Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Great Corrections Of Our Time: Associated Press

Last week, in an article on the controversial rainbow flag mural a Palestinian artist painted on Israel’s apartheid wall, the Associated Press made this claim: “A 1951 Jordanian law banning homosexual acts remains in effect in the West Bank, as does a ban in Gaza passed by British authorities in 1936.”

In fact, there is no law in the West Bank, or in Jordan, that bans sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex.

Yesterday, several days after I contacted AP to inform them of this, they issued the following correction:

In a story June 30 about Palestinian protesters whitewashing a gay pride rainbow flag, The Associated Press reported erroneously that homosexual acts are banned by law in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. While homosexuality is largely taboo in Palestinian society, there are no laws specifically banning homosexual acts.

This may surprise people, since the notion that homosexual activity is criminal – and even punishable by death – is a staple of a form of anti-Palestinian propaganda called pinkwashing...

Electronic Intifada.

Myths about how homosexuality is oppressed in other Arab and Middle Eastern countries are very popular in the Western media - they are rarely corrected.

But that's Orientalism for you.

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