Yesterday Matti Friedman posted his displeasure at the way a Hebrew article had been translated in Ha’aretz’s English edition. The one that then gets picked up and spread around the world by the international media. The self same international media whose misdeeds and biases Matti is writing saliently about. Are we all seeing the problem here?
It feels strange as a reporter to be in this position, but I have to say that the translation in Haaretz.com of Dafna Maor’s good Hebrew piece from 10 days ago not only condensed things so that nuance and context were lost but also invented things attributed to me. Like this paragraph:
‘Friedman says that the reason for this is not any great affection for the Palestinians. “It’s not because they like the Palestinians or because the Arabs are paying them. They’re simply not comfortable with Jews,” he says, though he adds that he does not think they are all anti-Semites.’
I never said anything of the kind, and that “quote” is not in the long Hebrew article published in print by The Marker. I have no idea where it came from. Anyone interested in the subject should either read the original (link below) or skip it. I’ll be publishing more on this topic this week.
Tom Gross was also unhappy about his words being twisted and misquoted:
I would add too, that this is not the fault of the journalist who interviewed us, Dafna Maor, who is the foreign editor of The Marker, but of the editors at the English edition of Haaretz.
After our complaints (the editor of the Haaretz English edition is a subscriber to this list) Haaretz agreed to change the online version of the article, but the print edition remains with the version which misrepresents what we said.
As usual, however, the damage is done, the print edition is set in ink and that is the one that was read by all the foreign media. No doubt their minor changes to the online version will disappear into obscurity. Let us remind ourselves that this is not an uncommon occurrence. And by some amazing coincidence, we’ve never spotted a mistranslation from Ha’aretz that made Israel look better. That’s odd isn’t it?
Haaretz English Edition Should Actually Hire People That Know Hebrew – the curious case of the wildly over-promotted soldier to make the IDF look bad.
Another Retraction From The Diseased Ha’aretz Organ – their retraction following their performance of an almost unimaginable feat: to take Amira Hass’s writing in Hebrew and make it more anti-Israel in English: Lag Ba’omer in Hebron: A Ha’aretz Fabrication.
Ha’aretz Goes Full Evil With Scarlett Johansson – the time they combined two images to make everything look worse.
There is some interesting news at the end of Tom Gross’s post:
The Hebrew edition – despite having some fine writing and writers – also contains many articles that have undermined the state of Israel, or are factually incorrect — for example, the headline that wrongly claimed that a majority of Israelis support “apartheid”; this was then reprinted in papers around the world. As a result, thousands of Israelis have canceled their subscriptions to Haaretz.
So much so that in the last few weeks the owner and publisher of Haaretz, Amos Schocken, has in desperation asked several of his leading writers personally to phone subscribers who have cancelled, to persuade them to rethink their decision. This evening he has invited hundreds of Haaretz subscribers who have cancelled — after 20 or 30 years as subscribers — to a gala reception with staff at Tel Aviv museum. They will, he says, be served special refreshments, discuss their dismay with staff, and be given a private viewing of the museum, in an effort to win them back.
However, several people I know who have been invited this evening (all of them on the Israeli center-left) say they are so fed up with the fact Haaretz so often paints Israel in the worst possible light, that they no longer want anything to do with the paper, and will not attend.