Times of London

Times of London headline turns high court Kafka ruling into act of Israeli aggression

Here’s the entire Aug. 10th article (pay wall) at Times of London by Gregg Carlstrom:

A decade-long legal battle for Franz Kafka’s papers apparently ended yesterday with Israel’s highest court ruling that they should become the property of the national library.

The court rejected a claim by the heirs of Max Brod, a friend of Kafka who handled the author’s estate after his death in 1924, that they owned the papers, which are worth millions.

Kafka instructed Brod, a Czech Jewish author, to burn the documents but he ignored this and took a suitcase of Kafka’s papers when he fled the Nazis for Palestine in 1939. A few were published, but he locked most away.

When Brod died in 1968 his will instructed his secretary, Esther Hoffe, to donate the papers to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem or another archive. She kept them, however, and shared them with her daughters. Hoffe sold an original copy of The Trial for $2 million in 1988. The remaining papers are in safety-deposit boxes in Israel and Switzerland.

Israel’s national library successfully sued the Hoffes for the papers in 2007, but the family appealed against the ruling. The high court rejected that appeal on Monday, ruling that Brod had not wanted the papers to be auctioned and they should become state property.

“This is a celebratory day for any person of culture,” David Blumberg, the library’s chairman, said. Kafka’s papers will be made available to the public.

Now, think: what would be an appropriate headline? 

How about this? 

Kafka Manuscripts Belong to Israeli National Library, Israel’s High Court rules

Or this?

Israeli court decides Kafka works to go to National Library

Or this?

Franz Kafka literary legal battle ends as Israel’s high court rules in favor of library

Ok, now here’s the headline chosen by editors at Times of London:


Of course, nothing was in fact “seized”.  

Moreover, it’s a mystery how editors managed frame a legal decision by the state’s widely respected high court into some sort of act of Israeli aggression.

40 replies »

  1. The Times of London knows the difference between any country and the state of the cursed Jews. Any news reporting something unquestionably positive on Israel must be distorted according to the old European rule #1 – JEWS ARE BAD.

  2. Let’s face it, Israel is responsible for all of the worlds’ ills including the first great pre-Cambrian extinction. So, now they are defrauding the Hoffe family of their stolen property because the will leaving the lsraeli library was obviously not what Brod said. The Times know that people want to believe the worst of Israel and pander to it.

    • Really.
      Why not the Louvre or the Hermitage, or the Capitoline or any of the other of the Worlds great museums where many artefacts from various parts of the World are on display.
      As an act of kindness they could loan objects to the new ‘Palestine’ museum which rather like the peace efforts of the ‘Palestinian Authority’ contains nothing and signifies nothing.

  3. Is this the same Supreme Court which your readers frequently vilify for supporting the human rights of Palestinians, preventing settlement expansion, overruling housing demolitions, upholding the freedom of government-critical NGOs and criticising the IDF? I seem to recall various commenters here describing the judges as ignorant, self-hating, politically biased, and worse.

    So I’m pleased to see you supporting this sterling institution Adam. Keep it up.

    • Brain-dead Webber….too dim to get the point, which wasn’t about the (often questionable) rulings of the Supreme Court, but about Carlstrom’s spin on the ruling and his reportage.
      Yada, yada, yada…. blab, blab, blab…

    • Gabby,
      I have not seen any article here where readers vilify Israel’s Supreme Court for anything. (You might note that this site’s mission is monitoring British press coverage of Israel.) Which readers are you talking about?
      Just who do you mean when you use the phrase “your readers?” Aren’t you stereotyping? I’m a long time reader here and I have never posted a comment here criticizing Israel’s Supreme Court no less “vilifying” it. But, you know, people are allowed in free countries to criticize the courts. Not all legal disputes are equal. For instance, I support some rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court and not others, as does everyone else in America who pays attention to Supreme Court rulings. I’m sure this sort of thing must go on all the time in the UK. The very notion of people walking in lockstep with any court on all its decisions is a notion belonging to a totalitarian mentality. But then again, Gabby, you have been known to tell people here which rights they do and don’t have, based on nothing more than the myopic “preferences” of your own ill-informed generation, rather than any tradition of laws. I don’t think anyone here has a problem with support for what you call “human rights” for so-called Palestinians, but might rather take issue with a particular court decision, or interpretation of the extent of such rights balanced against the rights of others.

      When you feel this urge to vilify readers of this website, which is really what is going on here, i.e., you are the one doing the vilifying (interesting that you would project onto to other readers here in such a transparent and shallow way), stifling that urge would be a sign of growth and maturity on your part. Until that happens, I’m afraid you will always be regarded here as a rather biased, immature little idiot.

      • Exactly. Except in his case it’s not a generational thing…there are plenty of young people who get the issues…but rather an ideological hard Left bias by those for whom real people always count for less than their stale, disproven, totalitarian ideology.
        Webber has a habit of turning up like a bad penny on various websites. His views should be discarded into Room 101.

        • So you actually catalogue all my posts and cross-reference them by date, topic and content? Talk about being a sad obsessive …
          But it’s still pathetic nonsense from you, as usual. And on so many levels – where to start? (a) ‘populated’ doesn’t mean that every single one of them is equally lunatic, or lefty. (b) It doesn’t mean that every single opinion issued by each and every one of them is lunatic. (c) Most importantly, this was a civil matter of probate law, not of politics.
          Now go and look up the difficult words in the above, such as e.g. ‘probate law’, you ignorant loser.

        • “How’s that for a start?”
          Not very good. You found one comment by John Kinory.
          What’s really funny about this is that you speak admiringly of the ISC’s decisions on human rights. The headline in the Times of London smears that court, and you turn your ire on UKMediaWatch readers, which turn out to be a single comment on the court’s membership by John Kinory, rather than on the Times of London headline.

          • Because, to be honest, I’m not that ireful about the headline. It’s hyperbolic and misunderstands the law, but that’s the press for you. I don’t think it’s anti-Israel, I don’t think it’s anti- the Supreme Court (even if it were, I actually accept people’s right to disagree with me), and I don’t even think it’s terribly inaccurate.
            Adam’s article is basically dedicated to the following message; “Journalists shouldn’t choose arresting headlines themselves but should instead defer to my judgement and allow me to draw up the shortlist.” But no. If Adam wants to start a national newspaper in the UK, he’s welcome to. In the meantime, ‘The Times’ is welcome to exercise its own editorial judgement without his input.

            Disclaimer: I write for ‘The Sunday Times’ but not ‘The Times’, and the two are editorially independent of each other.

            • So your ire is directed at Adam for daring to express an opinion about your hallowed profession, largely pursued (certainly in 2016) by juvenile, ignorant cretins like yourself.
              Certainly, the ST is full to the brim with such juvenile, ignorant cretins as yourself: Knight, Ferguson, Gill, Hastings, Mahanaimi …; so it’s not surprising to see you ‘writing’ for such a joke of a publication.
              As to the rest of your idiotic comments about the posters and the Israeli court, for which you found ONE example from ONE poster, and even that one example does not support your hyperbolic claims – they are very much in line with your general juvenile stupidity.

            • “Adam’s article is basically dedicated to the following message; “Journalists shouldn’t choose arresting headlines themselves but should instead defer to my judgement and allow me to draw up the shortlist.” ” – oh, dear. What a monumental reading comprehension catastrophe you are.

            • “I don’t think it’s anti- the Supreme Court”
              It’s indicative of a discriminatory bias against the Jewish State and its institutions found all too often in British newspapers. It is a pattern. Don’t you get that?

  4. Okay I am Jewish and a Free Mason – I want to know where the heII is my share? I should control at least a city or two and at the last meeting of the Jewish World Control Committee I was told I rated at least a British county or two.

  5. And if the court had decided in favor of the Brod family, the Times would have found another way to smear Israel. How about “Israeli Court:Take Kafka Papers from Museum and Sell them to Highest Bidder.”

  6. The article is unobjectionable, conveying all the necessary facts: it is only the headline which is somewhat tendentious – and there is no reason to assume that Gregg Carlstrom was responsible for it. I think a bit too much energy is being expended here – as in other cases – in getting worked up about misleading headlines

    • Hey Paul-

      How worked up do you get when you’re called an anti-Semite? Do you feel your entire Middle East perspective is unfairly attacked by a hyperbolic response? Or how about just a general headline breakdown of who you really are? Based on, of course, limited information that maybe available 3-5 paragraphs into a conversation?

      Now, apply this “ability to communicate” with the coverage of the Israeli state. Too much energy?

      For somebody who doesn’t want to understand, reading the words on a page can take up too much energy.

  7. Times headline is factually correct. The State of Israel behaves like the Nazi did with Jewish property. The State and its museums are full of works it refuses to hand out to the legal owners and heirs of owners. And the High Court acted in this case like the Volksgerichtshof during the Nazi r

    • Give one example of a museum piece that “Israel refuses to hand over to its rightful owners”. Put up or shut up.
      In this case the Israeli High Court followed the wishes of the rightful owner of the property in his bequest.
      Only a dishonest person…you…would disagree with that.

    • Did you crash your vehicle into a tree while you were writing that pile of bile mixed with pig vomit? (pause) That was rude of me–someone of your abilities can’t afford a vehicle. I’ll rephrase it: did you walk into a tree while texting that statement because you were distracted by fear that the person whose smartphone you stole is going to report you to the police?