Haaretz article on Israel shaming Australian Jews…ECAJ takes action

January 24, 2012 by J-Wire
Read on for article

The Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz has published online an article inferring that “Israel is shaming Australian Jews” resulting in a flood of complaints to The Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

Furthermore, the ECAJ has been told by many of those complaining that comments criticising the article have not been posted on the Haaretz web site.

The article, written by Akiva Eldar is sub-titled

Although Middle Eastern affairs are at the bottom rung of priorities for Australian politicians and there is nothing for Jewish lobbyists to do, Israel figures centrally in Jewish life ‘down under.’

To read the article, click here…

Peter Wertheim

Executive Director of the ECAJ, Peter Wertheim, has written to Ha’aretz stating:  “My organisation, which is the peak national body representing Australian Jewry, has been besieged with complaints from Australian Jews about the egregious falsehoods and childish oversimplifications contained in the article.  I understand that many complainants have posted comments in response to the article but, so far, you have failed to publish any of them.

I am writing to ask you for two things.

  1. Publish all the posts (unless they are obscene or abusive), and allow the link to the article to remain on your home page for a few days to give visitors to the site a fair opportunity to read them.
  2. Publish our 750 word reply to Eldar – to be supplied.

I would appreciate your urgent response.  Kindly note that the Jewish community media in Australia and elsewhere are keenly observing how this matter unfolds.



26 Responses to “Haaretz article on Israel shaming Australian Jews…ECAJ takes action”
  1. Robert says:

    Speaks for itself
    “Pro-Palestinian hackers apologize for bringing down Haaretz’s Hebrew website
    Twitter user who had taken responsibility for the attack says, ‘we are sorry, we didn’t know that haaretz is a good newspaper.’

    By Sefi Krupsky

    Get Haaretz on iPhone
    Get Haaretz on Android
    The pro-Palestinian hackers that took responsibility for bringing down Haaretz’s Hebrew website posted an apology on their Twitter account on Friday.

    “@haaretzprint we are sorry , we didn’t know that haaretz is a good newspaper,we sorry about this , and be sure no one will attack u again,” @AnonPS posted.”

    • Shirlee Finn says:

      Sure does speak for itself Robert, when The NIF Australia say on their web site “Akiva Eldar has an

      excellent article in today’s Ha’aretz about Australian Jewry and Israel.”

  2. Peter says:

    Haaretz has printed an opinion piece from one of its journalists that is clearly factually incorrect and on the basis of only one discussion with one person forms a conclusion on the state of support for Israel in Australia, that is also incorrect.

    A couple of people of the left have tried and I mean tried to defend it but any clear thinking reader of the article can see through what they have said.

    Now though, a numbers of questions are raised in my mind.

    1) Where did the reporter get a membership number of 800 for NIF Aus ?
    2) Why did NIF Aus initially support the article in glowing terms and then pull the comments from their website ?
    3) Why has NIF Aus now not made a formal comment on the article ?
    4) How many members does NIF Aus really have ?
    5) Why did Haaretz stop printing comments on the article – and in particular why has it not printed the comments of the Zionist movement and the ECAJ ?

    NIF makes a big show of being a charity which supports Israel. As I pointed out last year what it does not do is state that it is actually an American charity that happens to have a branch office in Israel. So it would be interesting to know who controls NIF Australia and in fact how many members it has.

    NIF Aus Board – you silence has been deafening to date !

    By the way if anyone actually wants evidence of the anti-Israel activities in Australia – using google maps satellite view, type in “Sydney town hall”.

    • Peter says:

      Well NIF Aus has at least answered one of my questions. It appears from todays Jewish News that they have no members. So we are left with the clear evidence that Akiva Eldar made the whole thing up. I wonder if he was even in Double Bay ?

      Says a lot about Haaretz and its reporters. Keep this in mind next time you read a report in that “Newspaper”.

      What’s the saying “never let the truth get in the way of your bias”

  3. Otto Waldmann says:

    Since the standard expression in this case is “shame”, I hold Robert Eichel, Shirlee, Liat, David ( I know who you are, don’t have, yet, your address but Mr. Singer will give it to me ), Phillip and Peter Hersh responsible for Larry Stillman’s and Mike Goldberg’s comprehensively all over ( that’s comprehensive alright )the shop, erratic retorts. Why couldn’t all of youse Zionists be as irrational as them two blokes !!!???
    This is not at all attack ad hominem as I am, actually, defending both Larry and Mike who, in fact, are incredibly indefensible. And NIF can, indeed, speak for themselves as they DO , indeed, ONLY speak strictly for themselves, all 35 or 800 if you also count the local branch of Hamas membership.

    • Shirlee Finn says:

      Otto, I would hope that “Mr Singer” would not pass on personal email addresses, without the consent of that person. Mine you have.

      Otto,it’s called voicing your opinion.

      I love the line ***all 35 or 800 if you also count the local branch of Hamas membership***

      That says it all !!!

  4. Shirlee Finn says:

    Having a little temper tantrum are we Larry, because we showed Ha’aretz up
    for what it is?

    Most if us probably don’t frequent the site anyhow, so don’t lose sleep over

    I think the NIF has pretty much spoken for itself anyhow, I don’t think it
    needs your protection.

    It was amazing how quickly it was removed from their Home Page, when they saw
    they were being criticised for posting and praising the item, rather than condemning it..

  5. Larry Stillman says:

    That’s right haters. Boycott Haaretz,so don’t go onto its website, and while you are at it, boycott all the Fairfax papers if you don’t already, and probably boycott The Forward, The Tablet, and many other publications, not to speak of the ABC, SBS, the BBC and probably everything else online except for Arutz 7 and the Fox Network.

    But I’ll let NIF speak for itself

    • Robert Eichel says:

      No Sir. No free kicks for for the” intelligensia”. We will continue to oppose lies,distortions, half truths, incitement and its apologists.

  6. Harry says:

    Haaretz and the NIF – Israel’s greatest enemies.

  7. anthony bell says:

    Mike Goldberg,
    take in Shirlee’s suggestions.
    Official titles don’t mean anything if one doesn’t do the hard yards.
    You feel many young are disaffected.?
    Then come in and help…do your bit instaed of blaming others

  8. Mike Goldberg says:

    Calling the Ha’aretz gutless is pushing the issue to the side and ignoring a key issue. You may disagree with elements of Eladar’s contention, but ultimately you cannot also dismiss the swath of Jewish Australians who do feel like that. You cannot claim to represent the Jewish community in Australia while ignoring elements of the community — large ones too, if Ledar’s numbers are correct.

    Peter Wertheim, Hersh, et al – if you wish to be responsible for the further disengagement of the young lady Eldar quoted, and the hundreds like her, then continue yor excellent work. It will only serve Israel (with which they would engage in a way they like, for example NIF, which they are quite fond of) and the Jewish people poorly.

    • Shirlee says:

      You know what Mike?

      Nothing is easy, and it certainly is no easy task for a Communal Organisations to do all things, for all people.

      If you want change, then do something positive to help bring about that change. It’s easier to sit outside the circle and criticise, than it is to get involved. I urge you to do so, if you feel strongly about it.

      For years I was like you and criticised our Community groups and leaders. Not loudly, I just withdrew from the Community and worked elsewhere.

      In 2010, when the Marrickville issue reared its ugly head, I couldn’t contain myself and got stuck into trying to do something about it.

      I still wasn’t happy the way the ‘official’ Community was handling things. I took issue with a number of people big time, and, on reflection, made a complete idiot of myself. Then it dawned on me after working with those people, that they weren’t so bad after all and they were open to suggestion.

      Try thinking and acting in the positive and not the negative, you may be pleasantly surprised.

  9. Robert Eichel says:

    Who needs Der Sturmer when you can read “all Jews are rich” on Haaretz.?

  10. Harry says:

    What is the link to the article on Haaretz? I can’t seem to find it.

    • Peter says:

      The article is now a little harder to find but still there. On the front page of their website you will see opinions. At the end of the list it says more opinions. Click that link and the article is about half way down the page.

      As at 9.15pm Australian time just from J-Wire there at least 3 responses that Haaretz have not had the guts and decency to put on their website. Only Haaretz would know how many they are holding back. That includes the ECAJ and State Zionist Council of NSW.

      This is clearly the case of an incompetent journalist being supported by a gutless paper.

      At least now we in Australia have clear evidence that their bias overrules the truth and journalistic ethics.

  11. Robert Eichel says:

    The lies and incitement by Haaretz ideologues peddling their prejudices as fact are picked up ant Israel publications like the BBC, Guardian etc and are reported as fact.
    Just one of Eldars lies in his article states “I responded that Israelis have trouble relating to the troubles of others-,”
    Is that why Israel sends medical teams to treat indigent all over the world and world class rescue teams to natural disasters and has sheltered many thousands of African victims of Arab apartheid,who are abused by Arabs on their journey to safety in Israel.
    PS Another of their stars is Amira Hass successfully sued for lying in Israel.

  12. Liat Nagar says:

    Absolutely unbelievable! Eldar sounds smug, superficial and seemingly unaware of the lack of professionalism he shows in writing comments without proper research in such a glib fashion.
    It’s disconcerting to say the least, that he stereotypes Australia’s Jewish population with the old ‘wealth’ adage. His is a small intellect indeed. However, it’s still difficult not to smart from it. As an aside, when I lived in Israel I was continually frustrated by the tendency of Israelis to think that nothing happened in Australia, there were no problems, no news (‘you have a horse race (Melbourne Cup) on your front pages,’ they said). I was the Australian, and yet those of this mind-frame knew better and didn’t want to know about the loss and death caused by fires and floods, Australia’s history that might put things into a different context, whatever … I’m not sure why many Israelis want to think in this way about Australia, but they do, and this article is further evidence of it.

  13. Shirlee says:

    Please can i suggest that others do what I have just done and write to Haaretz and lodge a complaint.


    I have sent a link to Danny Rod’s excellent article

  14. phillip says:

    As of 5:29 pm on 24 January 2012, the article and the comments (overwhelmingly critical of Eldar) are still on the Haaretz web site.
    Haaretz is a disgrace and should be boycotted

  15. david says:

    I sent this response to Ha’aretz yesterday. It has not been published.

    “800 out of 100000 Jews don’t seem to justify the opinions expressed in your report – as once again you sell your country short.

    Hope you checked the membership books to confirm the 800 figure in NIF anyway.

    I attended one of their prestige functions involving a TV hook up with Israel involving Naomi Chazan, Nachman Shai and Ehud Yaeeri. 35 people turned up. Did NIF tell you that?

    I am involved with Australians For A Secure Israel. 150 turned up for our inaugural function – with two of those lobbyists you seem to despise as guest speakers.

    Denigrating Australian Jewry on your brief fly in seems a little presumptuous. Pity you rely on a few anonymous people you ran into to gain your opinions.

    I suppose speaking to people like Peter Wertheim, Jeremy Jones, Ron Weiser, Mark Liebler, Colin Rubinstein or Vic Alhadeff could not be fitted in with your shopping trip to Double Bay.

    I suggest you speak to some of them. They represent most of the other 99200 Jews in Australia. You might then write a nice article about Australian Jewry and its support for your country- rather than tipping a bucket of offensive nonsense on us.”

    By the way – could NIF confirm it has 800 members in Australia? Could it also confirm it gave this number to Akiva Eldar?

    Come on Jwire – get your investigative shoes on and put these questions to NIF.

  16. Shirlee says:

    It appears that the New Israel Fund Australia has run away with its tail between its legs

    The post on their website, on this issue, has been removed!!!

  17. Shirlee says:

    Surely the New Israel Fund Australia must be joking when they say on their web site that…..

    *** Akiva Eldar has an excellent article in today’s Ha’aretz about Australian Jewry and Israel. ***

    It’s a pity, the NIF Australia and Haaretz didn’t take the time to check the accuracy of this item, before spreading its venom abroad.

    The biggest shame of all is that the NIF Australia obviously agree with it and has the effrontery to call themselves Jewish and Australian

    Shame on you .!

    How is anyone to believe anything they or Haaretz publishes, when they are unable to get a few single facts correct

    Haaretz says..

    ” But most of the 100,000-strong Jewish community lives well.”

    If that’s the case, how come at a meeting ahead of Anti-Poverty Week, in October last year, the President of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Yair Miller said: “It is a little known fact that around 20% of the Jewish Community in NSW, actually lives below the poverty line?. “ He further made comment that the figures in the State of Victoria , were pretty much on a par

    Haaretz goes on to say “You won’t find an Australian Jew who has not visited Israel at least once”

    Really ?

    Well here’s one, with my husband that makes two. Maybe they’d like to include my two neighbours in their count. too?

    That makes four by my reckoning. I believe the figure is around the 20% mark.

    Now – you tell me how are we supposed to believe the figures of 800 signing up to join the NIF?

    The NIF Australia and Haaretz have no credibility as far as I can see.

  18. Peter Hersh says:

    NIF Aus.

    You guys have got to be kidding. It’s bad enough that someone who clearly knows nothing about Australia writes a stupid article in Haaretz, your website goes and supports it !

    “Akiva Eldar has an excellent article in today’s Ha’aretz about Australian Jewry and Israel.” see http://www.nif.org.au/blog

    Peter could not be more correct in his comment “the egregious falsehoods and childish oversimplifications contained in the article” and you think it’s excellent.

    But you guys at NIF Aus have form, you think David Landau’s a Zionist.

  19. Otto Waldmann says:

    A cheap, nasty, back-door, backward attempt at promoting NIF as the “real” Jewish voice !!!
    Typical Ha Aretz primitive thinking !! The retorts, however, have been strongly attacking Ha Aretz with the few expected complementary shlemils.

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.