Culture, Identity, Israel, Politics

CAMERA attacks Haaretz; 3rd largest Israeli paper blinks

CAMERA, the amusingly-rabid Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, held a conference taking aim at Jewish defilers of Israel — defamers technically — and aimed their wrath at one of Israel’s most-read and respected papers, Haaretz.
What?? Should I laugh?
JTA reports:

In her opening remarks, [Executive Director Andrea] Levin insisted that it is not criticism that is at issue, but defamation, which, when coming from Jews, is afforded added potency. She singled out Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper, one of the country’s most respected news sources and — through its English-language edition and Web site — a chief source of media perspective on Israel abroad. Levin accused the paper of printing outright lies and failing to issue corrections, even when the mistakes are pointed out.
David Landau, Ha’aretz’s editor-in-chief, refused — “as a matter of policy and principle” — to respond to the substance of Levin’s criticisms because they came from CAMERA, an organization that he dismissed as “Mcarthyite.”
“I advise your readers to relate to CAMERA’s tendentious statements and comments with the same measure of skepticism,” Landau said, “and to read Ha’ and draw their own conclusions as to the veracity of our reporting and the contribution of our op-ed columns to honest and caring debate within Israel and the Jewish world.”

CAMERA has hardly managed a level of mature discourse such as Landau. He speaks to half the battle in his response.
Among other targets included Rabbi Michael Lerner — “Only imagine Karl Marx davening and you will comprehend the dazzlement of Rabbi Lerner’s current achievement,” said a presenter. (What??) Even if that’s not a non sequitur already, the guy has always supported a two-state solution, the man’s son served in the IDF, etc. Hippy or not, the founder of Tikkun Magazine is just one of many Jews who get CAMERA’s crosshairs for not speaking a Likud or National Religious Party line. CAMERA, me thinks, must be somewhere thereabouts politically.
Shout out to Samuel Freedman, journalism professor at Columbia University and a man I greatly respect for his commitment to independent journalism (he’s on the board of New Voices magazine) makes a brief appearance in the article to corroborate CAMERA’s partisan ilk-ery.
Disagreeing with editorial bias is fine — Haaretz is left after all. But to accuse them of lying and defamation? What betzim.

16 thoughts on “CAMERA attacks Haaretz; 3rd largest Israeli paper blinks

  1. Beitzim? That’s the best you can do? We’re in the fourth decade of McCarthyite tactics by the opponents of the Zionist left… and a little name calling isn’t going to make anything stop.
    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t noticed any of the reviews of Ruth Wisse’s new book “Jews and Power” fact-checking her involvement with decades of hysterical Americans for a Safe Israel posturing and name-calling.

  2. The JTA’s style guide might say that Ha’aretz is spelled with an apostrophe, but that shouldn’t extend to the spelling in the URL!

  3. Any fair reading of Haaretz would find a rabidly anti Israeli bias by many of its columnists; news stories consistently slanted against Israel and in favour of the Palestinians; and generally reflective of the “Post Zionist” anti religious anti – Israeli anti Jewish position found in the Middle East Departments of Columbia, Cal, USF, Michigan and their ilk. Want proof? Just go to their site. Of course, if someone thinks Jews are neo colonialist aparthied acting inhuman bloodsucking killers of Christ, Palestinians, and little babies, you’ll find Camera abhorent and Hareetz a seeker of truth.

  4. I just went to the Ha’aretz site to look for “proof” of their anti-religious, anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish positions. Sure enough, their headline was “RABID GREEDY JEWISH CONSPIRACY KILLS CHRIST AGAIN,” with the sub-headline “PALESTINIAN BABIES TOO BLOODIED AND BEATEN TO COMMENT.”
    Oh, no, wait, it was “Rice says 2-State Solution In Jeopardy.” You know, reporting. On something that happened. Like a newspaper.

  5. Oh. I don’t think Israel is a “neo colonialist aparthied acting inhuman bloodsucking killers of Christ, Palestinians, and little babies”. Yet I infinitely prefer Ha’aretz to CAMERA. Oops, I guess I’m really confused.

  6. incorrect’s definition of “fair reading”: Through the eyes of nothing less than a Dati-Leumi POV.
    As for me, I’ve found The Land to be a source of rather inane commentary at times, but there’s no better place I’d look for solid “news” news.

  7. If Jews are defaming Israel why shouldn’t they be called on it? Somebody’s religion or ethnicity doesn’t exempt them from the truth.
    It’s hard to read Haaretz and come away with the feeling that they’re presenting a fair and truthful portrait of current news. Considering that their front page story is as likely to be “Palestinian Stubs Toe at Israeli Checkpoint; Authorities Investigating” as anything else, I’d certainly advise them to find a more informed and thoughtful position on what constitutes “news”.
    Actually I’m impressed that anybody has the guts to call a major Israeli media outlet on the carpet over accuracy. I think it’s pretty obvious that this issue is not about editorial slanting, at least not primarily. (It’s clear that Haaretz’s stance is hard left. That said, op-eds should definitely not be excused from standards of truthfulness.) The question for Haaretz is whether dismissing CAMERA will be beneficial over the long run or reinforce its own image as a detached ivory tower.
    As for Michael Lerner. His son served in the IDF, and therefore….?

  8. Ok, don’t want to make a career of this but below two articles about two of Haaretz’s major writers:
    Ha’aretz columnist Danny Rubinstein had the unrepentant last word after being dropped by a British Zionist organization that objected to his calling Israel an “apartheid” state at a U.N. Palestinian rights conference in Brussels.
    “I am not apologizing for what I said,” Rubinstein
    told a crowd of about 100 Monday evening at the New North London Synagogue, according to several people in attendance. “People do use the word apartheid in my circles. My newspaper increasingly uses that word. This is nothing new.”
    ( The Hevron Jewish Community sued Ha’aretz newspaper – and won! Ha’aretz staffer Amira Hass, a Jewish resident of Ramallah, wrote several months ago 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 Hevron residents demanded an apology, which Ha’aretz did not provide. They then sued the paper for 250,000 shekels, and Ha’aretz did not even submit a defense. Yesterday, Hon. Shalev Gertel awarded the full sum to the Hevron community, in addition to 20,000 shekels for legal expenses.

  9. Let’s take a step back for a sec:
    CAMERA is accusing Haaretz — written by Israelis, owned by Israelis, written for Israelis (the English site’s readership is 15K, the Hebrew is 65K) — of being anti-Israel. THAT’S the balls here. From this revealing article about Haaretz in The Nation:
    “Ha’aretz correspondents praise Landau, a former reporter himself and an English-born Orthodox Jew, for giving them the freedom to define and interpret their beats. He recruits from Israel’s best feeder papers and Army Radio, which is respected for its tough reporting…”
    Interestingly, Haaretz is the only major Israeli daily with an editorial section — Yedioth dropped theirs and Maariv only accepts outside pieces.

  10. people: reporting/news does not = commentary. let’s stop slamming incorrect by referring to innocuous news pieces as a rebuttal to his argument. it’s stupid.
    the reporting is not always great, but probably the best there is.
    the commentary (op-eds, etc.) runs a very, very wide spectrum (Yair Sheleg >>> Amira Haas and everything in between), but those writers that do fall on the Left of the Ha’aretz spectrum often stray into out-and-out anti-Israel material. make no mistake, much of Amira Haas’ work compares favorably to the contents of the state-run rags coming out of Damascus and Riyadh.

  11. The debate is really “can one be a leftist without being called an antisemite?” and the answer camera – and most of the US Jewish community, regardless of denomination – provides is “no”.
    So I’d rather just be called an antisemite, and let you all get on with your lives.

  12. Amit, no one is calling anyone anti semitic because they are leftist: Hillary Clinton isn’t anti semitic, Dick Durbin isn’t anti semitic, Chuck Shumer isn’t antisemitic. To be a leftist just means you have no understanding of economics. To be an anti semite you really have to earn your stripes. Set out your views on Jews, Israel, their legitimacy, their interrelationship, etc. and I’ll be happy to tell you whether you are an anti semite

  13. Jews: a group united only by the myth of their unity, unable to decide who is one and who isn’t (i.e., Messianic/Christian Jews are out but Russian Orthodox Church descendants of Jews are in, Ethiopians and the patrilinearly Jewish are in but not allowed to marry, etc.)
    Israel: a country whose borders are not domestically nor internationally defined, throwing into question whether or not it is comprised by a majority of Jews or a majority of Arabs, but which allows anyone who is a Jew (loosely defined) to immigrate, governed mostly by Jews but not entirely, and which is trying self-define it’s definitions of Jews and borders in such a way as to put the Arab half “outside” the country.

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