A Hamilton Spectator headline to a New York Times article published to its website yesterday has been amended following a complaint by HonestReporting Canada. The headline: “Rocket fired at Israel in response to prisoner’s ‘assassination’” unfairly attributed the death of an incarcerated Palestinian, Arafat Jaradat, in an Israeli jail as an ‘assassination’ based on unfounded claims by Palestinian officials, of which, Israel vehemently denied the charges. Preliminary tests suggested Jaradat died of a heart attack and as to the exact cause of death, the Israeli Ministry of Health stated the following today about the microscopy and toxicology findings for Jaradat :
“It was found that the hemorrhages and fractured ribs found during the autopsy occurred close to death and are characteristic of the resuscitation attempts that were performed on the deceased by Prison Service and MDA medical staff for 50 minutes in an effort to save his life. No signs of other contusions were found. The toxicology tests were also negative. There were no signs of significant change due to illness in other organs that could indicate cause of death; therefore, further tests to determine the cause will be performed.”
HRC contacted the Hamilton Spectator about this headline noting that the Spectator’s print edition did not carry this headline, while noting that the New York Times version properly referred to the “death” of Jaradat. In response, The Spectator amended its headline.
Here is a before and after:
HRC also communicated its concerns regarding the following abusive comment that was appended to the article:
HRC noted that comparing Israelis to Nazis fits the U.S., EU, and Canadian definitions of anti-Semitism and requested that the Spectator unpublish this comment and take appropriate steps to deal with this commentator. Commendably, the Spectator deleted the comment from its website.
Finally, the Spectator published the following HRC letter today in response to a column by noted Israel detractor Gwynne Dyer who claimed as fact that Israel “murdered” Hamas terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in 2010. As our letter points out, these allegations are unproven: