Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel’s National Security Minister is variously embraced and reviled for his views, depending on one’s political views. He is embraced by the right for—among other things—his support for settlements; access to Jewish holy sites; and the deportation of terrorists. The left, meanwhile reviles Ben-Gvir for his supposed extremism and racism, though the MK has openly stated that he does not support the deportation of Arabs, only terrorists. The stark difference in perspective is best illustrated through news reports on Ben-Gvir’s recent visit to the Temple Mount. It all boils down to how the different outlets translated the Hebrew “Ba’al HaBayit.”

According to the Hebrew Ynet report, what Ben-Gvir actually said in his statement during his visit to the Temple Mount, was “We are the ‘ba’alei habayit of the house, here. All of the threats of Hamas will not help; we are the ba’alei habayit of Jerusalem and of the whole of the Land of Israel,” “ba’alei” being the plural form of “ba’al.”

The literal translation of “ba’al habayit” is “Master of the House.” But that is not the sense of this title. A host is referred to as a “ba’al habayit,” or head of household; the one who sets the tone for his family and guests. A landlord is also called a “ba’al habayit,” the owner, as distinct from his tenants. A ba’al habayit can also be someone who concerns himself with the mundane and earning a living, as opposed to someone who engages in the full time study of Torah.

The auto-Google translate interprets Ynet’s Hebrew “ba’alei” as “owners.”

The  Jewish Press, a right-wing publication that supports Ben-Gvir, similarly likes the word “owners” for the translation of “ba’alei habayit.” They have Ben-Gvir’s quote as follows: “We are the owners of Jerusalem and the entire Land of Israel.”

The right-wing Israel National News (Arutz 7), prefers to translate “ba’alei” as those in charge: “We are in charge of Jerusalem and of all of the land of Israel." In agreement are Reuters and the Times of Israel—though they probably see “in charge” as exclusionary and maybe even racist.

The Jpost translates “ba’alei habayit” in its most literal sense. “We are the masters of Jerusalem,” blares the headline, betraying the news outlet’s left-of-center bias. They want Ben-Gvir to sound imperious and extreme.

Which version of Ben-Gvir’s quote are English-speaking news consumers most likely to see? How might these different translations color the way western readers are likely to view this controversial Israeli politician? The substitution of “owner” and “in charge” for “ba’al habayit” seem to this writer at least, to be factual; Ben-Gvir is making a statement of fact: Israel owns and is in charge of Israeli territory, not Hamas, no matter what the terrorists say or do.

The JPost’s translation of “ba’al” as “master” on the other hand, while accurate, has the effect of making Itamar Ben-Gvir seem like a braggart; someone who is incendiary and in-your-face; someone who is lording Israel’s ownership of the land over the Arabs in order to provoke them. If so, this is blatant anti-Ben-Gvir propaganda that is being fed to a western audience from a biased, left-leaning publication. It has the effect of demonizing the current Israeli government to the entire English-speaking world, and makes Israel in general, look bad.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!




EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


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.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs

Blog Archive