Australia broadcaster apologizes for Israel report

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — Australia’s national public broadcaster has apologized for a report that claimed Israel’s security fence was ruled to be illegal by the Supreme Court.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. apologized Wednesday to a Jewish lobby group and corrected an April 25 report which stated that “both the International Court of Justice and Israel’s Supreme Court have ruled that the West Bank wall is illegal and must be pulled down.”

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, a privately run Jewish lobby group, argued that the Supreme Court never ruled that the security fence was illegal.

In a letter to the affairs council this week, Australian Broadcasting Corp. representative Kieran Doyle apologized for "this lapse in editorial standards." He advised that an editor’s note had been attached to the online transcript of the report noting the error, and that the matter also has been posted on the corrections page of ABC News.

Dr. Colin Rubenstein, the affairs council’s executive director, said in a statement that “We regarded this error as a serious one because it wrongly suggested that the Israeli government is showing flagrant disregard for the law of the land over an extended period of time by building the barrier in defiance of Israel’s highest court.

“In fact, Israel alone among Middle East states is governed by the rule of law. We are pleased that, in this instance, the ABC has done the right thing by acknowledging the inaccuracy and taking steps to rectify it."
 

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