Wednesday, April 14th | 2 Iyyar 5781

December 15, 2015 11:08 am

Haaretz Buries the Lede

avatar by Ruthie Blum

 Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called Haaretz a "beacon of freedom." ‎Photo: Hmbr via Wikimedia Commons.

The Left-wing Israeli daily Haaretz, which President Rivlin called a “beacon of freedom.” Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Defending his decision to address the HaaretzQ-New Israel Fund conference in New York on ‎Monday, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called the left-wing newspaper, which he said he has ‎been reading for the last 70 years, a “beacon of freedom.” ‎

He got that wrong. Israel is the “beacon of freedom” that enables such a publication to grace its ‎pages with content that, when not crossing the line into treason, is merely shameful in its blatant ‎delegitimization of the Jewish state.‎

That its conference was engaged in doing the same came as no surprise. Nor was the fact that ‎organizers removed the Israeli flag from the podium area at the behest of Palestinian Authority ‎chief “peace” negotiator Saeb Erekat.‎

Comments from the usual suspects, such as columnist Peter Beinart, J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami, ‎key Haaretz Israel-bashers Gideon Levy and Amira Hass, and New Israel Fund head Daniel ‎Sokatch, who bemoaned what he called the “demonization of the Israeli Left in Israel.” Ha.

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Oh, and let’s not forget the Knesset’s Joint Arab List leader Ayman Odeh, who refused to meet ‎with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations last week, when he ‎discovered that its offices are in a Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization building.‎

Or Israel’s Zionist Union party co-chairman Tzipi Livni, the former justice minister who served as ‎Israel’s top negotiator with the Palestinians — a job given to her by Prime Minister Benjamin ‎Netanyahu, in his last government — who never misses an opportunity to rewrite the history of her ‎own failed peace attempts. ‎

British rock star Roger Waters was also in attendance. You know, the Pink Floyd founder and ‎BDS activist who has been pressuring artists and entertainers the world over to refuse to perform ‎in Israel.‎

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power was there, too, to praise Haaretz and insist that ‎‎”both sides” of the conflict do their part for peace, and US President Barack Obama put in his ‎similar two cents via video message.‎

The list goes on. ‎

Yes, the most “conservative” statements of the day were made by those who put Israel and the ‎PA on a moral par where violence and war are concerned. Other speakers were simply happy to ‎regurgitate the tired fallacy that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root of all problems in the ‎Middle East, including the rise of Islamic State. Ho-hum.‎

The greatest irony of all, however, was that a conference sponsored by a media outlet and ‎‎”human rights” NGO ignored the absolute absence of freedom for the Palestinians. Indeed, not a ‎word is allowed to appear in the PA papers, radio or TV that is not approved by President ‎Mahmoud Abbas and his henchmen.‎

While Haaretz conference participants railed against and quipped about some fantasized lack of ‎dissent in Israel, Palestinian terrorists — incited by official PA mouthpieces and riled up on social ‎media — have been taking to the streets to stab and ram their cars into innocent Israelis.‎

In fact, more than a dozen Jerusalemites, among them a baby, were wounded Monday afternoon ‎in a vehicular attack at a bus stop under the Chords Bridge at the entrance to the capital. This ‎was just as the Haaretz gathering was about to kick off.‎

This did not put a damper on the festivities in Manhattan, however. On the contrary, not a ‎syllable was uttered against a society prevented by its leaders from hearing opposing views — ‎other than the kind that exist between, say, Fatah and Hamas, about the preferred method of ‎ridding the region and the world of its Jews and Christians.‎

I make no bones about my disgust with Haaretz; but I am fortunate to live in a democracy with a ‎free press and the choice to read, listen to and watch whatever I please. The Palestinian public ‎enjoys no such option.‎

This is what Rivlin should have emphasized in his fawning remarks to the conference — that ‎Israel is the country the Palestinians should be emulating; that it is their own leaders they should ‎be trying to remove from their midst; and that it is radical Islam they should be rejecting.‎

Indeed, this is the lede that Haaretz and its ilk bury under reams of false fine print.‎

 Ruthie Blum is the web editor of The Algemeiner (‎ This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

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