Isi in The Guardian (UK)

Haaretz & Right of Reply

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Last week Tony Lerman, the controversial former head of the London based Institute for Jewish Affairs, wrote an article in the Guardian totally distorting an article I had written in the Jerusalem Post critical of J Street and Jews whose prime political activity is to demonize Israel.

I wrote to the Guardian and requested a right of reply which, to my surprise, was immediately granted (Click here to read article). The Guardian subsequently also indicated a willingness to accept future articles from me so that I could present views that were “antidotes to the Guardian default”.

In light of this I decided to also communicate with Haaretz. For nearly two weeks the Haaretz English internet edition has prominently featured on its home page an article by its senior editor Bradley Burston harshly criticizing my views on J Street. The article was subsequently published in the weekend Hebrew and English print editions.

I wrote to Haaretz and requested a right of reply, pointing out that not only had Mr. Burston’s piece been featured for nearly two weeks on the home page, but that to date Haaretz had not published any op-eds or articles critical of J Street.

Haaretz rejected my request and suggested I merely submit a letter outlining my views – an offer which I declined.

It says something about Haaretz – a newspaper which claims to uphold freedom of expression even for those who slander Israel and the IDF – that even in contrast to a prominent anti Zionist British newspaper like the Guardian, they will not provide for a right of reply. It is also noteworthy that David Horowitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post, has always provided a full right of reply to anyone criticized in opinion columns.

Isi Leibler

ileibler@netvision.net.il

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