Haaretz: Israel’s Anti-Semitic Rag

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. 


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Haaretz, Israel’s left-wing daily, used to be Israel’s newspaper of record and comparable to the New York Times, read also by those who differed from its line. Today Haaretz is read by less than 6 percent of Israelis, overwhelmingly composed of the country’s left-wing “elite.” Haaretz comes in far behind successful newcomer, right-of-center Israel Hayom at 38% and left-of-center Yediot Aharonot at 36%.

Haaretz’s English website, however, gets a very high Alexa ranking—around the 3900th most popular website in the world and currently neck-and-neck with the centrist Jerusalem Post’s site. Indeed, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu allegedly called (his office later denied it) Haaretz and the New York Times Israel’s “two main enemies” and said:

They set the agenda for an anti-Israel campaign all over the world. Journalists read them every morning and base their news stories…on what they read in the New York Times and Haaretz.

Whether or not Netanyahu said it, he could have added that foreign diplomats as well base their views of Israel, and their perceptions—however skewed—of Israeli opinion, on what they read in Haaretz.

For his part, Israeli justice minister Yaakov Neeman has allegedly gone even further and likened Haaretz to Der Stürmer.

Are such charges justified? To get an idea on whether they are, I followed Haaretz’s English website’s op-eds and editorials through the Israeli workweek of Sunday, January 29 to Friday, February 3. Having done the same experiment eight years ago, I can say right away that Haaretz has, if anything, gotten worse since then. (While its reporting is also biased, the bias is easier to demonstrate in opinion articles.) This despite the fact that last August, Aluf Benn became Haaretz’s new editor in chief.

For years Benn was a thoughtful left-of-center columnist for the paper who made valid, if arguable, points. Under his tenure, though, Haaretz has kept publishing the same bevy of radical leftists. It appears inevitable considering that the Schocken family, which has owned the paper since 1937, still holds a dominant 60% stake of Haaretz. In an op-ed last November, current Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken portrayed Israel as a country verging on apartheid.

During the week in question, January 29-February 3, Haaretz published 30 op-eds. Fifteen of these could be called neutral on political, left-right issues. Exactly one—by Haaretz’s sole regular right-wing columnist, Israel Harel—was a discussion from a right-wing perspective. Of the other 14, 11 were virulently left-wing and 3 more moderately so. As for the editorials, all six were harsh attacks on Israeli policy, leadership, and institutions. The following is only a sampling from the week.

On Sunday, Gideon Levy published a piece on a recent poll finding high levels of religious beliefs in the Israeli Jewish population. For instance, 84% believe in God, 70% believe Jews are the chosen people, 76% eat kosher at home—figures far beyond the approximately 25% of the Jewish population that is formally observant. This poll, to put it mildly, did not sit well with Levy and other Haaretz pundits.

Levy, for his part, wrote:

Expressions of racism toward Arabs and foreigners, Israel’s arrogant attitude toward international opinion—these too can be explained by the benighted, primeval belief of the majority of Israelis (70 percent ) that we enjoy complete license because You chose us.… we are in the West Bank above all because the majority of Israelis believe that it is not only the land of the patriarchs, but that this fact gives us a patrimonial right to sovereignty, to cruelty, to abuse and to occupation—and to hell with the position of the international community and the principles of international law, because, after all, we were chosen from among all other peoples.

That is not a valid polemic but, rather, an anti-Semitic rant. As Shmuel Rosner notes regarding the traditional Jewish belief in chosenness,

There’s nothing wrong with such belief. When Americans were asked by Gallup if their nation “has a unique character that makes it the greatest country in the world,” 80 percent said yes. According to a Pew survey, “About half of Americans (49 percent) and Germans (47 percent) agree with the statement, ‘Our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior to others.’”

Israelis, of course, do not regard chosenness as a license to commit crimes, and Levy cannot cite any evidence that they do. He just asserts it, or “spits it” would be more accurate.

Also riding the antireligious tide on Sunday, Amir Oren complained that the Israeli army “was another kind of army [once], before the chief rabbi of the air force took office, before the religious takeover of aircraft hangars, and their takeover of the rest of the Israel Defense Forces.” Oren approvingly quotes an anonymous letter to the chief of staff by a secular air force pilot:

…maybe I should let you know that the members of the air force, at least from [a certain] base, will not be meeting with authors, or guides who would teach them about nature and about various places around the country, or scientists or philosophers, or journalists or historians, or people looking at future trends. Only with religious people, who my son describes as crazy. I find no reason to assume that this disease only exists on this one particular base…. Don’t be surprised if normal soldiers don’t find their place in your army of God.

If this sounds like hatred of religious Jews, it is; and it is no less clear that hatred of a category of Jews is anti-Semitism. It should be added that, whatever legitimate controversies may exist about religion’s role in the Israeli army, one reason it has become more prominent there is that religious Israelis now disproportionately volunteer to be officers and combat soldiers—a fact I didn’t come across anywhere in Haaretz’s rants.

And Sunday’s editorial weighed in on the “failed” (except that all serious commentators knew they didn’t stand a chance) Israeli-Palestinians talks in Jordan, saying these were intentionally scuttled by Israel and adding:

Netanyahu, with [Defense Minister Ehud] Barak’s help, has turned the Iranian nuclear threat into an impressive ploy to distract attention from settlement policy and the perpetuation of the occupation…. The death certificate of negotiations based on the two-state solution is a badge of shame for Israeli society. It’s hard to understand how a society that has so impressively brought social injustice to the top of the agenda has fallen victim to our nationalist-religious leaders’ criminal ploy.

Here it should be noted that neither Netanyahu nor—even less so—Barak is considered religious in Israeli terms. But these bad characters, we see—with “Israeli society” in tow—are leading the world by the nose on the Iranian-nuke issue so they can tighten their grip on the West Bank. If this reminds you of Walt, Mearsheimer, Patrick Buchanan, & Co., it should—and it’s coming from a made-in-Israel website.

That Israel is an “apartheid state” is, of course, another shibboleth of contemporary anti-Semitism. It was well represented in Haaretz on Monday by Druze writer and contributor Salman Masalha who, in another crude rant, drew direct parallels between Israel and apartheid South Africa. Then there was Akiva Eldar, whose tirade also featured the crafty, peace-destroying Netanyahu:

If Netanyahu had not existed, the settlers would have been forced to invent him. It has cost him peanuts to remove some of the roadblocks in the West Bank, to lift part of the blockade on the Gaza Strip, and to pay a bit of lip service to “the peace process.” And, he has managed to preserve all the settlers’ interests.

…Fact: It is possible to gobble up additional territories and also be depicted as a moderate leader while managing to keep relations with the United States and Europe intact.

The settlers can relax. The general positions outlined last week in Jordan to the Palestinians [were] nothing more than another exercise aimed at presenting Netanyahu as a partner to peace and the Palestinians as the ones who turn it down….

Tricky Jews at it again; all is subterfuge, don’t believe a word they say.

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  • Jim

    news week article said most American Jews are atheists except for the orthodox.

    Some how I can't believe that is true.

    • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

      I am a far right wing spiritual Jew.
      Of course Haaretz is a RAG.
      There are 37 Chabad houses here in AZ.

  • JehudaBenIsrael

    Haaretz, nearly bankrupt, was able to secure a major "investment" of a non-Jewish German "investor" who has placed his money where his mouth was: intervening in the political affairs of a country, Israel in this case, eager to ensure the heralding of an anti-Israel/anti-Jewish approach worldwide while hiding behind the thin veil of an Israel brand name publication.

    Haaretz, in other words, has joined the league of the British Guardian in its hostility to everything Israel, the nation-state of the Jewish people.

    No wonder, therefore, that only 6% of Israelis even pay attention to this publication, among them many Arab Israelis…!!

    • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

      HaShem willing they go completely bust.
      Nothing but ERAV RAV filth

      • WilliamJamesWard

        Haaretz finds funding from willing Islamists and of course
        the devil Soros……..I use to look for information in Haaretz articles but
        was shocked at it's anti-Israeli posturing and misinformation…I receive
        JWR on line for truth and follow Carolyn Glick……………William

  • Jonathan Jacobs

    Now everybody knows why I no longer read this biased rag although other subjects are reasonably well treated in The Marker etc. JJ

  • Rivkah F.

    I buy the English edition of Haaretz on Friday (Israel's equivalent of a Sunday paper). I must be a masochist. The magazine contains bizarre features about inconsequential artists or writers who lament the narrow mindedness of the Israeli public, etc. The op-eds give one a dose of lies, poison, snobbery & hostility towards anything Jewish, Zionist, Israeli or conservative. I can almost write those articles myself, they are so predictable. Thank you for going through it thoroughly. You have done a great service to the public.

  • Nathan Helfman

    How depressing that I find myself in an ever contracting, cumulative minority: I'm an American Jew, an academic, living on a kibbutz, vote for Meretz, left handed, partially colored blind, thrive on peanut butter and am of the 6% elite that avidly consumes Ha'aretz. Not much room left. I see the abyss.

    • Cynic

      Don’t Leftists consider themselves the elite?

    • Carl

      if only you were a woman, you could win a prize or teach at columbia.

    • ziontruth

      "…an ever contracting, cumulative minority…"

      You can thank Israel's Muslim enemies for that. From the bus bombings of 1994 through the October 2000 Intifada, the launching of Kassam rockets despite the evacuation of all Jewish presence in Gaza in August 2005, the Second Lebanon War of 2006, to this very day, they've been doing their darnedest to the decimate the Oslo Left. And od ha-yad netuyah with the crumbling of the peace treaty with Egypt.

  • Ian_D_T

    An excellent analysis of the contemptuous conduct by certain Haaretz reporters. Thank you. I terminated my subscription long ago and since then they’ve become much worse. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that some of their journalists are being paid by hostile elements to publish traitorous lies and deliberate distortions.

  • Daniel Gavron

    How courageous Ian DT! Almost as brave as Rivkah F.
    You fearlessly disclose your name and initials, manifestly unafraid of what we violent leftists may do to you!
    At least we have some idea of the real identity of David Hornik, even if we cannot accept his assessment, so we can respect his point of view and disagree with it .
    On the other hand "Ian DT" may be an entirely fictitious entity.
    Come out from under your cowardly anonymity, Ian DT. (and Rivkah F for that matter) Then at least we can discuss matters with you.

    • ASG

      Afraid of limp wrist progressives? Funniest thing I have ever heard. Not all of us are "Current writer at Self employed (Sole Proprietorship) " we may have bosses. You wouldn't want us to loose our jobs would you? Who would supply the money for your SSI checks?

      "Contact Daniel for:
      ●career opportunities
      ●consulting offers
      ●new ventures
      ●job inquiries
      ●expertise requests
      ●business deals
      ●reference requests
      ●getting back in touch'

      I here the American Nazi Party is looking for volunteers. You could be just like George Soros, betray your Jewish heritage and work for the Nazis.

      • PAthena

        George Soros (whose middle name should be "Moriarty," see Sherlock Holmes) is still at it, attacking democratic government with his OCCUPY Movement. He was the money behind the anti-Israel, anti-AIPAC organization JStreet. He organized a group "Jews for Justice," being a Jew of convenience, to take out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal attacking Glenn Beck and Fox News because they had attacked him, for his saying on an interview with 60 Minutes, that he did not regret helping the Nazi collaborators in Hungary by pointing out Jewish properties.

        • ASG

          Soros is the lowest form of filth. The only thing that makes me happy when I think of him is realizing Satan has a special spot picked out for him in Hell right next to Adolf.

    • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

      You are violent if you are a leftist.

      • ASG

        But just like the left always tells us, we are just a bunch of gun slinging bible thumping rednecks here on the right. They can be violent all they want and I will be more than happy to teach them all about the Second Amendment.

    • stern

      Well, if you disagree with Hornik's viewpoint, how about refuting it? After all, all he has done here is quote from actual columns in Haaretz. I would be fascinated to hear your counter-arguments.

  • ASG

    F***ing traitors is what they are. It's one thing to have a different opinion and practice free speach, but to lie and demonize the entirety of the Jewish people is idsgusting at best.

  • http://myrightword.blogspot.com Yisrael Medad

    good job.
    the Hebrew-language "presspectiva" adds material as do I in my Hebrew-language microscoop columns at Besheva.

  • Divrr1230

    These people have absolutely no fear of God.
    "I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse…" (Genesis 12:3)
    Nothing new for President Netanyahu…Moses too, had his fair share of rebels while leading Israel. Shall I enumerate what happened to these rebels? They are nothing but fools lead by very small rebellious minds in the eyes of the very God they hate.

    • Carl

      only problem is, now they have millions and millions of dollars and a worldwide 24/7 media blitzkrieg.

    • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

      Let HaShem bankrupt them, I look forward to it.

  • Boston

    Just put Am in front of the name of the newspaper and call it Am Haaretz which is Hebrew for ignoramous.

  • Wayneplus

    Israel's enemies base their articles on articles in Haaretz. Haaretz hurts the Jewish People. Vendors selling the paper should be told that by selling Haaretz they hurt the Jewish People. Tell the vendors you will not buy anything from them as long as they sell Haaretz. Companies that advertise in Haaretz should be contacted and told you would never, ever buy their products or services. Send emails to advertisers in the Haaretz online edition that you would never buy anything from them. The idea is to put Haaretz out of business. Why Haaretz continues in Israel is beyond belief. If you love Israel and the Jewish people, now you know what to do. Start today.

    • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

      Wayne, you are 100% right.
      Every single Nazi, R. Paulan, Jew hater I encounter quotes directly from the Juden-rat Haaretz,.

  • frederick lee

    I submitt many Talkbacks to pieces that appear in web- Haaretz and mosy of them they print – many of them crritical I must add and for that I am greatful. The talkbacks are under my avatars; Friedrich de Goy, a levy, my own name and several lesser characters. Reading most of the blogs / articles and talkbacks published by Haaretz I can understand – and sympathize – why Haaretz is labeled as antisemitic by much of the Jewish community – both here and in Israel. What passes for political thinking by the editors is in fact a form of schizophrenia. The failure of the psychiatric establishment to identify this behavior is one of the central failings of the last century.

  • jacob

    Professor STEVEN PLAUT of Economics at Haifa U, defines this roll of used toilet
    paper HAARETZ is as the ARAB NEWSPAPER PRINTED IN HEBREW…

    In any Arab country, anything like HAARETZ and all his people would be long ago keeping company with the satelites orbiting the Earth but not in Israel, the Light to Nations

  • jacob

    Israeli lefties are the most "sui generis" specimens ever heard of , matching
    what HAARETZ and his people like this GIDEON LEVY stand for :

    How about that female accusing publicly the IDF of "RACISM" because they
    did not rape any Arab women in Gaza at Cast Lead operation ?????

  • Ghostwriter

    If someone in a foreign land said that Holocaust survivors in America and their descendants wanted to destroy their environment because of all the trauma they went through,I would condemn such a stupid article. Why would ANYONE in Israel of all places,defame their Holocaust survivors? It's just as dumb and stupid.

  • maria

    There are many muslims working in our company. They love Haarez. They cited their favorite Jewish hatred newspapper. It is their ideological weapon to use "jewish media" agains Jews. Haaretz as Shalom Ahshav are on Islamic payroll, I bet. Leftists in general, cynical hypocrites. Plus they think that they will be exemption in next Holocaust.
    Useful idiots. Anyway they are Jews and what's happened with all others will happened with them. The same with tiny exeption already was in history, in Germany. They don't know history, useful idiots and live in delusion.

  • Brooklyn Albee

    Is Am Haaretz awaiting a Medal of Honor from Iran & the Arab League?

  • Secular Jew

    Criticizing the ideologies and behavior of the ulra-orthodox is not anti-semitism. There is a lot wrong with your articles regarding religion in Israel. If you want to know why the new left ISM left has any popularity in Israel, look at the ultra-orthodox. BTW the former head of the Mossad, Halevy, regards the ultra-orthodox as a threat as serious as Iran. Please see his comments. (Israel Hayom)
    Men who refuse to hear the singing of women do not belong in the Israel military..or in Israel.

    • Secular Jew
      • Dr. John

        The leftists quoted in the above article are referring very little to the ultra-Orthodox. Their venom, hatred, and false charges are directed at the army-serving (with distinction) national-religious Israelis and, even more so, at the general population for tending to have religious beliefs even if they aren't formally observant. Saying that Netanyahu and Barak are pretending there's an Iranian threat, so as to manipulate the Americans and Europeans, is not a charge against the ultra-Orthodox.

  • FRONTPAGESubscriber

    I never knew that about Haarez -good information!

    • Secular Jew

      Haaretz is actually a good newspaper. Diverse viewpoints are represented in it. The anti-left found on Front Page is itself a religious sect that blinds those who belong to it to the evils of the ultra-orthodox sects. It is not necessary for conservatives to be religious.

  • Chaim ben Moshe

    Jewish anti-semitism Haaretz-style is a trend-setter for Jew-hatred worldwide, but its most pernicious effects are to be seen in Haaretz's most ardent of overseas readers, American Jews, 78% of whose voters cast ballots for Barack Hussein Obama, whom the infamous "Judaism-is-a-gutter-religion" Louis Farrakhan has dubbed the Messiah.

  • Brujo Blanco

    Hatred of Jews is growing. Typical leftist logic requires that victims of crimes be blamed for the actions of their assailants. We need to stand up for each other in the face of hatred. These things will not change merely through wishful thinking.

  • Larry in Tel Aviv

    I forgot to add you get these NGO types (Israeli and foreigner) sitting in TA cafes, they are pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel and of course the only reason they can shoot the breeze in safety and nonchalance is because of policies they oppose! I know because I work often enough from a laptop in a restaurant, I overhear these people on occasion. Yes they all read Ha'Aretz.

    Yes they are mad. A big mistake to make is to consider these people remotely rational.

  • rachaelamb

    Haaretz should be called Jews for a second Holocaust.

  • freedemocracy

    [http://haaretzisnotreliable.wordpress.com]
    Unreliable Haaretz, also termed [http://www.ruthfullyyours.com/2010/04/09/about-al-haaretz-and-the-spy-case/]'al-Haaretz', and [http://frontpagemag.com/2012/davidhornik/israel%E2%80%99s-anti-semitic-rag/] 'Israel's anti-Semitic Rag', which [http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=55&x_article=171] fuels anti-Israel bias, campaigns for Arab [http://cifwatch.com/2012/10/28/haaretzs-apartheid-campaign-against-israel/] anti-Israel apartheid; [http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?ID=178843] aids the Arab terrorist enemy, and was even [http://test2.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=283660] convicted of anti-Israel spy charges (and [http://biased-bbc.com] biased BBC, [http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/02/bbc_chief_admits_anti-christian_bias.html] admittedly anti-Christian biased – copies it), just like that drag queen/drama queen Ahmad Tibi ( [http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/6146] accused of being himslef the real racist, are so quick to falsely brand worried Israelis of racist Arab attacks ( [http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=49178] Israelis aren't 'racist' – they're worried) as "racism" but will never name the Goliath Arab racism / Islamic bigotry that seeks out to attack Jews – by Israeli-Arabs or Palestinian-Arabs. ( [http://www.wnd.com/2009/05/98947] It’s about the bigotry). Apparently, sick Haaretz also finds Arab regimes, including "Palestinian" who either succeeded in complete ethnic cleansing of Jews or seek its completion – more desirable than Jews who dare attempt to survive against it. Thus, a search for 'racism' in Haaretz, won't find it related to the racist attacker, but rather almost exclusively to the receiving end victim of the intolerance monster.