Home Corrections, Clarifications & RetractionsBy Media Outlet Toronto Star

Toronto Star

by Mike Fegelman
  • October 1, 2021: HRC Prompts Toronto Star Clarification: IDF Killed 5 Palestinian Gunmen, Not Palestinians
  • July 29, 2021: Toronto Star Amends Headline Removing Reference of “Israeli War Crimes”
  • June 8, 2021: Israel has vaccinated roughly 80 per cent of adults. A June 7 article about vaccination rates among First Nations on reserves misstated the rate for adults in Israel.
  • June 4, 2021: Toronto Star issues correction after publishing a letter which erroneously claimed that Israel had built 16,800 settlements from 1967-87.
  • May 21, 2021: Subsequent to our complaint, the Toronto Star issued a story update to acknowledge that there was violence targeting Jews at anti-Israel protests in Toronto and a correction was published to set the record straight that Hamas hasn’t fired one rocket at Israel, its fired scores, though this article doesn’t disclose that close to 4,000 rockets were fired in the 11-day conflict. Here’s the correction: “Correction: This article was updated from a previous version that said Hamas fired a single rocket into Israel on Monday.” Here’s the story update memo: “Update: This article was updated from a previous version after charges against protesters were reported by Toronto police on Sunday.”
  • March 8, 2021: HRC Prompts Toronto Star Correction: Headline Presumed Israel Guilty of War Crimes
  • January 14, 2021: HRC Prompts Toronto Star To Amend Headline Which Implicitly Cast Doubt About Palestinian Terror Attack
  • January 13, 2021: HRC prompted the Toronto Star to remove their reporter’s referring to “Palestine” as the Palestinians have not been granted statehood.
  • November 23, 2019: HRC prompts Toronto Star clarification acknowledging deaths of Islamic Jihad terrorists.
  • May 10, 2019: “A May 6 Associated Press article about Israel and Hamas trading rocket fire state that according to Palestinian authorities, two Palestinian pregnant women and two babies died as a result of Israeli air strikes. As was stated in the version of that AP article published on the Star’s website, the Israeli army denied involvement in one of the deaths, the death of a 37 year-old pregnant woman and her 14-month-old niece, saying that they were killed by an errant Palestinian rocket. The AP report stated that there was no way to reconcile these claims.”
  • February 13, 2019: After HRC Complaint, Toronto Star Publishes Article About Terror Attack in Israel
  • April 17, 2018: HRC Prompts Toronto Star “Clarification” on Palestinian Casualties at Gaza Border Riots
  • February 7, 2018: Toronto Star Amends Unfair Article on Israeli Plan to Deport Africans
  • January 3, 2016: HRC Prompts Toronto Star Clarifications: Israel Isn’t Building More Settlements, Supports 2-State Solution: “The headline on a Dec. 29 article about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech criticizing Israeli settlement construction stated that Kerry “ripped into Israel’s one-state solution.” In fact, as the article states, Kerry said Israel officially supports a two-state solution, but that the policies of the Israeli government regarding settlements “are leading towards one state.” As well, a Dec. 28 headline on an article about Israeli plans to move ahead with thousands of new homes in disputed areas stated that Israel would defy the United Nations to build more settlements. As the article made clear, Jerusalem’s municipal government had signalled it in- tended to proceed with plans to expand existing settlements in disputed areas.”
  • July 23, 2016: HRC Prompts Toronto Star Clarification re: Unfair and Inaccurate Interview on 2014 Gaza War: Clarification: The above column states that Israeli drone attacks on Gaza in the summer of 2014 followed the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and were Israel’s response to their murder. In fact, Israel says it ordered its military to launch an aerial operation against Hamas and other militants in response to increasing rocket fire on Israel from the Gaza Strip during June and early July 2014.This followed the kidnappings of the three Israeli teenagers (later found killed) and the subsequent kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager, all of which resulted in increased hostilities in the region with Israel arresting hundreds of Hamas operatives in the West Bank and Hamas launching increased rocket attacks. The article also includes a statement from the book’s author that in Gaza, “fishermen aren’t allowed to go beyond three kilometres into the sea to fish.” In fact, in April 2016, Israel expanded the Palestinian fishing zone off the southern portion of Gaza’s coast to nine nautical miles (16 kilometres). The article also states the columnist’s view that “there is little help for the Gazans, except a bit from the United Nations.” According to a January 2015 report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Financial Tracking Service, donors committed approximately $405 million (U.S.) of humanitarian assistance to Gaza since July 2014. The OCHA states that its report does not capture all humanitarian and developmental funding that may go to Gaza.”
  • July 7, 2016: SUCCESS: HRC Prompts Washington Post & Toronto Star To Correct False Report: “A June 9 article by the Washington Post reporting that Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel said he wants to annex more than half the West Bank stated incorrectly that Ariel also said he wants to remove the Palestinians living the West Bank’s Area C. The article had cited a Times of Israel interview with Ariel. The Times later issued a correction stating that Ariel did not call for the removal of Palestinians and said the mistake was a mistranslation.”
  • May 13, 2016: Toronto Star Correction: “A photo caption accompanying a photo with this article was edited from a previous version to make clear that the number Palestinians displaced during the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s establishment includes their decedents.”
  • May 11, 2016: Toronto Star Correction: “This article was edited from a previous version that incorrectly said 300 Palestinians have died in the recent rash of Palestinian stabbings, shootings and automobile attacks in Israeli civillians. In fact, about 200 Palestinians – mostly attackers, Israel says – have been killed.”
  • December 18, 2015: “Toronto Star Amends Headline Mentioning that Palestinian Teen Attacked Israeli”
  • November 23, 2015: HRC Prompts Toronto Star Clarification: Palestinian Assailant Killed Former Toronto Rabbi in Israel
  • October 25, 2015: CTV, Star, CP and CBC Amend Reporting to Mention 2014 Jerusalem Synagogue Attackers Were Palestinian
  • October 20, 2015: Benjamin Netanyahu is the prime minister of Israel. An Oct. 17 World Weekly column about the urgent phone calls Canada’s new prime minister should make mistakenly referred to Netanyahu as Israel’s president.
  • October 13, 2015: Toronto Star Amends Headline to Acknowledge that Two Palestinians Were Killed After Stabbing Israelis
  • June 29, 2015: HRC prompts the Toronto Star to clarify that Israel does not block solar panels and medical supplies from entering into Gaza.
  • March 10, 2015: Toronto Star Clarifies: Israeli PM Did Offer Alternative to Iran Nuclear Deal
  • August 13, 2014: Toronto Star Deletes False Quote About David Ben-Gurion: Clarification: Aug. 13, 2014: The letter above was edited from a previous version that included a disputed quotation attributed to David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel. The Star could not verify the quote.
  • August 11, 2014: HRC prompts the Toronto Star to retract Palestinian Doctor Izzeldine Abuelaish’s claim that most dead Gazans were women & children.
  • August 6, 2014: Toronto Star Issues Corrections After HRC Complaint: Israel Did Not Attack UN School
  • January 24, 2014: Toronto Star issues correction after their columnist falsely described Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital city.
  • June 28, 2013: Toronto Star clarification: A June 22 Letter to the Editorreferred to Israel’s “Jewish-only buses” on “Jewish-only” highways. As well, a June 25 Letter by another writer also referred to Jewish-only roads. In fact, Israel bans virtually all Palestinians from some roads but those roads are open to Israeli citizens and to other nationals regardless of religious background. And while Israel’s Transportation Ministry says there is no prohibition that prevents those Palestinians who hold a permit to enter Israel from riding public bus lines, it recently launched bus lines specifically for Palestinians in the West Bank who are permitted to enter Israel.
  • May 13, 2013: Toronto Star Removes Anti-Semitic Commentary After HRC Complaint
  • February 28, 2013: Toronto Star issues clarification after HRC complaint: “Israel’s military forces disengaged from the Gaza Strip in 2005. A Feb. 23 column about the Oscar-nominated documentary The Gatekeepers referred to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip beginning in 1967 without any mention of the 2005 withdrawal.”
  • February 20, 2013: Toronto Star deletes incorrect reference in letter stating: “Picture of child in crosshairs sparks outrage in Israel” after HRC complaint.
  • November 21, 2011: Amendment: Toronto Star unpublishes an inflammatory allegation from its website by a letter writer who claimed that that Israel commits “ongoing acts of terror” and that Toronto Star columnist Rabbi Mamur’s children “now serve” this “very military”. After HonestReporting contacted the Star to challenge these baseless assertions, the Star commendibly removed these claims from the letter writers missive.
  • July 6, 2011: Toronto Star: A Star article unfairly claimed outright that two of the anti-Israel flotilla boats were “sabotaged.” These claims should have been in attribution. After HRC complained, the Star amended the article online to now state that the boats were “allegedly sabgotaged.”
  • April 30, 2011: Toronto Star: After publishing a letter to the editor that falsely claimed that Israel has “illegal Israeli settlements” in “Gaza,” after HRC complained, the Toronto Star edited out this reference from the online letter.
  • Nov 8 2010: Toronto Star removed a misleading claim from an online report stating that PM Stephen Harper had contended Canada’s loss of a seat at the UN was due to Canada’ pro-Israel stand.
  • Jun 19 2010: “New Middle East hinges on Turkey”. Column falsely claimed the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara was carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza. Clarification issued: “A June 19 column about Turkey’s role in the emergence of a new Middle East referred to a Turkish ship taking humanitarian aid to Gazans. According to a report from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, itself did not carry humanitarian aid but was part of the Gaza-bound flotilla that carried humanitarian aid.”
  • Jun 2 2010: “A success for non-violence in Gaza?”. Columnist falsely stated that former U.S. Ambassador Edward Peck was aboard the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara ship with other “non-violent activists”: “The ship was 98 per cent peopled by non-violent activists, including women and children, parliamentarians and even a former American ambassador.” Reference removed andcorrection issued: “Former U.S. Ambassador Edward Peck was aboard one of the smaller ships in the Gaza aid flotilla in which nine people were killed. A June 2 Opinion article about the deadly flotilla raid suggested that the ambassador was onboard the ship where the bloodshed occurred.”
  • Apr 25 2010: “Palestinian doctor spreads message of life, death and peace”: Report falsely claimed that an Israeli army attack which resulted in the death of Palestinian doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish’s family members was “deliberate”. Clarification issued: “An April 18 article about Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, whose three daughters and a niece were killed in January 2009 when a pair of Israeli shells ripped through his Gaza apartment, referred to that attack as “apparently deliberate.” The article did not intend to suggest that the Israeli Defense Forces deliberately targeted civilians in this attack, but only that the Israeli tank shells were fired on purpose and hit the building they were aimed at.”
  • Mar 22 2010: “Barghouti deserves to be heard”. Letter-writer Robert Barakett of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle-East (CJPME) failed to disclose his affiliation to the pro-Palestinian pressure group in a letter to Editor he wrote in the Toronto Star. The Toronto Star’s Public Editor acknowledged the lack of disclosure: “I spoke to Editorial Page Editor…about this. Had the letter writer disclosed his affiliation with Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, we most certainly would have published it. We do expect letter writers to disclose any affiliations that have an impact on subjects they are writing about. I will also alert the Letters editor to this affiliation of Robert Barakett of Montreal with CJPME in the event that he submits letters about Mideast issues in the future.”
  • Mar 6 2010: “More voices on Israeli Apartheid Week”. Letter-writer Karin Brothers posted a comment on the Toronto Star’s website claiming that Israelis are committing a “genocidal siege of Gazans“. Comment removed: The Star’s Public Editor agreed that the comment went too far and should not have been posted.
  • August 8 2009: After seven years, The Star corrects a statement formerly attributed to Moshe Yaalon: “A Nov. 14, 2004, column about the death of Yasser Arafat included an unverified quotation attributed to former Israel Defence Forces chief of staff Moshe Yaalon. Yaalon, now Israel’s strategic affairs minister, was quoted in that 2004 column as saying in 2002 that “the Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people. That quotation, while widely cited over the years, did not appear in the 2002 interview published in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, to which it has been attributed. Alon Ofek-Arnon, a spokesman for Yaalon, told the Star in an email that Yaalon never said this. As well, in a correction about this same quote published March 6, 2009, by the Chicago Tribune, Ari Shavit, the writer of the 2002 Haaretz article, said Yaalon did not say that. The Star has been unable to reach Shavit.”
  • June 18 2009: “A June 14 article about artist Reena Katz made reference to Katz describing herself as a conscientious objector to Israel’s military presence in Gaza. In fact, Israel’s military forces disengaged from the Gaza strip in 2005.” Correction issued.
  • Apr 22 2009: Correction issued: An April 21 article about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech at the United Nations World Conference against Racism in Geneva on Monday included incorrect information that resulted from an erroneous early translation of the speech. In fact, Ahmadinejad did not call for the eradication of Israel. Nor did he brand Israel as illegitimate. According to the translation given in the United Nations’ webcast of the speech, the Iranian president did say “Efforts must be made to put an end to the abuse by Zionists and their supporters of political and international means and in respect of the will and aspirations of nations. “Governments must be encouraged and supported in their fights aimed at eradicating this barbaric racism and to move towards reforming the current international mechanisms.
  • Mar 1 2009: “A March 1 column stated that Peter Kent, Canada’s junior minister for foreign affairs had defended an Israeli attack on a UN-run school. The column should have said that the minister defended an Israeli attack that occurred near a UN-run school.” Correction issued.
  • Jan 9 2009: “UN officials said the driver and aid worker killed in Gaza yesterday were operating a clearly marked vehicle that was flying the UN flag.” Correction stated “One UN relief agency driver was killed and a second driver was injured in separate incidents in Gaza on Jan 8.”
  • Jan 9 2009: “A letter to the editor published Jan 4 incorrectly stated that 950 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli settlers in the West Bank since 2000. In fact, according to B’tselem, the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, from 2000-2008, 41 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank by Israeli “citizens.” Correction issued.
  • Jan 6 2009: Reporter states Hamas has ruled Gaza since June 2006. Correction issued.
  • Dec 4 2008: Reporter Oakland Ross stated “Jenin was the scene of an infamous Israeli military operation in 2002 that some recall as a massacre.” Public Editor stated “Jenin was not a massacre and therefore the Star’s article is incomplete and lacks context.”
  • May 8 2008: “The Soviet Union supported the establishment of Israel in 1948 and did not supply arms to its Arab adversaries, as was incorrectly stated in a May 6 article about a news conference held by Israeli President Shimon Peres.” Correction issued.
  • Aug 2008: Reporter interviews a jailed Palestinian who describes the force Israelis use, with no context – omitting the fact that he was a terrorist who murdered Israelis. Reporter admitted more details were needed.
  • June 2008 “Incorrect caption published with photos of Palestinians: While trying to flee from the Gaza Strip, Palestinians were wounded in a gun battle between Israeli troops and Palestinians militants near the Erez Crossing. The June 20 caption, under a photograph of the wounded, was incorrect.” Correction issued.
  • Apr 17 2008: “A letter to the editor published April 14 incorrectly stated the number of civilians killed when Israel bombed the Lebanese village of Qana in July 2006. According to a Human Rights Watch re-examination of its first report of civilian deaths at Qana, 28 people were killed, not 54 as the rights group originally reported, and was stated in the reader’s letter to the Star. April 17, 2008.” Correction issued.
  • Jan 27 2008: Follow-up story issued to clarify that “Yesterday’s events came against the backdrop of a war of words between Hamas and Israel. Earlier in the week, Hamas claimed five patients died over the weekend in Gaza hospitals because of the latest fuel embargo, a statement that Israeli and other Palestinian officials subsequently said was unfounded. The five people died in their homes, for one reason or another, and were dead on arrival at the main hospital in Gaza City, but there was no evidence that the power shutdown played any role in their deaths.”
  • Sept 26 2007: “A Sept 6 Associated Press article about causalities from the 2006 Lebanon war mistakenly transposed the numbers of Israeli civilians and soldiers killed. The article should have said that 119 Israeli soldiers and 40 civilians were killed.” Correction issued.
  • Aug 7 2007 “Former Israeli President did not plead guilty to rape: Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav pleaded guilty to several charges of indecent assault, sexual harassment and obstruction of justice, for which he received a suspended sentence. Incorrect information was published in a July 30 article about rapid growth in Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.” Correction issued.
  • July 18 2007: “Last summer, Israel bombed targets in Lebanon in retaliation for Hezbollah kidnappings of Israeli soldiers. A July 15 Sunday Star guest column about Canada’s approach to foreign policy misidentified Hezbollah. The Star regrets the error.” Correction issued.
  • June 27 2007, “Israel has agreed in principle to free some Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, but no deal has been reached on the number or identities of the Palestinians who would be freed. Incorrect information appeared in a June 26 article that included information about Shalit, captured last summer by Palestinian militants. The Star regrets the error.” Correction issued.
  • Mar 16, 2007: “The executive secretary of the Ontario Press Council wrote a letter to the editor to correct an erroneous press council notice which incorrectly identified the source of a video of suicide bombers preparing for a mission as Palestine Media Watch. In fact, the name of the organization is Palestinian Media Watch.” Correction issued.
  • Jan 20 2007: “The minimum wage in Israel is approximately $5.55 (Canadian) an hour. In last Saturday’s paper, a story about Canada’s working poor, gave an incorrect amount. The Star regrets the error.” Correction issued.
  • June 15 2006: Op-ed erroneously claimed the separation barrier is ‘electric’. In fact, it is electronic. The Star has issued a new directive on describing the barrier by its staff.
  • Mar 2006, “The Media column published Tuesday incorrectly said that three people were ignored when they asked for clarification about a recent Globe and Mail editorial. In fact, one of the three did receive a response from the paper. In the same column, the name of the website Palestinian Media Watch was spelled incorrectly.” Correction issued.
  • Mar 2006 “Press Council notice corrected: The Ontario Press Council regrets that it neglected to send the Toronto Star a corrected copy of a press release announcing the council’s decision to dismiss with reservations a complaint about a Globe and Mail editorial. The uncorrected copy was published March 14. The original press release incorrectly identified as “suicide bombers” two Palestinian youths shown in a Hamas video that was the basis of the editorial. The corrected press release said only that they were preparing for a suicide mission. It also said Palestinian Media Watch (not Palestine Media Watch, as in the original version) had been described by the writer of the editorial as the source of the video.” Correction issued.
  • Feb 2006: “In a column Feb. 28 about the need for caution when using Web sources, Toronto Star media writer Antonia Zerbisias pointed to a Globe and Mail editorial about Hamas published Feb 15 2006. The Globe editorial encouraged readers to “take a look at video presented on the Hamas website this week,” then quoted from the video of two suicide bombers, date stamped 2004. The editorial urged the federal government to withhold aid from the newly-elected Hamas government until Hamas renounced terrorism and recognized Israel’s right to exist. No web address was provided. In response to a reader’s request for the address, the editorial writer sent the link to his source. It was not “the Hamas website” noted in the editorial but the website of Palestinian Media Watch, an organization based in Israel and directed by Itamar Marcus, who lives in Efrat, a West Bank settlement. The PMW’s source for the video was a site classified as one of hundreds of Hamas supporter sites and not as an official Hamas site, the Star has been advised. In her column Zerbisias fairly concluded the Globe editorial misled readers about the source of the video. The column also suggested the editorial may have been manipulative, a description the Star regrets.” Correction issued.
  • Jan 13 2006: Star accidentally reproduced old story about terror attack in Israel, as a new story. Online story updated.
  • Nov 25 2005: “Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s new party is known as Forward, or Kadima in Hebrew. An Associated Press story published yesterday referred to the party by an incorrect name. The Star regrets the error.” Correction issued.
  • July 25 2005: A Palestinian was to blame for the stabbing death of a 12-year-old, not a Jewish settler as reported. Updated story printed.
  • Mar 16 2005: Staff article incorrectly suggested a Palestinian prisoner would not face trail. Admission of error.
  • Mar 16 2005: Staff article incorrectly stated that three foreign hostages were still being held by Palestinians. Admission of error.
  • Dec 2 2004: Updated article issued to change the statements describing Marwan Barghouti as a “Palestinian rebel” to a “jailed leader”. Future reports gave necessary context of his involvement with terror which have killed and injured Israelis.

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