Just another letter agreeing with those who believe that Mr. Glain's article is both too generous and (slightly) too harsh.
Even if you leave aside Ha'aretz, you can still sometimes pick out grains of truth from a combination of different newspapers, and even find stories which Ha'aretz doesn't cover!
Take, for example, Israel's recent military actions in Gaza:
The press reported on Thursday, 20 September, that Israel had declared Gaza a "terrorist entity."
The next day, the Jerusalem Post revealed that "Israel ha[d] rejected an offer by Hamas to renew a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.... Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's office reportedly contacted a senior diplomatic source in Jerusalem through a third party before the cabinet decided on Wednesday to declare Gaza a "hostile territory." After the cabinet decision, the source responded to Hamas's proposal, saying Israel would not hold talks with the group at this time."
On Monday, 24 September, the Jerusalem Post reported that Olmert, speaking before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, "tried to lower expectations for the November summit in Washington, repeatedly calling on MKs not to call the event a "peace conference."
For some unknown reason, the following day the Jerusalem Post reported that "Arab diplomats based in Cairo said..that the majority of the Arab leaders believe that the conference is just a 'waste of time.' "
On, 27 September, Yedioth Ahronoth reported that "[a]t least 11 Palestinians were killed in a number of Israeli strikes in Gaza Wednesday and Thursday.... four Palestinians, including a kid, were killed and 20 others were injured when a tank shell hit a house in the Beit Hanun neighborhood in northern Gaza." (Obviously recalling Israel's rejection of a cease-fire, this murderous campaign is also completely unncessary.)
Also on the 27 September, Yedioth Ahronoth reported that "Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri...continued to urge the international community to put an end to the Israeli aggression and said Israel 'does not give much importance to the November peace conference.' "
So I think if you aren't too intoxicated with "pro"-Israel fervour, you can get at the truth, even without Ha'aretz.
As another example of truth occasionally piercing the right-wing bulk of Yedioth's reporting, there was a fantastic article in the paper on 11 September by Moshe Zimmerman, head of Hebrew University's German History Deptartment (the article was in response to the discovery of that Jewish neo-Nazi gang):
[I]sn't the "working assumption" of Israeli society, which talks about a "Jewish state," about a preference to Jews to the point of undermining the rights of non-Jews? The manner in which settlers hurt residents of the territories is a display of violence that is no less dangerous than that of the gang that captivated public and political attention. The manner in which we abuse the population of the occupied territories, even with no relation to our fears of terrorism, should outrage us no less that the tales of the neo-Nazi gang....
Neo-Nazi groups in Europe and the US that persecute "others"--homosexuals, minorities, Jews and the disabled--by combining a racist tradition with a sense of social inferiority in order to create an outlet and justification for their aggression. The same is true for the Israeli neo-Nazi gang.
Therefore, we should look into another question: What led a group of new immigrants from Eastern Europe to use this type of violence backed by this type of ideology? Isn't the attitude of Israeli society to ethnic Jewish origins, that is, Jewish ethnocentricity and racism, an indirect or direct reason for the scary phenomenon we're discussing now?
As for Israel's freedom of speech rivalling that of the US, as some readers seem to imply: again, yes and no.
For example, I didn't see any mention (maybe I missed it) of the recent IAEA condemnation of Israel for refusing to open its nuclear program to international inspection (only Israel and the United States voted against the IAEA resolution) in either of the US's two leading broadsheets (contast with the firestorm of criticism reserved for Iran). The Israeli media had no problem covering the IAEA criticism though.
So on some matters, the Israeli media is better than the US's--but then you get the Daily Telegraph reminding you that " 'Defence Regulation 1945' makes it a criminal offence for anyone in Israel to publish an article with security content without first having it passed by the country's censorship office.... Local military journalists who have been able to find out information concerning the incident in Syria have not been able to publish it because it falls with the range of...41 sensitive areas."
And yes, isn't Rosner terrible?!!
Sep 29 2007 - 9:27pm