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July 8, 2016 6:33 pm

Leading Israeli Politician Slams Haaretz Newspaper for Appointing New Editor With Ties to Radical Anti-Israel Group Breaking the Silence

avatar by Lea Speyer

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Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid. Photo: Wikipedia.

Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid. Photo: Wikipedia.

A top Israeli politician blasted the country’s Haaretz newspaper for its recent appointment of a new chief editor to lead its English edition, who has ties to a controversial anti-Israel activist group. 

In a Hebrew-language statement published on Facebook, Knesset Member and leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid said the appointment of Noa Landau comes in part due to her intimate association with the “Breaking the Silence” organization, which actively seeks to delegitimize the Israel Defense Forces. 

“Noa Landau, the life partner of Avner Gvaryahu, the most vocal and radical slanderer from Breaking the Silence, was appointed the editor of Haaretz’s English edition,” he wrote.

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Lapid accused Haaretz, an outlet that is widely quoted by influential media outlets and international governments — such as the White House, the US Congress and the European Union — of spreading lies about Israel, including that “the majority of Israeli citizens support apartheid and that Israeli soldiers slaughter Palestinian children.”

With Landau’s appointment, “There is reason to assume that it will now get worse,” he wrote.

“This is further proof (as if any was needed) that Breaking the Silence is not interested in influencing Israeli society from within, but prefers to slander us abroad,” Lapid added.

Lapid’s comments quickly prompted criticism from Left-wing Israeli leaders and his political competitors.

Zehava Gal-On, chairwoman of the Knesset’s far-Left Meretz party, said, “In Lapid’s world, Noa Landau has no personality. She is not an experienced editor, with a history working for Israel’s main newspapers, an impressive [record of] journalistic projects in Haaretz and an Oxford education. No, she is no more than an extension of Avner Gvaryahu, who sent her to Haaretz to trash Israel abroad.”

Opposition leader Issac Herzog demanded Lapid apologize, writing on Twitter, “Whoever preaches hate, against journalists and in general…doesn’t deserve the public’s support. Yair was wrong. Yair should apologize.”

Breaking the Silence says it aims to expose what it alleges are atrocities committed by the Israeli army against Palestinians through publishing testimonies from anonymous former IDF soldiers. The group has been a source of widespread controversy in Israel, and has recently come under government investigation for reportedly collecting military intelligence.

Gvaryahu was the focus of controversy in January after he claimed that when he served in the paratroopers his unit indiscriminately fired on Arab neighborhoods in Hebron using “a machine gun, whose operator would play a sort of video game and shoot at innocent people and vehicles.” Members of his own unit have fiercely denied the allegations, accusing him of spreading falsehoods.

In response to Gvaryahu and Breaking the Silence’s claims, right-wing Zionist organizations launched a public campaign seeking to expose the group’s motives. Gvaryahu quickly became one of the most hated men in Israel.

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  • Helen Oster

    ….and I thought the ‘Guardian’ “news” paper was full of shit ’til I came to Israel & read the toilet paper that is Haaretz.

  • I thought we Hindus of India are the most emotionally twisted people on earth to support minorityism, giving more rights and privileges to 14% Muslims and 2.5% Christians, opposing Hindu nationalism too-and nail, etc. Now I find Israeli Jews beat us at the game, considering everything their nation does despicable and hateful, while every murder, rape, robbery committed by their Palestinian/Arab enemies filling their hearts with admiration and awe, sometimes? Israel’s 7 million citizens are faced by 400 million Arabs, have been attacked in 3 full-scale wars of aggression, and chronically subject the tiny nation to terrorist murder and rocket attacks. And you guys fight among yourselves, and some of you are so alienated from the Jewish Nation to seek the victory of Muslim enemies!

    • What a succinct observation. Distance lending clarity, not enchantment to the view ?

  • SteveHC

    N OTE TO EDITOR/MODERATOR: Please delete my previously-submitted comment regarding this article, as it riddled with typo’s and your website does not allow for post-submission correction. PLEASE post the following, corrected version instead:

    Although Gal-On is to some extent correct regarding Landau’s “on-paper” (no pun intended) qualifications as an editor, I must ultimately conclude that Lapud is entirely correct in his criticism of her appointment to her new position at Haaretz. Consequently I have terminated my subscription to that newspaper, and a concerted effort to heavily publicize Haaretz’s partiality and general lack of objectivity in both its reporting and editorializing MUST now be undertaken.

  • SteveHC

    Although Gal-On is to some extenr correct regarding Landau’s “on-paper” (no pun intended) qualifications as an editor, I must ultimately conclude that Lapud is entirely correct in his criticism of her appountment to her new pisitiin at Haaretz. Consequently I have terminated my subscription to that newspaper, and a concerted effort to heavily publicize Haaretz’s partiality and general lack of objectivity in both its reporting and editorializing MUST now be undertaken.

  • Yair Lapid, head of Yesh Atid, rightly and vehemently criticizes the appointment Noa Landau in her new position as chief editor of the English version of HaAretz. Both hers and her partner’s (Avner Gvaryahu) ties to Breaking the Silence are unforgivable. Why do I say this?
    I too, have known the Breaking the Silence group from the inside. It is run by a bunch of totally anti-Israel/antisemitic old left guard who cannot stand what the Jewish state represents. They are autocratic in thought and practice, consistently attempting to convert young and uninformed students and young people to their hateful ways of thinking. From what I have discerned at their meetings, even their videos speak lies.
    That HaAretz, a newspaper that even I read on occasion, should consider Landau as chief editor is totally discrediting their own worth.
    Thank you Yair Lapid for your speaking out and “breaking the silence” on this particular issue.

    • H. Givon

      Excellent comment by Susan Somerville who has provided some inside information about ‘Breaking the Silence’.
      Unfortunately,the appointment of Noa Landau is in keeping with political advocacy of the Ha’aretz regarding Israel. Those of us who do read the paper on occasion depend upon other publications for a balanced view.

  • All of the arguments supporting Noa only reinforce the reason to be wary of her. It’s dafka because she is so talented, experienced, educated, etc. that makes her such a formidable traitor: defamining the majority national viewpoints, besmirching the Israeli government and military, and declaring to the world that the current leadership of Israel is racist, apartheid, anti-peace, war-loving and any other hateful description she can come up with. That is the issues and, yes, she is highly qualified to accomplish all that.

  • Reform School

    For slander of Israel, who can beat Whore-It’s “Breaking Wind Silently?”

  • If members of Gvariyahu’s paratroop unit fired at innocent people with a machine gun, then soldiers are criminals and should be punished accordingly.
    However – Mr. Gvariyahu is now a member of a military unit that allegedly committed atrocities, and he is an accomplice. He too should beware of being hauled before international courts, by his own admission.
    He should have had the courage to stand up against these atrocities while he was witnessing them.
    By his accusations he is condemning soldiers of high moral integrity by accusations of “common guilt.”

  • robert davis

    Haaretz is the corruption Under the shape of people! To get orders from european anti Israel medias and governments they would put bullets into their own dumbasses’ heads!

  • There should be a formal inquiry by the Israeli Government of the statements of IDF persons who conducted or witnessed the atrocities claimed by Breaking the Silence. I, for one, would like to really know if these things happened to Palestinians, whether they are exaggerated or whether they are made-up.

  • Dita Gould

    Disgusting,
    Are you for yourselves or against?

  • Ken

    Haaretz is well known for it’s anti Israel position.
    Israel haters regularly quote their articles.

  • stevenl

    Haaretz cornering itself further will slowly delegitimize itself.
    But there always be plenty of money for haters.

  • Theodore Crawford

    May the G_d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob enable and inspire His people to hold the high ground in all issues of moral and ethical nature, so as to discredit and shame the slander and lies of Israel’s enemies.

  • georgette joffe

    Enough! This is Israel’s security we are talking about and the government must step in like they did with the BBC and CNN at one point and exclude Haaretz from access until they stop deliberately lying to weaken Israel. What are you waiting for? Dead bodies like the police in Dallas? Incitement against the IDF is an unacceptable and steps must be taken. It is not free speech, it is hate against the precious beautiful lives on the line to protect Israel. Enough.

  • Yaakov

    The title of this article has the tone of an editorial, not that of an objective news story.

  • Barry

    She sounds like a traitor to me. Maybe she should have been posted to iran or gasa first?

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