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May 22, 2011

Ha'aretz Lost in Translation, VI

Ha'aretz's chronic lost in translation affliction rears its head again, albeit in a slightly more complex strain.

A news analysis by Aluf Benn in Friday's (May 20) English edition, states:

Netanyahu will have to reply to Obama by accepting the principle of "1967 borders with agreed land swaps."

Except that's not what President Obama actually said. His words were:

The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.

The difference between lines and borders is significant. Of course, Aluf Benn isn't the first to misrepresent Obama's words. He's just the first (that we're aware of) who did it in a direct quote, an even more galling journalisitc wrongdoing.

The Hebrew version of this article, especially the second half, is not a direct translation of the English edition. Since the misquote does not appear in the Hebrew version it's hard to know where the error was introduced -- either Aluf Benn, who wrote in Hebrew, mistranslated Obama's words and the English translator did not bother to check the original speech, or a translator or editor is responsible for the misquote.

Posted by TS at May 22, 2011 04:41 AM


Aluff Benn obviously wished obama had laid down the line for Netyayahu and then demanded he assume the position. of servility. Well, Euphemistically, he did. How surprised he was that Netayahu assumed the postion of a professor teaching his somewhat bemused student that the facts of life do not conform to the Student's misbegotten vision.

Posted by: yuval at May 22, 2011 06:37 AM

In the Hebrew original of Benn's article, he uses the phrase "1967 borders," but not as a quote from Obama. That is, without quotation marks. However, even not as a quoted phrase, Benn [like others] was still misleading. Yes, writing "1967 borders" even as one's own formulation is misleading whether or not one attributes the error to someone else, in this case Pres. Obama.

Posted by: Eliyahu at May 22, 2011 09:37 AM

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