This is unbelievable. Haaretz is surely one of the greatest newspapers in the world, because it insists on telling Israelis the truth about their society as the country loses the good opinion of the world. A newspaper that gets death threats for counting Palestinian journalists Israel killed in Gaza. A paper whose columnist Gideon Levy had to travel with a bodyguard during the last Israel war because he insisted on writing about all the children Israel was massacring. A paper whose most enterprising reporter Amira Hass has repeatedly broken government rules in order to document the occupation her society wants to turn a blind eye to.
And this is the newspaper that the New York Times is smearing as childish and contrarian?
Yep, you heard that right. Three days ago the Times ran an op-ed by the rightwing Zionist columnist Shmuel Rosner, titled “The People versus Haaretz,” offering a majoritarian argument against the newspaper that is reminiscent of fascist Europe– Haaretz is threatening the national will by hyping meaningless criticisms of Israel.
Here are some of the sniggering caricatures that the New York Times offered of Haaretz’s work and the people who read it:
the country’s far left is evolving from a political position into a mental state
[the] newspaper…. in recent years has come to rely on provocation….
Its provocations aim to serve its ideology…
giving voice to preposterous descriptions of what Israel is or does (“fascism,” “apartheid”)
It is a childish game
bitter and antagonistic
a platform for juvenile contrarianism….synonymous with needless antagonism… often pathetic, at times comical and occasionally worrying.
Needless antagonism on the part of a newspaper! Rosner cannot hide his own ideology. He speaks for a triumphant Jewish majority. They see Israeli society striding forward with great progress, culturally, economically and militarily, despite the snipings of the left– and criticisms from the world over apartheid conditions for the Palestinians who unfortunately have never accepted Zionism. There is not a direct word in Rosner’s article about the rightslessness of Palestinians– which one Haaretz writer has likened to slavery.
As for those “preposterous descriptions,” apartheid and fascism, Rosner fails to relate that they have been wielded by Israeli politicians themselves. No, Rosner is in the Jewish bunker:
Just recently, Jewish Israelis ranked “left wingers” as one of the groups contributing least to Israel’s success.
Success is the theme of the article. Rosner concludes:
“Israel does not listen [to Haaretz] and still succeeds.”
Can you imagine the Times running op-eds from a majoritarian viewpoint in the U.S.: what white Christians think U.S. policy should be on police shootings, or Confederate war statues? That’s the shocking thing here: that America’s leading newspaper would run such a miserable attack on a valiant newspaper that faces death threats when it should be giving its Israeli cousin props by any means at this desperate time.
This would be very much like the Times undermining the anti-segregation Delta Democrat Times in Mississippi during the height of Jim Crow.
But really it’s no surprise. The Times is home to a bloc of Israel supporters. That’s why neocon Bret Stephens just came on board, joining a bunch of other Zionist columnists. It’s why the paper has never had an anti-Zionist columnist in the last 50 years. The New York Times understands its importance as a bulwark of Israel support in the U.S., it will move mountains to refresh the springs of love for the Jewish state among liberal elites despite the growing dossier on human rights violations. You’d expect that someone at Haaretz would be offered equal time, but it almost doesn’t matter. Our leading paper is making itself irrelevant to the central ideological struggle of its own readers, the Jewish escape from religious nationalism. They will all have to read Haaretz.
Thanks to Scott Roth.