Ha’aretz Apartheid Clarification: Too Little, Too Late

Ha’aretz: where’s the accountability?

Last week, Gideon Levy, the radical left-wing Ha’aretz commentator, took the results of a poll and promoted the canard that most Israeli Jews would support an apartheid regime in Israel.

We weren’t the only ones to notice that Levy’s analysis of the survey did not measure up to the actual results, instead representing a slander against Israel and Israelis.

Gideon Levy must go.

Even Ha’aretz has recognized that Levy misrepresented the facts, adding the following to the original English online article, which also appears in the Hebrew print edition:

CLARIFICATION: The original headline for this piece, ‘Most Israelis support an apartheid regime in Israel,’ did not accurately reflect the findings of the Dialog poll. The question to which most respondents answered in the negative did not relate to the current situation, but to a hypothetical situation in the future: ‘If Israel annexes territories in Judea and Samaria, should 2.5 million Palestinians be given the right to vote for the Knesset?’

The misleading headline has also been changed to “Survey: Most Israeli Jews wouldn’t give Palestinians vote if West Bank was annexed”.

Hardly a correction or an apology. Perhaps to soften the blow, Ha’aretz published an opinion piece by Yehuda Ben Meir who came to quite different conclusions to Levy, stating that Levy’s article “does an injustice to the State of Israel, the Jewish people and the truth.”

But what of Gideon Levy himself? While acknowledging an error, he appears to be utterly unrepentant, writing a follow up piece in Ha’aretz:

This article is meant to fix a few mistakes. They shouldn’t have happened; we must acknowledge them, apologize for them and fix them. They were not made intentionally, but as a result of neglect due to time pressure. Now is the time to make things right.

Instead of making things right, however, Levy claims that the errors were negligible and goes on to attack those who called him out:

In my analysis of the survey… there was a single sentence that did not accurately represent the poll results and contradicted what I had written in the news piece a short time beforehand.

. . .

The routine excoriation took off. The mirror reflects an unsightly image? Let’s smash it. The messenger stumbles? Let’s slander him, and to hell with everything else described in his article, even discounting the mistake. This is what propagandists always do. One particularly pathetic one has built an entire career out of ridiculously rummaging through negligible errors. Instead of anger being directed toward the findings of the survey – which is what should have caused a scandal – many readers and commentators focused on the unfortunate mistakes that were made.

. . .

They [the right wing] are interested solely in an unfortunate mistake that barely changed anything.

In one breath, Levy states that there were a “few mistakes” and in another, claims that only a single sentence was incorrect. Which is it?

And just who is the propagandist and who has been slandered? Levy is only too happy to promote the canard of Israel as an apartheid state, even going as far as to help some of the most vicious anti-Zionist activists to serve his cause. The only slander that has been committed is Levy’s against the State of Israel.

In most organizations and businesses, a major error that causes immense damage results in those responsible being held responsible and perhaps even heads rolling. But not at Ha’aretz. This time, Gideon Levy has gone too far and must be held accountable. It cannot be business as usual at Ha’aretz. This story was reproduced around the world causing immense damage to Israel’s already fragile image.

Click here to see how this story was reporting in the foreign media

Gideon Levy must go. It is time for Ha’aretz to take the appropriate action and remove him from the paper’s roster of journalists. In addition, the editor of Ha’aretz should be held accountable for allowing such skewed and incorrect reporting to appear with such negligent oversight.

Please register your complaints with Ha’aretz through its online contact form.