‘Israel Hayom,’ where democracy is for Jews alone

The pro-Netanyahu newspaper launched a new online questionnaire to help readers decide which party represents them. Jewish readers, that is.

By Oren Persico / ‘The 7th Eye’

Israel Hayom, the most widely-distributed newspaper in the country, continues to exclude Arab citizens from its coverage of the upcoming elections. A new web-based initiative that gives the reader the opportunity to learn which political party supports his or her worldview is geared toward Jews only, like many of the polls conducted by the newspaper.

Joint List leader, Ayman Odeh, speaks during the party's Hebrew-language launch event, Tel Aviv, February 11, 2015. (Photo: Activestills.org)
Joint List leader, Ayman Odeh, speaks during the party’s Hebrew-language launch event, Tel Aviv, February 11, 2015. (Photo: Activestills.org)

Until recently, Israel Hayom’s elections coverage section included a header with photos of all the party heads who are expected to be elected to the next Knesset. That is, except for the non-Jewish parties. After Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad united form the Joint List, Ayman Odeh’s face went missing from the header. Odeh, who leads the Joint List, finally managed to make it into the header last week, although now it turns out that this was nothing more than a momentary victory in the struggle over fair elections coverage.

On Thursday morning, the front page of Israel Hayom included the headline “Test yourself: Which party fits you?” The paper invited its readers to go to its website to “find out where they fit on the political map of the 2015 elections.” The online questionnaire was created in partnership with the Hagal-Hahadash polling company. After doing answering several questions, the reader can discover which party is closest to his or her political beliefs.

The Joint List was missing from the initiative launch. The reader is asked to respond to questions on the economy, security and religion, but is only matched up with the positions of the Jewish parties. The Joint List was added shortly thereafter, but the final question still remains, clarifying for whom the whole thing exists in the first place: “How do you define yourself? First as a Jew and then as an Israeli, or first as an Israeli and then as a Jew?”

An Israeli citizen who is not Jewish and wants to fill out the questionnaire cannot answer the last question. For Israel Hayom, democracy is for Jews alone.

This article was first published in Hebrew by The 7th Eye media watchdog website. It is reproduced here with permission.

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