst Gilead Ini said the language of the editors’ note is important.

“It’s good to see the newspaper take full responsibility for this matter,” Ini said. “It’s not easy to admit that your reporting is insufficient, and the New York Times doesn’t always do this – credit is due. But Ini, who contacted Time’ editors before the correction, also indicated that the culture of the newspaper was the reason for the misinformation. “As long as journalists adapt their coverage to a pre-existing narrative, which flattens the conflict into a simplistic and false story of Palestinian innocence and Israeli guilt, these missteps will continue.”

CAMERA Arab Department found Alareer’s video teaching hatred of Israelis and Israeli poetry, ”said Andrea Levin, executive director of CAMERA. “It should have been the journal’s job, but the story was apparently too good to verify.”

Alareer’s story of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish bigotry on Twitter should have been a wake-up call, Levin added. “Robust reporting on the conflict must highlight the role of Palestinian incitement in perpetuating the conflict,” she said. “Instead, this piece acted as a slather on those behind the indoctrination.”

In the original article, which remains unchanged online under the editor’s note, Alareer is introduced as a bridge builder. He is said to teach students “appreciation” for Israeli poetry and empathy for Jews and is described as a surprising “champion” of Hebrew poetry. Alareer’s lesson, according to the article, undermines the narrative of Israelis “who often assume that the Palestinian education system is only an incentive.”

The article’s print title, “Discovering Empathy With Political Enemies Through Poetry,” underscored the message.

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