The New York Times corrected a piece Monday that called the Palestinian Authority's very real practice of giving payments to the families of terrorists a "far-right conspiracy."
A Saturday Times profile of Campbell Brown, the head of news partnerships at Facebook, questioned whether the former journalist could help build better relations with media outlets, given allegations the social network spreads "fake news."
"Ms. Brown wants to use Facebook’s existing Watch product – a service introduced in 2017 as a premium product with more curation that has nonetheless been flooded with far-right conspiracy programming like ‘Palestinians Pay $400 Million Pensions For Terrorist Families,’" the Times reported.
That sentence was criticized by Israeli and Jewish journalists who pointed out it is a well-established fact that the PA issues stipends, often referred to as "martyr payments," to the families of those who are killed or imprisoned after attacking Israeli targets.
"As those of us who are in the reality based community know, the Palestinian Authority’s financial support of terrorists and their families is very, very far from a conspiracy, far-right or otherwise…," wrote Liel Leibovitz at Tablet. "Read the real news, and you’ll learn that, in 2017, the PA doled out more than $347 million to families of terrorists who had murdered Jews, increasing the amount to $403 million this year."
"This is an item written in to the Palestinian Authority's budget, not a ‘far-right conspiracy,'" tweeted The Jerusalem Post‘s Lahav Harkov. "You can quibble over the use of the word terrorists vs. prisoners (and I would defend my word choice) but not the fact that they're making the payments."
A few days later, the Times issued a correction. "An earlier version of this article erroneously included a reference to Palestinian actions as an example of the sort of far-right conspiracy stories that have plagued Facebook," it reads.
"In fact, Palestinian officials have acknowledged providing payments to the families of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks on Israelis or convicted of terrorist acts and imprisoned in Israel; that is not a conspiracy theory," the correction concluded.