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Haaretz apologizes for ad opposing military refusals

The left-wing newspaper blamed a technical glitch for the publication.

The front pages of the Hebrew and English editions of Haaretz. Credit: Hmbr via Wikimedia Commons.
The front pages of the Hebrew and English editions of Haaretz. Credit: Hmbr via Wikimedia Commons.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz has apologized for publishing an ad opposing refusal to show up for military duty by opponents of judicial reform.

The apology published in Wednesday’s edition blamed a technical error for the previous day’s front-page ad from Torat Lehima, an association that “works to strengthen the Jewish identity and fighting spirit in the IDF and the security establishment” against “radical leftist trends” in the army.

“As the newspaper was going to press, a glitch occurred in the ad approval process and it should not have been published as is,” the apology states.

Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken admitted that he approved the ad, which featured a QR code link to a video showing an infantry fighter requesting assistance from the air force but not receiving it because the pilot is absent in protest of judicial reform.

“Unfortunately, the advertiser cheated us,” Schocken wrote on his Twitter account. “In order to get approval for publication, he submitted an ad without the link to the false video, but after approval, he asked to replace the ad, and those responsible did not notice the change.”

Torat Lehima said in a statement reacting to Schocken’s apology: “We see that Haaretz’s fake liberalism stops as soon as it comes to an ad supporting the IDF against those who refuse to follow orders and inevitably harm Israel’s security.”

Last month, after the Knesset passed the first part of the judicial reform initiative into law, several Israeli newspapers ran entirely black front-page advertisements.

The ads, published by Haaretz, Israel Hayom, Yediot Ahronot and Calcalist, were paid for by the Israeli Hi-Tech Protest movement, a group composed of hi-tech employees and business owners.

“A black day for Israeli democracy,” the ads read, while the word “advertisement” was printed in small text at the top of the page.

The great majority of Israelis do not trust mainstream media, a poll published earlier this month by the Central Bureau of Statistics found.

Only 35% of Israelis polled said that the mainstream media provides credible information, compared to 60% who did not find the reporting reliable.

Fewer than half of those polled found television, radio and newspapers to be credible, compared to a quarter for social media.

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