Haaretz has issued a correction vis-a-vis a report it published five weeks ago that set off a rush to condemn Israel.
The original report accused government officials of injecting Ethiopian women with the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera in order to decrease their birth rates.
It said: “A government official has for the first time acknowledged the practice of injecting women of Ethiopian origin with the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera.
“Health Ministry Director General Prof. Ron Gamzu has instructed the four health maintenance organizations to stop the practice as a matter of course.
“The ministry and other state agencies had previously denied knowledge or responsibility for the practice, which was first reported five years ago.
“Gamzu’s letter instructs all gynecologists in the HMOs ‘not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment.'”
However Haaretz issued a correction on Wednesday:
“This article, which was updated on March 6, 2013, reported on Health Ministry director-general Prof. Roni Gamzu’s instruction to gynecologists not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provera if there is any doubt that recipients did not understand the implications of the treatment. The original version failed to state that this instruction was issued ‘without taking a stand or determining facts about allegations that had been made,’ and referred to all women and not just women of Ethiopian origin.”
Of course, as the anonymous blogger Elder of Ziyon writes:
“Ha’aretz purposefully misquoted and ignored a key part of the memo itself, that it used as its smoking gun!
“Instead of the memo stating, as Ha’aretz originally wrote:
‘not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment.’
“it really said:
‘Without taking a stand or determining facts about allegations that were made, I would like to instruct, from now on, all gynecologists in the HMOs not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provera for women of Ethiopian – or any other – origin, if there is the slightest doubt that they have not understood the implications of the treatment.'”
Only after the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East reporting in America (CAMERA) spotted the misinformation repeated in another article published in Haaretz last week did the Israeli newspaper fix the article. Remarkably, the Hebrew version of the same article did include the updated information. However Haaretz failed to change it in the language most likely read by its international readers.