Haaretz.com promotes website advocating genocide and terrorism

2 June 2008

080602-haaretz-ads1.jpg

“Our land is not Arab land”: An advertisement on the front page of Haaretz.com leads to a website advocating genocide and terrorism.


Haaretz.com, the website of the Israeli newspaper often cited as an example of Israel’s liberal, critical media carries paid advertisements from a website openly advocating the total destruction of the Palestinian people, the murder of large numbers of Muslim civilians, the assassination of the family members of Arab rulers, and the use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons against dozens of countries.

The website, Samson Blinded, claims that Google banned its advertisements from its adwords program. If that is true, it would be consistent with Google’s policy that prohibits advertising promoting violence or advocating against any group based on race, ethnic or national origin or religion. Yet the Samson Blinded advertisements appear prominently on the main page and article pages of Haaretz’s website. For example the ad appeared on the front page of Haaretz.com on 1 June, and also prominently on an article page headlined “Who didn’t attend New York’s pro-Israel march? Israelis” on the same date.

Samson Blinded, whose publishers keep their identities secret, calls on Israel to eliminate all Palestinians from the territory it controls and to annihilate their culture. The site demands that Israel “destroy the Palestinian settlements [sic] and exile them far away — not to refugee camps in neighboring Arab countries, or the conflict would be perpetuated.” It argues that “Forced cultural assimilation of Palestinians should accompany deportation,” adding that “With demise of Palestinians, Arab Israeli conflict would lose its impetus [sic].”

The hate site advertised on Haaretz incites religious war, exploitation of children, and terrorism. It states for example that “Slavery is not an option in the modern world, but Israel adopting children from the poorest countries, indoctrinating them with anti-Islamism, and training them for low-rank military service in Israel Defense Forces may be feasible.” It also proposes that “Israel could invite Western Christian radicals to police the Palestinian territories” as “they would be happy to get a training ground in Israel for their militia.”

The site adds that “To succeed, Israeli violence against Arabs should be immediately overwhelming. Israel should show itself a bloodthirsty monster to scare the Arabs into submission.” Among the violence advocated by the site is the unprovoked wholesale murder of relatives of the rulers of Arab countries, civilians, and prisoners of war.

The site even calls for nuclear strikes against neighboring countries: “Israel should legislate that a nuclear attack against her from whatever source means immediate, simultaneous nuclear destruction by Israel Defense Forces of everything Muslim — capitals, temples, population centers — by the hundred or so nuclear weapons in Israel’s possession. Islamic terrorists who plan to use nuclear weapon against Israel must understand that the Jewish state will be commemorated with a really big bang.”

The website’s call for the destruction of the Palestinians appears to violate the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The convention defines as genocide acts including killing, expulsion and causing bodily and mental suffering “with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

The Convention, adopted in the wake of the Nazi holocaust, also defines as crimes “Direct and public incitement to commit genocide” and “Complicity in genocide.” The treaty, ratified by over 130 countries including Israel and the US, calls for the prosecution and punishment of these acts whether the individuals committing them “are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.”

Contacted by EI, Osnat Kohali, the manager of Haaretz.com stated that the newspaper and its website have a clear policy of not allowing any advertisements that include “incitement against any side.” In reaction to some of the statements on the Samson Blinded site quoted in this article, Kohali noted that the offensive statements were on the advertised website itself rather than in the advertisements that appeared on Haaretz. Kohali added, “We don’t go through each and every website and make a complete review about what it says.” However she undertook to review the Samson Blinded advertisements noting that “mistakes can be made.”

But the Samson Blinded ads are not the only case of Haaretz apparently profiting from extremism; its website has often carried advertisements for an organization called “The Jerusalem Summit” which also advocates the removal of the Palestinians from their homeland and holds that “the de-legitimization of the Palestinian narrative becomes a vital prerequisite to any comprehensive resolution of the Palestinian issue.”

This kind of militant Jewish extremism has been making steady inroads into Israel’s political mainstream, as numerous parties openly advocate the “transfer” (expulsion) of Palestinians and Israeli leaders have done little to marginalize and discourage it. What is surprising is that the widely respected Haaretz, which publishes jointly in Israel with The International Herald Tribune, would profit from hate groups and their possibly criminal incitement.

In 2006, the German newspaper publisher M. DuMont Schauberg bought a 25 percent stake in Haaretz, a move German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised as an instance of German reconciliation with Israel. In Germany, as in many other European countries, incitement to racial hatred is illegal.