An open letter to Amos Schocken in response to his urging “Subscribe to Haaretz and help shape Israel”

May 16, 2014
Dear Amos Schocken,

In response to your letter urging me to become a partner in shaping Israel by subscribing to Haaretz, I would very much like to do so, if I could be persuaded that the shape of Israel that Haaretz conceives would lead to a safe and secure region for both Israelis and Palestinians. Please convince me.

In the meantime I offer the following comments about my doubts and I copy below exactly what you wrote:


Yes, views expressed in Haaretz do spark controversy but regretfully your claim that they play themselves out in your paper is incorrect as Haaretz does not tolerate views that don’t conform to its ideology. Haaretz does not even grant the right of reply when readers point out factual misinformation. I quote just one example of very many.

Despite the fact that the error was immediately drawn to your attention your web site continues to this very day to publish the totally false allegation, originally reported in 2012, that Arab teachers and students in Meir hospital are forbidden to speak to each other in Arabic. See my letter which Haaretz refused to publish. 

The egregious canard that generates hate is still on your site. The headline shown below appears on your site TODAY.

Parents claim that Kfar Sava hospital bans teaching
staff from speaking in Arabic.
Arab teachers and students working in Kfar Sava’s Meir Medical Center have been forbidden to speak to each other in Arabic, despite the fact that Arabic is one of the official languages.

 Why should I subscribe to Haaretz while it continues to spread this and other falsehoods around the world? Are you proud that a Google search yields hundreds of sites quoting articles from Haaretz which cause an unjustifiable negative reaction about Israel even by friendly readers, including Jewish organizations. Typical of the the reaction your reports provoke, Khaliid wrote on your site “That’s sheer racism! Jews know nothing about coexistence, still they hope for their “fabricated” state to coexist with Arabs”.

Your new columnist Peter Beinart also repeated this false story when he was editing his now defunct web site “Open Zion” and despite being notified of its incorrectness it still appears TODAY on that site as shown below.

Kfar Sava hospital bans teaching staff from speaking in Arabic- Arab teachers and students working in Kfar Sava’s Meir Medical Center have been forbidden to speak to each other in Arabic, despite the fact that Arabic is one of Israel’s official languages. (Haaretz)

Yes, it is true that Haaretz is quoted world wide, but unfortunately almost all, if not all, the quotes from Haaretz in other media are negative showing Israel in a horrid light with no effort to provide context that would enable readers to better understand the situation. I firmly believe that honest journalism requires that media report on Israel, warts and all, but reporting only the warts of one side and emphasizing only positive features of the other, prevents the genuine dialogue required for negotiation toward a peaceful solution.

Your negative reports are eagerly snapped up by media devoted to Israel bashing like Electronic Intifada, the anti-Israel propaganda site that advocates BDS and whose co-founder Ali Abunimah is also a co-founder of BDS and opposes the two state solution. Haaretz’s news and articles are so compatible with those of Electronic Intifada that the latter’s web site devotes a complete section to reproducing articles from Haaretz to bolster its cause..

I would very much appreciate a considered response from you, especially if you can convince me that my above views are misconceived. I will keep an open mind in reading your response which will be publicized as will this letter.

Maurice Ostroff


On 12/05/2014,16:51,Monday, you wrote:
Subscribe to Haaretz and help shape Israel



About the Author
Maurice Ostroff is a founder member of the international Coalition of Hasbara Volunteers, better known by its acronym CoHaV, (star in Hebrew), a world-wide umbrella organization of volunteers active in combating anti-Israel media and political bias and in promoting the positive side of Israel His web site is at