In the event of an acute diplomatic or military crisis in the Gulf arising from tensions relating to Iran’s nuclear efforts, Iran and Hezbollah, its proxy, could easily use the African continent for attacks against American and European targets there or as a platform for operations in Europe itself. At a time when the European Union appears so hesitant in designating Hezbollah, or even its “military branch”, as a terrorist organization, it is no wonder that countries such as India, Thailand, Bulgaria or Cyprus do not dare compel Iran, and Hezbollah, to pay the diplomatic and political price for their deadly activities. Europe is setting a poor example not only to its members but to the international community as a whole.
Posts Tagged ‘haaretz’
Editor’s Note: A version of this article appeared in Hebrew at Mida, a publication of El Haprat, a nonprofit organization. It was then published in English in a new online publication The Tower. It is being republished here by permission. Erez Tadmor is a political editor at Mida Magazine.
In early April of this year, the controversial Haaretz reporter Amira Hass, whose coverage of Palestinian violence over the last decade has often prompted accusations of bias, caused a major stir when she published a column called “The Internal Syntax of the Occupation.” Most provocative was her claim that “throwing stones is the hereditary right and duty of someone under a foreign power”—words that appeared only a few days after Adele Biton, a 3-year old Israeli girl, was critically injured when a Palestinian threw a rock at the car her mother was driving, causing it to slam into a commercial truck.
In a Sunday interview with journalist Kalman Libskind of the radio station Galei Yisrael, Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken set out to defend Hass’s article. Growing flustered, however, Schocken ended up saying that moving to a settlement was a form of deliberately endangering the welfare of one’s children, something that in another context would trigger the intervention of social services. As for Hass’s sympathy for rock-throwers, Schocken refused to distance himself. “Sometimes,” he concluded, “you have to fight violence with violence.”
The method Amos Schocken chose to defend Hass’s article, and his defense of editor-in-chief Aluf Benn’s decision to publish the piece in full, sheds some light on the recent changes at the once-venerable Israeli daily. In a series of interviews conducted with current and former Haaretz employees, some of whom held high-level positions at the paper and most of whom still hold it close to their hearts, a consensus emerged to the effect that the paper is undergoing a process of major change that has led to a dramatic reduction in staff, a precipitous decline in journalistic standards, and a willful radicalization of its politics in pursuit of Internet traffic.
As Israel’s longstanding newspaper of record, these developments have raised important questions about the future of print journalism, especially in a country where a free and dynamic press has always been at the center of Israel’s democratic discourse.
For decades, Israelis have associated Haaretz with journalistic quality—or, rather, they’ve associated journalistic quality with Haaretz. The paper was known for its scrupulous editorship and for articles, reviews and columns issued in a Hebrew so highly styled and written in such a lofty register that it bordered on the literary—something that comes as no surprise considering the paper’s pedigree. Salman Schocken, grandfather of Amos and patriarch of the family that controlled the paper for decades, transforming it from an official administrative paper of the British colonial authority into a cultural institution, was also the founder of one of the world’s most distinguished publishing houses—Schocken Books, which published Kafka, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin and other literary luminaries of pre-war Germany.
Though it literally means “the land,” the Hebrew word haaretz is understood to refer to the nation, the country, and the State of Israel all wrapped up into one. And for three-quarters of a century, Haaretz in many ways was all that. It was Israel’s unrivaled national stage, and what played out in its news articles and opinion pages was Israeli public life itself. In this sense, it could be thought of as Israel’s New York Times—the difference being that the centrality of Haaretz to Israeli life was far greater than that of the Gray Lady in America, where a number of other stalwart dailies were able to successfully vie for readership and influence over the years. But although its circulation never approached that of the popular dailies Maariv and Yediot Aharonot, Haaretz had nothing that could be seriously spoken of as competition.
However, Haaretz has gone through excruciating times of late, much like the rest of Israel’s print-media industry. Recent months have seen major staff cuts, reports of a crisis between management and employees, the closure or downsizing of major supplements, and an oftentimes-inelegant shift in emphasis from print to digital.
But according to the employees interviewed for this article, all of whom refused to be identified out of fear of the impact on their careers in Israel’s small and insular media environment, the Amira Hass affair was a red flag not only for the Israeli public, but also for many on the Haaretz staff. As one former editor at the news desk put it:
Amira Hass’s article must be seen as the result of a conscious decision to radicalize the paper, to make it something shallow, sensationalist, and shocking, and to give it the image of a paper—really, a website—that is courageous and groundbreaking. At the end of the day, there is only one goal: To generate traffic. It doesn’t matter if the piece is good or bad, what matters is that it leads to website traffic.
The uber-left Jew-hating Israeli newspaper Haaretz’s headline today reads: “U.S. Jewish groups call on synagogue to cancel anti-Muslim speaker.”
Wow, Haaretz implies that the anti-Israel groups and boycott-Israel groups “Jewish Voice for Peace,” “Jews for Racial and Economic Justice,” and “Jews Say No!” represent “US Jewish groups.” No, they represent anti-Jewish and anti-Israel groups.
These are vicious anti-Jewish groups bent on destroying the tiny Jewish state. The libel and lies by anti-Jewish Haaretz continue as they label me “anti-Muslim.” Haaretz is defaming and libeling those who expose Islamic Jew-hatred as “anti-Muslim.” Anti-Muslim — as if opposing jihad and the most brutal ideology on the face of the earth, the sharia, is “anti-Muslim.” Obviously Haaretz believes that all Muslims support sharia and jihad, or else they would not use that smear. Yet their assumption is in direct contradiction to the idea that most Muslims are “moderate.”
I am not anti-Muslim or anti-anyone, and this label smears my work in defense of the freedom of speech and equality of rights for all as a campaign against a group of people.
But what do you expect from the newspaper that endorses stone-throwing by “Palestinian” jihadists?
Visit Atlas Shrugs.
The Palestinian Authority is the official body behind the recent “intifada” of rocks and Molotov cocktails, and Haaretz journalist Amira Hass has long been the Palestinians’ unofficial spokeswoman. When she wrote an article this week legitimizing rock throwing, she was doing her part in the PA’s effort to stretch a defensive umbrella over the young brutes lobbing rocks and incendiary bombs. They are the ones who mortally wounded baby Adelle Biton. They are the ones who seriously injured musician Itzik Kalah’s wife, Tziyona, four months ago near Beitar Ilit. Both events occured in the so-called settlements blocs: the Palestinians do not discriminate.
The Central Command of the IDF won’t admit it, but a rash of so many terrorist attacks at the same time and with such scope is impossible unless it is centrally organized. The PA, meanwhile, is not in the least embarrassed by what it dubs a “popular intifada.”
The terrorist organizers don’t only deploy terrorists. They also deploy collaborators and lawyers, as well as sympathetic media coverage from within the civilian population under attack (in accordance with the doctrines of terrorism first developed in the Soviet Union).
I don’t have any intention of taking on Amira Hass. She turned traitor long ago, and her case is one for the legal authorities. But is Hass the only journalist in the service of the “popular intifada”? What about the other news media—are they doing their job? Or are they also collaborating, by keeping silent?
Most of the media do not report most rock-throwing attacks. I encountered this reality in the past when my wife and I were nearly lynched on our way home from visiting my parents’ graves on the Mount of Olives. Only a few of the media reported on the injury to my head, even though pictures were provided to them on a silver platter. No journalist came to interview me about what I had experienced, about the feeling of helplessness that comes with the inability to protect one’s wife.
There was my wife’s angle too. She was the one at the wheel. Aside from the fear and the terror, the trembling and the tears that gripped her, the post-traumatic symptoms, she was left with a sense of betrayal. My wife is a nurse, and she has occasion to provide treatment to residents of the Arab neighborhood where we were attacked, while virtually all the teachers from the little terrorists’ school stood outside watching as their students set upon us. Fittingly or not, the principal brought his daughter to be treated by my wife just one week later.
Then there is my daughter the journalist, who hurried to the scene only to discover that this was the same school about which she had published a number of complimentary news items.
And I have to make mention of the two times when I personally rescued Arabs who found themselves in the midst of angry crowds gathered for funerals of terror victims. Yet none of the Palestinians in the dozens of vehicles around us on the Mount of Olives made a move to save us.
What we have here is a perfect scoop by any measure. But almost nothing was published.
So when did the media report on what was happening in the area? Just one day after I was wounded, when City of David head David Be’eri lightly injured an Arab youth who was throwing rocks at his car as he drove through the area. The footage taken by the photographers who had been invited to film the Palestinian ambush, showing the youth being injured by Be’eri’s car, was broadcast repatedly.
Why does this matter so much to me? Because even aside from the media’s rightful function of delegitimizing terrorism with cold weapons, coverage makes a difference. A big difference. In a country where the media are so powerful that they dictate how many resources go to a given criminal investigation, reports carry a lot of weight. When rocks were thrown at an Arab woman last month in Jerusalem, media pressure brought out a slew of investigative teams, and all those who had been involved were quickly arrested. The powers that be made it crystal clear that the law is supreme, and it is enforced … the problem being that it is enforced selectively.
Former IDF soldier Anat Kam, who has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison after being convicted on an illegal possession of classified information, on Thursday sued the newspaper Ha’aretz, its reporter Uri Blau, and former news desk chief Avi Zilberberg, to the tune of 2.6 million shekel ($720 thousand).
Kam contends that she was exposed as the source of Blau’s information, leading to her arrest. In an unusual move, Kam asked the court to order the reporter to pay much of the money out of his own pocket, for his “special role in causing great injustice” to her, she said. The newspaper has not yet responded to the suit.
During her military service as a clerk in the office of the Central Command, Kam was exposed to “presentations and documents of various level of security classification,” including summaries of discussions, deployment of forces, investigations and status assessments. In advance of her discharge, she copied the documents to a CD that she took home. About a year after her discharge, she offered the documents to the military correspondent of Yediot Aharonot, Yossi Yehoshua, but in the end did not give away the material.
In October, 2008, the lawsuit relates, Kam met up with Blau, they chatted and discovered that they had attended the same high school. Blau offered Kam a ride to Jerusalem, where her parents live, and during the trip told her about his journalistic background and his own exposure to military matters.
“She had the impression that Blau was a serious and responsible journalist, and since it was clear to her that, in any case, his reports at Ha’aretz would be subject to military censorship restrictions,” she decided to hand over to him the CD containing the documents.
According to Kam, before delivering the CD to Blau, she demanded that he would never reveal where he obtained the documents, and that he tell no one at Ha’aretz that she was his source.
A few days later, Blau called her on his cellphone and told her he was excited about the material. The two had a few more discussions, until finally Blau published his story in November, 2008. The report incorporated photographs of two documents he had received from Kam. A few months later, another article appeared, incorporating another classified document.
On December 15, 2009, Kam’s world came crashing down, the lawsuit says, referring to the day when the GSS called her in for questioning.” Kam tried to contact Blau, but a mutual acquaintance said he was on a long trip abroad. At the GSS, her interrogators told her that they’re checking the leak to Blau. Kam confessed, and spent nearly two years under house arrest, with an “overseer.” She had to quit her job and could only leave her home to report at the police, or to visit a doctor. A year and a half ago, she was sentenced to four and a half years in prison, and three months ago the Supreme Court shortened her sentence by one year.
The lawsuit suggests that Ha’aretz was responsible for her exposure, since publishing the classified documents left only Kam, the clerk who handled those documents at Central Command, as the most logical suspect. It also argues that the chief military censor advised to Ha’aretz against publishing the actual documents, in order to shield their source.
In the end, according to the Kam lawsuit, the GSS was willing to give her immunity from charges on the documents which reporter Blau handed back to the military, so that, essentially, had he given back everything – she could have been spared much of her sentence.
Now she wants to make him pay.
The leader of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria (Yesha) filed a complaint with police, charging Haaretz journalist Amira Hass with incitement by writing that Palestinian Authority Arabs have a “duty” to throw rocks at Jews.
She wrote her article after an Israeli court found a Hevron cab driver guilty of murder for throwing rocks and causing the fatal cash of a car driven by American-Israeli citizen Asher Palmer 18 months ago. Palmer and his two-year-old son were killed when he lost control of his vehicle and smashed into a guard rail near Kiryat Arba.
The rock-throwing terrorist, Wael Salaman Mohammed el-Arjeh, confessed to throwing rocks but denied he intended to murder anyone.
Hass, a Jewish journalist who has lived in Gaza and Ramallah and fully supports the Palestinian Authority, wrote, “Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule. Throwing stones is an action as well as a metaphor of resistance.”
Ron Shechner, a former assistant to Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz in the Sharon government and now director of Yesha, told the Jewish Press he filed the complaint with police because Hass’ article directly incites violence against Jews.
Hours after the complaint was filed with Jerusalem police, rioting Palestinian Authority Arabs stoned dozens of cars on the highway from Jerusalem to Kiryat Arab-Hevron.
Hass sees no problem with rock-throwing, which usually is aimed at causing drivers to lose control of their vehicles and crash, as happened to Palmer.
If Hass’s car were stoned by Arab attackers, she no doubt would blame Israel, which she said is a reality of violence and whose soldiers, “bureaucrats, jurists and lawyers…protect the fruits of violence instilled in foreign occupation − resources, profits, power and privileges.”
She justified stone-throwers by stating it often “is borne of boredom, excessive hormones, mimicry, boastfulness and competition” and is a message that, “We’ve had enough of you, occupiers.”
Hass advised Palestinian Authority schools to introduce basic classes in resistance: how to build multiple “tower and stockade” villages in Area C; how to behave when army troops enter your homes; comparing different struggles against colonialism in different countries; how to use a video camera to document the violence of the regime’s representatives; methods to exhaust the military system and its representatives; a weekly day of work in the lands beyond the separation barrier;
“How to remember identifying details of soldiers who flung you handcuffed to the floor of the jeep, in order to submit a complaint; the rights of detainees and how to insist on them in real time; how to overcome fear of interrogators; and mass efforts to realize the right of movement.”
Ironically, the same advice could be written for Jewish right-wing activists.
Back in July of 2001, the Hebron Jewish community sued Ha’aretz, after Amira Hass had written that the residents of Beit Hadassah in Hevron abused the corpse of a terrorist. She wrote that the residents kicked, spat on, and danced atop the body of a dead Arab terrorist, who had just been shot and killed by soldiers shortly after he threw a grenade at them.
The plaintiffs cited an announcement by the IDF spokesman at the time asserting that the Jewish residents did not abuse the body in any manner. The Hebron residents demanded an apology, which Ha’aretz did not provide. They then sued the paper for 250 thousand shekels (about $70 thousand), and Ha’aretz did not even submit a defense. So Judge Shalev Gertel awarded the full sum to the Hebron community, plus 20 thousand shekels (about $5,500) for legal expenses.
Yori Yanover contributed to this report.
In a definite setback for their ethos, the violent Palestinian riots over the past week were mis-founded: Israeli Health Officials from the Abu-Kabir Forensic Institute announced today that Arafat Jaradat’s death last week was not the result of poisoning or physical violence against him.
Palestinian administrative detainee Arafat Jaradat’s autopsy found no evidence of poisoning or physical violence, stated a report released by the Health Ministry on Thursday.
Jaradat died on Saturday in the Megiddo Prison. The Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine continues to run tests to determine the cause of death. (Dr. Itay Gal) YNET So who can we blame for Palestinian violence? Settler violence [TM] and Price Taggers [TM]? Ooops. Seems like the Palestinians fabricated that too.
The Shai District Police found that the alleged “price tag” incident which took place at the West Bank village of Kusra was fabricated.
The police findings show that the claim, stating that six vehicles were set on fire, is untrue and that the Israeli identification card presented by one of the village residents was lost in the area a few days prior. (Itamar Fleishman, YNET). Fair readers, do not be alarmed. There many do-gooders over at Haaretz concocting new slanderous stories as you read these very lines.
But here’s a photo of Palestinian violence below….just in case you want to remind yourself what’s really going on.
Visit The Muqata.
January 27, the date in 1945 on which Auschwitz was liberated by the Allies, is the day designated by the United Nations to officially commemorate the Shoah.
But there are some who cannot permit a mention of the Holocaust without insisting, sometimes in lurid pictures, that Israel is a modern day version of the grand masters of genocide: Hitler and the Nazis. And there are armies of willing collaborators for that concept, which include many in the chattering classes. These second level haters repeatedly insist that Jews use the “Holocaust” card to block what they say is just criticism of Israel’s “Apartheid,” and brutal “occupation” of the Arab Palestinians.
The cartoon in this week’s British Sunday Times is a stellar example of the first category.
Notice the hulking presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Raheem Kassam, of The Commentator, describes the depiction as the stereotypical Jew anti-Semites love to hate: “the large-nosed Jew, hunched over a wall, building with the blood of Palestinians as they writhe in pain within it.” He is slathering the bricks of the infamous “Apartheid Wall” – which is neither about a separation of the races, nor is it a brick wall – more than 97% of it is fencing. Also, instead of mortar, the cartoon depicts the substance being used to cement the “wall” is blood. And whose blood? Why, the blood of Arabs, of course.
The words printed beneath the wall say “Israeli Elections.” Perhaps the author never got the memo that rather than a huge right-wing surge by the Israelis, this election instead brought in an almost perfectly balanced knesset of members from the right and the left. The scrawled words beneath the picture state: “Will Cementing Peace Continue?”
Many people were horrified not only that the Times ran the cartoon, but that it was run on Holocaust Rememberance Day. The Anti-Defamation League condemned the cartoon by calling it a “blood libel” and “grossly insensitive,” according to a report in the Algemeiner.
The Times of London is indirectly owned by Ruport Murdoch. Murdoch, as the Algemeiner points out, has been the recipient many times of honors from Jewish groups, including the ADL, for being a friend to Israel.
The cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, is well known not only for his Sunday Times work, but also for drawing musicians. Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that one of his best known album covers is for Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” Roger Waters, lead singer of Pink Floyd, is a virulent Israel hater who penned an appeal to fellow artists to boycott Israel, and most recently compared Israel to Nazis.
Which brings us back to Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the use by anti-Semites to accuse Israel of being the new Nazis.
Merry Olde England had another bout of “Let’s Call Israel Nazis” just a few days ago, on January 25. David Ward, who is a Liberal Democrat member of Parliament, wrote the following in his personal blog after signing his name in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment in the House of Commons during an event in anticipation of Holocaust Remembrance Day:
Having visited Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.
After a flurry of criticism, Ward invoked the standard excuse given when caught with one’s pants down and anti-Semitism showing: “I never for a moment intended to criticise or offend the Jewish people as a whole, either as a race or as a people of faith, and apologise sincerely for the unintended offence which my words caused.”
And many hours after the Sunday Times began receiving criticism for the “grossly insensitive” cartoon it ran on Holocaust Remembrance Day, its editors used the very same excuse, to wit: it isn’t Jews we were criticizing, just Israel.
The Sunday Times firmly believes that it is not anti-Semitic. It is aimed squarely at Mr Netanyahu and his policies, not at Israel, let alone at Jewish people. It appears today because Mr Netanyahu won the Israeli election last week. The Sunday Times condemns anti-Semitism, as is clear in the excellent article in today’s Magazine which exposes the Holocaust-denying tours of concentration camps organised by David Irving.
Oh my: we don’t insult dead Jews, only live ones, especially the kind that firmly believes in, and practices, self-defense.