Alan Rusbridger: 'Jenin editorial was a misjudgement'

The editor of The Guardian has said a controversial editorial in the paper six years ago that compared the Israeli attack on the Palestinian town of Jenin to the terrorist attacks in New York on 11 September 2001 was a “misjudgement”.

Speaking at a closing session at Jewish Book Week on Sunday, Alan Rusbridger said that he said he took “full responsibility for the misjudgement”, after a member of the audience complained about it.

According to the Jewish Chronicle, Rusbridger also said that the use of the word “Apartheid” in a series of features in 2006 by foreign reporter Chris McGreal, which compared Israel to segregated South Africa “may not have been the best”.

David Landau, the editor of Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz, criticised the Guardian for using ‘Holocaust’in a headline last week, in reference to a statement by Israeli deputy defence minister Matan Vilnai.

Landau argued that he used the word “shoah” which he said could not always be translated as Holocaust.

But Landau also said that British Jews were in danger of falling into ‘nascent McCarthyism’in their scrutinising of certain journalists, newspapers and broadcasters in their coverage of issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Jewish Chronicle quotes him as saying: ‘It is high time that the Anglo-Jewish community stopped devoting its pro-Israel energies to a minute parsing of the BBC and The Guardian. There is far too much Guardian-bashing in this community and it is getting us nowhere.”

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