Ha’aretz Keeps ‘Quiet’

Accountability is a foreign concept at Ha’aretz, Israel’s influential English-language daily. The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics calls on journalists to “clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.” But the Society is American, and ethics concerning accountability haven’t yet penetrated at Ha’aretz.

In a Feb. 10 Op-Ed about the current status of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ha’aretz writer Sefi Rachlevsky alleged that there had been “four years in which the Palestinians preserved nearly absolute quiet” (“Back to the era of brawn.”) The exact time of the four years is not entirely clear from Rachlevsky’s writing, but at no point during the 1990s was there a period in which “the Palestinians preserved nearly absolute quiet.”

The context of his statement is:

However, a series of developments starting with the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the rise of the right in Israel appears to be canceling that historic era. Despite the signed agreement with the Palestinians — the Oslo II agreement from the end of 1995, after the Rabin assassination — in which they were guaranteed most of the territories in three redeployments in less than a year; and despite four years in which the Palestinians preserved nearly absolute quiet, they were left with “territorial islands in the current,” with an unfulfilled agreement and renewed momentum of settlement construction.

To the contrary, these were years of ongoing Palestinian violence punctuated by numerous massive terror attacks. For instance, on April 6, 1994, Hamas killed six people in a car-bomb attack on a Hadera bus. On Oct. 19, 1994 Palestinian terrorists bombed No. 5 bus on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, killing 21 Israelis and one Dutch citizen. Islamic Jihad killed more than 20 people in a double bombing at Beit Lid junction on Jan. 22, 1995. On Aug. 21, 1995, Palestinian terrorists killed four in a Jerusalem bus bombing. On Feb. 25, 1996, Hamas bombed bus No. 18 in Jerusalem, killing 26 people. On July 30, 1997, two consecutive suicide bombers killed 16 and wounded 178 in Machane Yehuda. A complete list of fatal terror attacks from September 1993 until 2000 is available at the Web site of Israeli’s Foreign Ministry. In addition to the fatal terror attacks, there were a huge number of attacks which inflicted non-fatal casualties. Details about all attacks from 1990 to 2000 are available here. This information can also be confirmed at www.ict.org.il. (Go to the “Terror Attack Database” under “Arab-Israeli Conflict.”) At no point during this extensive list is there a four year hiatus of Palestinian violence.

Two weeks have passed since CAMERA shared this information with Ha’aretz editors and asked for substantiation regarding the claim about “four years in which the Palestinians preserved nearly absolute quiet.” So far, the response from Ha’aretz has been absolute quiet.


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