Mistaken identity


The New York Jewish Week reports on the widespread mixup that led many blogs and newsoutlets to confuse one of its contributors with a U.S. citizen being held captive in Iran.

In a widely disseminated error by news outlets and bloggers, Joshua Fattal, 27, currently a captive in Iran, is being confused with Joshua Fattal, a teenaged local yeshiva student who has written two articles for Fresh Ink, the high school supplement of The Jewish Week.

The case of mistaken identity has led to speculation that the older Fattal may be charged with being a “Zionist” spy.

Iran seized the older Fattal on July 31, along with two other Americans, Shane Bauer and Sara Shourd, after they allegedly strayed across the Iran-Iraq border near Kurdistan.

Although the captive Fattal attended college at the University of California at Berkeley, and has no connection to The Jewish Week or to any yeshiva, the mistaken identity led Aljazeera.com, the Arab news service, to headline on Aug. 8: “Three Americans Held in Iran Are all Jews: Were They Spies?” …

Read the full story.

Recommended from JTA