JERUSALEM (AA) - U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has slammed Israeli daily Haaretz for publishing an opinion piece criticizing Israel’s settlement policy in the occupied West Bank.
“What has become of Haaretz?” Friedman tweeted on Friday.
“Four young children are sitting shiva [a week-long Jewish mourning period] for their murdered father and this publication [i.e., Haaretz] calls their community a ‘mountain of curses’. Have they no decency?” the ambassador asked.
In an opinion piece published earlier this week, Haaretz correspondent Gideon Levy criticized Friedman for donating an ambulance to the Jewish-only Har Bracha settlement.
“With or without Friedman’s ambulance, Har Bracha is a mountain of curses,” Levy wrote.
“It was founded to poke sticks in the eyes of the Palestinians and derail the prospects for a peace agreement,” he added.
Earlier this week, Har Bracha hosted the funeral of Itmar Ben-Gal, a Jewish Rabbi who was stabbed to death in the West Bank last month.
Haaretz publisher Amos Schoken, for his part, has come to the defense of his correspondent.
“Mr. Ambassador, Gideon Levy is right,” Schoken said in his own tweet Friday.
“As long as it remains Israeli government policy to obstruct the peace process, practically annex the [occupied] territories [and] perpetuate apartheid… there will be more shivas,” he said.
Traditionally known for its left-leaning editorial stance, Haaretz opposes Israel’s policy of illegal settlement expansion in the Palestinian territories, considering such a policy to be an obstacle to peace.