In an Op-Ed yesterday, Ha'aretz's Nehemia Shtrasler erroneously refers to the IDF as “the world’s fifth largest” army (“The two civilians snapped to attention”). The Israeli army is not even the fifth largest in the Middle East, never mind the world. Egypt, Syria, Iran, Morocco and Turkey all have larger armies than Israel’s (Anthony H. Cordesman, “The Military Balance in the Middle East, p. 11). And the armies of China, the United States, India, Russia, North Korea, South Korea, Pakistan, Vietnam, France and Germany are all larger than Israel’s (Cordesman, “Trends in Western Military Efforts, 16).
Other major media outlets have corrected this very same error, most recently the International Herald Tribune. On January 3, 2006, the paper ran the following correction regarding an Op-Ed by Saeb Erekat:
An opinion article on Nov. 26 about the opening of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt referred to the Israeli military as "the fifth largest military in the world." While there are various ways to measure military strength, in terms of manpower alone and counting both active service members and reservists, Israel's military ranks 18th globally, according to data in the latest edition of "The Military Balance," a reference by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Also, on Feb. 5, 2004, National Public Radio corrected:
In a story that aired January 26th on the strategy of Israel’s military to head off Palestinian attacks, we said that Israel’s army was the world’s fourth-largest. There are various measures of military strength, but, measured by manpower, Israel ranks 13th according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.
CAMERA staff has contacted Ha'aretz publisher Amos Schocken and several editors to request a correction. While a correction on this topic would be a given at virtually every other major media outlet, Ha'aretz has a history of refusing to correct factual errors even when the facts are not in dispute.