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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Haaretz vs. JPost on Nobel winner vs. Israel

Commenter Womble picks up on a very interesting contrast between Ha'aretz and the Jerusalem Post's coverage of the winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

Here's how Ha'aretz describes him:
Nobel-winning IVF pioneer has little love for his No. 1 consumer - Israel

Despite his unpleasant memories and unfavorable view of the Zionist homeland, few countries have benefited more than Israel from the revolutionary method of reproduction introduced by British scientist Robert Edwards.

Yesterday, the Nobel Foundation recognized Edwards for his efforts, granting him the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Edwards has been long regarded as the man who pioneered in vitro fertilization. In 1978, Edwards, along with colleague Patrick Steptoe, engineered the birth of the first-ever test-tube baby, Louise Brown. Prior to Edwards' invention, 10 percent of all couples worldwide suffered from infertility.

...Edwards' connection to Israel dates back to just after World War II, when he served with the British army in pre-state Mandatory Palestine.

"In 1946, he began his service at the Tzrifin army base [near present-day Rishon Letzion], where he belonged to a special unit," said Professor Joseph Shenkar, an associate of Edwards and formerly the director of obstetrics and gynecology at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem.

"During a retaliatory operation carried out by the Etzel underground, five officers from his unit were kidnapped and executed near Netanya. Since then, he has not expressed a fondness for the Zionist homeland, and his attitude toward Israel became chilly."
That is the end of the article - with this quote from Shenkar.

The Jerusalem Post also interviewed Shenkar, and its account is roughly parallel to Ha'aretz' - until the end. Let's continue:

When the IVF conference was scheduled at the then-Hilton Hotel in Jerusalem (now the Crowne Plaza) in 1989, Schenker invited Edwards, who initially refused to come, claiming Israelis “persecuted” Arabs. But when international pressure built up, he “arrived on the second day.” Edwards refused to address the conference and kept to himself at the hotel.

But then Schenker’s wife, Kitty, volunteered to take Edwards on a tour in her car. She took him to the Old City, Abu Ghosh and elsewhere, where he saw how the Arabs lived well and were prospering.

From then on, he had changed views of Israel,” Schenker recalled.

Edwards even invited Schenker to serve on the board of a medical journal he edited.
Ha'aretz seems to have missed the part of the story where Edwards' attitude towards Israel changed. Or, as seems likely given the interviewee, it decided to ignore that aspect of the story.

Also, Ha'aretz claims that the Irgun executed 5 British officers in the "Sergeant's Affair," while the JPost correctly says there were two killed. The British policemen reacted by killing 5 innocent Jews from the streets of Tel Aviv.

This complete disregard for facts and willful desire to cast Israel in a bad light in this one article should be enough to cement Ha'aretz' reputation as the Arab world's Hebrew-language newspaper.