Menachem Mendel

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Who Writes Those Haaretz Headlines?

Haaretz has an article about Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro of Torat ha-Melekh fame. He has publicized a statement that Israeli soldiers should continues using Palestinians as human shields, since the lives of soldiers are more valuable than those of Palestinians. What caught my eye was the difference in the headlines between the English and Hebrew editions of Haaretz.

yizhakshapiroenglishhaaretz-1.jpg
yitzhakshapriohebrewhaaretz.jpg

According to the headline in the English edition, Shapiro is a “Leading Rabbi,” while the Hebrew edition describes him as “The Head of the Yeshiva ‘Od Yosef Hai.’” Someone reading the English edition might very well get the impression that Shapiro is some leading rabbinic figure with a significant following.

The difference in translation continues in the article itself.

Leading rabbi encourages IDF soldiers to use Palestinian human shields - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.jpg
shapiroyeshivaheadenglish.jpg

The “Head of Yeshiva” in the Hebrew edition became “A leading rabbi in the West Bank settlement of Yizhar.” Is Shaprio a “leading rabbi” just in Yizhar, or in the larger religious community in Israel? I would like to attribute these misleading translations to poor translating and not some deliberate attempt to make Shapiro into some leading rabbinic figure in the eyes of those who can’t read a Hebrew text.

5 Responses to “Who Writes Those Haaretz Headlines?”

  1. 1
    adderabbi:

    I agree that it’s simply poor translation, or perhaps illiteracy of the language of tradition. A few years ago, Ynet translated “rosh yeshiva” as “council head”: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3567666,00.html

  2. 2
    Roger Pearse:

    “Haaretz has an article about Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro of Torat ha-Melekh fame. He has publicized a statement that Israeli soldiers should continues using Palestinians as human shields, since the lives of soldiers are more valuable than those of Palestinians.”

    I sincerely hope that you consider that the lives of your soldiers are more valuable than those of your enemies. Because if you don’t, you’d better start packing for your trip to the New Auschwitz right now.

    Only fools accustomed to the utmost extent of luxury can afford to pretend that the lives of those who protect them are of no more importance than the lives of those who intend to cut their throats if they can manage it.

  3. 3
    Menachem Mendel:

    Roger,

    I think that it is wrong to take an innocent Palestinian and have them walk into a house b/c you think that it might be booby trapped and you want them to set off the bomb. I wouldn’t have done it when I served in the IDF, not that I was ever in such a situation, and it is clear that the overwhelming majority of Israeli soldiers also wouldn’t do it. Nobody is calling for a war without civilian deaths, but I don’t see it as “foolish” or a “luxury” to oppose the using of human shields. I see it as the right thing to do.

  4. 4
    nahum b.:

    i see your point on the contradicting messages between the hebrew and the english versions. in this case this could possibly be attributed to the fact that the english reader may not be familiar with the person rabbi shapiro & haaretz feels obligated to introduce him to the english reader as such and such.
    conversly, i noticed that sometimes, you will find haaretz covering outrageous stories in the hebrew version while omitting them completely (out of embarssement -perhaps?) in the english version.

  5. 5
    Menachem Mendel:

    conversly, i noticed that sometimes, you will find haaretz covering outrageous stories in the hebrew version while omitting them completely (out of embarssement -perhaps?) in the english version.

    I have also found the opposite to be true. While the Hebrew website might have already changed headlines a number of times, the English headline, often critical of Israel, stays around for a while longer.

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