MRN says Ombudsman ruling against Jewish Report is a victory for Palestinian solidarity

South Africa hails the concise ruling of the Press Ombudsman in relation to the matter of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Coalition (SA BDS Coalition) & General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa (Giwusa) vs the South African Jewish Report publication.

The SA Jewish Report was told to apologise when it labeled, the SA BDS Coalition group as “anti-Semitic” after the pro-Palestinian group depicted a cartoon which showed “a greedy, overweight giant of a man eating a pile of money while the ‘man on the street’ is drawn as a small, insignificant figure sitting in front of an empty plate. The image of a Clover product fills the rest of the frame.”

The cartoon did not contain any reference to Jews or Israel but the newspaper wrongly said the Palestine activists had “shown their true colours” by posting “what clearly looks like an anti-Semitic cartoon”.

However, the BDS Coalition lodged a complaint and it was ruled in their favour.

This constitutes a major victory for the solidarity movement which consistently faces the challenge of overzealous supporters of Israel rushing to label any form of criticism against the state or related entities as anti-Semitic. 

The attempt to utilize anti-Semitism for political ends to not only label SA BDS, but also to malign any criticism raised by it of the Israeli-linked MILCO, has been exposed by the Press Ombudsman to be a flagrant violation of its press code.

We at the Media Review Network welcome this finding and the victory of South African Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Coalition (SA BDS Coalition) and General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa (Giwusa) over the South African Jewish Report (SAJR) ensuring that accurate reporting remains a crucial pillar in the struggle for justice. 

Zaakir Ahmed Mayet

Chair: Media Review Network

Johannesburg

South Africa

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