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May 6, 2013 7:23 pm

The Economist Reveals its Anti-Israel Bias

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The Economist's story received nearly 500 retweets. Photo: Elder of Ziyon.

The Economist has a very slanted article that is headlined Squeeze them out: As Jewish settlements expand, the Palestinians are being driven away.”

One sentence has a major factual error. The only way that error could have gotten into the article is from the reporter assuming the worst from Israelis, and either grossly misinterpreting a document with his anti-Israel glasses on or, worse, purposefully misrepresenting that document.

Here’s the sentence, which is meant to be the major factual evidence for the almost entirely subjective article:

So far this year, Israel’s army has evicted almost 400 Palestinians from the West Bank and dismantled over 200 homes, the fastest rate for two years, according to the UN.

The Economist even tweeted its accusation (above left), and it was retweeted 400 times:

I can believe 200 homes being demolished – there is illegal building all the time, and structures get knocked down – but is it possible that Israel “evicted 400 Palestinians from the West Bank” this year?

That would be a major story that everyone missed, if true.

Sure enough, I found the document that the Economist based this on. It is not a UN document, but rather written by an alphabet soup of anti-Israel NGOs, hosted on the UN website.

Here’s what it says:

In 2013, 203 Palestinian structures have been demolished thus far, displacing 379 people, including 222 children, and otherwise affecting an additional 541 people’s ability to earn an the income or access water and other basic services.

Nobody was evicted from the West Bank.

The Economist replaced “displaced” with “evicted” and then added “from the West Bank.”

I have no idea whether the document is accurate to begin with – clearly, the unnamed reporter didn’t make even a weak attempt to verify the facts with Israeli officials, something any real journalist, no matter how biased, would at least pretend to do.

Even if the NGO document is correct, the Economist’s misrepresenting of it is not a simple error, but evidence that the article was written with the initial goal of demonizing Israel. They might – and should – issue a correction, but the “mistake” is not the story. The story is how they could have made that mistake to begin with, and what it says about the objectivity of the story itself.

Elder of Ziyon is one of the world’s most popular pro-Israel bloggers. His website is

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  • The Economist claim to be globalist remains an elitist boast within a delusional species. The species HOMO is more delusional than it is sapient, and that is the rub.

    Read ANTIDELUSION: In Quest of Truth. It is required to begin civilization.

  • robert

    It’s not because The Economist is British, it’s because the rest of the world has always been anti Jewish and since 48 anti Israel. This is nothing new, I have been living in this environment for all my eighty years. Wake up World, the only country where we are tolerated is Israel.

  • For an excellent video that documents the truth about Susiya, see my latest post:

  • E.S.Lombard

    The British gentry were forever cheating and anxious lest they be cheated. But after 1660 and the return of the Jews, they have since been dumping on the Jews instead. How convenient! See Nicolson’s Gentility (title)

    Not unlike a recent explanation I had when cheated by a German, “Oh, that must have been a white Jew.”

  • Remember the Economist is British…In 1947 the British gave all their guns to the Muslims and told them to kill the Jews…After Balfour and Churchill the world is still searching for a third non antisemetic Brit

    • Larry

      Please remember the Economist was, is and will continue to be a British Anti-Israel rag sheet.

    • Sharon Klaff

      Well I invited all those in UK not at something divisive, racist, sexist to send me a postcard so I could bake a cake to share with them in my garden ones summers day. So far no response!

  • “How many Palestinians on the West Bank would swap with their peers anywhere in the Arab world?”

    An excellent question.

    The Economist has been heading in this direction for years.

    It is now firmly in that British elite camp that has little or no sympathy for Jewish nationhood and never has and regards Israel as one of those embarrassments of British post-colonial foreign policy.

    The Foreign Office is the same camp. Likely they take high tea in the same London clubs.

    I subscribed to The Economist for over twenty years. It is pieces like this that remind me why I stopped renewing years ago.

    • Sharon Klaff

      Why’s it called The Economist if it discusses everything about Israel except its economy. I’d have thought that would be news given that Israel is one of very few countries bucking the current world economic decline.

  • Miriam

    As mentioned above twice the Economist has maintained its excellent reputation because they check facts and use reliable sources. Strange that you did not show what source you found used…but when I searched I found OCHA surfaced immediately. Which is the UN office for Humanitarian Affairs as captured by “reliefweb” which is the leading online source for humanitarian info, global crises and disasters since 1996 with worldwide office 24/7 according to their website. How did you miss all this? Back to the issue itself, however. Aside from the thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank, today I received a message from Rabbi Arik Ascherman of Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel whose urgent message informs us that Israel is planning to demolish what Bedouins of the Negev have…and evict 40,000 of them from their land. If Israel would deal with the Bedu in a civilized way they would realize that their land is approximately 5.4% of the Negev but instead will destroy their way of life. These indigenous people are no less valuable than other indigenous and should not be evicted one more time!. So you see the numbers are far greater than the 400 evicted would be a “major story”. You should have identified your less than credible source but even so I located far more valuable information than the meager story above alluded to.

  • Paul

    How come? If anybody “dares” to speak the truth, he
    is Anti-Israel-Bias?

    • EthanP

      And why do you find that every anti Israel story is true and every pro Israel story a lie?


      As long as the Palestinians maintain the Arab League position: no recognition; no peace; demand that any area they takeover should be Jew-free. ; maintain that even if they get a State, the residents of the camps on the West Bank, in Jordan, Syria, etc. would not be citizens of this new state but would have the right of unlimited return to the state of Israel; and that all of Israel is unredeemed Islamic territory, THERE WILL NEVER BE PEACE.

    • Fredric M. London

      As with most anti-Semites, you would not know the truth if G-d himself came down and told it to you. Anti-Israel is not necessarily anti-Semitic. However, deliberately demonizing Israel with no facts, holding Israel to a standard other than to what the rest of the region is held, printing something with no evidence with bias against Israel, THAT is anti-Semitic. Just treat Israel the same way you treat every other country in the region, and require the same level of proof for articles on each. For example, that poor stringer bringing the mangled body of his son killed by a missile, and blaming Israel. The world took him at his word. But when an investigation proved that the missile was a terrorist missile which fell short, little attention was paid to this and, in the case of the BBC, they stuck to their original discredited story. THAT is anti-Semitic, Jew hating, etc.

      And then again, there is the entire way in which the Israeli-Palestinian problem is handled, as in, missiles are fired regularly into Israel and NOT aimed at military installations, but at schools and civilian targets. Not a word is found. When Israel retaliates, and does its best to pinpoint bombs to fall on weapons only, Israel is reviled for aggression. Aggression? Listen Paul, why don’t you arrange for Mexico to fire missiles into your town, daily, hundreds per year, and tell me that this is OK. Would you do that? I think not. ONLY Israel is expected to tolerate this barbarism, and is held accountable for when it attempts to end the barrage. Also, what about the war crimes of using your civilian population as human shields? Where is the outrage? Where is the outrage that Jews spend much time in bomb shelters, when Palestinians are DENIED ACCESS to their own bomb shelters, to maximize civilian casualties?

      When you use the same standards on Israel as you do on the ‘poor downtrodden’ Palestinians, who only have the support of the wealthiest nations on earth, then the word anti-Semite will no longer be used.

      As with every other venal, vicious, bigoted Jew hater, you attempt to cloak your prejudice in the name of fairness, whereas you would literally die if fairness actually was applied.

    • Finale

      What truth are you referring to, the inaccurate statement in question???

    • Finale

      What truth, are you referring to the inaccurate statement in question??

    • Ronit

      What truth…or are these lies the new “truth”? Or is it only truth when it demonises Israel?

  • BethesdaDog

    Typically Economist, typically British.

  • No surprise , coming from islamondon

  • The Economist is not a mediocre anti-Semetic rag or NGO. They should be corrected. And the correction pointed out to the publishers as I am sure it has.

    One consequence is non-Jewish, pro-Israeli advocates simply label it as another example of obvious media bias.

    The West Bank, Judea-Samaria, issue is a conundrum with no easily implemented solution. Military occupations are never popular with the occupied. They vary in their severity or benevolence.

    Question: How many Palestinians on the West Bank would swap with their peers anywhere in the Arab world? Now there’s a story for The Economist.

    • Sharon Klaff

      Its very simple. Until Arabs stop expecting a Jew free state and until the world realises this expectation is racist, there will be no solution