Everyone Dribbles for Haaretz

The New Yorker joined the global fan club that glorifies Haaretz. A close look is an eye opener for those unfamiliar with the daily.

Giulio Meotti

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giulio meott
צילום: עצמי

The latest number of The New Yorker, one of the most famous and prestigious US magazines, feautures an article of 11.000 words about the Israeli daily Haaretz and its publisher Amos Schocken. The laconic title of the story is: “The Dissenters”.

The article is not interesting per se, it's merely a long pean to the so called "Israel's conscience" and its fragile future in the "Israeli tribalism". The article is amazing, however, because it shows us the root of global affection for Haaretz.

The article somehow doesn't mention the most important case against Haaretz: the spy case that filled Israeli media for weeks,  involving an Israeli IDF soldier who leaked classified documents to an Haaretz journalist in order to demolish the Israeli Defense Forces' reputation.

Haaretz is very influential among the global “liberal” elites precisely because it advocates anti-Zionist views shared by a fringe of academic intellectuals and their media followers. The publication attracts all this undeserved attention precisely because of the baleful influence it has on Israel’s reputation through the writings of its correspondents and columnists who promulgate the most vicious distortions about Israel.

Although Haaretz bills itself as “an independent newspaper with a broadly liberal outlook”, many of the opinion writers and some reporters espouse views of the extreme far left, and factual accuracy is sacrificed to political clichés, arrogance, demonization, bigotry and self indulgence. "I envy the people who hate Israel", says an oped by the regular Haaretz columnist Bradley Burston. 

Haaretz owner, Mr. Shocken, published an article saying that “Hatikvah”, the Israeli national anthem, should be changed, as its lyrics are about only Jewish aspirations.  Mr. Schocken’s irrational hatred for those who do not share his obsession with the need to create a Palestinian state - no matter the cost - reveals itself in the morally shallow statement that “to declare Israel today as a democratic state is equivalent - though with certain differences - to the definition of South Africa during apartheid as a democratic state”.

Haaretz has been diligently undermining Israel’s claim to the moral high ground by placing victims of terrorism on the same plain as their barbaric perpetrators. Nahum Barnea, no rightist,  of Yediot Aharonot wrote in November of 2000 that there are Israeli reporters who do not pass the “lynching test”. These are journalists who could not bring themselves to criticize the Palestinians even when two Israelis were savagely murdered by a Palestinian pogrom in Ramallah. Which journalists? Gideon Levy, Amira Hass, and Akiva Eldar of Ha’aretz.

A study by Israel’s Media Watch, on the coverage of populations afflicted by the “terror war” in Ha'aretz's weekly supplement during October 2000 through December 2001, the height of the Oslo Terror War (2nd Intifada) launched against Israel by Arafat, revealed that during the 15-month period covered by the study only five articles were published on the terror and war victims on the Israeli side. Haaretz daily demonizes the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, an entire population group that loyally serves in the army, pays its taxes and defends the state.

The Jewish community organizations in the UK have criticized Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy for a series of book launch events across the country with a number of notorious anti-Israel groups. In particular,  Levy was the special guest of the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, that in 2009 hosted what it claimed was a Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration with a Hamas follower who supports suicide bombings.

Many papers and magazines abroad think that Haaretz is the symbol of Israel’s democracy and self criticism. In Manhattan, the presence of Haaretz would give some old fashioned and solipsistic flavour to the colored journalistic arena.

But in Israel, the only nation that has  virtually no civilians, the only UN member threathened with death and under existential threat by a nuclear apocalyptic Iranian leadership, Haaretz is a dangerous wedge with its cultural wickedness and pathological self-hatred, as the recent spy case should have definitively proven. Haaretz is not just another daily, it created a false reality which fits its world view: Israel’s self immolation. That explains why the global media is dribbling for Shocken’s tribe.