07 April 2016

Elton John's declaration of loyalty - Haaretz: 1; Ynet: 0

The story, greedily picked up by all kinds of anti-Israeli (sorry, anti-Zionist) folks, sounded more or less like this:

Famous producer Shuki Weiss alleged that the British superstar was required to sign a declaration of loyalty; the Interior Ministry called this a 'first-class lie' and are considering suing for defamation.

Shuki Weiss announced on Monday, "The Ministry of the Interior required that Elton John sign a declaration of loyalty as a condition of his receiving a work visa." The international promoter and producer was speaking at a panel in the anti-BDS conference held by Yedioth Ahronoth.
The quote above belongs to an Ynet article, which continues in the same vein for some while.

Haaretz, however, no matter how much I dislike saying it, have done a much better reporting job. The reporter was diligent enough to dig up the "loyalty declaration" Mr Weiss was referring to:
Responding to a query from Haaretz, Weiss said he brought up the form to "illustrate the lack of cooperation and support by the government in holding international cultural events in Israel." 
Here is the offending form, produced by Haaretz (click to enlarge):

(The text referred as "loyalty declaration" is marked by red squiggle). As one who happened to fill in quite a few entry visa permit forms in my life, I haven't found anything out of ordinary or offensive in the text. Indeed, in the similar forms invented by bureaucracies in other countries, the related questions sometimes spread on whole page(s) and are much more pain in the neck to fill in. And more then certainly, the text has nothing to do with loyalty of any kind.

Well, to make the long story short: a) the "famous producer" Shuki Weiss seem to be a jerk; b) Ynet have done a sloppy journalistic job, which fact inevitably leads to c) kudos to Haaretz.