Update: Holger Jensen Resigns to Pursue Other Interests

On April 12, 2002, Denver’s Rocky Mountain News International Editor Holger Jensen launched a malicious attack on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon entitled “Obsessed Sharon Applies Brutal Philosophy to Advance Zionism” in which he falsely attributed to him viciously anti-Arab quotes, including:

“Better a live Judeo-Nazi than a dead saint.”

“Even if you prove to me that the present war in Lebanon is a dirty immoral war, I don’t care. Even if Galilee is shelled again by Katyushas in a year’s time, I don’t really care. We shall start another war, kill and destroy more and more, until they will have had enough.”

“Let them tremble, let them call us a mad state. Let them understand that we are a wild country, dangerous to our surroundings, not normal, that we might go crazy if one of our children is murdered, just one! If anyone even raises his hand against us we’ll take away half his land and burn the other half, including the oil. We might use nuclear arms.”

“Even today I am willing to volunteer to do the dirty work for Israel, to kill as many Arabs as necessary, to deport them, to expel and burn them, to have everyone hate us…”

Jensen claimed that these quotes were taken from an interview Sharon gave to Amos Oz during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, published in the now-defunct Israeli daily Davar on December 17, 1982.

In fact, Sharon made no such statements; Oz had never interviewed or even met Sharon.

On April 16, 2002, Jensen was forced to recant, admitting he had “made a grievous error in not verifying the authenticity of 20-year-old quotes attributed to Ariel Sharon… As it turns out, they were made not by Sharon but another unnamed Israeli soldier who died 11 years ago…”

The Sharon column had been only the latest to come under harsh criticism for its inaccuracy, misinformation and partisanship.

Shortly after Jensen’s retraction, he “resigned to pursue other interests.” Archives of his articles have been removed from the web pages of the Rocky Mountain News.

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