Contributed by Former CAMERA Israel trip participant Romeu Monteiro:
The weekly newspaper Expresso is one of Portugal’s largest and most influential newspapers. Earlier this January, it ran two articles on its website with titles and headers claiming that Israel had announced 1400 new settlements: one of the articles relating this statement with John Kerry’s visit just before the announcement, and the other article claiming the Portuguese Foreign Minister was concerned with the new settlements.
This seemed to be false information. There was no quote of any document or of declarations from the Foreign Minister mentioning new settlements. Furthermore, I had learned during my trip to Israel with CAMERA that Israel had not built new settlements for years. In spite of this, licenses for new houses are often approved in settlements for which there exists a general understanding that these will remain within Israel’s territory in any peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority.
A survey of other news websites from Portugal and other countries allowed me to quickly verify that there were no new settlements, but simply 1400 homes in already existing settlements. I e-mailed the director of Expresso about one of the incorrect articles and the article appeared corrected some time later. I then sent a new e-mail mentioning the other incorrect article and that one got corrected as well. In spite of the corrections, none of the articles mentioned that they had been changed, even though I sent another e-mail specifically alerting for the need to let the reader know how and when an article was edited after being published.
In spite of everything, it is clearly positive that Expresso corrected the articles.
Romeu has been published in numerous publications. His piece Israeli Inspiration, Portuguese Citizenship was published this past June in The Algemeiner. His blog is updated regularly.