UPDATE: An earlier version of this story was in error. After congratulating him on his new appointment, Ori Nir informed me that he is not the new Haaretz correspondent in Washington. That honor goes to Natasha Mozgovaya, a “talented young reporter,” according to Nir. I apologize for my part in spreading this inaccurate report into the English-language blog world.
Two months ago, Dov Alfon did approach Nir about taking the job since they’d both worked earlier at Haaretz. But Nir was quite happy at Americans for Peace Now and did not want to leave.
Big news out of Israel. I recently reported that Shmuel Rosner will be leaving Haaretz soon as its Washington correspondent. Shraga Elam has just provided me a link to this Hebrew language story at Ice News confirming that Rosner is leaving. Rosner’s replacement is Natasha Mozgovaya, which is not noted in the ICE report.
Ori pointed me to a fascinating profile in the Hebrew edition of Haaretz detailing Mozgovaya’s problems in gaining acceptance as a Russian-Israeli television news anchor. Apparently, she faced tremendous resistance from listeners who found her Russian-inflected Hebrew accent distressing. All this went to the even broader issue of Israeli prejudice toward Russian immigrants. She maintains a Russian and Hebrew language Livejournal site.
The transition from Rosner to Mozgovaya is a major shift for Haaretz and welcome news for the Jewish peace community.
This shift will also match the political times with Democrats ascendant in Congress and possibly the White House. One can assume that Haaretz’s U.S. coverage will become more diverse and balanced as the U.S. and Israel face difficult policy decisions in the coming years. If Obama wins the White House then we can expect vigorous efforts to advance Israel-Arab peace and an energetic Haaretz correspondent would be a boon.
Haaretz’s new editor, Dov Alfon, has made an auspicious editorial choice and I applaud him for it.
One anonymous correspondent of mine says Rosner was fired. Though the ICE report indicates that the costs of schooling his children in Washington on a Haaretz salary was no longer feasible. Sounds like he’s likely sending them to a very expensive Jewish day school or private college.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.