Haaretz Buries the Lede
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.
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 (algemeiner.com). This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.