A bogus news release that claimed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee had called on Israel “to immediately freeze new settlement projects” led to a incorrect report on NPR’s newscast this morning.
AIPAC has not issued any such statement, spokesman Josh Block tells us, and condemns whoever is responsible for spreading the misinformation.
The official-looking statement, e-mailed to NPR earlier today, appeared to come from Block. But, as a closer look reveals, the e-mail address did not quite match Block’s official AIPAC address.
Israel’s settlements in disputed territories have been atop the news again in recent weeks in large part because of its announcement — during a visit by Vice President Joe Biden to Israel earlier this month — of plans for more home construction in East Jerusalem.
This isn’t the first time in recent months that the news media have been used by advocates to spread disinformation. Last October, Reuters falsely reported that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had reversed position and was going to support major climate change legislation. That was not true. Proponents of the legislation had created a convincing website and press release that looked like they had the Chamber’s blessing.