TAMEEM SHALTONI AGAINST NZ HERALD
Case Number: 3362
Council Meeting: DECEMBER 2022
Decision: No Grounds to Proceed
Publication: New Zealand Herald
Accuracy, Fairness and Balance
Comment and Fact
Headlines and Captions
Ruling Categories: Columnists Opinion
The New Zealand Herald published an interview with film-maker David Farrier on 8 November, which included the sentence: “We didn’t move to Bethlehem – in Tauranga, not Israel – until I was 11.” Tameem Shaltoni complains that the city of Bethlehem is not in Israel, but is in fact a Palestinian town in Palestinian West Bank. The Herald replied saying that Israel ceded control of Bethlehem in 1995, and that when David Farrier was 11, Bethlehem was in Israel, so there was no inaccuracy.
The Media Council notes that the control of Bethlehem has been controversial, but this is a loose aside made to demonstrate the physical location of the town as part of a profile piece, not to make a political point. Any possible inaccuracy is debatable and of no great importance in this context. No Media Council principles have been breached.
Decision: There were insufficient grounds to proceed.