Haaretz (Hebrew: הָאָרֶץ lit.'The Land [of Israel]', originally Ḥadshot Haaretz – Hebrew: חַדְשׁוֹת הָאָרֶץ, IPA: [χadˈʃot haˈʔaʁets] lit.'News of the Land [of Israel]') is an Israeli newspaper. It was founded in 1918, making it the longest running newspaper currently in print in Israel, and is now published in both Hebrew and English in the Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International New York Times. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the internet. In North America, it is published as a weekly newspaper, combining articles from the Friday edition with a roundup from the rest of the week. It is considered Israel's newspaper of record. It is known for its left-wing and liberal stances on domestic and foreign issues.
As of 2022, Haaretz has the third-largest circulation in Israel. It is widely read by international observers, especially in its English edition, and discussed in the international press. According to the Center for Research Libraries, among Israel's daily newspapers, "Haaretz is considered the most influential and respected for both its news coverage and its commentary."
History and ownership
Haaretz was first published in 1918 as a newspaper sponsored by the British military government in Palestine. In 1919, it was taken over by a group of socialist-oriented Zionists, mainly from Russia. The newspaper was established on 18 June 1919 by a group of businessmen including the philanthropist Isaac Leib Goldberg, and initially, it was called Hadashot Ha'aretz ("News of the Land"). Later, the name was shortened to Haaretz. The literary section of the paper attracted leading Hebrew writers of the time.
The newspaper was initially published in Jerusalem. From 1919 to 1922, the paper was headed by a succession of editors, among them Leib Yaffe. It was closed briefly due to a budgetary shortfall and reopened in Tel Aviv at the beginning of 1923 under the editorship of Moshe Glickson, who held the post for 15 years. The Tel Aviv municipality granted the paper financial support by paying in advance for future advertisements.
Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Haaretz's liberal viewpoint was to some degree associated with the General Zionist "A" faction, which later helped form the Progressive Party, though it was nonpartisan and careful not to espouse any specific party line. It was considered the most sophisticated of the Yishuv's dailies.
Salman Schocken, a Jewish businessman who left Germany in 1934 after the Nazis had come to power, bought the paper in December 1935. Schocken was active in Brit Shalom, also known as the Jewish–Palestinian Peace Alliance, a body supporting co-existence between Jews and Arabs which was sympathetic to a homeland for both peoples. His son, Gershom Schocken, became the chief editor in 1939 and held that position until his death in 1990.
The Schocken family were the sole owners of the Haaretz Group until August 2006, when they sold a 25% stake to German publisher M. DuMont Schauberg. The deal was negotiated with the help of the former Israeli ambassador to Germany, Avi Primor. This deal was seen as controversial in Israel as DuMont Schauberg's father, Kurt Neven DuMont, was member of the Nazi Party and his publishing house promoted Nazi ideology.
On 12 June 2011, it was announced that Russian-Israeli businessman Leonid Nevzlin had purchased a 20% stake in the Haaretz Group, buying 15% from the family and 5% from M. DuMont Schauberg. In December 2019, members of the Schocken family bought all of the Haaretz stock belonging to M. DuMont Schauberg. The deal saw the Schocken family reach 75% ownership, with the remaining 25% owned by Leonid Nevzlin.
In October 2012, a union strike mobilized to protest planned layoffs by the Haaretz management, causing a one-day interruption of Haaretz and its TheMarker business supplement. According to Israel Radio, it was the first time since 1965 that a newspaper did not go to press on account of a strike.
The newspaper's editorial policy was defined by Gershom Schocken, who was editor-in-chief from 1939 to 1990. Schocken was succeeded as editor-in-chief by Hanoch Marmari. In 2004 David Landau replaced Marmari and was succeeded by Dov Alfon in 2008. The current editor-in-chief of the newspaper is Aluf Benn, who replaced Alfon in August 2011. Charlotte Halle became editor of the English print edition in February 2008.
Walter Gross was a member of the governing editorial board and a columnist with the paper from 1951 to 1995.
Editorial policy and viewpoints
Haaretz describes itself as having "a broadly liberal outlook both on domestic issues and on international affairs", and has been summarized as being "liberal on security, civil rights and economy, supportive of the Supreme Court, very critical of Netanyahu's government". Others describe it alternatively as liberal,centre-left,left-wing, and the country's only major left-leaning newspaper. The newspaper opposes retaining control of the territories and consistently supports peace initiatives. The Haaretz editorial line is supportive of weaker elements in Israeli society, such as sex workers, foreign laborers, Israeli Arabs, Ethiopian immigrants, and Russian immigrants.
Haaretz uses smaller headlines and print than other mass circulation papers in Israel. Less space is devoted to pictures, and more to political analysis. Opinion columns are generally written by regular commentators rather than guest writers. Its editorial pages are considered influential among government leaders. Apart from the news, Haaretz publishes feature articles on social and environmental issues, as well as book reviews, investigative reporting, and political commentary. In 2008, the newspaper itself reported a paid subscribership of 65,000, daily sales of 72,000 copies, and 100,000 on weekends. The English edition has a subscriber base of 15,000.
Readership and reception
Despite its historically relatively low circulation in Israel, Haaretz has for many years been described as Israel's most influential daily newspaper. In 2006, it exposed a scandal regarding professional and ethical standards at Israeli hospitals. Its readership includes members of Israel's intelligentsia and members of its political and economic elites. In 1999, surveys showed that Haaretz readership had above-average education, income, and wealth, and that most were Ashkenazi Jews. Some have said that Haaretz functions in Israel much as The New York Times does in the United States, as a newspaper of record. In 2007, Shmuel Rosner, Haaretz's former U.S. correspondent, told The Nation, "people who read it are better educated and more sophisticated than most, but the rest of the country doesn't know it exists." According to Hanoch Marmari, a former Haaretz editor, the newspaper has lost its political influence in Israel because it became "detached" from the country's political life.
Haaretz operates both Hebrew and English language websites. The two sites offer up-to-the-minute breaking news, live Q&A sessions with newsmakers from Israel, the Palestinian territories and elsewhere, and blogs covering a range of political standpoints and opinions. The two sites fall under the supervision of Lior Kodner, the head of digital media for the Haaretz Group. Individually, Simon Spungin is the editor of Haaretz.com (English) and Avi Scharf is the editor of Haaretz.co.il (Hebrew).
Former Haaretz building (1932–1973), of which only part of the facade has been preserved
The Haaretz building is on Schocken Street in south Tel Aviv.
The former Haaretz building of 1932–1973 was designed by architect Joseph Berlin. It was demolished in the early 1990s, with only part of the facade preserved and integrated into the new building at 56, Maza Street.
^ abcHaaretz management (19 December 2019). "Shareholders Bought Haaretz Stock Owned by M. DuMont Schauberg". Haaretz.
^ ab"Aluf Benn named new editor-in-chief of Haaretz". Haaretz. 1 August 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
^ ab"Dov Alfon named as new Haaretz editor-in-chief". Haaretz. 12 February 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
^"Israel". Press Reference. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
^Levey, Gregory (21 August 2008). "Pushing right-wing American politics — in Israel". Salon. Retrieved 24 January 2014. In the past few months, Haaretz, Israel's paper of record, has run a series of articles expressing misgivings about outside influence.
^Rosen, Brant (11 May 2010). "Alan Dershowitz and the Politics of Desperation". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 January 2014. Recent polling, alongside articles in both the New York Times and the Israeli paper of record, Ha'aretz, indicate that the American Jewish community no longer feels represented by our so-called representatives - if we ever did.
^Gorenberg, Gershom (September 2002). "The Thin Green Line". Mother Jones. Retrieved 24 January 2014. In late January, the declaration ran as an ad in Ha'aretz, the national paper of record...
^"Israel — Hebrew- and English-Language Media Guide" (PDF). Open Source Center. 16 September 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
^ ab"ישראל היום או ידיעות? זה העיתון הנקרא בישראל | סקר TGI". Ice (in Hebrew). Retrieved 4 September 2022.
^Sheizaf, Noam (26 October 2010). "The political line of Israeli papers (a reader's guide)". +972 Magazine. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
^The Center for Research Libraries (CRL). "CRL Obtains Haaretz". www.crl.edu. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
^"TAU – Institute of Jewish Press and Communications – The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Center". Tel Aviv University. Archived from the original on 25 September 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
^ abc"Israel — Hebrew- and English-Language Media Guide" (PDF). Open Source Center. 16 September 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
^ abMarmari, Hanoch (16 April 2004). "A fine and fragile balance". Haaretz. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
^Cohen, Yoel. "Israel Society and Culture: Haaretz". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
"Goldberg, Isaac Leib (1860-1935) Papers". Yivo Institute for Jewish Research. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
^Tom Segev (18 March 2010). "Haaretz history". Haaretz. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
^ abHershel Edelheit & Abraham J. Edelheit (2000). History Of Zionism: A Handbook and Dictionary. Routledge. p. 473. ISBN 9780429701030.
^Dan Caspi & Yehiel Limor (1999). The In/Outsiders: The Media in Israel. Hampton Press. p. 79. Haaretz was closely aligned with the General Zionists A faction (which became the Progressive Party in 1948), a liberal stream in the Zionist Movement. The newspaper consistently maintained a liberal-centrist and anti-socialist orientation in social and economic affairs and generally adopted a dovish and firm anti-nationalistic line in political and security matters.
^Peri, Yoram (2004). Telepopulism: Media and Politics in Israel. Stanford University Press. p. 75. ISBN 9780804750028. Similarly, Haaretz, although independent, had a distinctly liberal (though nonpartisan) character. It is not surprising that its editor, Gershom Schocken, was a representative of the Progressive Party in the third Knesset in the years 1955–59.
^Palestine Affairs. Vol. 2. American Zionist Emergency Council. 1947. Haaretz has always been the mouthpiece of the liberal wing of the General Zionists, and through the years it has gained a reputation for independence and high literary standards.
^Amos Schocken (18 September 2002). "A newspaper's mission". Haaretz. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
^"M. DuMont Schauberg. Press-release". Dumont.eu. Archived from the original on 26 February 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
^Koren, Ronny (13 August 2006). "Germany's DuMont invests 25m euros in Haaretz". Haaretz. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
^"Haaretz's 'Nazi problem'". Ynetnews. 20 June 1995. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
^Li-or Averbach (12 June 2011). "Russian immigrant billionaire buys 20% of "Haaretz"". Globes. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
^Koopmans, Ofira (4 October 2012). "Journalists at Israel's Haaretz newspaper strike over job cuts". Europe Online. Archived from the original on 27 May 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
^"'Haaretz' daily not printed today". Globes. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
^"Israeli media vents fury at Likud". BBC News. 17 December 2002. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
^Mya Guarnieri (6 February 2011). "The death of Israeli democracy" (English ed.). Al Jazeera. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
^"Sharon orders Gaza pullout plan". BBC News. 2 February 2004. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
^"Israeli authors urge ceasefire talks with Hamas". Reuters. 24 September 2007. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
^"Propaganda war". The Economist. 16 August 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
^Cohen, I. Mateo (Spring 2022). "The Right-Wing 'One-State Solution': Narrative, Proposals, and the Future of the Conflict". Israel Studies. Indiana University Press. 27 (1): 132–155. JSTOR 10.2979/israelstudies.27.1.06.
^Israel — Hebrew- and English-Language Media Guide, p. 14
^"The press in Israel". BBC News. 8 May 2006. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
^ abcdStephen Glain (24 September 2007). "Ha'aretz, Israel's Liberal Beacon". The Nation. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
^Matt Viser (September 2003). "Attempted Objectivity: An Analysis of the New York Times and Ha'aretz and their Portrayals of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict". The International Journal of Press/Politics. 8 (4): 114–120. doi:10.1177/1081180X03256999. S2CID 145209853.
^Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg stirs storm after tweeting he might stop reading Haaretz, JTA, 2 August 2016
^Amos Schocken, third-generation proprietor of Ha’aretz, Financial Times, John Reed, 3 October 2016
^Beckerman, Gal (September–October 2005). "Disengaged". Columbia Journalism Review. Archived from the original on 7 October 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2007.
^Parks, Michael (23 March 1993). "Next Step: 4 Israelis Jostle to Lead Likud Out of Wilderness". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
^Slater, Jerome (Fall 2007). "Muting the Alarm over the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: 'The New York Times' versus 'Haaretz', 2000–06". International Security. 32 (2): 84–120. doi:10.1162/isec.2007.32.2.84. JSTOR 30133876. S2CID 57569122. There is a widespread consensus in Israel and elsewhere that Haaretz is Israel's best and most prestigious newspaper—in effect, the Israeli equivalent of the New York Times.(subscription required)
^עורך 'הארץ' לשעבר: 'הארץ' איבד את מעמדו הציבורי [Former Haaretz editor: Haaretz has lost its public standing] (in Hebrew). nrg Maariv. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
^Ross, Oakland (5 October 2008). "News and views that inspire love or kindle hatred". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2014.