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June 23, 2011

Ha'aretz Lost in Translation, VII

haaretz married women serve.jpg
Danit Moran, a married religious officer in the IDF (photo by Shaul Golan)

If there's one thing that can be said about Ha'aretz's translators, it's that they sure keep you on your toes. If you see something in Ha'aretz which you know can't be right, your first move should always be to check the Hebrew version. And if they don't match up (and usually the English version is the incorrect one), then voilà, you've got yourself another case of Ha'aretz Lost in Translation.

And so it was last Friday (June 17) when we picked up the English paper and read:

The party [Yisrael Beiteinu] thus rejected charges that the bill discriminates against groups that cannot serve in the Israel Defense Forces, such as Arabs or married women.

While both married women and Arabs are exempt from serving in the army, they most certainly may do so, and some do. Regarding married women serving, Ynet has reported:

More and more religious women, some already married, are passing up on national service and choosing to enlist in the IDF. . . .

The growing number of long skirts seen in the IDF has caused another unique phenomenon – more women in the IDF with covered hair – as many religious women cover their hair once married. . . .

When second lieutenant Danit Moran got married two months ago, she could have just given up her officer stripes and gone home as many have done before her. "At first I had my doubts" she admits. "Then I calmed down and told myself that there are many married women serving in the IDF. I didn't know if I would succeed in dealing with what came along, but thank God, today I'm happy I did."

The Jerusalem Post reported earlier this year that the IDF even decided to recruit several haredi (ultra-Orthodox) married women with children.

As for Arabs serving in the military, this is old territory for CAMERA, (and for the Los Angeles Times, which three times had to print a correction on this very point.)

Now that we've established the facts about married women and Israeli Arabs in the military, what did the Hebrew version of this article claim? Not what the English said. The problematic sentence does not at all appear in the Hebrew. Stay tuned for updates on a correction.

June 28 Update: To see the Hebrew version of this blog post, visit Presspectiva, CAMERA's Israeli site. Ha'aretz has deleted the problematic sentence from its Web site, but has yet to publish a correction.

Posted by TS at June 23, 2011 08:05 AM


Sounds like the NY Times, in (modified) translation.

Posted by: David J., Long Island, NY at June 23, 2011 09:38 PM

The translators of Haaretz are not the only offenders, unfortunately. Heb>Eng translators at the Jerusalem Post are just as prone to mistakes. I wonder how the translators of Israel Hayom's new Eng version of their Heb newsletter will fare.

Posted by: Nina R. Davis at June 24, 2011 05:22 AM

Over 40% of Israel's officer corps are Orthodox Jews. This number was given to me by a chaplain in the army who has to know.

You could probably verify it by writing the army's stat dept.
Raanan Isseroff
New York

Posted by: Raanan at January 23, 2012 11:06 AM

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