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Media Analyses





Updated: Killed (by Israel) in Translation: Ha'aretz's 'Tailor-Made' English Content


Only yesterday, we wrote that Ha'aretz has already fallen short on its new year pledge to provide "the best English-language journalism in Israel." About editor Charlotte Hallé's touting of content "tailor-made for our English-language readers," we noted:

Alas, Ha'aretz's content is indeed "tailor-made" for English readers, but not in the way that most people would think. In 2013, despite a new design, Ha'aretz's "tailor-made" English content continues to mean the same thing it meant in 2012 and earlier years. Ha'aretz English editors and translators continue to distort and mistranslate the original Hebrew content. Especially for the benefit of foreign readers, who are less informed than Israeli news consumers about Israel-related events, Ha'aretz inserts false informationthat did not appear in the Hebrew edition.

Today's "tailor-made" English content entails the deletion of critical information that appeared in the Hebrew original. In the Hebrew original, a Palestinian in Gaza was killed Monday under disputed circumstances. Palestinians claim he was shot by Israeli troops, and the Israeli army denied involvement. English translators delete the army's denial, and unequivocally blame Israel for the man's death.

Thus, the English online edition reports (screen capture below):

The wording in the English print edition (see scan below) was similar, also stating as fact that Israel killed Abu Jarad, and deleting the army's denial, which appeared in Hebrew:

In contrast, the same article in the Hebrew online edition, which appeared nearly eight hours before the English version, states (CAMERA's translation):

Yesterday Palestinians reported that Israeli soldiers shot to death a Palestinian youth near the border fence in the Gaza Strip. According to Hamas' Ministry of Health, the fatality was Mustafa Abu Jarad, a 21-year-old farmer from Beit Lahiya. The army spokesman denied the report, saying the incident was not related to the army. (Emphasis added.)

Today's Hebrew print edition also notes that the army denies involvement in Abu Jarad's death.

It states (CAMERA's translation)

Also on Monday Palestinians reported that Israeli soldiers shot to death a Palestinian youth close to the border fence. According to Hamas' Ministry of Health, the fatality was Mustafa Abu Jarad, a 21-year-old farmer from Beit Lahiya. An army spokesman denied the army's involvement in the incident.

To recap, in Hebrew, readers are told that a Palestinian was killed under disputed circumstances. Hamas blames Israel, and the Israeli army denies involvement. In English, however, Ha'aretz reports as fact that Israel killed the Gazan. This, apparently, is what Ha'aretz calls "tailor-made" English content. We have another name for it: Ha'aretz, Lost in Translation. Whatever you call it, it's just plain bad journalism.
 
(Hat tip to blogger Elder of Ziyon for first noticing Ha'aretz's shoddy English coverage of Abu Jarad's death.)
 
For the Hebrew version of this article, please visit Presspectiva.
 

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