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April 03, 2013

Ha'aretz, Lost in Translation, Again

Yesterday we noted how the "Ha'aretz, Lost in Translation" phenomenon made its mark on Land Day coverage. Today, it's illegal outposts which get the English-language makeover.

In print and online, the English edition incorrectly reports that every professional army officer not serving in a front-line unit must spend a week a year guarding an illegal outpost. A screen capture of the online article, as it now appears, follows, with the sentence in question highlighted yellow:

troops provide security outposts.jpg

The word "these" is a mistranslation which introduces a serious factual error. "These settlements" clearly refers to the illegal outposts discussed in the preceding two paragraphs. Yet, the statement that every non-frontline career officer must spend a week protecting illegal outposts is incorrect.

As the reporter Gili Cohen correctly wrote in Hebrew:

כל קצין בשירות קבע ביחידות עורפיות מחויב לבצע במהלך כל שנה שבוע של אבטחת יישובים – פרק תורנות קבוע לשמירה על יישובים בגדה המערבית, בבקעת הירדן ובפתחת כרם שלום, כחלק מאבטחת האזור

This means (CAMERA's translation):

Every professional army officer not in a front-line unit must spend a week a year protecting settlements -- part of the regular tour of duty guarding settlements in the West Bank, in the Jordan Valley or the Kerem Shalom area, as part of securing the region.

Thus, while the Hebrew edition correctly reported that career officers in non-front-line units must spend a week a year protecting settlements, the English edition falsely reports that they must spend a week protecting illegal outposts. If every professional officer not in a front-line unit were required to guard an illegal outpost, the number of soldiers serving that function would be huge, in the thousands. But as the Hebrew headline correctly noted, the actual figure is relatively low -- more than 100.

CAMERA has contacted editors to request a correction. Stay tuned for updates.

Update, 8:25 EST: And now the Forward runs with the inaccurate English version.

Posted by TS at April 3, 2013 04:57 AM

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