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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Ha'aretz' incitement

Whatever your opinions about the house in Hebron that Jews claim to have legally purchased and that the IDF violently evacuated today, one cannot argue that Ha'aretz has been a major factor in inciting the Israeli public against it.

According to Google, Ha'aretz has called this building - named "The Peace House" by the Jews who lived there - the "house of contention" over 900 times since it hit the news last year. More recently it didn't even bother to put scare quotes around that name - it reported as if that is its real name.

This use of the inflammatory name was in editorials as well as straight news articles. Commenters complained and Ha'aretz didn't deign to respond.

Even though Ha'aretz was the only major Israeli news outlet to use that term, it used it so often that wire services started saying that "the Israeli media dubbed" the house with that name.

This is not how a respected newspaper should do things. On the contrary, this is how one would expect a trashy tabloid to act - one that tries to create the news more than it strives to report it.

This is nothing less than explicit media incitement against a significant segment of Israeli society.

Of course, Ha'aretz explicitly admits that it does not try to be objective. The question is why the world still considers it to be a respected newspaper.