Analysis Announcement

Palestinian activist forces Jewish Chronicle to delete smears

Omar Mofeed wins victory against right-wing rag

Palestinian Labour activist Omar Mofeed has forced the right-wing Jewish Chronicle to delete an article defaming him and his late father, more than a year after the rag published its smears.

The Chronicle had claimed that Mr Mofeed’s father was a Hamas member and had served as the Hamas government’s health minister, while in reality he had been neither and was in fact an internationally known surgeon who founded faculties of medicine at both Palestine’s universities and lectured around the world.

The paper had also published social media posts it said showed Mofeed celebrating a Palestinian martyr – but the posts were published two years before the man had died. In fact, Mofeed’s posts were about a neighbour with a similar name who died in 2011.

Mr Mofeed took on the Chronicle via IPSO – a ‘regulator’ run by the publications themselves and hardly known for sensible judgments against its members – with the help of the European Legal Support Centre. After initially ignoring his complaint – hardly a first – the Chronicle was forced to engage and eventually agreed both to delete the defamatory article and to confirm in writing that it had done so because the article was inaccurate.

The Jewish Chronicle has a long and sorry history of smears against left-wing activists and particularly those who support human rights for Palestinians. It had to pay substantial damages to black left activist Marc Wadsworth after it printed ‘entirely untrue’ and horrific claims about him – and Wadsworth said it was the fifteenth time that it had been forced to retract or correct information it published about him. The rag has also had to fork out large amounts of cash and print apologies to left-wing Liverpool pensioner Audrey White after a ‘litany of lies’ about her, to Muslim Labour member Nada al-Sanjari and to Interpal, a Palestinian aid charity.

The Chronicle was also slammed by IPSO for its appalling behaviour in handling Audrey White’s initial complaints about the lies it had printed.

Mr Mofeed told Skwawkbox:

The Jewish Chronicle newspaper has targeted the pro-Palestine voices for years, most of the victims have not complained as they don’t feel they can change anything by complaining.

I complained to the JC’s editor for six months. I sent them four emails explaining that the defamatory article they wrote against me was full of inaccurate and misleading information and asked them to remove it immediately. The JC never replied to my emails.

Then I complained to IPSO. IPSO have taken my complaint seriously, they have studied the article and the breaches of IPSO accuracy and privacy codes I have discovered.

A few days ago, after discussion with IPSO, the paper has accepted to remove the article permanently and send me a letter confirming the removal. This letter can be used in any future legal defamation case against the JC, if I decide to pursue it. It’s clear that every voice speaking about Palestine is being targeted in the UK, in political parties, unions, universities, religious groups, NGOs, media and student bodies, to silence the Palestinian voice. These attacks by the pro-Israel news outlets will not make us silent.

Congratulations to Omar Mofeed and solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians.

SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you’d like to help it keep revealing the news as it is and not what the Establishment wants you to hear – and can afford to without hardship – please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep doing its job.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

%d bloggers like this: