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February 18, 2015

In Haaretz News, 'Extremist' Marzel vs. 'Outspoken' Zoabi

"Zoabi and Marzel should not be treated equally," posited the Feb. 15 Haaretz editorial ("Israel's ban of Arab lawmaker from election is unjust"), referring to last week's decision by the Central Elections Committee to disqualify MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) and Baruch Marzel from the upcoming Israeli elections.

Haaretz's English news writers apparently agreed. That alone is not a problem. Haaretz news reporters and translators, along with the editorial writers, are entitled to their personal opinions on every subject.

But it is a problem when Haaretz journalists inject their personal views into news articles. Which is just what happened in a Feb. 12 news article which began:

The Central Elections Committee on Thursday disqualified a Jewish far-right extremist and an outspoken Arab lawmaker from running in the March election. (Emphasis added.)

Haaretz outspoken.JPG

Israel Press Council's "Rules of Journalistic Ethics" states: "A newspaper and a journalist shall distinguish in the publication between news items and opinion."

By what criteria, did the translators/English writers determine that Haneen Zoabi is "outspoken" (which carries a positive connotation), as opposed to "extremist," like Baruch Marzel?

The article's headline -- "Jewish extremist, Israeli Arab lawmaker disqualified from Knesset run" -- contains the same double standard. (Marzel, a member of the outlawed Kach party, is identified as extremist, and Zoabi, who has said that the Palestinians who kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teens are not "terrorists" and whose writing has appeared on Hamas' Web site, is not subject to any qualitative description. Just her profession is noted.)

Moreover, in what way does this language comply with the Israel Press Council's call for objectivity? Specifically, its guidelines state that "A newspaper and a journalist shall distinguish in the publication between news items and opinion." By applying inconsistent language, Haaretz mixes news and views.

Posted by TS at February 18, 2015 04:15 AM


I agree with Yesh Atid on this one. Both should be banned. Despicable how Zoabi isn't called a "right-wing extremist" herself, when she belongs to an ultra-nationalist party affiliated with Israel's Islamist Movement.

Posted by: greg at February 18, 2015 07:39 PM

All you need to know about Haaretz is this.
Why Does Haaretz Host a Shrine to a Dead Terrorists?
Israeli rapper exposes portrait 'museum exhibit' of terrorists, asks what would happen if right-wing paper praised murderer of Arabs?
By Shimon Cohen, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 2/10/2015,

Posted by: Barry Meridian at February 19, 2015 10:15 AM

There is a world of difference between Zoabi and Marzel. The first (Zoabi) has encouraged terrorist violence against the State of Israel and against jews (it is considered an offense against the law to advocate killing in most countries). The latter, Marzell, has advocated the exclusion from the state of those Arabs who threaten Israel's existence, which is not a crime under israeli or any other law system. So, if the measure of whether a person should be able to be a candidate for a Knesset seat is whether the person has arrogantly and persistently violated the law, the answer is simple. Exclude Zoabi. If both or neither are excluded, then it is clearly a political decision.

Posted by: Roger Froikin at February 19, 2015 03:34 PM

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