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Media Analyses





Haaretz Retracts Conspiracy Theory About Syrian Patients in Israel


Does Israel treat injured Syrians out of compassion or greed? In his Haaretz Op-Ed yesterday ("What 'Jewish compassion'?), Palestinian journalist Zuher Andrawous claims that Israel receives money from the Gulf states for each Syrian patient for which it provides medical care.
 
Drawing from the conspiracy-mongering more often found in the Arab media, Andrawous wrote yesterday:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as expected, totally rejected the idea of taking in Syrian refugees, but took pains to remind everyone that Israel has treated more than a thousand wounded Syrians. He only "forgot" to note that his country gets money from the Gulf states for every wounded Syrian.
The completely baseless claim that Gulf states funded Israel's treatment of some 1,000 wounded Syrians appeared only in the English edition, and was not included anywhere in the Hebrew edition.
 
In response to Andrawous' claim, a source in the Prime Minister's office wrote to CAMERA (CAMERA's translation):
Andrawous' claim that Israel receives payments from the Gulf states for each injured Syrian treated in Israeli hospitals is an utter lie. Apparently, his baseless claim rests on belief in the conspiracy theories rampant in the Arab world on the one hand, and on intra-Arab settling of accounts, on the other hand, via indicting Israel.
Israel's taxpayers, not the Gulf States, fund the treatment of the Syrians in Israel. According to a 2014 document released by Israel's Health Ministry, the ministry had spent some 32 million shekels on the treatment of Syrian patients in Israel as of one year ago.
 
Following communication from CAMERA's Israel office, Haaretz editors commendably removed the claim from the online article, and also appended the following note indicating that the removed claim had been "unsubstantiated."
 
 
The correction, attributing the false allegation to "an editing error" also appears today in the print edition on page 2:
 
 
For additional instances in which misinformation appeared only in Haaretz's English edition, and not in the Hebrew edition, please see here.
 
For more Haaretz corrections prompted by CAMERA and Presspectiva, CAMERA's Hebrew department, please see here.
 
See Presspectiva to read this article in Hebrew.

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