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April 10, 2016 12:59 pm

Media Watchdog Slams Newsweek for ‘Apartheid in Maternity Room’ Headline on Article About Israeli Hospitals

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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A woman in labor. Photo: Wikipedia.

A woman in labor. Photo: Wikipedia.

A pro-Israel media watchdog blasted Newsweek on Sunday for accusing Israel of practicing “apartheid” in a headline for a story about Israeli hospitals.

The Israel-based group, Honest Reporting, said the use of the term for sensationalist purposes was “unethical and unprofessional” and said it “believes that Newsweek’s headline should be changed.” The group added that it considers the use of the word “apartheid” to be “inflammatory and a blatant attempt…to attract web traffic at the expense of accuracy.”

The controversial headline was assigned to a Newsweek piece written by columnist Marc Schulman, who writes a regular bulletin called “Tel Aviv Diary,” in which he gives his personal take on living in Israel. In his latest post, published on Thursday, he highlights the current controversy caused by an Israeli investigative report claiming that Israeli hospitals cater to Jewish women who ask to be separated from Arab counterparts in maternity wards.

The headline —  “Tel Aviv Diary: Apartheid in the Maternity Room” — generated criticism from a number of readers who called Schulman a “self -hating Jew,” “hater of Israel” and, paradoxically, a “Zionist Pig” among other things.  In his personal blog, Schulman wrote that while he “disagreed” with the choice of headline for his article, he believes it is “an effective headline” that “at least reflected aspects of the story.”

“Is it a fully accurate headline? No its was not,” he said. “Israel within the 1967 borders is not an apartheid state — Arabs are free to take any jobs, go anywhere, live anywhere they desire. What is true, however, is that in our state of perpetual war, it is too easy to fall into the trap of becoming an apartheid state.”

Schulman said the article received so much attention from readers that Newsweek’s editor-in-chief wrote him an email thanking him for the piece. He further explained that he has “no control” over the titles of his columns.

“[Writers] write a story and our editors or the headline writers choose the headlines,” he said. “Their choice is based on some connection to the story and a headline that they feel will get readers to click on the article and read it.”

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  • tiki

    With all the enormous problems in the world, the millions of dead, wounded, refugees, IS, hunger, poverty etc., Newsweek & other media can’t seem to shake of their Israel obsession….the “catch the Jew syndrome”!

    These newspapers are part of the problem by giving the Palestinians, IS & all other terrorists in the world media exposure!

    If not for the International Media highlighting & inflating every (terror) action (using it for their own survival) Palestinians & other terror groups would have no reason to continue their ‘actions’ for nobody would know about them.

  • Life in Israel: I wait in the ‘kabalah’ (reception) at the hospital for my appointment. The waiting area is filled with Arabs. I sit wondering if today is the day someone here will pull out a knife, but then I chuckle to myself and think that at least I’m in a good place if I get a stab wound. Part of me is afraid and part of me knows there are people here just living their lives. My turn comes to see the doctor. I enter the office to hear him speaking on his pelephone in Arabic – an Arab Specialist Doctor. I feel so ambivalent and I really don’t want to be here just now. He is very kind and very thorough, more than I have experienced elsewhere. He tells me to come back and get help from him if I have any trouble getting the tests I need. I leave confused and grateful. Life in Israel is like living on a tightrope. I am so very appreciative of the Arab Specialist Doctor’s help, but I still keep a metre between myself and the Arab ladies when I wait for the bus. I can’t afford not to…

  • Richard Smiley

    My wife gave birth in an Israeli hospital. About four days after she came home, she was stunned to see a louse crawling over the head of our daughter, and soon found out she was also badly infected. It turned out she had occupied the same private room an Arab employee of the hospital had been in four days previously and some extra pillows had not been cleaned. (she is a nurse and received the consideration of a professional colleague – a smaller room.) That is hardly apartheid.

  • stevenl

    Newsweek promotes racism just like the NYT, Guardian, BBC etc…

  • Linda

    A Lie of course from a horrid Liar!

  • enufizenuf

    Newsweek couldn’t care less if twenty media watchdog groups slammed them. Only a loss of readers or advertisers is of concern to them. If you want them to treat Israel with the same kid gloves they treat anything arab or muslim, then they need to have the same kind of fear of you that they do of muslims.

  • Francis Figliola

    No one reads Newsweek, they are desperate to create controversy, sales. What was the old term for it? “Yellow journalism”?

  • Docvisuals

    Marc Shulman – just another useful idiot.

  • The epithet “Zionist pig” is telling. Should that be taken as an insult to Zionists? Or to the writer at whom it was directed? No. I would take it as an insult to pigs. Pigs are very nice creatures that are exploited by those who raise them and eat them. They cause no harm in the world. I wouldn’t mind being compared to a pig at all. Animal pejoratives are used by uneducated people who manifest a lack of respect for all life. The “sons of apes and pigs” epithet used by some fanatical, hate-filled non-Jews is a good example of that.

    No, Israel is not an apartheid state at all, but it does have a long way to go in terms of removing harmful dichotomies that create divisiveness, not only Jew vs. Arab (the two are not even mutually exclusive: A Jew is someone who follows a certain faith and way of life, whereas an Arab is part of a culture), but also religious vs secular (as if everything is all or none), Ashkenazi vs. Sephardi, Western vs. Mizrachi, national religious vs. haredi, mitnagid vs. hasid, Litvak vs. Galitzianer, etc., etc. When will people stop seeing everyone a little different from themselves as “the other”?