Home Media Action Alerts2012 HonestReporting Prompts Toronto Star to Retract CJPME Claim of “Jewish-only” Roads and Settlements (August 29, 2012)

HonestReporting Prompts Toronto Star to Retract CJPME Claim of “Jewish-only” Roads and Settlements (August 29, 2012)

by Mike Fegelman

In an attempt to libel Israel with racism in a Toronto Star op-ed, CJPME President Thomas Woodley falsely claimed that “Jewish-only” roads and settlements exist in the West Bank. HonestReporting Canada contacted Star editors requesting evidence to support this allegation. Being unable to substantiate CJPME’s charge, the Toronto Star retracted the claim and amended the op-ed.

HonestReporting Prompts Toronto Star to Retract CJPME Claim of “Jewish-only” Roads and Settlements

By: Mike Fegelman, Executive Director

Dear HonestReporting Canada Subscribers,

The instrument of choice among Israel’s detractors is the propagation of absurd and baseless claims in the hopes that they become conventional wisdom.

Recently on August 19,

The Toronto Star published an online op-ed by Thomas Woodley, President of the anti-Israel organization Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), who erroneously claimed that there are “Jewish-only” roads and settlements in the West Bank. These assertions are patently false, intended to libel Israel with racism.

While Mr. Woodley is entitled to his opinions, he’s not entitled to his own facts. There are no roads built solely for Jews. As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

(CAMERA) points out: “Israel’s Arab citizens and, indeed, Israeli citizens of any religion or ethnicity, have just as much right to travel on those restricted roads as do Israeli Jews. Israeli Arabs frequently use the bypass roads for business and to visit relatives.” While certain roads are prohibitedto Palestinians in the West Bank for security reasons, there are also some roads in heavily populated Arab areas in Israel which Jews are discouraged from taking for security reasons.

Additionally, the claim that only Jews are allowed to reside in Israeli settlements, meaning that non-Jews are proscribed from living in settlement blocs, lacks substantiation. There is no law preventing Arabs with Israeli citizenship from living anywhere they want. Same goes for Palestinian residents of Jerusalem with Israeli ID cards who are entitled to live anywhere in Jerusalem.

Could Mr. Woodley or the Star provide any evidence to support the allegations of “Jewish-only” roads and settlements in the West Bank? HonestReporting Canada asked this question to Toronto Star editors who after speaking with Mr. Woodley of CJPME, amended and retracted this claim from the online op-ed. Furthermore, an editor’s note was also appended to the op-ed which now states the following: “This article was edited from a previous version that referred to “Jewish only” roads and settlements in the West Bank.”

We thank the Toronto Star for ensuring that works of opinion must be grounded in fact. We are also appreciative that these false claims put forth to tar Israel have been retracted from the Star’s website.

 

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