It Took Time Magazine Five Months to Correct a Story That Omitted This Key Fact

When Time magazine first published its article, “The Desperation Driving Young Palestinians to Violence” back in October, it described a Palestinian killed by Israeli forces as “a graphic designer,” failing to mention that he had successfully carried out a deadly terrorist attack that killed three.

Following repeated protests from the Israeli government over the key omission, which made the assailant, Baha Allyan, appear to be a victim of Israeli violence, Time on Friday updated its online story — a full five months after its initial publication.

Before the story was updated, Israel’s Government Press Office on Thursday wrote that “repeated requests” to the news magazine had “been ignored.” The GPO wrote:

TIME Magazine published an article on October 15th, 2015, by TIME correspondent Rebecca Collard, which said: ‘On Tuesday, Allyan, a graphic designer from the predominantly Palestinian neighborhood Jabel Mukaber, was killed by Israeli security forces after allegedly trying to carry out an attack in Jerusalem.’ The article says nothing further on the attack.

The TIME article was published two days after an attack on a civilian bus in Armon Hanatziv, a Jerusalem neighborhood. In this attack, TIME Magazine’s ‘graphic designer’ opened fire on the passengers, killing three Israelis – Alon Gobeberg, Haim Haviv and Richard Lakin – before being shot by police. TIME fails to mention the three deaths, much less the names of the victims. TIME also uses the word “allegedly” and describes the attack as ‘trying to carry out.’

The funerals of two of the Israeli civilians were held before the article was published on Oct. 15 while U.S.-born Lakin, the third fatality in the attack, died about two weeks later.

It’s not too often you see a story posted Oct. 15 updated nearly half a year later, March 18 in this case. (Screenshot: Time.com)
It’s not too often you see a story posted Oct. 15 updated nearly half a year later, March 18 in this case. (Screenshot: Time.com)

According to reports at the time, Allyan and Bilal Abu Ghanem boarded the Jerusalem bus and began stabbing and shooting passengers. One of the attackers was shot by a security guard, while the other was shot by police outside the bus, Ynet reported. Allyan was killed and Abu Ghanem was wounded.

The GPO noted that three days after the Time article was published, an Israeli non-profit approached the publication to complain about the article’s failure to note that the Palestinian had killed the Israelis, but the Israeli group received no response. The GPO said Thursday that it had reached out to Time three times.

The updated sentence read, “On Tuesday, Allyan, a graphic designer from the predominantly Palestinian neighborhood Jabel Mukaber, was killed by Israeli security forces after he and another assailant killed two passengers in an attack on a Jerusalem bus. A third victim, a U.S.-born teacher, died two weeks after the attack.”

Victims of the attack were infuriated by Time’s coverage.

“I had no idea that leaving me with two scars on my body and a punctured lung — after stabbing me with a 20-centimeter-long knife — was professional artwork, not terrorism,” Maya Rachimi, who was wounded, told Ynet.

Micah Avni, the son of the slain American-Israeli educator Lakin, said, “Those who cannot call terrorism terrorism, and condemn the murder of Israelis as well as American citizens, are part of the problem, and are inciting to terrorism by staying silent.”

GPO director Nitzan Chen said he decided to try to shame Time, because of the “completely distorted media reports. … We decided we would not longer be silent,” the Times of Israel quoted Chen as saying.

Time added this line to the end of the story: “This story has been updated to give a fuller account of the attack.”

This story has been updated to remove an assertion by the pro-Israel media watchdog CAMERA that it had “called out” Time on the mistake. A CAMERA researcher contacted TheBlaze to correct his earlier assertion that CAMERA had contacted the news magazine.

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