The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has demanded that The Jewish Chronicle reissue a correction to a story which made false claims about Palestine Solidarity Campaign and our director, Sarah Colborne.
The demand came after The Jewish Chronicle (JC) failed to adhere to an agreement made with the PCC that the original correction would remain on the homepage of its website for two days and two nights. After uploading the correction onto its UK News page on 23rd October, the JC then removed it later the same afternoon.
A week later, following intervention from the PCC, the JC is today (30th October) once again carrying the correction. This time, the link to the correction is on the homepage as agreed, and will remain there until 1st November.
The JC’s original story, which resulted in our complaint to the PCC, was published online on 17th July on its homepage, and was headlined Pro-Palestinian group says its supporters made antisemitic comments
This was a completely false headline, and attributed comments to Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Director, Sarah Colborne, which were never made.
The report also began falsely, with this introductory paragraph: ‘The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has acknowledged that its supporters made antisemitic comments during protests against the Gaza conflict’
PSC made an immediate complaint to the Press Complaints Commission and informed the journalist who wrote the article. The article was subsequently removed from the JC’s website.
The JC defended the article forcing PSC to go through the PCC’s complaints process . Eventually, with the arbitration of the PCC, the JC agreed to publish a correction on its website.
The correction orginally published on 23rd October, and reissued today, is as follows:
‘In an article published on July 17 headlined ‘Pro-Palestinian group says its supporters made antisemitic comments’, we stated that the Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Sarah Colborne, had said that demonstrations against the Gaza conflict “had been used by people to ‘peddle hatred and intolerance’ towards Jews”. Ms Colborne had not said that. In fact, what she had said was: “The Palestine Solidarity Campaign opposes all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and racism directed against Palestinians whether living in the West Bank and Jerusalem, or as citizens of Israel.” We are happy to set the record straight.’
Sarah Colborne, PSC Director, said:
“When the Jewish Chronicle published this story, Israel was at the height of its massacre in Gaza, with the ground invasion imminent. Public opinion in this country was one of absolute horror and outrage, and thousands were mobilising in towns and cities everywhere in opposition to Israel’s assault. PSC was at the forefront of that mobilisation, with many thousands responding to our calls to protest in front of the Israeli embassy in London, and one of a series of massive national demonstrations being planned.
“We were quick to challenge this irresponsible piece of journalism through the Press Complaints Commission, and are happy with the result. PSC and other organisations supporting the cause of justice and freedom for Palestinians must be able to do so without fear of smear and slander.”