The New York Times has published an editor’s note correcting its false report that Gaza’s fishing industry is on the verge of collapse due to an Israeli blockade of the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.
Using official Palestinian statistics, the media watchdog group Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) proved to the Times that the claim is false. CAMERA provided information indicating that the fishermen have more than doubled their annual catch in the last 15 years. In addition, the number of registered fishing boats has also more than doubled, according to Tamar Sternthal, director of CAMERA’s Israel’s office.
In a Nov. 27 article, “Amid Israeli Blockade on Gaza a Fishing Fleet Limps Along,” Times correspondent Raja Abdulrahim claimed the Israeli blockade has been “devastating for the Gaza Strip’s fishing industry.”
But CAMERA refuted the claim and provided the Times with research data from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics disproving the false statement.
On Dec. 3, the Times printed the editor’s note acknowledging the article omitted important context, leaving the impression that the industry has been devastated. “The current catch is higher than that in the early years of the blockade,” the note reads.
“CAMERA staff are doing the basic research that Times staff should be doing themselves,” stated Andrea Levin, executive director and president of CAMERA. “Abdulrahim’s story claiming Gaza’s fishing industry is collapsing falls completely apart when you look at the facts. But the Times’ impulse to run with any storyline blaming Israel subverts ethical reporting norms and leads again and again to these blunders.”