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December 11, 2007

Lost in Translation at Ha'aretz

har homa Haaretz.jpe
Only Hebrew readers of Ha'aretz learned that the Prime Minister's office called Har Homa construction entirely legal

In Sunday's English edition of Ha'aretz (both print and Internet), the front-page story by Barak Ravid and Jonathan Lis on new planned construction in the Har Homa neighborhood is headlined:

Rice: Har Homa homes harm talks

In other words, the emphasis is on the American condemnation of the Israeli move as an obstacle to peace. I was surprised, therefore, to discover that the Hebrew edition ran a fuller version of the article, with a different slant and a very different headline (translations are mine):

The Prime Minister's Bureau: The Building in Har Homa is Legal

The Hebrew article begins with the following paragraphs, which don't appear at all in the English edition:

Sources in the Prime Minister's office yesterday said that the building in the Har Homa neighborhood of Jerusalem does not violate Israel's Annapolis commitments. The statement was made in response to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's criticism Friday of the report of the tender to build new residential units in the neighborhood, in which she said that "the building of residential units does not help build trust between the Israelis and Palestinians."

On Thursday, Ha'aretz reported that the United States requested that Israel clarify its plans for the building of the 307 new residential units in the Har Homa neighborhood, which were reported at the beginning of the week. The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, also voiced opposition to the decision and said that it was "not helpful." The Prime Minister's office communicated yesterday that the publication of the tenders was done legally and that it does not oppose Israel's commitments. "This is not a settlement and not defined as a settlement and everything there was done according to the law," the sources said. "Even if you wanted, you could not stop construction there, given that we are speaking about land belonging to the municipality of Jerusalem." It was also said that Olmert will soon hold deliberations in order to clearly define what the policy will be concerning settlement building in the West Bank. "The Prime Minister committed in the government meeting before the Annapolis summit that there will not be land expropriations and there will be no new settlement building and Har Homa is not included in these categories," the source said. "Regarding the rest of the sites, we will soon have to make clear definitions."

Posted by TS at December 11, 2007 05:50 AM


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