Amos Schocken’s Schocking Racism

As Haaretz is fond of reminding its readers and its critics alike, the Israeli broadsheet is the voice of the nation’s embattled intelligentsia, an unabashedly progressive publication that spends much ink criticizing Israel’s faults, small or large, real or imagined. It’s why the paper’s long-time marketing slogan was “a newspaper for people who think”—the same distinction, presumably, did not apply to those who started their mornings with, say, Yediot Aharonot—and why it opted to celebrate Israel’s 70th Independence Day by asking its reporters to choose which classic Israeli song, the national anthem included, they despised the most. You could write all of that off as the same sort of hilariously unaware and irritating condescension you get every day in The New York Times or any other bastion of self-appointed elites anywhere; but this weekend, the paper’s publisher, Amos Schocken, crossed a line.

An active Twitter user, Schocken, the son of the newspaper’s original publisher, Gershom, got into an argument on the social media platform on Saturday after several readers tweeted at him that commemorating Israel’s Independence Day by mocking the anthem was, at best, in poor taste. Schocken held nothing back, and several of the exchanges grew heated. At some point, one woman, Ravit Dahan, tweeted at Schocken that it was security-minded people like her who kept Israel safe and allowed Schocken “to continue and live here like a king and publish your surreal newspaper without interruption.” At that, the publisher lost his cool.

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