JERUSALEM, Israel - Tel Aviv University Prof. Camil Fuchs said a headline in Friday's edition of the Israeli daily Ha'aretz mislead its readers by implying that a majority of Israelis view President Barack Obama as "fair and friendly" toward the Jewish state.
Under the headline, "Poll: Most Israelis See Obama as Fair, Friendly toward Israel," the report provided results of a survey conducted by Prof. Fuchs for Ha'aretz.
"A sweeping majority of Israelis think his treatment of this country is friendly and fair," the opening sentence read, and the English edition placed text reading "69 percent say Obama is fair and friendly" near a picture of the U.S. president.
But a graphic showing poll results, included in the print and online report, revealed a much different picture.
Only 18 percent of the Israeli public - less than a fifth - called Obama "friendly" toward Israel, while 21 percent labeled him "hostile" to the country.
Prof. Fuchs said the English translation was inaccurate in one important place and also failed to include all the numbers.
"They must have a problem with English," the professor concluded.
Meanwhile, surveys sponsored by The Jerusalem Post and Hebrew University's Truman Institute show that most Israelis view Obama as pro-Palestinian.
One member of the Likud Party said the Ha'aretz headline was a "trick intended to convince the public to like Obama more and [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu less," Jerusalem Post senior political analyst Gil Hoffman wrote.
Ha'aretz removed the story from the Internet print edition archive, while denying any intention to mislead the public.
The remaining online report has a new headline focusing on the 27 percent of respondents who believe Obama is anti-Semitic.
"Ha'aretz published a fair and accurate representation of the survey conducted by Prof. Camil Fuchs at the request of Ha'aretz. Any attempt to claim otherwise by another newspaper is false," English edition editor Charlotte Halle said.
Source: The Jerusalem Post