Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Continuing Saga with The Boston Globe

A response was received from The Boston Globe on September 24, at which point the request for a correction was renewed. The following is that exchange. As appropriate, additional correspondence will be posted.

Dear Mr. Stein, 

Thank you for your query, and for your continued interest in our pages. I regret that your original note find its way to me. I just searched our e-mail queue,, and found no sign of it there. It's possible that it might have been snagged on an e-mail filter. 

As for your request for a correction, none is warranted. The usage of the term "seize" in both the editorial and subsequent letters is open to interpretation, both politically and by definition. And, in fact, the third of the three letters actually makes the point that the land in question is technically under Israeli control, and had been seized by Jordan in the late 1940s. 

I would consider a letter to the editor offering your viewpoint on Israel's official position on ownership of the land, but I can't guarantee I would publish it at this point, as it has been more than two weeks since the original editorial. 

I do encourage you to write again in the future. 


Matthew Bernstein
Letters editor

The following response was sent to Mr. Bernstein on September 24:

Dear Mr. Bernstein, 

Thank you for your response. However, I find your response unsatisfactory. 

While there are slight variations in definitions given for the term "seize," they all involve the taking of property that had been owned by another party. This was manifestly not the case in the Israeli announcement, which essentially simply clarified the fact that its investigation had determined the land was not privately owned. 

It is true that many other newspapers, even some in Israel, have also incorrectly used the term "seize," as did the writer of that third letter. This makes the error in The Boston Globe understandable, but does not make it permissible. 

If you are able to show me a legitimate definition of "seize" from a reputable reference which applies to your usage, I will withdraw my request; otherwise, I repeat my request that an appropriate correction be issued. 

Alan Stein

No comments: