Popular Palestinian Daily Al-Quds Launches Hebrew Edition

12:00 Apr 18 2023 East Jerusalem ( القدس الشرقية מִזְרַח יְרוּשָׁלַיִם)

Popular Palestinian Daily Al-Quds Launches Hebrew Edition Popular Palestinian Daily Al-Quds Launches Hebrew Edition
An elderly Palestinian man reads the daily newspaper Al-Quds in 2021. The newspaper has hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Credit: HAZEM BADER / AFP Published by Haaretz

The editorial offices of the East Jerusalem-based Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds. Credit: Ilya Melnikov Published by Haaretz

The digital edition of the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds newspaper – one of the oldest and most important media outlets for Palestinians – has hundreds of thousands of readers of its digital edition and sells about 30,000 physical copies every day mainly in East Jerusalem and the West Bank

by Nir Hasson for Haaretz
Apr 18, 2023

The Palestinian Arabic daily newspaper, Al-Quds, has started publishing in Hebrew, marking the first central Palestinian media group to address a Hebrew speaking audience.

The Jerusalem-based Al-Quds newspaper is one of the oldest and most important media outlets for the Palestinian public. The printed newspaper sells about 30 thousand copies every day mainly in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and hundreds of thousands follow the digital version of the newspaper on its website and on social media.

Around two weeks ago, both a Hebrew and an English edition were added to the newspaper’s website. According to the newspaper’s owners, Walid and Ziad Abu Zalaf, they had been contemplating publishing in Hebrew for a long time, and now had an opportunity. “It’s time for Israelis to understand what we’re saying,” said Ziad, adding that “Israelis need to hear what Palestinians think, not through Al-Jazeera or [another] foreign network.”

Without an actual translation team, the paper is currently putting out stories using online translation tools, with several articles on their site published in unclear Hebrew. Now, the brothers are looking to recruit translators to adapt the site to an Israeli audience. “Currently we are still in the beta version, [but] it will improve,” Ziad Abu Zalaf said.

Alongside headlines about building roads for settlers in the West Bank and the health condition of a Palestinian prisoner, there were headlines about a 20 percent increase in the price of clothing ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday and a doctors’ strike in Britain. The newspaper also makes sure to use the Arabic terms in Hebrew, for example, the Jews who come to pray at the Temple Mount are “attackers,” and Palestinian militants are “resistance fighters” and more.

According to journalist and writer Danny Rubinstein, who has been reading Al-Quds for decades, this is part of an ongoing process of opening up to Israeli society. “It started when Israeli Arabs began writing for the newspaper, including Jawad Boulos and Vida Mashour. Then it continued with Jews who began to regularly publish columns. This is a big and important change,” Rubinstein said.

Peace activist Gershon Baskin is one of the first Jews to publish regularly in Al-Quds. “I suggested to Faisal Al-Husseini back in the first intifada that they start publishing in Hebrew. There was one attempt by a newspaper called Gesher by Ziad Abu Ziad, but it didn’t last. This is an excellent opportunity,” says Baskin.
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