Skip to main content

Israeli Arab kids watch a fire at a car dump yard in Israel's mixed Arab-Jewish town of Lod, central Israel.

Oded Balilty/AP

Following a furor over its use of the Afrikaner term for a racist and divided society, Israel's largest newspaper Haaretz has removed the word from its online editions and published a "clarification" in its print editions.

On Oct. 23, the left-leaning Haaretz headlined its lead story: "Most Israelis support an apartheid regime in the country."

Haaretz has now republished the online version without the offensive term and explained how the story ignited a worldwide reaction. The paper also carried a clarification in its print editions saying that "the phrasing" of the headline [on the article] did not accurately reflect the findings of the 'Dialog' poll."

Story continues below advertisement

The clarification added: "The question to which most of the participants of the poll sample responded negatively was not in regards to the current situation, but rather to a hypothetical situation in the future: 'If Israel would annex Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], in your opinion should 2.5 million Palestinians be granted the right to vote for the Knesset?' "

That poll found a majority of respondents said West Bank Palestinians should be denied the vote in the event of an annexed single state.

The Haaretz story was based on a Dialog poll that asked a series of questions, some of them hypothetical, about the attitudes of Israeli Jews.

One question asked whether Israelis agreed with the assessment of an unidentified American author that the some aspects or elements of apartheid already exist in Israel.

Haaretz's use of the term apartheid, with its emotive origins in the white-dominated racist regime that ruled South Africa for decades, attracted wide attention both inside Israel and internationally.

Other major newspapers, including The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, The Independent and the Sydney Morning Herald carried stories citing the Haaretz poll and interpretation.

Mike Fegelman, executive director of Honest Reporting Canada, a pro-Israel media watchdog group, said the poll was really a deceptive push poll, which Wikipedia describes as an interactive marketing technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll.

Story continues below advertisement

Haaretz's 'poll' falsely claiming Israelis either support an apartheid regime in their country or who view the Jewish state as already being one, proves Mark Twain's theory that "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes," said Mr Fegelman.

The poll also caused a considerable stir in Israel with politicians reacting to the story and re-kindled a long-standing debate over the degree to which Israeli society is divided along Jewish and non-Jewish lines.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter