The silencing of an important voice

This is concerning news sent by Israeli human rights group New Profile:

Dear Friends,

This morning I by purely chance learned Haaretz had fired Meron Benvenisti.…  I phoned him and he confirmed this, relating that Haaretz had fired him at the end of May.…  His dismissal will be formally activated at the end of June, but the paper since informing him has no longer been publishing his work.

When I asked Benvenisti if he would mind our protesting his dismissal, he replied “not at all.”…  Meron Benvenisti, similarly to Amira Hass, Gideon Levy, and Akiva Eldar is an excellent analyst and an outspoken critic of Israeli government policies.…  His voice will be sorely missed.

Those of you who are unfamiliar with his work can find a brief bio here. Many of his op eds and other work are available on the internet via Google and other search engines.

The link here is to addresses of the Haaretz publisher and staff.…  I believe that our letters protesting Benvenisti’s dismissal can be most useful addressed to the publisher, Amos Schoken, and to the Editor (who fired Benvinisti), Dov Alfon.…  But I presume that it will also not hurt to write to more of the editorial staff.

I hope that each and every one of you will take a minute or two to write, so that there is a massive outpouring of anger and indignation and, perhaps most important, expressions of feeling the loss of a voice as important as Benvenisti’s.

A CAVEAT: do not threaten to unsubscribe from the paper (assuming that some of you do subscribe).…  As I recall, last year both Amira Hass and Gideon Levy felt that this would have the contrary effect. Haaretz, due to a financial crisis,…  has since last year changed its focus from a newspaper that presents left-of-center views as well as consensus views to a paper centering its appeal to an upper-class audience, focusing more on The Marker than on investigative reporting and op eds and investigative reporting of the sort that Benvenisiti writes.

Thanks for taking part in this protest.

Let’s wish us luck.…  But even should we not succeed in restoring him his place in the paper, the danger of keeping quiet is that others of Benvinisti’s ilk will suffer his fate.


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