From news article:
Ha'aretz's Noam Ben-Zeev, who two years ago heroically braved a uniquely "apartheid road" (on which Palestinians and Israelis together travel freely) to attend a music event in Nablus, does it again. This time it's Christmas in Bethlehem. In a feature Thursday ("Beethoven reborn," Dec. 29), he writes that Palestinians may not enter or exit Bethlehem:
This was the feeling during the Christian festival of light, the holiday of renewal and optimism: a sense of siege in a city that is cut off from its surroundings by walls and checkpoints, with no one entering or leaving. A simple question to passersby about how to get to the Church of the Nativity prompted some bitterness from one: "You prohibit us from leaving the city, I can't even travel to Jerusalem, and you Israelis roam around here freely and want to visit the churches!"
Except, as reported in an Associated Press article that appears on Ha'aretz's very own site, "Thousands of Palestinians from inside [the] West Bank also converged on the town" of Bethlehem for Christmas festivities, which also drew a record number of international tourists. And, as the Palestinian Maan News Agency reported:
Boy and girl scouts from across the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem are assembling near a Catholic center in central Bethlehem, lining up before they parade toward the Nativity Church.
But it wasn't only Palestinians from the West Bank who visited Bethlehem for Christmas. In addition, several hundred Christian Arabs from Gaza also made their way to Bethlehem, via Israel,
From news article:
Ha'aretz columnist Sefi Rachlevsky last week published another venomous column, once again expressing his hatred of all things religious ("Netanyahu is fanning the flames of religious incitement," Dec. 27, 2011). While his hatred is not illegal, the publication of lies about others is.
About Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba, Rachlevsky wrote: "Lior has ruled that soldiers who evacuate outposts are like Nazis, and should be treated as such."
That is a very grave charge, but is it true?
Presspectiva, CAMERA's Hebrew site, investigated the matter, and found that Rabbi Lior never made the ruling that Rachlevsky cited. In a conversation with Presspectiva, the head of Rabbi Lior's bureau officially confirmed that the rabbi never made that ruling.
The fabricated ruling may have been based on a 2008 incident, when security forces demolished "Federman Farm," an illegal outpost near Kiryat Arba. Hours after the demolition, residents held a ceremony laying a new cornerstone to rebuild the outpost. Rabbi Lior, who was at the ceremony, said:
While Lior did relate the demolition of an illegal outpost to his World War II experiences his Poland, he never ruled that "soldiers who evacuate outposts are like Nazis, and should be treated as such." This is pure imagination on the part of Rachlevsky, and Ha'aretz owes an apology.
The events at the farm remind me of events that I personally experienced in Poland -- when they came to remove my family and me from my home. Then too we had no time to prepare, then too they threw us out and we did not take any clothes, and also then they carried out an inhumane, heartless act, lacking conscience, throwing out children, women, and young children from [their] home[s] for no reason, without even the pity or humanity to give them time to prepare.
From news article:
Jewish Agency Denies Ha'aretz Claims About Scholarships
The first paragraph of a front-page article by Revital Blumenfeld in Ha'aretz warns today:
Thousands of immigrants could be forced to drop out of school if the Jewish Agency moves forward with a plan to end scholarship funding at the end of the current academic year.
Moreover, the fifth paragraph of the article in the print edition alleges:
Those caught in the middle of their degree programs when the scholarships end would have to come up with the rest of the tuition themselves, or be forced to drop out of school.
Oddly, this paragraph does not appear in the online edition. Generally, online articles contain more, not less, information than their print counterparts, since space is not an issue on the Internet. Perhaps that paragraph was quietly cut from the Web edition after a complaint from the Jewish Agency. IMRA published the Jewish Agency's denial of Ha'aretz's claim that students will be left in a lurch, and forced to drop out:
We are shocked at the falsehoods published in this story. We were not given sufficient opportunity to respond before the article went to print. Our key message: No student will be hurt, no funds will be lost to the Student Authority. The Jewish Agency is indeed pulling out of funding the Absorption Ministry's Student Authority, because it is the right and smart thing to do. But we have secured in recent weeks iron-clad guarantees from several government sources that government agencies will step in and make up the difference. It is altogether appropriate that the government, rather than donors, take responsibility for long-term absorption and higher education of olim. The government agrees with us on this point. We promise now, as we promised in every meeting with the government: We will not pull out until the government steps in. Even after making this promise, the government has agreed to step in, because it recognizes its responsibility for the long-term success of olim in Israel.
We do not want to speculate on the motivations behind the publication of such an egregious misrepresentation of the facts.
Haviv Rettig Gur
Director of Communications
Jewish Agency for Israel