More Twisting the Truth: Ha’aretz and IDF Experiments on Soldiers

At the beginning of October 2012, Ha’aretz published a report with the following disturbing headline:

Israel Prize winner and author of the IDF’s Code of Ethics, Professor Asa Kasher, had, according to Ha’aretz, presented an opinion that:

medical experiments on soldiers are desirable and even justified. Kasher declared that “the participation of soldiers in compulsory or reserve service in medical experiments in the military framework must be carried out in consideration of building the force or considerations of activating the force. In the circumstance of a medical experiment, only considerations relating to building the force can be taken into account. The aim of a medical experiment must be for the soldiers’ benefit.”

In the aftermath of the exposure of Ha’aretz’s unprofessional and unethical journalism in falsely presenting the results of a poll to suggest that Israelis support apartheid, Professor Kasher wrote to HonestReporting revealing his own experience with Ha’aretz:

Prof. Asa Kasher

A few weeks ago, a “report” was published in Haaretz, by a Chaim Levinson, ascribing to me the claim that the IDF may conduct experiments on soldiers if it is for the benefit of the military. It immediately drew the attention of the friends of Ha’aretz: on one Palestinian site it was republished accompanied by a picture of Nazi physicians.

First it was published without my reaction, since Ha’aretz had not been able to contact me, so they claimed. It was indeed a sheer lie, since I had been easily accessible as usual. I sent a talk back which they did not publish. After I protested, they asked me for a reaction and published it. In my reaction I flatly denied their allegation and told readers that they could ask me for the document under discussion and see for themselves how Ha’aretz lies. Many did and expressed shock after realizing the abyss between the document and the “report”.

The document [which can be obtained by emailing Professor Kasher here] was an ethical discussion of medical experiments that involve soldiers. I wrote it at the request of a district court president. I mentioned large families of conditions that must be fulfilled for a medical experiment that involves soldiers to be ethically proper. The conditions rest on medical ethics, scientific-medical experimentation ethics and military ethics. My document mentions numerous necessary conditions.

The reporter took one of them, distorted it and portrayed it as a sufficient condition. I stated that “the benefit of the military” means the benefit of the soldiers themselves. I mentioned it among the necessary conditions. Ha’aretz described it as a sufficient one.

Although my document has since then been publicly available and I denied the report, Ha’aretz and their reporter (who is, by the way, not their reporter on military issues or medical issues, but rather their reporter of the settlements…) have not rephrased their “report”, and needless to say have not apologized.

In light of recent behavior, why are we not surprised?



Where better to peddle the lie that Israel is an apartheid state than in a South African newspaper? Despite the exposure of his shoddy agenda-driven journalism, Gideon Levy has done just that. Click here to read more.