Monday, May 31, 2004

What side is Haaretz on?
‘Did you hear’, Bish asked me, ‘that Defense minister Mofaz told Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting today that in May alone 18 suicide (homocide) bombings had been thwarted in Israel’. ‘Where did you read this?’ I asked. ‘In Haaretz (Hebrew link)’, was his answer. So, as usual, I looked up the English version, thinking of sharing this interesting and important piece of information with you.

But what’s this? Nothing about thwarting terrorist attacks in the English translation. More than half of the report in English is given over to scathing criticism of Mofaz’s appearance by various Knesset members (In Hebrew this criticism is far less prominent), but not a word about suicide attacks being prevented.

A quick count revealed that the English language editors had completely ommitted a whole three paragraphs of the first part of the original Hebrew article*. Makes you wonder.

Well that’s what bloggers are for. The annoying-but-gripping thriller I’m reading will have to wait, I thought, and got right down to work.

Here’s what Haaretz thought wouldn’t interest their English language readers (you’ll forgive my hurried translation, it’s nearly bedtime for me):

Mofaz further said to the Committee that “Terrorist organizations wish to take revenge for the elimination of their top people and they also wish to harm Israel in view of the upcoming disengagement.” He said that there have been successes in the war against terror: There have been no suicide bombings inside Israel since 13th March. He said that in May alone 18 suicide bombings in Israel have been thwarted.

The Head of Research in Army Intelligence, Brigadier General Yossi Koppervasser, said during the meeting that the first signs could be seen of efforts by terrorist organizations, to move smuggling of weapons from Egypt into Israel away from the Philadelphi route to other areas. He said that the smuggling layout in Rafiah is made up of about 10-20 people, some of them Palestinian Security Personnel.

Brigadier General Koppervasser added that the Palestinian leadership, headed by Arafat, was following the disengagement plan with concern and was worried that after Israel cut itself off from Gaza, the (Gaza) Strip would remain a big prison of Palestinians. Answering a question by KM Haim Ramon (Avoda), Brigadier General Koppervasser said that terrorism coming out of the (Gaza) Strip would lessen as a result of the disengagement.

So, what do you think of Haaretz’s editing out one of the most interesting and informative parts of the article, while still managing to fit in Yossi Sarid saying that Mofaz was an insult to intelligence? Do you know what I think? I think Haaretz is an insult to intelligence.

By the way, the stuff they didn't edit out of the article is interesting enough. Apparently, Egypt has been smuggling large amounts of Egyptian-made RPG launchers into the Gaza Strip through the tunnels. Good thing we're at peace with Egypt. Can you imagine if we weren't?

* In all fairness, I must point out that Haaretz also changed the last few paragraphs of the article, cutting out petty details that really would not be of interest to the foreign reader.