Sunday, 20 January 2008

French TV channel apologizes

The Jewish nature of the State of Israel was questioned by a French TV journalist. The full story in EJP:

"The largest French public TV network has apologized after comments made by one of its correspondent who said that US President George Bush’s statement on the Jewish nature of the State of Israel was 'slanted'.

France 2 head of news department Arlette Chabot wrote a letter to Richard Prasquier, president of CRIF, the umbrella group of Jewish organizations in France, in which she apologizes and says the journalist’s wording should have been making clear that the criticism of Bush came from Palestinian leaders. …

In her letter, Arlette Chabot said: "I have read the CRIF communication about the commentary of President Bush’s visit to Israel broadcast on the (Primetime) evening News on Wednesday January 9. You focus on the journalist’s expression "semantic slant", when discussing the US President talking about "the security of Israel as a Jewish State". Philippe Rochot’s wording should have been different, to make it clear that this criticism came from Palestinian leaders."

She added: "Rochot is a very experienced journalist. He was uncharacteristically tactless on that occasion, but had absolutely no intention of being dishonest. In order to avoid any misunderstanding, I would like to apologise, and assure you that your comments have been understood and accepted."

Chabot’s letter was an answer to a CRIF statement entitled "Israel is the Jewish State".

The statement read: "CRIF reminds readers that the notion of a Jewish State was included in the United Nations vote on November 29, 1947 that led to the creation of the State of Israel. The existence of a Jewish State alongside a Palestinian State is the only basis on which negotiations can take place. Obviously, the Jewish nature of the State in no way prevents Israeli Arabs having full rights of citizenship, as is indeed the case".
"By putting across his own militant point of view to disqualify the perfectly legitimate statement of the US President, Philippe Rochot failed to respect basic journalistic ethics."

"His remark, which goes against the position taken by all French politicians, engages the responsibility of France 2. CRIF expects an unequivocal reaction from the heads of France 2 concerning this extremely serious statement.""

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