Haaretz’s English version has a long history of failed translations of Hebrew Items into English. Yet even after they had to shamefully correct these errors, they haven’t realised it’s time to do a house check.
So when I read last night on Ynet that an army drill sergeant in the rank of Staff Sergeant had a spat with some soldiers hanging a gay pride flag with the Star of David on it, you can imagine how surprised I was to see that in theHaaretz English universe, he went to officer academy, then went up the ranks to Major – a process that usually takes some 8 years – in the span of two hours.
Israeli major denounces soldiers who hung gay flag on base as ‘disgrace’
Gay pride flag ‘disgraces the State of Israel.’ officer tells soldier, before court martial.
A major in an IDF base told soldiers that the pride flag they had hung in their room “is a disgrace to the state of Israel,” Haaretz has learned.
The Nahal Brigade soldiers, who serve at the Southern Command in the Dimona area, had hung a pride flag in their room with a Star of David drawn on it. The Major, who was inspecting the bases’ rooms, found two problems with the state of the room: An power strip (which is forbidden in army residences) and the flag.
Yet the same Haaretz military correspondent, Gili Cohen, had written in the original Hebrew version that a “Discipline Sergeant (Rasar)” did the room inspections. That title is always an NCO, not an officer.
And while this 22-23 year old NCO might be an ass, it’s worthwhile to know that the IDF is actually one of the more accepting armed forces in the world. Not that you would know that by reading the Haaretz story.
Update 27 March, 11:30: looks like we struck a nerve:
The article now says:
A drill sargent [sic] in a military base told soldiers that the pride flag they had hung in their room “is a disgrace to the state of Israel,” Haaretz has learned.
This article was amended on March 27 to correct the rank and position of the non-commissioned officer.
Yet the headline and sub-title still say major and officer.
Update 27 March, 12:30: headline and sub-heading still saying major and officer.
Update 28 March 08:19: Brian of London here. The headline and sub-heading are exactly the same and wrong. So here it is: Ha’aretz’s English editor knows the translation is wrong (because he fixed the body of the article) and he knows the article is malicious (because we told him so). Yet more than 24 hours later the headline is still wrong.
I’d have to say Ha’aretz is either deeply incompetent (unable to fix a simple translation error in a heading and sub-heading) or some forces over there prefer to leave what some might say is slander against the IDF up on their website for as long as possible.
You, the reader, can decide. Judging by the sinking readership of Ha’aretz, many others have made their decision.
Update 28 March 10:10: Brian of London here. After an email conversation with the editor of Ha’aretz english, the headline now reads:
Israeli NCO denounces soldiers who hung gay flag on base as ‘disgrace’
Gay pride flag ‘disgraces the State of Israel,’ drill segreant tells soldier, before court martial.
Well that only took a day or so. Story lacks punch now it’s only a “drill segreant” [sic] AND he’s facing court martial.