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June 14, 2009

Ha'aretz in La-La-Land on Gaza Crossings, Part III

If you are tuning in for the first time on our running log of Ha'aretz's falsehoods regarding the Gaza crossings, check out Parts I and II.

Part III is about this weekend's Ha'aretz Magazine article by Yotam Feldman and Uri Blau called "Gaza Bonanza" which alleges that Israeli businessmen are exploiting the Gaza blockade to turn a profit. But it's hard to know what to believe about this entire article concerning shadowy figures unknown to most, given that the most basic information which can be easily fact-checked is clearly false.

The print edition of the article states (though the online version mysteriously omits this paragraph as well as other random parts of the article, such as the first paragraph):

Data compiled by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, shows that while the minimum number of trucks per month set by the IDF is 106, in May, 117 trucks passed through the Kerem Shalom terminal; in April the number was 113 and, before the start of Operation Cast Lead in December 2008, just 37.

These figures have actually no relation to the real world. As documented by the Palestine Trade Center, 2,023 trucks passed through Kerem Shalom crossing in May 2009 -- not 117 (see Table 1, page 2).

May 2009_Report kerem shalom.jpg

And, the number for April is not 113 as Ha'aretz states, but 1,902. (Again, this from the Palestine Trade Center, which has a better grip on reality than Ha'aretz.)

April 2009 kerem shalom.jpg

And, finally, in December 2008, 612 trucks crossed through Kerem Shalom, not 37.

Dec 08 Kerem Shalom.jpg

Ha'aretz's absurd numbers grow from week to week. What next?

Posted by TS at June 14, 2009 07:26 AM


The figures of 113 or 117 are trucks per day, not per month, and even if Haaretz wrongly said per month I am sure you can rectify it easily. Other than that small mistake what else is wrong in their article ?

Posted by: Larry from Luxembourg at June 14, 2009 10:52 AM

Please note correction in this matter: The paragraph on Haaretz website reads xx trucks "per day". We take our work very seriously- please do not see a demon behind evey tree.
Tali Niv
Magazine editor

Posted by: tal niv at June 23, 2009 08:05 AM


While I thank you for the online change, I wonder why there was no correction in Friday's print edition.

And why have none of the other Gaza crossing-related Ha'aretz errors (linked in above text) not been corrected? (I realize they are not under your responsibility, but under the responsibility of other editors.)

Posted by: TS at June 24, 2009 04:32 AM

Tali and Larry (from Luxembourg),
I'm just trying to be objective here. . . . This article (and CAMERA's work in general) uses inflamatory language to make large issues out of small errors. But Ha'aretz is the proverbial pot calling the kettle black if it really thinks it has the right to complain about this. If Ha'aretz has the nerve to claim that every slip up in Israel's desperate attempt to prevent terror is "senseless," then CAMERA is certainly well within its rights to say that Ha'aretz is in "la-la land" for making such outlandish proclamations. CAMERA is likewise within its rights to jump on every small error that Ha'aretz makes -- just as Ha'aretz pounces on every miscue made by the Israeli government -- and call it what it is: a misstatement of fact that should be corrected in both the print and online editions. As a former journalist, Tali, I respect the fact that you take your work seriously. But, with all due respect, your media outlet is as guilty as any other of finding "a demon behind every tree."

Posted by: David at June 24, 2009 10:18 PM

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