Friday, March 03, 2023

Earlier this week, Daled Amos wrote about how Haaretz has dropped all pretense of journalism and objectivity, based on my tweet of a letter from Haaretz's publisher Amos Schocken:

Dear Haaretz reader,

Despite the hopes – and votes – of nearly half of Israel's electorate, Benjamin Netanyahu won Israel's last election and, since taking office as prime minister, he has spun into action together with his far-right partners, to implement a swathe of radical policies that threaten to change the nature of Israel's democracy, perhaps irrevocably.

Israel's newly empowered right wing, discarding its liberal right heritage, has swung towards nationalism, illiberalism and authoritarianism. We now have a serving prime minister who is simultaneously the subject of an ongoing criminal trial, and hoping to evade justice. We have a government pushing to undermine the rule of law in Israel, to end the separation of powers, the independence of the courts and judges, and to crush freedom of expression.

It is incumbent upon us to fight these policies and even worse proposals taking shape among members of the governing coalition. This fight must be informed by the unparalleled, and unafraid, reporting and analysis that has been our mission for over a century.

At Haaretz, our dedicated journalists are on the ground every day working to defend a free and democratic Israel-- and the work we do depends on the support of readers like you. We invite you to become a partner in this essential work by subscribing now to We must act together, and we must act now.

Thank you,

Amos Schocken
I had responded:

Missing words from Amos Schocken's description of  Haaretz's mission:


Call me old fashioned, but I don't want my newspaper to tell me what to think. And certainly not one that is hellbent to only report one side of an important issue.
I admit I was pleasantly surprised that later that week, Haaretz published a long interview with the architect of judicial reform, Simcha Rothman. The interviewer was combative and condescending, but at least Haaretz published Rothman's words. 

But now we see that Haaretz only allowed that interview because they thought that Rothman's position was counteracted by the interviewer's words. Actually allowing an op-ed in support of judicial reform is way, way over the line for Haaretz.

Gadi Taub is an Israeli historian and (mostly) conservative commentator who has written for Haaretz for years.  He has written in favor of judicial reform for years as well.

But this week, after he submitted an op-ed on the topic for Haaretz, they fired him.

He is interviewed by Israeli magazine Now 14:

I sent an article whose bottom line is that now there is no democracy in Israel, and therefore the legal reform is an attempt to bring it back to Israel. In response, I received a series of questions from the editor, a kind of fact checking about my article.

On the exact day that I received the list of questions from the editor, including the claim that I was wrong and misleading, I was invited to dinner with a friend of mine who is a retired judge. At the dinner there was another retired judge and two of the greatest legal scholars in Israel, an excellent opportunity to test myself.

I presented them with [Haaretz's] questions and wrote down points. At night I sat down with my friend Nissim Sofer and wrote the editor an answer to all the questions. What can I tell you? A small seminar paper, including citations and references.

The Haaretz newspaper replied, 'Thank you for the detailed answer, but we don't want to publish the article, because now democracy is on the defensive.' Basically they are saying: We wanted to claim that you are lying, but the truth is that we are lying and now it is forbidden to tell the truth, so shut up.

Alon Idan, editor of the newspaper's opinion section, wrote to Taub: "The recent change of government was accompanied by an aggressive and immediate attack on Israeli democracy, as we at 'Haaretz' perceive it. The desire to weaken the judicial system with the help of extreme moves that are done unilaterally and without restraints, forces us as a media outlet to defend ourselves against what which in our eyes will be perceived as a regime coup... in terms of a defensive democracy, we believe that now is a time of defensiveness."

Haaretz admits it: It is not interested in truth, objectivity, accuracy or fairness.

Unfortunately, while this is an extreme example, this is what we are seeing in most of the mainstream media. The people are considered too dumb to make up their own minds so the self-appointed arbiters of morality choose what the public is allowed to see. 

I admit it gets frustrating sometimes trying to research and publish facts when so many seem to prefer narratives, and perception trumps the truth.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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