Columnists shape perspectives on our tumultuous world. An ethical responsibility rests on the shoulders of columnists in respected media to refrain from misleading audiences with false truths.

One writer who does not live up to this ethical standard and leads readers astray by presenting his opinions as incontrovertible facts is Gershon Baskin,

Baskin makes outlandish statements shaped by his perspective – but presents these opinions as truth.

Consider  five examples of misconstrued facts from Baskin’s latest column, published on July 13, 2023,in the Jerusalem, Post,  entitled, “Israel cannot be both a Jewish state and a liberal democracy.”

First example:

“The ultimate bottom line of the judicial upheaval that is being led by the Netanyahu government is to create the ability for Israel to annex the occupied territories without granting the Palestinians civil, political, and human rights.”

Such a statement is far from the intention of the government in its pursuit of judicial reform.

The statement is doubly outrageous: not only does it have no basis in reality – it is an opinion presented as fact.

The sentence indicates only how Baskin views the current political reality in Israel –not the reality of the situation.

But Baskin does not say that this is how he sees the situation. Instead, he says that this is a “fact”.


Baskin asserts that “The oppression of Palestinians is what leads directly to Palestinian violence against Israel today.” This claim is factually incorrect, as Palestinian Arabs perpetrated acts of violence against Jews, even prior to Israel’s creation in 1948. He refrains from clarifying that this falsehood is only his opinion and yet he writes it out as matter-of-factly – like a weather report.

A third example discusses the demographics of religious Zionists living within Judea and Samaria. Baskin asserts the wild claim that “Their life’s mission has been to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.” Did Baskin mention that this statement was only his own opinion? That would be a resounding NO. Once again, Baskin deceives his readers by providing his own views as accepted facts.

The fourth significant instance of Baskin’s verbal sleight of hand concerns his confluence of “anti-zionism” and antisemitism. Baskin declares, “I am not denying the existence of antisemitism. I am saying that being anti-Israel, or being against Israel’s policies regarding Palestine, or even supporting BDS, are not always antisemitism. In fact, most of the time, it is not.” The last sentence of this excerpt is especially glaring. How does Baskin know this to be true?
He convinces himself that the haters of the Jewish state, for the most part, feel nothing but love for the Jewish people. Yet again, he fails to mention that this statement is merely his opinion.

The unkindest cut of all: Baskin falsifies the intentions of the Netanyahu
government’s advocacy of judicial reform when he says that “… we have been played by the very same people who are currently shaping our reality and intend to convert Israel into a completely non-democratic state. Their success now will formally move Israel from a new form of an apartheid state into a full-blown apartheid reality.”

However, as he has done throughout this column, Baskin states this insult as a fact.
At a time when Israel is coping with a tidal wave of confusion, the time has come to fact-check Gershon Baskin, whose column is widely read by policy makers in Israel and around the world.

Bottom line: It is unethical to allow any writer, whether in news or opinion sections, to confuse facts with opinion.

In the immortal words of Ambassador and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, of blessed memory, the articulate advocate of American foreign policy for Democrats and Republicans alike: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.