Monday, February 8, 2010

Haaretz Makes an Editorial Decision

It was Haaretz who spread the story of the Jerusalem Post firing Naomi Hazan. The part of the story that fit their agenda, that is: that she was fired, with the (unstated) implication that this was retaliation for... for what exactly? That she's a Lefty? It was an odd story.

Then the JP explained
, and suddenly the story was turned on its head.

This morning I looked through the entire paper edition of Haaretz, from front to back. There is no mention of the story, no explanation that the previous version was fundamentally flawed, nothing.

Are we to surmise that if it doesn't fit the political agenda, it isn't newsworthy? At the newspaper that prides itself on being serious, thoughtful, and intelligent? It's that blatant?


Victor said...

Yaacov, from this side of the ocean, it's almost as if the entire Israeli left and their international sponsors have drawn a line in the sand over this NIF thing and are pulling out all the stops.

I don't understand if this is because in some backroom they all think a challenge to their NIF funding is a mortal blow to their efforts (and lifestyles?), or if they simply can't accept the notion that they, too, are not beyond scrutiny. Perhaps its a little of both...

In any case, it's amazing to watch their seemingly disproportionate and heavy-handed response - threatening to sue Jpost for incitement and libel for running an advertisement; attempting to bludgeon their opponents with every conceivable name-calling you can imagine...

I haven't actually seen them attempt to explain the charges made by their opponents, at least in English.

For now this is still a Jewish-contained event. If they continue losing ground, as it appears they are losing ground, they will break out into the BBC/Guardian/NYTimes realm to rally support.

They are creating this massive snowball and rolling it down the hill, when just explaining the charges would have sufficed. They may very well lose control of this snowball and permanently destroy their own reputations. Why do they feel so threatened that they have to respond this way?

Barry Meislin said...

This is perfectly par for the course for Haaretz.

Too bad for them it's all so transparent.

In essence, a vile newspaper, unfortunately, as in some ways, it's Israel's best.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Ms. Hazan only told them part of the story. Haaretz is now running the following story, describing the context provided by JP:

Given Hazan's recent behavior, I wouldn't put it past her.


Anonymous said...

Well, not to worry, it seems HRW stands ready to take up this pressing issue:

Gavin said...

Interesting analysis Victor. My thoughts were that they're panicking about being linked to the Goldstone report. That report was so astonishing in it's bias that even the most rabid leftie can't have missed it.

I think they know they done wrong and are trying to kill the Goldstone story because they know how damaging it is to them in the field of Israeli public opinion.

Cheers, Gavin

Yaacov said...

Yor're too generous, Gavin. There may be decision-makers at Haaretz who still see reality. In the bog of the radical left that cloaks itself with the human rights mantle, however, there aren't. These people are profoundly convinced that they're totally right and the rest of us are totally wrong. They lack the most rudimentary capacity for self reflection. They are religious zealots, and as with all religious zealots, there's no way to catch their attention or engage them in any kind of dialogue. You can, of course, talk to them, on the technical level of exchanging words; moreover, they'll eagerly and earnestly explain to you how correct they are. I maintain connections with various of them: they see me, they know I'm there, they'll turn their face in my direction if we're in the same room, and sometimes they'll even answer my e-mails if I'm asking them to enlighten me.

The thought that they understand how twisted the Goldstone Report is, however? Nope. We're the twisted and stunted ones, for not seeing the light.

I think their shrillness in this case is an expression of their fear that the barbarians surrounding them are closing in on them - for that's another part of their zealotry: that they're the victims, and we'd all like to harm them. (For their brave positions, mind you).

Just to be clear: I'm talking about a very small but very vocal minority. It's not "the Left" or anything like that. It's, well, the few thousand people in the NIF corner: I think Im Tirzu got that part mostly right.

Gavin said...

yeah I guess I am Yaacov. There's a paradox in my character. I detest arrogant people, but when an arrogant person has their ego deflated I tend to feel sorry for them. Us mere mortals don't like being wrong but we accept that we are wrong occasionally & when we err we don't fall far. These people fly higher than Icarus so when they fall it's decidedly painful for them.

We are kind of agreeing with each other, just saying it differently. These extreme left groups view the great unwashed with contempt. But they're also scared of the masses; the barbarians at the gate as you so succinctly put it. I'm pretty confident that they know the general Israeli populace will turn fiercely against them with these revelations about their contribution to the Goldstone report. It's not that their activities were secret, they just haven't been publicaly stated in such a manner before where the general populace are informed about their activities.

Victor is right, it is an internal matter than should be resolved among Israelis. I should keep my nose out of this one too, can't help myself but.

Regards, Gavin

Barry Meislin said...

...the general Israeli populace will turn fiercely against them....

They already have.

It's the reason why Bibi is the PM and Lieberman, for better or worse, is FM, etc.

In the last election (Feb. 2009?), there were reports that certain Israeli communities along the border with Gaza, viewing with extreme dismay the responses of "the usual suspects" to the campaign in Gaza (which was meant to protect them from Hamas's rockets), abandoned their usual voting patterns and cast their ballots for the right-wing parties, something they'd never done up until then.

But not only that. Essentially, until Operation Cast Lead, the de facto policy of the Olmert (Kadima and Labor) government was essentially: we will not defend the settlements of SW Israel against rocket and mortar attacks from the Gaza Strip. There may have been reasons for this; but this, essentially, was the policy.

One of the laws of unintended consequences, it seems---and there are many---is that if one spouts an ideological position that is so deeply at odds with reality, one may find himself disappointed when the voters (assuming there are voters---and that their votes are counted) discover the truth. There can be no doubt that there is a segment (dwindling daily) of the Israeli population that is experiencing extraordinary disappointment, for which we have institutions such as Haaretz to thank.

(And in the US, Obama and his crew are making a similar discovery.)

Unfortunately, such disappointment may well morph into nihilistic anger at those fellow citizens who ardently refuse to agree with them, the politicians those citizens elected to run the country, and the very country that they are trying to preserve.

All this against the background of a global cacophany of murderous hatred, and threats of obliteration.

Gavin said...

Not quite my point Barry. These groups are Non Government Organisations, they operate outside the democratic framework. They don't run for parliament, they are totally unaccountable to the electorate. People into politics, especially those on the left & right, have a condescending view of the silent majority when really they don't understand them.

The masses out there have different priorities. They put their efforts into bringing up a family, paying off the bills, putting food on the table, working hard at the job etc. They follow current events through TV and newspapers, but they don't look further than that. They're not interested, they don't want to be the next Golda Meir or Begin or Lenin or whoever.

I'll bet 100 to 1 that the general Israeli populace were ignorant of the real level of involvement of these NGOs in the Goldstone report and a lot of other anti-Israel accusations. Im Tirzu brought this issue into the public sphere, and that will scare the hell out of these groups. They know that their seeming unimportance, the perception of insignificance that their minority status brings, is what allows them to operate with impunity. People saw them as irritating but harmless. Until now.

Don't underestimate the power of the masses. Israelis are a civilised bunch in general with a good sense of values and many will be seething with anger at the revelations about these groups by Im Tirzu. If NIF and the other groups can't smooth this over the average person will see their activities as treasonous, and there could be significant backlash on the streets towards them.