“Charity boss who wrote that ‘terrorists founded Israel’ is reported to watchdog” asserts the JC’s Twitter feed. The problem for the JC is that historical record suggests that statement is factually correct. Israel’s sixth Prime Minister Menachem Begin was the leader of the Irgun, the terrorist group that, among its other activities, bombed the King David Hotel, and was intimately involved in the Deir Yassin massacre.
Moreover, Yitzhak Shamir, seventh Prime Minister of Israel, was an active member of the Stern Gang. On top of that, the Irgun, in the aftermath of the birth of the state of Israel, was absorbed into the Israel Defense Forces. So the JC is batting on a seriously sticky track - and not for the first time, after another reverse was publicised last week.
Councillor Jo Bird, who represents the voters of Bromborough and New Ferry, told that “IPSO uphold my complaint against the JC … In the last three years, the so-called 'Jewish Chronicle' has breached the newspaper editors self-regulation code nine times and paid out in at least four libel cases. IPSO should launch a formal Standards Investigation”.
Councillor Ms Bird has, to accompany that summary, put out a statement where she notes “IPSO, the self-regulator of newspapers, appears unable to address discrimination. I am disappointed it has failed to uphold my complaint about racism, but I am not surprised. The JC erased my Jewishness in articles about anti-Jewish racism, even when the JC recognised other people as Jewish within the same article”. There was more.
“I believe the ‘Jewish Chronicle’ title itself is increasingly misleading and inaccurate. There are other Jewish chronicles such as the Jewish Telegraph and Forward. The publication is neither wholly owned or written by Jewish people. Jewishness is denied for some of the Jewish people who are chronicled”. And then came this coda.
“IPSO has found nine breaches by the JC in the past three years. In the same period, the JC has paid complainants in at least four libel actions, including Marc Wadsworth last week. Clearly, there are deep-rooted unaddressed problems at the weekly paper. I urge IPSO to launch a formal Standards Investigation”. Well, well.
That puts IPSO in what Spike Milligan might have called A Very Difficult Position. The alleged press regulator - which for most of the time means it wipes the backsides of our free and fearless press and does not even consider saying boo to them - had previously torn the JC off a strip over the publication’s cavalier attitude to complaints made over a previous Merseyside excursion - the smearing of Audrey White.
So IPSO knows all too well what the JC is like when it comes to accuracy and the prompt addressing of complaints over the lack of it. But IPSO is also loath to take any action that will involve it in actually being an effective press regulator.
The JC appears little more than a rogue newspaper. Can IPSO be arsed dealing with it?
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