Last month, during the May battle between Hamas and Israel, Joe Sommerlad of the United Kingdom's The Independent published an article titled "A brief history of the Israel-Palestinian conflict" (May 13 and May 20, 2021). His article was quickly picked up by MSN.
I'm pleased to report that, as a result of my writing, The Independent has made significant changes to Sommerlad's error-filled online article. In addition to those changes, the following editorial note has been appended to it:
"This article was amended on 18 June 2021 to include a reference to Al Nakba as a source, and also to say that the authenticity of the quote 'The bride is beautiful but she is married to another man' is contested. We added a reference to extermination camps in relation to The Holocaust, changed an incorrect reference to Irgun 'rising up' in 1942 as it had already been active for some years by then, and also changed a reference to Resolution 338 to say it followed the Yom Kippur War, and not Black September, as had previously been incorrectly stated."
I wish I could report that The Times of Israel, where I have a blog, had a role in ensuring that Sommerlad and The Independent were held accountable for publishing misinformation about Jewish and Israeli history and for failing to uphold journalistic standards.
Unfortunately, The Times of Israel was unwilling to publish my critique - even as a blog post, even after my critique had been published at three other sites (including one Israeli site, Israel National News/Arutz Sheva), and even after The Independent amended Sommerlad’s article as a result of my writing.
Below are links to my critique published at the three more courageous venues.
1. United Kingdom:
"'The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man,'" JewThink, May 31, 2021
2. United States:
"Plagiarism and Misinformation About Israel at The Independent," JewishBoston, June 7, 2021
"Quoting lies about Israel - the easy way to write an article," Israel National News/Arutz Sheva, June 8, 2021
Editor's note: We appreciate and are grateful to everyone who has the courage and takes the time to refute the purposeful lies and resulting factual errors that permeate so much of the writing about the Jewish State. As Shai has shown, that can make a difference.
Shai Afsai lives in Providence, Rhode Island. In addition to fiction and poetry, his recent writing has focused on the works of Thomas Paine, Zionist historiography, the bride is beautiful but she is married to another man stories, Jews and Freemasonry, Benjamin Franklin’s influence on Jewish thought and practice, religious traditions of the Beta Yisrael Jewish community from Ethiopia, Jewish observance and identity in Nigeria, aliyah to Israel from Rhode Island, Jewish pilgrimage to Ukraine, Jewish-Polish relations, Jews and Irish literature, and Judaism in Northern Ireland. His works have appeared in a large number of publications.