The Top Haaretz Scoops of 2015

Twelve investigations, exposés and special reports by Haaretz correspondents that set the news agenda this year.

Top scoops from Haaretz in 2015.
Top scoops from Haaretz in 2015.Credit: Netalie Ron-Raz, Tomer Appelbaum, AP, Ofer Vaknin, Marc Israel Sellem, Wikimedia Commons, Sean Evans

How closely did you follow the news in 2015? Catch up on the biggest Haaretz investigations, exposés and special reports that set the news agenda this year.

1. Settlement Dollars

Settlement DollarsCredit: Netalie Ron-Raz

Private U.S. donors are massively funding Israeli settlements by using a network of tax-exempt nonprofits, which funneled more than $220 million (about 850 million shekels) to Jewish communities in the West Bank in 2009-2013 alone, a Haaretz investigation found. In a series of reports, Uri Blau follows the money trail from Israeli and American donors to the settlements.

2. Anti-Semitism in Europe

A sign is placed among flowers near the cultural center where Finn Nørgaard was shot and killed in Denmark, February 14, 2015.Credit: AP

Is it time for the Jews to leave Europe? After terror struck Paris in January and Copenhagen in February, many asked that question. Haaretz's Anshel Pfeffer traveled the continent to ask European Jews themselves. He found vibrant and engaged communities largely unafraid to be openly Jewish, and who aren't going anywhere. His trip was documented in the 11-part series, "The Cossacks Aren't Coming."

3. 'Lost Tribes'

A member of the Bnei Menashe in India before moving to IsraelCredit: Michal Fattal

Though little, if any, proof exists of their Jewish lineage, the Bnei Menashe of northeastern India are moving to Israel in large numbers thanks to an unprecedented government decision. Haaretz's Judy Maltz investigated how this unusual operation came about.

4. Hitler-Mufti Debacle

Just as the uproar over Netanyahu’s mufti speech began to ebb, Tzipi Hotovely declared that her "dream is to see the Israeli flag flying over Temple Mount."Credit: Eran Wolkowsky

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sparked public uproar when he claimed that the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was the one who planted the idea of the extermination of European Jewry in Adolf Hitler's mind. The Nazi ruler, Netanyahu told the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem, had no intention of killing the Jews, but only to expel them. A Haaretz report brought the utterance to light, sparking a global debate that ultimately led Netanyahu to backtrack, clarifying that he never meant to "absolve [Adolf] Hitler of his responsibility for the Holocaust."

5. One Year Since War

IDF soldiers facing Gaza during Operation Defensive Edge, on Aug. 3, 2014.Credit: Reuters

June marked one year to the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenage boys in the West Bank that sparked Operation Protective Edge. In a special report, Amos Harel and Chaim Levinson revealed the mistakes that lined Israel's frantic search for the teenagers. In August, Haaretz published a nine-part series on the Israel-Gaza war, examining what had changed in the year since the 50-day conflict ended, and to ask whether – or when – the next war will erupt.

6. Ripples Through Modern Orthodoxy

Rabba Sara Hurwitz speaking in front of Orthodox Jews and black Christians at The Bayit.Credit: Natan Dvir

Has Modern Orthodoxy in America reached its breaking point? Haaretz's Yair Ettinger traveled to New York to write a special report on the deep crisis facing the wealthiest and most influential Jewish community in the United States.

7. Jewish Terrorism

From top left, clockwise: Eviatar Slonim, Yehuda Asraf, Yinon Reuveni and Meir Ettinger.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum, Gil Eliyahu and Reuters

After an arson attack on a Palestinian family's house in the West Bank town of Duma, the Shin Bet security services raised the threat level of a group of Jewish radicals called "The Revolt." Haaretz's Chaim Levinson revealed who the group's key members are, how it operated and what it seeks to achieve.

8. Donald Trump in High Heels

Miri Regev depicted as a film director, shouting "cut!"Credit: Illustration: Leo Atelman

Who is Miri Regev? The firebrand culture minister is constantly in the media – and the more controversy she stirs up, the more popular she gets. Danna Harman wrote an in-depth profile on the woman Haaretz coined Israel's Donald Trump in high heels.

9. Apartheid or Israel

Roger Waters and Gideon Levy at the singer's home in the Hamptons. 'I care just as much about Jewish children as I do about Arab children.'Credit: Sean Evans

Roger Waters, one of the leading lights in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, set the record straight, telling Haaretz he hates apartheid, not Israel. In an exclusive interview with Gideon Levy, the former Pink Floyd singer spoke about his political views, tragic family history – and when the rock star-turned-activist will be happy to play in Israel again.

10. Silvan Shalom

Israeli Interior Minister Silvan Shalom.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Yaniv Kubovich's article on a woman alleging Silvan Shalom sexually assaulted her prompted several other women to make similar claims. The allegations ultimately led to the interior minister's resignation from public office, after 23 years as a Knesset Member and several ministerial positions.

11. Labeling Settlement Goods

A grocery store in The Netherlands, one of the countries to sign the letter.Credit: Bloomberg

The foreign ministers from 16 out of 28 European Union countries sent a letter in April to the European Union's foreign policy chief asking to push forward the process of labeling goods produced in Israeli settlements that are sold in grocery chains across the continent. Haaretz's Barak Ravid obtained a copy of that letter, and published it in an exclusive report. Ravid followed the story closely throughout the year, including when the European Commission adopted guidelines in November for labeling products from Israeli settlements.

12. Netanyahu and Walla!

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu / Walla! House, Tel Aviv. Credit: Ofer Vaknin / AP

Gidi Weitz, Haaretz’s chief investigative reporter, showed how the popular Hebrew news portal Walla has developed an appetite for positive stories about Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu, and revealed the links between politicians and tycoons.



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