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The New York Times appended a lengthy correction apologizing for and explaining multiple errors and omissions in a recent article claiming that Jewish people are evicting Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem.
The article, which sought to portray several Jewish organizations as pariah groups seeking to put Palestinian families out on the streets, was “incomplete,” relying only on stories and facts presented by Palestinians.
It turns out these Palestinian families did not tell the whole truth, according to the correction. The Times says reporter Diaa Hadid should have fully and properly reported out the piece by speaking with those Jewish individuals who had claims made against them.
“While the reporter tried to reach representatives of the landlord in the Sub Laban case, The Times should also have tried to reach the landlords involved in the other cases and their lawyers,” the corrections states.
These reporting failures led to a biased article that only told a portion of the story, according to the editor’s note.
The full correction is as follows:
Editors’ Note: January 26, 2016
The Jerusalem Journal article on Jan. 15 about Palestinian residents of Jerusalem’s Old City who face eviction by Israeli organizations gave an incomplete description of the legal disputes in several cases. The descriptions were based on the tenants’ accounts; the article should have included additional information from court documents or from the landlords. (The landlords are organizations that have reclaimed properties owned by Jews before Israel was established in 1948.)
In the case of Nazira Maswadi, the article said her new landlord was trying to evict her based on a claim that her estranged husband was dead (he is still alive). In fact, the landlord claims in court filings that the Maswadi family has not proved that it has paid rent.
In another case, the article quoted Nawal Hashimeh as saying she was being evicted for replacing a door to her apartment. But according to court documents, her rent payments had also been rejected because they were submitted by her son, whom the landlord said it had no contractual relationship with. (The landlord also claimed that three rent checks fell short of the amount owed.)
In a separate case, the article said Nora Sub Laban faced accusations that she had not continuously lived in her apartment, though she claimed that she had never left it. While the article said that Ms. Sub Laban had been battling eviction efforts for four decades and that the Israeli Supreme Court must now decide whether to consider her appeal, it should have noted that an Israeli court in 2014 upheld a lower-court finding that she had not returned to live at the property after renovations were completed in 2000 or 2001.
While the reporter tried to reach representatives of the landlord in the Sub Laban case, The Times should also have tried to reach the landlords involved in the other cases and their lawyers.