U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman lambasted Haaretz after opinion writer Gideon Levi criticized his donation of an ambulance to Har Bracha, hometown of the recently murdered father of four, Itamar Ben Gal.
“20 years ago I gave an ambulance to Har Bracha hoping it would be used to deliver healthy babies,” Friedman tweeted after the murder. “Instead, a man from Har Bracha was just murdered by a terrorist, leaving behind a wife and four children.”
Levi blasted Friedman for helping Israel’s seizure of Palestinian land, writing:
“With Friedman’s ambulance or without it, Har Bracha is a mountain of curses. It was a settlement established, like all the others, to poke a stick in the Palestinian eye and drive a stake into any chance of an agreement. A provocation, etc.”
“What has become of Haaretz?” Friedman tweeted in response. “Four young children are sitting shivah for their murdered father and this publication calls their community a ‘mountain of curses.’ Have they no decency?”
Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken sided with his writer, saying: “Mr. Ambassador Gideon Levy is right. As long as the policy of Israel, that your government and yourself support, is obstructing [the] peace process, practical annexation of the [West Bank] territories, perpetuating apartheid, fighting terror but willing to pay its price, there will be more shivas.”
Friedman served as president of the American Friends of Bet El Institutions, which raised millions for projects in the settlement and contributed funds to settle Jews in the Old City’s Muslim Quarter.