Sound the trumpets! Roll the drums!  Khaled Meshaal has an important, in his own words, “message to the world”. His “message” was reported in Haaretz on its August 21 English online edition without any editorial commentary – without even a comment. At least one comment. One? 

Does the editor or staff member who put this piece together agree with Meshaal or disagree? I certainly couldn’t figure it out. I know what I think and I know what people who are critical of Israel will think. Those who are critical of Israel (and here I am being nice to them by not ascribing any labels to them) will use this as substantiation of their anti-Israel stance. After all, Haaretz is a respected Israeli newspaper!

I wonder if, at this point, Meshaal even believes his own lies.

Here is what Meshaal is quoted in Haaretz as having said in an interview with the Turkish Andalou Agency: “Our message to the world is that it’s high time to deal with the root cause of the problem by ending the [Israeli] occupation and settlement building and allowing the Palestinian people to live in peace on their own land.” He goes on to claim: “What Israel has done in the Gaza Strip over the last 45 days is a genuine holocaust,” he said. “They are killing children, destroying residential areas, mosques, hospitals and UNRWA-run schools.”He added that “Israel is replicating what Hitler did years ago.”

Photo of Khaled Meshaal

Unedited “Messages to the World” Constitute Irresponsible Journalism When Published in Article Form

It has reached the point, it seems, where repeating that Israel has illegally occupied Palestinian land, that Israel is targeting children and hospitals, etc in this latest military operation, and that Israel is conducting a Holocaust-type genocide in Gaza is enough to make these statements true in the hearts and minds of large parts of the world population. Including, even, Israel’s own left. I can just about see my learned leftist Israeli comrades raise their arms in joy while shouting “Hear! Hear!” to the above statements. (And if I am wrong about this, dear friends, please voice your disagreement aloud and I will apologize.)

What happened to journalism? Fact checking? Editorializing? When Haaretz does not comment on these statements and lets them stand on their own, the paper apparently endorses them.

Does Haaretz not know that Israel evacuated all its settlements from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements in 2005? Does Haaretz not know that the true category for the territories some consider occupied are not legally occupied (in spite of what the UN, in all its glorious so-called neutrality has declared), but disputed? Does Haaretz really believe Israel is conducting a Holocaust in Gaza? While I don’t expect everyone around the world to know the history and definitions relevant to this discussion, I do expect an Israeli newspaper to.

Can someone over there at Haaretz explain to me the rationale behind publishing a piece like this without correcting misconceptions and clarifying the truth? Because when you publish an interview like this as-is, it harms the country I assume you love as much as I do.