Jewish Chronicle apologises to readers for carrying advert promoting DEC Gaza charity appeal

The Jewish Chronicle has apologised to readers for carrying an advert promoting the Disasters Emergency Committee Gaza appeal.

And the weekly UK newspaper has promised to provide extra space in the next edition for readers who object to the advert and provide a free advert for pro-Israel charities.

A posting on the title’s Facebook page said: “In this week's JC, we ran an advert for the DEC Gaza crisis appeal. This was meant as a purely humanitarian gesture, and was not an expression of the JC's view. 

"We have received complaints from readers angry at the decision. 

"We apologise for the upset caused. 

"In response, the JC will be giving space in next week's issue to readers wishing to express their objection to the advert.

"The JC will also be running a free advert encouraging readers to donate to a range of charities supporting Israel."

The Disaster Emergency Committee represents a number of UK charities and so far raised £8m to address "massive unmet humanitarian need in Gaza which can only be met with substantial international assistance". 

Member charities are: the British Red Cross, Cafod, Christian Aid, Islamic Relief, Age International, Oxfam, Concern Worldwide, Care, Tear Fund, Islamic Relief, Save the Children, Plan and Action Aid

Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard wrote today that there has been some controversy over the advert and said that people were “angry and upset” about it.

He said: “As editor, I am not responsible for any ads which appear in the paper. It is a critical part of our editorial independence that we do not allow advertisers to have any influence at all on the paper.

"The ad was approved by the chairman of the JC, who has no involvement in editorial decisions, as an ad for humanitarian aid which nowhere makes political or partisan points.

"Both I as editor and the JC are entirely supportive of Operation Protective Edge, as our coverage has demonstrated. Almost alone in the British media the JC has stressed Israel’s right to defend herself and sought to explain why Israel was faced with no choice but to take action in Gaza.

"There is, clearly, a humanitarian cost to that action. But I do not accept the figures touted around much of the media about the level of civilian casualties – many are, I am sure, terrorists.

"This is not a JC-backed appeal. We have no involvement in it beyond running an ad, which has appeared in most British newspapers.

"Even if you profoundly disagree with the ad appearing in the paper, I hope this will go some way to explaining its presence and that it is in no way part of our editorial stance."

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