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Ha\'aretz Columnists Accused Of Slandering Israel

First Publish: 5/13/2001, 6:50 PM

Israel\'s Foreign Service is not happy with the performance of Ha\'aretz reporters Gideon Levy and Amira Hass. The Israeli Embassy in Rome sent a telegram to the Foreign Ministry, sharply criticizing Levy for sitting on a panel with a Palestinian spokesman and attacking Israeli policies. \"The two joined forces in abusing the Israeli government, vying between themselves to see who could slander Israel more - and in my opinion Levy won,\" Embassy spokesman Ofer Bavli wrote. Ha\'aretz, reporting on the telegram, also noted that similar criticism of Levy had been made four months ago, and that there are reports of Foreign Ministry criticism about Ha\'aretz writer Amira Hass. Levy responded that the telegram \"causes more harm to the State of Israel and its image as a democracy than 1,000 appearances by me.\"