Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Haaretz and the Supreme Court

Some years ago Haaretz ran a marketing campaign that was meant to convince us that they are the newspaper of choice for "thinking people". In a way it was a very aggravating campaign, because as everyone knows the paper has an agenda, rather similar to what the Americans call Liberal though in an Israeli context, and many people who correctly regard themselves as 'thinking' while not identifying with that agenda felt slighted. To this day you can often hear such people sneering at Haaretz when the paper's line is particularly outlandish.

On the other hand, the fact is that in spite of its house agenda, the paper does offer quite a range of perspective. This morning, for eaxmple, the Hebrew version of the paper had two almost contradictory op-eds. On the front of the op-ed section they put Shlomo Avineri's spirited defense of Justice Minister Friedman's right to change the rules of the Supreme Court's methods. This is significant, because the paper's own line, along with most of the group that regards itself as THE thinking class, is that Friedman is a barbarian out to destroy human rights if not worse. Avineri, by the way, is a major heavyweight, one of our most important historians.

On the next page you can find the riposte (or is Avineri the riposte?). Moshe Hanegbi explains why what Friedman is doing will adversly effect every one of us. Hanegbi is a long-time interpreter of legal issues, a well known journalist. For some reason his article seems not to be available online in an English edition, but the Hebrew is here.

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