Haaretz Hates Religious Jews
The Jewish Press
August 24, 2005
Even as most Israelis, including those who strongly supported the withdrawal from Gaza, shed tears and felt and shared the pain of those who were being forced out of their homes and whose communities were being destroyed, there were those who continued to attack these Jews of faith and strength who surely are among the best that Israel has.
The ultra-secular Israeli world that is represented by the journalistic cesspool known as Haaretz did its sadistic best to add to the pain, to add to its long and ignoble record of hatred for Judaism.
I write these words on a plane back from Israel, after a stay of more than a month. Each day I read the English Haaretz, a difficult exercise because without let-up the newspaper denigrated and demonized the Jewish Gazans and, more generally, religious Jewry. In my experience, I cannot think of a single issue of Haaretz that has not carried at least one rabidly anti-religious article or editorial.
Two weeks before the withdrawal began, Haaretz editorialized that the Jews in Gaza were “criminals.” In a follow-up editorial the newspaper suggested that the government show an “iron fist” toward these Jews. Isn’t it interesting how those who pretend to be liberal and caring about human rights can come up with so perfect a fascist phrase to indicate how they feel toward religious Jews?
As challenging as it is to go through this garbage heap, the effort allows us to understand how during the Holocaust there were Jews whose animus toward Judaism was so great that they collaborated with those who slaughtered our people. There is a kapo syndrome in our bad seed.
What did Haaretz have to say as hundreds of thousands of Israelis — including those in the military — wept? In an editorial called “Extortion by Sanctity” it went amok over the efforts to save Gaza synagogues by having them taken apart and rebuilt elsewhere. Referring to “deranged messianic acts” the newspaper opined, “the walls of the synagogues, their floors, roofs and any other part of the structure in which people pray, are neither sacred nor sacrosanct.”
It is surprising to see those who mock our religion pretending to know anything about our religious laws. Haaretz is, of course, wrong on Jewish law, as it is whenever it sees fit to offer moral judgment. I have in fact quoted only a very small part of a loony editorial which thrice referred to the effort to save the synagogues as “blackmail.”
It’s time to say that though it is written in Hebrew by Israelis nearly all of whom are Jewish, Haaretz is not a Jewish newspaper. It is an anti-Jewish newspaper published by people who hate our religion, who hate our heritage, who hate most of our people and who hate our land.
As the withdrawal process began Haaretz published another editorial arguing that “after decades of occupation, Israel has an obligation to be at the forefront of giving assistance to rehabilitate Gaza and assuring the Palestinians’ prosperity.”
If this is not madness, what is? The Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announces that the Gaza withdrawal is the first step and Jerusalem is next; tens of thousands of Palestinians, many of them armed, march and chant death to Israel; the terrorist network against Israel continues to function and the goal to destroy Israel remains alive in the minds of nearly all Palestinians. And what does Haaretz propose? That Israel has an obligation to take from its treasury and give it to the Palestinians.
It is extraordinary to see how this journalistic sewer that hates religious Jews is so much more favorable to those who hate Israel.
Could it be that the fact that the editor of Haaretz is David Landau, a Kippa-wearing Jew, is part of the reason for the paper’s extreme leftism? Often those who leave a community are the most violent detractors of that which they rejected. This makes it worse for the community of the faithful. For one, we must now battle worst hatred than we would if the editor was born secular. Two, the Kippa on the editor’s head gives him legitimacy in the eyes of the secular that he would not normally have. (e.g. If a “religious” person allows such things to be printed, they must be true.)
When Landau was the political correspondent for Ma’ariv, he wrote “Piety and Power: The World of Jewish Fundamentalism.” They never said to not judge a book by its title when the author’s agenda is quite so blatant. If he is the editor, I have little doubt that Dr. Schick’s statement that “I cannot think of a single issue of Haaretz that has not carried at least one rabidly anti-religious article or editorial” is not a symptom of an impaired memory.
My sentiments exactly, except for this: “It is extraordinary to see how this journalistic sewer that hates religious Jews is so much more favorable to those who hate Israel.” What’s so extraordinary about it? Our Sages explained it long ago…”Those who are merciful to the cruel will end by being cruel to the merciful.”
Rosh Hodesh Ellul,
Dr. Schick, you used many strong and colorful terms to describe Haaretz, such as “garbage heap”, “journalistic sewer”, etc. I think you would be more persuasive if you would omit these terms, and just cite Haaretz verbatim and state calmly your conclusions, disagreements, etc. I read Haaretz almost daily in order to know “how to answer” and to understand my fellow yidden. I am not going to defend Haaretz (I too noticed all those statements you cited), but I think it is fair to point out that Israel Harel, former head of YESHA council and ur-settler, has a weekly column in which he intelligently presents the religious,ZIonist, pro-settlement view; Moshe Arens also has a regular column presenting the secular rightist view; Rav Haim Sabato writes a weekly parashat Hashavua; and additional divergent views are given space. There have been many articles which are complimentary and fair on subjects such as the Brisk yeshiva in Jerusalem and Lakewood Yeshiva, etc. During the recent brouhaha involving the wife of CHief Rabbi Amar, Haaretz had several articles that were very positive and fair. Rav Bulman ztzl encouraged me to try to get articles in Haaretz after I succeeded in getting them to print an article of mine explaining Rav Ovadia Yosef. Rav Bulman said we should keep trying to get “inside enemy lines.” We can do that best by writing calmly and rationally, by eschewing pejoratives, and presenting our case intelligently.
David Landau, who wears a black cloth kippah, sincerely thinks he is saving the Jewish people and the Jewish state. He is more open-minded than you would imagine. By chance, he once was stranded in Kiryat Sanz for a Shabbos. My husband took him to the tisch of the Admor of Sanz (son of the Klausenberger, ztzl). I took his wife to meet the Rebbetzin. David Landau came out of the tisch with unrestrained praise. Since he knows Yiddish from his religious upbringing in London, he understood the divrei Torah of the admor and told us he was stunned by the level of Torah and the total command of sources not only by the admor, but by a large number of hassidim who could complete talmudic passages that the admor cited.
I learned from you Dr Schick how important it is not to distance the kerovim. People like Landau are kerovim and we should work harder to bring them even closer.
Shira Schmidt wrote:
“David Landau came out of the tisch with unrestrained praise.”
Too bad it wasn’t enough to stop him from publishing anti-semitic propaganda in his paper.