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The Times apologises for ‘anti-Semitism’ suggestion against MEMO editor

May 30, 2016 at 12:31 pm

The Times in London has printed an apology for an article published on 2 May, in which it was implied that MEMO’s senior editor is “anti-Semitic”. The newspaper accepted that the suggestion in the article by Rosa Prince “was incorrect” and that Ibrahim Hewitt “is not and never has been anti-Semitic.”

Reference to Hewitt has been removed from the online version of the article in question. The apology added that the Times is “happy to put this on record and apologise to him for any distress caused.”

Hewitt has faced a number of attempts by the right-of-centre media in Britain to cast him as both an “anti-Semite” and “extremist”, especially since the so-called “Trojan horse” fiasco in 2014 and the election of Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of Britain’s Labour Party last year. Corbyn has called Hewitt a “great friend” and the two are both active campaigners for Palestinian rights. Such activists face similar allegations regularly from individuals and organisations which form part of the pro-Israel lobby in Britain and the West.

The Labour leader travelled to Gaza in 2013 as part of a cross-party delegation of MPs organised by the British charity Interpal, of which Hewitt is the chair of trustees. Photographs of the visit have been used by the media in an attempt to link Corbyn with “extremists”, but the captions and accompanying text generally fail to point out that Conservative MP Philip Hollobone and former Liberal Democrat MP and coalition minister Sarah Teather also took part in the visit. The MPs were able to see at first-hand projects funded by Interpal in the besieged Palestinian territory.