UPDATE ON APOLOGY
Ben Swartz met with the Regional Executive Editor for Gauteng, to discuss the reasons behind the incorrect publishing of the articles (which caused an outcry from the community). They also discussed Ben’s statement, and the poor apology which was issued.
Since that meeting, it was agreed that IMG would issue another apology which was run across the IMG publications.
The meeting between Ben Swartz and the Regional Executive Editor was a positive one, and we hope for a positive working relationship going forward.
STATEMENT – An unacceptable apology by the Independent Media Group
Ben Swartz – National Chairman of the SAZF
We would like to keep our community updated on the preposterous article that was recently published by The Independent Media Group (16/11/2017). It is critical that we bring to your attention that this is an on-going problem, where the group continues to publish blatant misinformation against Israel.
The article was issued across various Independent Media publications (“The Star”, “Cape Times”, “Pretoria News”, KZN “The Mercury” and on “IOL”), as a quarter page “news” insert that read: “Astronaut snaps Israeli rocket fire from space” (16 / 11 / 2017).
As many of our community duly noted, this is in fact a three year old story, which was covered in July 2014. “Old News” deliberately printed in an attempt to discredit Israel once again in order to whip up popular rhetoric against Israel.
When we confronted IMG, they gave a longwinded response, where they shifted the blame to their news sources, taking little responsibility for their “negligent” reporting. However they committed to rectify their “mistake”, by issuing a “retraction” in the relevant papers this morning (17/11/2017). You can unmistakably see that it was a feeble (and significantly small) attempt at an apology, for those who could even see it.
After years of monitoring Israel related media in South Africa, we are appalled at the latest ploy they have adopted. It’s no secret that they have continuously shown their deliberate intent, by printing highly prejudicial and damaging stories. Their consistent half-truths and misleading journalism is a deliberate tactic to sway their audience to suit their anti-Israel agenda.
This is certainly not the first time, and it won’t be the last time in which they knowingly misrepresent the facts.
We urge you to carefully consider your relationship and interaction with the IMG.
For further information please don’t hesitate to contact me.
BEN SWARTZ – SAZF CHAIRMAN