Daily Israel Report

Haaretz Declares War on Hanukkah?

Newspaper's TV critic is upset with news studios for showing hanukkiah, predicts Israel's dire end.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/3/2013, 9:57 AM

Hanukkiah
Hanukkiah
Hezki Ezra

The television critic for the ultra-leftist Haaretz newspaper fantasized in Monday's column that the Jews will all eventually leave Israel and return to the diaspora, in a rant against the fact that Channels 2 and 10 featured Hanukkah menorahs, or hanukkiot, behind the anchors in their news studios.

"Placing a hanukkiah in the studio is simply an attempt to make us feel 'at home' in front of the screen and develop a collective warmth among the viewers,” critic Moran Sharir complained. “The problem is that the 'home away from home' that was built in the news studios in Jerusalem and Neveh Ilan, is not home for all of us. The value that is supposed to unite the viewers as a 'collective' in front of the screen is Judaism. People who do not light a hanukkiah – be they gentiles, atheists, or people who just don't feel like it – have no place in the 'home' of Channels 2 and 10.

"These are completely Jewish newscasts, even when they are presented by women. If you do not observe Jewish commandments you can be a guest, but not feel at home...

Sharir concluded: "Placing a hanukkiah in the studio to pander to the viewers is easy, but who will have the [gumption] not to place it there again next year? The hanukkiah will remain with us next year and in all of the years and the generations, until we disperse again, each to his own exile.” Since the state of Israel was established as a Jewish homeland where Jews gather from their exiles, Sharir appears to have been dreaming of the end of Israel. 

Haaretz is partly owned by M. DuMont Schauberg, a German publishing house with a Nazi past. Additional owners are Russian-Israeli businessman Leonid Nevzlin, and the Schocken family, which owns a majority of the shares.