A reply to Linda Grant (What HaAretz would not publish)

Dear Linda,

I was deeply moved by your article so kindly printed in The Guardian’s sister newspaper, HaAretz in Israel. I subscribe to HaAretz with great reluctance because I feel that the newspaper has become more and more manipulative in the last few years perhaps taking its lead from its sister, The Guardian.

I no longer trust HaAretz’s news items. I no longer trust its polls. I suspect them all of being politically contrived to make me dissatisfied with the present Israeli government. This is a complete waste of time as it is preaching to the converted. What really annoys me is the unrepentant misrepresentation and omission that I find so common in your newspaper, The Guardian, being duplicated in HaAretz. I call The Guardian a newspaper out of habit but, in truth, it is no longer a newspaper. It is just the propaganda organ of a dedicated group of extreme “progressives” riding on the back of a once proud newspaper which proposed an alternative left agenda.

How they ever got control is beyond me.

Unfortunately, in Israel, the choice of newspapers is very limited Linda. If there were a good center left newspaper I would with great joy cancel my subscription to HaAretz.

As to your article:

‘Israel has failed to convince the public in Europe that those on board included terrorists smuggling arms to Hamas, and that they attacked the Israeli commandos first.’

This is plainly untrue Linda. Israel has never claimed that the flotilla was carrying arms for delivery to Hamas. It has said that if the flotilla succeeds in its stated aims of breaking the blockade, the ships that follow will have Iranian, Syrian and North Korean armaments which will be used to strike at Israel’s population.

Even more than that, Israel has convinced rational people all over the world that many on the Marmara were bloodthirsty Jihaddis intent of attaining their 72 virgins. (They were not made aware before the boat left Cyprus that Helen Thomas was a volunteer virgin). Also, the released footage available almost everywhere now shows the saintly ‘peace activists’ attacking the commandos with solid metal rods as they were sliding down ropes from the helicopter. Strangely, there are no signs that the ‘peace activists’ were deterred by live bullets that other ‘peace activists’ claim were being rained down on them by the Israeli commandos.

You might look at the following Linda: German news on the flotilla to Gaza

This is indicative of what will be happening in Europe and the Guardian will be running for cover soon from its own subscribers who may well be furious at their newspaper touting the narrative of Jihaddis.

In the above extract from your letter in HaAretz, you have attempted what The Guardian does in so many of its editorials. Tell a lie. Tell it many times, tell other lies based on the initial lie and hope it will stick. Editorials incidentally, that do not allow for any comment.

Another example.

They don’t buy the line that Israel stands on the front line of the war against terror.

Two years ago, I was purchasing fish and chips in the UK and the ‘fish and chip’ woman asked me where I was from. I replied, ‘Israel’ and she thought for a moment. Then she said to me that Israel should never compromise with terror.

Linda. I was shocked. The ‘fish and chip’ woman coming out with that.

When I was leaving the UK from Heathrow as the Cast Lead operation was just winding down, in the courtesy car to the airport, a bloke asked me where I was from. I said ‘Israel’. He thought and then said that Hamas deserved all it got. He had a dark skin Linda. Could have been a Muslim for all I know.

They may know of the impoverished city of Sderot and the rocket fire it faced over time, but in the balance sheet of life and death – when, in a densely packed strip of earth blockaded from all directions, children are made to go without food, toys and medicines – human sympathy has little difficulty attaching itself to the victims.

Perhaps you are referring to some Europeans who read little and think even less, a bit more than monkeys. I feel that the rest of the Europeans realize that the blockade is a consequence of the rocket fire and the victims are the victims of their own (Hamas) leadership’s decisions.

and settled down to read Anshel Pfeffer’s June 4 column on, in which he made the case that the Diaspora had failed Israel by not being the friend it needed. The close, loyal, loving friend who can tell you bluntly when you are destroying yourself.

So you found it appropriate to ‘help’ Israelis by publishing your opinion in a British newspaper whose agenda among others, is the destruction of Israel and is not read by the 99% of Israelis but 100% of the English speaking Jew haters on the far-left.

After I finished reading the column, my e-mail pinged. It was the Guardian editor. My piece had been published in the newspaper’s print edition, but was being held from the online site until after 8 A.M., when a dedicated moderator to monitor readers’ comments would become available. Since the beginning of the week, she told me, the site’s supervisors had been dealing with “appalling levels of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and hatred.”

According to your norms, your ‘help’ had to be published on such a forum?! BTW. The Guardian moderation policy considers every factual criticism of Islam as Islamophobia but really appalling anti-Semitism is considered by the moderators as legitimate criticism of Israel. In order to see this you don’t have to be a writer, just simply browse through any post on the I/P conflict or even just Middle East related. There are dozens of such articles every week.

Since the Spanish Civil War, the left has allied itself to a succession of progressive causes. In my lifetime these have been Czechoslovakia, Nicaragua, Northern Ireland, South Africa. They are the struggles according to which you define your politics. Today it is Palestine.

Not true. The real left’s fight is fought not only for Palestine but for Palestine and Israel and their existence alongside each other in peace and security. If you define your politics as a fight for only Palestine then you are not pro-Palestinian but pro Hamas and anti-Israel. And, by the way, if you use the word ‘progressive’, in what way is Hamas ‘progressive’? Is it the way they eradicate opposition by pushing them off multi story buildings or perhaps the banning of any female skin being seen on Gaza’s beaches.

To critically support Israel is to discredit your own progressive values – to be a pariah in the artistic and intellectual communities that are your natural home.

Well Linda. I don’t where your home is but I criticize Israel left right and center and do not feel out of place in my home in Israel. Of course, my criticisms are aimed at improving Israel for all Israelis, for a pluralistic society that does not exclude the different mindsets. And I have plenty of forums to do this in Israel. (HaAretz seems strangly reluctant to publish any of the comments that I have sent them. They put a different interpretation of ‘free speech’ when it is critical of their editorial policies, misrepresentations and omissions.)

Linda. You may not agree with all that Israel does. I don’t either. But the group that runs The Guardian is implacably hostile to the Jewish Israeli state. Not just to Netanyahu and Lieberman. They want Israel removed from the map. Just as Ahmadinejad and the Mad Mullahs do.

When was the last time that you ever saw in the Guardian an article about Israel’s contribution to medicine, to agriculture, to electronics including computing? A contribution that far exceeds the contribution of 8 million people anywhere else in the world.

Where else in the Middle East does a state exist where many of the 20% of its Arab population identify more with its sworn enemies than with the state itself but still have more personal freedoms, religious freedoms, political freedoms, great educational possibilities and free health of a very high standard than anywhere else in the Middle East.

Where else in the Middle East do Muslims from East Africa flee Linda?

Linda. You should reconsider your position.

Categories: Guardian

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66 replies »

  1. Mitnaged
    as you have the “pleasure” of having known Davy so much longer than I do

    a question
    – when he apologizes in a way that makes me suspect that he wants to be “punished”
    – do you happen to know what kind of garb he prefers a punisher or punishress to wear and which kind of pain infliction turns him most to his liking.

  2. Margie:

    You may or may not agree with everything appearing in Haaretz; I certainly don’t and it pays to read other material from other sources.

    I was surprized by your assertion that Haaretz was the first newspaper to report the “Jenin Massacre.” Sorry, but my memory couldn’t go back to 2002 without some prompt. Sorry too, to tell you that a dip into Haaretz Archives doesn’t come up with anything backing your statement. On the contrary, all the reports there, from 10th April 2002 onwards, point to the newspaper concluding the opposite to the world hysteria that was being whipped up.

    Syndication keeps costs down. I imagine this explains the appearance of translations of Guardian articles or cartoons from the New Yorker. I haven’t noticed that this material is detrimental in any way. Surely you wouldn’t want Haaretz to adopt the editorial policy of Hamodia or Yated Ne’eman or Yisrael Today?

  3. Silke

    ” when he apologizes in a way that makes me suspect that he wants to be “punished” ”

    Your constant allusions to sexuality are unsettling..I reckon they are good way to win an argument it makes people shy away from you. I will make you a promise I will not address a remark to you and concede that you are too weird even for me.

  4. Davy
    sorry to disappoint you

    lots and lots of very nice men felt and feel very privileged if I honour them with a sexual allusion
    in some of the nicest places I worked in we even all agreed that we didn’t go for that stupid PC-stuff and felt that just talking about “it” lighted the day

    alas the problem is that you are not nice and so somehow my allusions get a certain haut goût but that I’m afraid I can’t help

  5. Davy
    that’s amazing, there really must be something about me that turns you on, again and again and again so you feel compelled to wish me well again and again and again

    being considered as too weird by the ones with your limited brain power I cherish as having been made a great compliment

    and rest assured, around here I am really tame and well-behaved i.e. just warming up for some real stuff

  6. Silke
    Did he wish you well? Me too..
    I wish him in a well, the deeper the better.

    But you now what, I changed my mind. Putting him in a well would justify the old canard that we Jews are poisoning the wells…

  7. peter

    Davy is so deluded I have a problem taking him seriously but of course one must take them seriously they find followers too easily

  8. Berchmans,

    Question: Are you really the simpleton you seem?

    Answer: Yes

    Silke I know that Hamas used to give kids pocket money to miss school and throw stones at Israeli soldiers (presumably the missing school was no great loss since they were Hamas-run schools) so it doesn’t surprise me that they “trained” them as well to throw stones for the purpose you suggest.

    Not a peep from our resident human rights expert about this child abuse though, but perhaps it didn’t penetrate his consciousness. What a surprise.

    Peter and Silke, look at Berchmans’ post to Mitnaged. He wishes him well, too! Curiouser and curiouser.

    (He’s probably got it from some self-help book or other, but it must have had pictures and short words).

  9. And look at the smiley and the attempt to suck up to Mitnaged!

    Our Berch likes powerful people who can put him in his place doesn’t he?

    Poo’ ‘ickle diddums!

  10. Yohoho
    I think that well wishing stuff is lesson 101 for people who work in the consulting business – everybody does it and Berchmans I think mentioned that he was into child consulting once
    – even the guy or gal in personnel administration who asked you in to tell you you’re fired will tell you first that all he/she is after is wishing you well

    the real tragedy for Berchmans is that whenever he thinks he has finally come up with something clever it turns out to be the same ol’ dreary stuff

  11. Poo’ ‘ickle diddums!

    lost me on that one Yohoho
    is there an explanation fit for polite company?
    if so, please supply!

  12. Abtalyon I can’t find the Haaretz articles through using Google either. However my memory is clear of Haaretz printing an article in which it quotes a shocked Israeli soldier saying that the world will call this a massacre.

    I have however found a ref that refers to the missing Haaretz article. The whole BBC article is worth reading as a reminder of how duplicitous eye-witnesses can be — particularly those who have something to gain from giving their own versions, and how truth is the first casualty in war.

    Riad says there is not a house in the camp that has been left untouched, and many are completely destroyed.

    Pictures from above proved conclusively that only one city block was affected — and that the BBC was reporting by remote control.

    We saw or heard the same phenomenon in the words of the gentle people who were in the Gaza flotilla, one of them giving a first person account of the Israeli actions on the Marmara though she herself was on another ship – the Challenger.

  13. Here is another indirect source for early incorrect articles about Jenin in Haaretz, Abtalyon, from an article by Amnon Rubinstein

    Amos Harel, Anat Cygielman and Amira Hass reported in Ha’aretz on April 12 that the Palestinians were claiming the IDF had massacred about 500 people, “buried dozens of Palestinian bodies … in a ditch and used bulldozers to cover them.” A Palestinian woman on television said the IDF “threw bodies into the sewage so your journalists wouldn’t see them.” Since we were foolish enough to prevent journalists from entering for many days, these accusations spread throughout the entire world, and the massacre in Jenin that never was turned into a terrible slaughter.

    Of course i wouldn’t want a pandering English newspaper, however I have no respect for the opinions expressed by the editorials of this newspaper and a great deal less respect for their caption writers. Haaretz is not a reliable newspaper and I’ve often found factual errors which are not corrected– attempts to point this out fail because they do not respond to letters. It is a deplorable state of affairs especially since the newspaper is so often quoted against us from abroad.

  14. HAARETS – Jews’ enemy
    An extremist “Israeli” lefti media that went overboard in crude hatred of Jews
    HAARETZ’s insensitivity for victims of barbaric Arab racism
    What did the so-called “Israeli” newspaper Haarets had to say about the sheer cold blooded murder (Itamar massacre: Fogel family butchered while sleeping – Israel – Mar 13, 2011,7340,L-4041237,00.html) by racist Arabs targeting babies?
    Nothing, or rather the opposite, the total diversion of the human story.
    Next time you hear someone defining this pseudo-media as “Israeli,” think again.
    Dozens of settlers hurl rocks at Palestinians near Itamar settlement Ha’aretz – Mar 14, 2011
    Netanyahu can’t let Itamar massacre dictate his actions – Haaretz – Mar 14, 2011
    Nor can this media be reliable at all about Israel/Jews, with such “glorious” writers as Gideon Levy, Danny Rubinstein, Amira Haas, Ela Shohat, Sefi Rachlevsky, Zvi Bar’el (or Tom Segev who wrote a [fictitious ] hate book called “An Invention Called ‘The Jewish People”), and others who “cry” racism when Israelis are sincerely anxious for their lives but have nothing to say when the real racists (Arab butchers and their enablers) target Jews, only for being Jews.
    Especially lately, Haaretz is undoubtedly obsessed with these two terms “racism” and “fascism” as if Israelis are not motivated by security… diverting the attention from the real issue: Israelis fighting to survive a genocide campaign from Arab-Islamic forces such as: “Palestinians,” Iran/Hezbollah.
    Any wonder now, why it’s anti-Jewish bigoted wikipedia users favorire “reference?” Or why Nazi hate sites wave its venemous articles as items of “proof?”

    ___ Haaretz is NOT reliable!