U.K.'s Guardian Owns Up to Inadvertent Cases of anti-Semitism

Special column says paper recognizes instances in which published material could be construed as anti-Semitic, pledges it will be 'more vigilant' in future.

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Haaretz
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Haaretz

The Guardian newspaper confronted earlier this week claims alleging that the U.K. daily published material that included language that could be construed as anti-Semitic, admitting that it had to be "more vigilant" to maintain the Guardian's reputation.

In a column published on Sunday, the paper's readers' editor Chris Elliot referred to claims that the "Guardian, in print or online, is carrying material that either lapses into language resonant of anti-Semitism or is, by its nature, anti-Semitic."

Man reading the Guardian in London, Oct. 25, 2011.Credit: AP

While Elliot defended the paper's commitment to balanced reporting, he spoke of three incidents, saying "in the last nine months I have upheld complaints against language within articles that I agreed could be read as anti-Semitic."

Such incidents included, according to Elliot, "references to Israel/U.S. 'global domination' and the term 'slavish' to describe the U.S. relationship with Israel; and, in an article on a lost tribe of Mallorcan Jews, what I regarded as a gratuitous reference to 'the island's wealthier families.'"

Ultimately, while the paper did not feel it purposefully published explicitly anti-Semitic material – saying that the examples "may be read as anti-Semitic," as opposed to deliberate anti-Semitism – Elliot did say that "reporters, writers and editors must be more vigilant to ensure our voice in the debate is not diminished because our reputation has been tarnished."

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