Wednesday 28 December 2011

Belgian newspaper accused of deligitimizing Israel by not mentioning the country on Mideast map

Le Soir is notoriously and obsessively hostile to Israel, promoting boycotts etc.  The newspaper featured the map for two successive days (26 and 27 December) without realising after the first day that something was amiss.  A clear indication of the quality its experts and its readership's apathy...  Jean-Philippe D., who is not Jewish, wrote to Le Soir: "One thing still confounds me. The words "Palestinian Authority" target the West Bank [Cisjordanie in French] territories (the Israelis say "Judea and Samaria" and English-speakers "the West Bank") and Gaza. The Palestinian Authority is not a territory but a government! Strange ... Another mistake is to make a connection between the P.A and Gaza. The real Authority in Gaza is obviously the Hamas!".  Spot on!

Reminder: Maroun Labaki of Le Soir wrote in 2010 that EU Commissioner De Gucht had broken taboos re the Jewish Lobby and Jewish irrationality.  This also gives an idea of where the paper's sympathies lie: Brussels: Jihad by vuvuzela!
BRUSSELS (EJP) ---Being accused by the Jewish community in Belgium of "deligitimizing Israel” by failing to mention this country’s name on a Middle East map illustrating articles on the Arab Spring, Belgian daily Le Soir speaks of an "indisputable error" but said it was "outraged and insulted" by the accusation.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the CCOJB, the umbrella body representing Jewish organizations in Belgium, regretted "that once again newspaper Le Soir delights in the delegitimization of the State of Israel by publishing, during two consecutive days, a map of the Middle East, which simply ignores the existence of the State of Israel."

"In addition, the words ‘Palestinian Authority’ were included in the place of Israel, which is also untrue and denies the duality existing between Gaza and the West Bank," the statement added.  "The CCOJB condemns this double breach of truth and rigorous information."

Reacting to the accusation, the paper's chief editor Didier Hamman admitted that "this is undoubtedly a mistake, I plead guilty and apologize." But he also said he was "shocked and insulted" by the accusation from CCOJB that the newspaper did it intentionally.

"I am outraged and I informed CCOJB chairman, Mr. Sosnowski. It is unworthy of his organization to imagine that this error has been committed intentionally," Hamann said.

He spoke of a "simple mistake" that occurred during two days without anyone at the newspaper noticing it.

The map will be corrected for the rest of the series of articles, the chief editor added.

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