At the annual American Jewish Press Association (AJPA) Conference, held last week in Philadelphia, a newsworthy session was held with Chemi Shalev, the newly appointed US correspondent for the English language edition of HaAretz.Ha'aretz' biases are obvious to anyone who reads it - except to lazy Hebrew-challenged journalists in Israel who rely on it as a substitute for real reporting. But here we see that its new English language editor is explicitly confirming those biases.
Working with foreign journalists in Jerusalem for the past 25 years, the significance of HaAretz reaches beyond its scope as a daily newspaper in Israel.
The HaAretz English edition, sold in Israel together with the International Herald Tribune, is the paper of record for reporters who cover complexities of middle east issues.
Therefore, the opportunity for AJPA to hear Shalev's s insights into the middle east reporting policies was significant.
After hearing Shalev's insightful analysis of current Israeli politics and the current state of Israeli-Arab negotiations, our news agency posed a question to Shalev:
* Why does HaAretz not report what the Palestinian Authority communicates to their people in their language, on the PBC TV, the PBC radio, Palestinian Authority newspapers and the Palestinian Authority schools?*
After all, over the past few weeks, PBC TV has conducted daily features which promote the armed struggle to liberate all of Palestine, praise for those who martyr themselves while murdering Jews, transforming Israeli cities into Arab cities, and worse.
Shalev's candid response: “We do not have room to cover all of that”
The follow up question was simpler: In the context of any article that HaAretz runs on the peace process, why not mention what the spokespeople of the PA say that day in their media and in their own language?
Shalev: * As an editor, I would recommend not covering that”.
In other words, a senior editor of HaAretz admitted to a gathering of journalists that his newspaper engages in a journalistic indiscretion.
As a matter of policy, Shalev admitted, Haaretz will not report the consistent message that the Palestinian Authority conveys in the Arabic language.
This poses a challenge to agencies that rely on HaAretz as a source.
(h/t My Right Word)