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The New York Times narcissistically regards itself as the patron saint of minorities. The paper shifts into attack mode whenever it sees the slightest and most ephemeral whiff of prejudice against blacks, women, or immigrants -- especially Muslims. Private golf clubs, college sports teams, corporations, the Patriot Act, all have been tarred by the Times in their quest to abolish prejudice.
Yet the New York Times seems to take the opposite approach when dealing with one particular minority: Jews. The Times' method of dealing with anti-Semitism ranges across a very narrow and disheartening spectrum: indifference, whitewashing, defense and promotion of its practitioners, and finally, and most repugnantly, the paper itself seems to occasionally engage in anti-Semitism.
This charge is not, and never should be, lightly made. Indeed, it would come as a shock to many of its readers. American Jews have always had a soft spot for the Grey Lady, and many rely on the Times as their sole news source, adopting the Times' opinions with an inexplicable obeisance.
Jews are concentrated in major urban areas and many have some connection to New York City; clearly Jews tend to live Times Country. A Jewish family rejuvenated the paper over a century ago and any minority group takes pride when glass ceilings are broken and feel a loyalty towards those among them who have struggled and succeeded against great odds.
However, Jews' loyalty to the Times is misplaced. It certainly has never been reciprocated. Laurel Leff, in her superb and revelatory new book, Buried by the Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper, has damning evidence that the Times not only ignored the plight of European Jews and the events of the Holocaust, but actively sought to downplay or deep-six any news items regarding the horrors being perpetrated against the Jews. The Times is now publicly-owned, but is led by Arthur (Pinch) Sulzberger, Junior, a descendant of the controlling family, who not only is apathetic about his heritage (except the career boost he got from inheriting his position), but takes pride in announcing that he was raised as and considers himself an Episcopalian. However, he has inherited his relatives' indifference to the plight of Jews.
Many fine groups (CAMERA, Honest Reporting, Mediacrity) have noticed the frequent bias the Times shows against Israel. However, I think the issues surrounding the Times' attitude toward Jews go beyond disputes between Israel and the Palestinians. The Times has consistently ignored the rank genocidal anti-Semitism that is the governing "philosophy" of Hamas, which it usually describes as an activist group concerned with the social welfare of Palestinians: a philanthropy, in other words.
Similarly, the paper skips over the anti-Semitism taught in schools and during sermons in Palestinian-controlled areas. There are precious few examples of the Times reporting on Arab anti-Semitism, and when it does, it usually involves putative American allies, such as Egypt. However, this can also be seen as a rod to beat the Bush Administration for its inability to influence a nation that received billions in aid from us every year.
As CAMERA points out, "The New Yorker Bests (the New York) Times on Anti-Semitism Coverage". The experts at CAMERA point out that the New Yorker takes notice of the extreme anti-Semitism of Hizbollah, which they depict as being Nazi-like in intensity and geared toward the destruction of Israel. The Times, on the other hand, portrays Hizbollah as a social service agency, complete with social, educational and agricultural branches. Yep, a regular 4H club. A Nexis search by CAMERA at the end of 2002 showed no mentions in the Times of anti-Semitism in connection with the group. That is correct: no mention.
The whitewashing of anti-Semitism is particularly inexplicable since, given the demographics of its readership, that would seem to be a subject that might be of particular interest. However, the Times seems to systematically avoid reporting instances of anti-Semitism, even when other media outlets or a cursory visit to google might illuminate the background of some of the events and people it covers.
For example, Democratic Congressman John Conyers staged a mock anti-Bush hearing some months ago. The hearing was simulcast at the Democratic National Headquarters, since a number of democratic Congressmen were in attendance at the "hearing" itself. The "hearings" featured anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists, and during the event anti-Semitic literature was handed out at the DNC. How do we know this? The Washington Post was at the event and reported on the anti-Semitism; the New York Times was there as well, yet had not one iota of news about this aspect of the conference when it reported on it.
Cindy Sheehan was given a lot of space by the Times to attack George Bush -- but the Times found no space to touch upon her kooky anti-Semitism. Mere reportorial discretion or maybe a lack of space? Hardly. The Times has also had many stories on the Reverend Al Sharpton, with nary a mention of the fact that he has a long history of anti-Semitism and led a small pogrom against a record store in Harlem that resulted in multiple deaths and destruction. When the Times covered the funeral of Rosa Parks it had the audacity to characterize Sharpton and fellow anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan as "dignitaries." The Anti-Defamation League might take exception to that praise, since they have reams of research on Farrakhan's hatred of the Jewish people.
Among Farrakhan's notable utterances:
"Listen, Jewish people don't have no hands [sic] that are free of the blood of us. They owned slave ships, they bought and sold us. They raped and robbed us. If you can't face that, why you gonna condemn me for showing you your past, how then can you atone and repent if somebody don't [sic] open the book with courage, you don't have that, but I'll be damned, I got it." -- Feb. 27, 2005 "See, you so called Jews -- I'm not gonna give you the credit for being one of those that obey God. You portrayed us, you know what images do, that's why you jumped on Mel Gibson. But you painted us, big lips, red eyes, kinky hair, you put in the movies like that. You mocked our characteristics and made us to hate God's creation of us. You did that. Hollywood did that... You take our strongest, more courageous black minds, you think we don't see you? And you put us in Hollywood. You give us television shows, and then we gotta bug our eyes." -- Feb. 29, 2004
And of course, the statement that helped to make him what he is: Judaism is "a gutter religion". In Timesworld, that makes him a "dignitary."
Tariq Ramadan is a Swiss-based "academic" with a long history of statements that could certainly be construed as being anti-Semitic. He had a visa to visit this country but the Department of Homeland Security revoked his visa on security grounds. The Times, of course, went to bat for him. The Times seems to have a soft spot for Muslim anti-Semitic professors because they had a glowing profile of Columbia University assistant professor, Joseph Massad, who was charged by students as engaging in anti-Semitism. In a April 8th New York Times report, he was called "a fan of free speech" yet he has been charged with shouting down those who disagree with his inflammatory views. He has argued that intellectuals ought to see the status of the European Jews as a colonizer and that American Jews are often racists. Yet the Times gushed about him, portraying him as a sensitive aesthete and a perfect host.
The Times was so eager to support the academics charged with anti-Semitism that it violated its own journalistic code when it refused to interview students for their opinions when Columbia University released its report regarding the controversy.
Of course, the New York Times' obsession with praising and supporting the most anti-Israel organization in the world (besides the Arab League and terror groups) -- the United Nations -- is well known. The Times routinely ignores the anti-Semitism behind much of what transpires at the United Nations. This was made very clear in a story provided by Anne Bayefsky, a well-respected member of a think-tank and a woman whose articles have appeared in some of the finest publications in the world. In an article in Capitalism Magazine, she tells an Orwellian tale of working with the Times to get an op-ed about the UN into its pages. To summarize, she was forced to omit critical passages about many of the dictatorial states represented in the UN Human Rights Commission. However, the censorship was even more repugnant than just this. In her original op-ed she referred to the grotesque anti-Semitism on display at the UN's Durban Conference against Racism. The Times omitted this reference.
One of the most notorious anti-Semitic stories from the Nixon years concerned an official, Fred Malek, who compiled a list of Jews in the Bureau of Labor Standards because Nixon believed that Jews in that department were frustrating his policies. Some of these people were fired or demoted. Malek is now part of a group that is angling to buy the Washington Nationals baseball team. The Times coverage of the proposed transaction omitted this story from his past. As Timothy Noah at Slate wrote,
"Think the New York Times might be interested in a story about anti-Semitism? Naaah."
The Times approach toward Jews go beyond merely ignoring anti-Semitism. The paper seems to have a penchant for praising certain anti-Semites. Yasser Arafat has been responsible for the death of more innocent Jews than anyone since Hitler and Stalin. Yet the Times wrote that he has a "heroic history".
When Mayor Giuliani spotted Arafat and his entourage strolling through Lincoln Center on their way to a private box, he was disgusted and he ordered them off the premises. The Times was appalled, and criticized him for failing to play a gracious host.
Mahathir Mohammed is the former Malaysian Prime Minister who said,
"Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to die and fight for them."
He had a long history of such anti-Semitic utterances, blaming the Jews for the Asian financial crisis during the Clinton years, for example. This did not prevent Times columnist Paul Krugman from going to work for him or for later, in a Times column, trying to understand and explain the reasoning behind his comments. In an earlier 1998 article, Krugman seemed to not only justify Mahathir's anti-Semitism but he seemed, as Donald Luskin put it, to agree with it. In the article for the New York Times Magazine, Krugman wrote:
When the occasional accusation of financial conspiracy is heard -- when, for example, Malaysia's Prime Minster blames his country's problems on the machinations of Jewish speculators -- the reaction of most observers is skepticism, even ridicule.
But even the paranoid have people out to get them. Little by little, over the past few years, the figure of the evil speculator has reemerged.
As Luskin writes, Krugman gives one example of the "evil speculator" in the next sentence, George Soros, an ethnic Jew, if not a practicing one. Luskin's article is a superlative work of investigative journalism and shows Krugman to be not only tolerant of anti-Semitism but to engage in a bit of it himself.
The Times gave front-page treatment to the story of an illegal immigrant teenage Muslim girl who was deported after investigations revealed she was frequently visiting Islamic anti-Semitic websites. Clearly the Times objected to this deportation. Boo-hoo.
The Times' cultural coverage has also been marked by an insensitivity to the murders of Jews. The Palestinian film, Paradise Now, about two homicide bombers, was praised as a superior thriller which sustains a mood of breathless suspense, whose shrewdly inserted plot twists and emotional wrinkles are calculated to put your heart in your throat. The reviewer calls these terrorists "all-too-human."
Some might argue that the Times attacks on Mel Gibson and his Passion of the Christ film were attacks on the putative anti-Semitism of the film. Many have argued that the film was not anti-Semitic and the overheated warnings of perilous aftermath after its release were shown to be foolish in the extreme. Not one single reported anti-Semitic incident ever accompanied a screening of the film in the United States, where it was seen by tens of millions. The Times more likely attacked the movie because it was too Catholic for them, not because of its purported anti-Semitism.
Perhaps, the most egregious example of the Times' attitude toward Jewish people is when they adopt the anti-Semitic formulation of Jews as racists or Nazis. They constantly criticize the security barrier that was built to defend innocent Israelis from terror attacks. They have started using a new formulation which seems to support the anti-Semitic charge that Israel is the new apartheid state: they are calling the security barrier a "separation barrier."
This terminology conjures up an image of Israel attempting to create South African-type Bantustans, a charge of racism that is insulting to all Jewish people. Tom Friedman, the best known of Times columnists, has often propagated the charge that Israeli Jews exercise undue influence in the White House, a charge with ominous anti-Semitic antecedents. Friedman has also talked about "fascist" forces in Israel, another circumlocution for Jewish Nazis.
The Times carried one of the most anti-Semitic ads in recent memory, one that characterized pro-Israel supporters in an anti-Semitic fashion. The full-page ad space could easily have been filled by one of the high-end retailers or liberal environmental groups that regularly use the Times to spread their messages. Instead, the Times chose to run an ad replete with anti-Semitic stereotypes about mysterious Jews working behind the scenes, with a hirsute gorilla holding an Israeli flag on top of the dome of the US Capitol. The ad was sponsored by a well-known anti-Semitic group,a fact that if not known could have been easily discovered, if by no other means than simply by looking at the advertisement.
The Times has also has attacked Jewish claims to Jerusalem by trying to disparage an archeological discovery in Jerusalem that may be part of King David's palace, Steve Erlanger of the Times casts doubt on the veracity of this claim by characterizing the dig as being funded by a conservative businessman who wants to prove a Jewish connection to Jerusalem. Barry Rubin points out in his article, "The New York Times Bashes the Jews" that this type of theory is the same sort of anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that is popular in the Arab world. Erlanger gives implicit support to the abhorrent view of Arafat and other extremists that denies any Jewish historical rights to Jerusalem.
While the Times exerts its immense resources to protest what they see as ill-treatment of every minority group under the sun, it seems to have little will to use its prestige to help one of the smallest minorities, Jews. Why American Jews continue their allegiance to a paper that ignores them at best and maligns them at worst is unfathomable. However, maybe some Jews are beginning to wake up and smell the coffee when they unfold the paper in the morning. Readership and circulation figures are plunging in its home market, and it is no longer the most-read paper in New York City. As the internet continues its ascent to become the number one news source for Americans, the Times will now have to face stiff competition. The news will no longer be what they choose to print as the news, and they will face the toughest competition they have yet to face: the truth.
Jews have historically been at the forefront of combating discrimination in America and around the world and have long considered the Times an ally in that noble struggle. Perhaps, the power of cognitive dissonance have created a blind spot regarding the Times' shameful treatment of Jews. The "say it ain't so, Joe" impulse can be overpowering. The need to believe that the Times is the gold standard of reporting dies very hard.
However the temptation to rely on the Times as the sole source of truth should be resisted. The internet is a marketplace of views and news. Why can't the Times have a columnist that is at least fair to Israel and the Jews (think the Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer)? Why can't the paper have op-ed contributors and columnists who confront anti-Semitism head on as the Wall Street Journal does (Anna Bayefsky, Claudia Rossett are only two examples)? Even the liberal Los Angeles Times manages to publish columns by Dennis Praeger.
The Times preens as a protector of minorities around the world. Some of those minority groups are quite large indeed: blacks, Muslims, women. There is one very small minority (less than 0.2% of the world's population) that is regularly attacked and for whom calls for genocide are routinely made. Yet The Times not only ignores attacks against Jews, its negligence and occasional outright support aids and abets them.
The New York Times garners a strong measure of loyalty from American Jews. A large part of this loyalty clearly stems from a perception that the paper is an ally in their age-old quest to abolish prejudice. Indeed, the paper routinely marshals its considerable resources to not just defend minorities across the spectrum -- blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and especially Muslims these days - but to embolden and empower them. However, the Times seems to have one large blind spot for the cares and concerns and feelings of one minority group that paradoxically forms a core part of their readership: Jews themselves.
While many groups and individuals (CAMERA, Honest Reporting, Jewish Current Issues, Times Watch) have long criticized the New York Times for its biased coverage of Israel, very few seem to have noticed that the Times' treatment of Jews, both in America and elsewhere, also is problematic. Certainly the same consideration given to other minorities -- a passion to cause no harm or offense -- is not a courtesy extended to the Jewish community.
A questionable pattern
Instead a questionable pattern emerges:
The charge of anti-Semitism is one that should never be made lightly. At best, the Times practices might be dismissed with the formulation that former Harvard President Lawrence Summers used when he criticized campus efforts to demonize Israel as acts that are "anti-Semitic in effect, if not intent."
However, the paper is the paragon of virtue when it comes to reporting or editorializing on behalf of every other minority it seemingly can find (and some non-minorities, such as women). The paper must endlessly scour drafts of material before they are published to remove any trace of prejudice ("All the news that is fit to print"). Yet a casual reader can find a pattern of sins of commission and omission when it comes to the Times' attitudes towards Jews, and cannot find similar examples of the same treatment given to blacks or Muslims (for example). This same pattern is not noticeable in any other major newspaper. Perhaps the treatment afforded by the Summers formulation is too generous.
The Times offers support and succor to people that engage in anti-Semitism
Featured columnist Nicholas Kristof engaged in a many-columned defense of Florida professor Sami Al-Arian who was charged by the Federal Government with funding terror groups. Kristof was outraged by charges and ignored evidence of well-documented ties to terrorists, as Joel Mowbray noted. Al-Arian admitted making statements along the lines of "Let us damn America," referred to Jews as "monkeys and pigs" and called for the death of Jews. Yet Kristof defended his character in a March 1st, 2002, column as
"someone who denounces terrorism [and] promotes interfaith services with Jews and Christians."
Kristof's defense of Al-Arian was roundly criticized on journalistic grounds by this superb Weekly Standard article. After a trial, Al Arian pleaded guilty to aiding Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a group which was directly responsible for the death of at least two American Jews and which has called for the death of all Jews. Al-Arian is being deported.
Kristof has also moved on: he is now campaigning to prevent a genocide of Sudanese Muslims, Christians and animists. He has loudly and justly campaigned for saving Sudanese from a genocide, so his spirited campaign to defend a man who has supported genocide against the Jews is all the more peculiar. One would expect a mea culpa-an apology from Kristof. After all, the St. Petersburg Times (owned by the New York Times Company) admitted it had made a mistake regarding its support for Al-Arian. Why cannot Kristof? Why won't the New York Times follow the example of its junior paper?
The Times also seemed to have no problem with a Muslim Imam preaching anti-Semitism to prisoners in the New York State penal system. As has been widely reported, there is a very grave danger of prisons being used to recruit terrorists, particularly in New York. Yet, the Times seems to be quite blasé about this risk.
In April, 2005 a prison Imam named Umar Abdul-Jalil gave a speech to prisoners in which he claimed that Muslim inmates are "literally tortured" in the federal jail in Manhattan and that "Zionists of the media" dictate what Islam is to us. His slur about Jews in the media is one of the hoariest and most dangerous of anti-Semitic clichés. Mayor Bloomberg merely gave him a slap on the wrist: a suspension of two weeks. The New York Times op-ed page praised this weak rebuke.
Aside from the offensivess of this fulsome praise, there is an element of hypocrisy on the Times' part. Most prison chaplains throughout America are volunteers or are privately compensated. But in New York state, the government gives them a salary (in the case of Abdul-Jalil, $76,000 a year) for "counseling prisoners". As the New York Sun pointed out, such use of taxpayer dollars is a violation of the federal First Amendment as well as the New York State Constitution, since it seems to violate church-state separation.
This is a principle that the New York Times normally zealously defends. Yet the paper did not seem to have any problem at all with taxpayer dollars going to support anti-Semitic speech by the Imam. Would the Times have defended a mere mild rebuke and continued receipt of government funds for a white supremacist who dons the cloak of a religious counselor?
The Times' support for the anti-Semitic Imam is matched by its support for anti-Semitic college professors. The paper also extended its support for an anti-Semitic college student, the so-called Taliban Man. Sayed Rahmattulah Hashemi, former deputy foreign secretary of the Taliban, is a student at Yale. Despite a history of anti-American, anti-women, and anti-Semitic statements, the Times expressed no outrage (as say, John Fund did in the Wall Street Journal) that he was occupying a space at Yale that certainly could have gone to a truly deserving person without such prejudices. No outrage at all. If anything the Times almost seemed to celebrate Yale's openness to the views of others.
The Times' star columnist Maureen Dowd seemed to have no trouble cooing over the new Saudi Arabian Ambassador to America, Prince Turki al-Faisal, who founded the Saudi equivalent of the Gestapo (a Heydrich reincarnated), and is part of a kleptocracy that has exported anti-Semitism all over the world, including here in America. Dowd characterized him as a "charming" prince, "dressed in a long white robe and checkered headdress" going on and on about him. This is a charmer who has justified suicide attacks against Israelis. How ironic that this adulation comes from a woman who works for a newspaper that advocates income equality (certainly not the economic system found in the Saudi Arabia that keeps its millions of foreign workers in servitude) and who wrote a book titled Are men necessary? I suppose in Dowd's worldview the charming new envoy is a necessary man.
The New York Times aids and abets anti-Semitic hate groups
In an era when anti-Semitism runs rampant around the world and violence against Jews is a constant threat, one would think the Times would show the same vigilance against anti-Semitic hate groups as they would show toward, for example, anti-black groups. But one would be surprised, for instead the Times sees no problem actually helping these groups.
A New York Times reporter, Philip Shenon, was charged by the Justice Department with giving the Global Relief Foundation a phone tip that the FBI was going to be raiding its offices the next day (December 14, 2001). As now-legendary U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald wrote in an August 7, 2002, letter to the New York Times legal department,
"It has been conclusively established that the Global Relief Foundation learned of the search from reporter Philip Shenon of the New York Times."
The Global Relief Foundation was designated a terror-financing organization by the Treasury Department shortly thereafter.
Similarly, Shenon's then-colleague Judith Miller placed a call to the Holy Land Foundation, supposedly asking for "comment" on an impending freeze of their assets. According to Fitzgerald, Miller allegedly also warned them that "the government action was imminent." The FBI raided the Holy Land Foundation's offices the day after Miller's article was published in the Times.
These two domestic groups promoted anti-Semitism in America and raised money to kill Jews. (Hat tip: Michelle Malkin) Yet, the Times saw no moral issues involved in tipping them off to upcoming raids.
Nor does the paper seem to have much of a problem with the support it has given to the growth of the Hezbollah network in Lebanon. The New York Sun charted the rise of Hezbollah as a force in Lebanon and took note of the New York Times role. Pranay Gupte reports from Lebanon,
"To understand how much Hezbollah has advanced its ambitions, one need to look no further than its impact on the New York Times. It may be a stretch to suggest that the Times is a handmaiden of Lebanon's terrorist caudillo, of course, but the role of a valued Times partner, the Daily Star of Beirut, in serving as a virtual spokesman for Hezbollah has been a key to its acceptance as a legitimate political force in Lebanon and much of the Sunni Muslim-dominated Arab world."The New York Times' crusade to expose the methods America uses to find terrorists and prevent attacks has also exposed Jews in particular to higher risks. The SWIFT program and similar programs that seek to trace the funding of hate groups is a vital tool in law enforcement. Ron Suskind's new book revealed one notable success: by monitoring financial flows between Western Union offices, Israeli security was able to prevent numerous terror attacks. However, these terror attacks are not being limited to Israelis alone, but threaten all Jews (and of course, many other people).
The goal of Muslim terror groups clearly is to instill hatred towards Jews and to facilitate their murder. Attacks have not been made just against Israelis but also against Jews around the world. In 1994, the headquarters of Argentina's Jewish community was destroyed by Muslim terrorists believed to be linked to Iran, leaving 85 people dead and more than 200 injured. Bombings of Turkish synagogues were also an attack against the Jewish people, not Israel. More recently, surveys show anti-Semitism spreading throughout Europe, driven by Muslim groups. Daniel Pearl, the American journalist was forced to say, "My Father is a Jew, my mother is a Jew and I am a Jew" before he was beheaded. Parisian Ilan Halimi was tortured for days before he was murdered, expressly because he was Jewish.
Maybe the Times just does not have the same regard for Jews as many of its Jewish readers inexplicably have for the paper. This disregard was made manifest in their treatment of the death of Ilan. As noted by the City Journal's Stefan Kanfer in the superb "Jew Tortured, Times Fiddles" the paper barely covered this torture-murder.
The story wound up all over the European papers: Agence France-Presse mentioned it on February 17th; so did the London Times. The Net and the blogs did not neglect the horror and its aftermath.
But readers would have difficulty finding any mention of Halibi in the Times. The paper first mentioned the story, briefly, on February 23rd, a full ten days after the victim's death. It did not run a lengthy piece until March 5, when an account (on page four) went over the ground long trod days before by competing reporters.
Yet over the same period, the Times found a lot of space -- on page one -- for a deeply sympathetic, cloyingly sentimental three-part series on a Brooklyn imam, Sheik Rada Shata, and his congregation of young people in search of love and understanding. Although 9/11 came up several times, the Ilan story went unmentioned. It seemed to have taken place not in another country but on another planet. "Imams like Mr. Shata'men who embrace American freedom and condemn the radicals they feel have tainted their faith -- rarely make the news," wrote Andrea Elliott.
Almost as rarely as the victims of their co-religionists an ocean away.
As later pointed out by Washington Times columnist Diana West, this same cleric lovingly profiled by the New York Times headed up a mosque that years earlier had a member who was so inspired by a sermon (albeit delivered by a different Imam) that he went out and opened fire on a van of Jews. One 16 year old boy was killed. The New York Times profile of the imam ran on the 12th anniversary of his death, either a grim coincidence or a morbid implicit message.
The Times has cast doubt on the honesty and loyalty of Jews
The motif of Jews as being dishonest and disloyal (or, at best, of having a "dual loyalty") is a well-known component of anti-Semitism, except by the Times. While the paper resolutely defends Muslims and other minorities from slurs, the paper seems to engage in a few of its own when the subjects are Jewish. For example, the Times attacked the veracity of Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel's account of the Holocaust. In a time when Holocaust denial is rampant, is it not just a bit insensitive of the Times to cast doubt over very niggling details about Weisel's book, Night. The details in question involve Wiesel's exact age during events depicted in his autobiographical account. In a previous translation, the narrator (Weisel) tells a fellow prisoner that he is "not quite 15." But the scene takes place in 1944 which would have made Weisel 15 "going on 16" (in the words of the Times). In the new edition of the book, when asked, he replies "15". Whoa -- hold the presses on that whopper! His age went from almost 15 to 15! I will spare you the Times' comment about his almost being 16 because the absurdity of making an issue about this detail is self-evident.
The Times' criticism continued on to other minor details. The earlier translation, describing furtive sexual activity, used the word "copulate." This was changed in later printings to "flirt." In the new translation that Oprah recommended, the youths "caressed one another." I think some leeway can be granted to the author and translator on how to describe these activities in English. The book almost exclusively is concerned with life and death in the camps, but the Times loses its focus by concentrating on relatively unimportant matters regarding teenagers being teenagers.
Weisel man lost his family, saw his father die, endured years in concentration camp, and won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to ensure no future Holocausts occur. Maureen Dowd notoriously granted the anti-Semitic Cindy Sheehan "absolute moral authority" because she lost a son in Iraq. If loss of a relative were the sine qua non for moral authority, Weisel's suffering eclipses that of Sheehan's. Might the Times give him the benefit of the doubt and not cast him out as a liar?
A common anti-Semitic trope is that somehow American Jews led America into the Iraq war (despite the fact that American Jews opposed the wars to a higher extent than any other group). The charge became common currency among anti-Semitic hate groups, and apparently, the New York Times.
A Wall Street Journal column "From Left to Right, anti-Semitic claims abound in U.S. Press" noted Maureen Dowd picking up on the examples used American Nazi leader David Duke.
"Well, you must understand that the chief architects of the war were Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Daniel Feith [sic], Mr. [David] Wurmser, Elliot Abrams..."
And here is Dowd's take on the war:
"Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Bill Kristol [are]... the clique of conservatives who are driving this war."
No mention of George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney? They are the leaders of America and the decision-makers regarding the Iraq war. However, they are not of Jewish heritage. Instead, Dowd mentions three people -- identifiably Jewish -- two of whom had absolutely no role in the government. Perle is a free-lance think tanker, Kristol the publisher of the magazine The Weekly Standard. What did they have in common?
The same tendency to "out" Jews was on display in Frances Fukuyama's article "After Neoconservatism". The article traced the development of neoconservatism, a political philosophy that some insist led us into Iraq. Fukuyama needlessly noted that the roots of neoconservatism lie in a group of "largely Jewish intellectuals" and later noted that the ideology was carried on by students of the 'German Jewish' political theorist Leo Strauss." In a world of ideas, concepts and philosophies stand on their own, regardless of their provenance. That is the nature of academia (where Fukuyama works). Tagging political beliefs as coming from the Jews is redolent of the way Hitler and others discussed "Jewish Bolshevikism".
The Times also had no compunction about highlighting the Jewish heritage of Cheryl Halpern, when it reported that she was in line to become the new Chairwoman of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting. The paper noted that she had been the former chairwoman of the Republican Jewish Coalition. The Times reported that she had criticized (as many others have) NPR's treatment of Israel and that her "family has business interests in Israel".
Alluding to possible greed from this Jewish woman who might try to influence NPR to treat Israel favorably is not beneath the Times. This formulation seems to merge several anti-Semitic motifs: dual loyalty (Ms. Halpern is more concerned with Israel than America), greed (she wants favorable reporting about Israel to help her business interest), and Jewish control of the media.
The Times' problematic attitude towards the loyalty of American Jews was also evident in their treatment of the now notorious "working paper" regarding the "Israel Lobby" written by Professors Walt and Mearsheimer. The paper peddled classic ant-Semitic myths regarding Jewish control of the media, college campuses, and the US Government. The paper was heavily criticized by a wide range of experts and newspapers for its gross inaccuracies, sloppy and dishonest research, academic failings, and a host of other issues.
The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, The New Republic, Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, and many others offered their objections to the paper. The Washington Post ran an op-ed titled "Yes, It's anti-Semitic". The authors were so humiliated they refused to support their charges in open debate. David Duke and other assorted Muslim anti-Semitic and anti-Israel groups did offer their support. So did the New York Times.
The Times displayed a remarkable amount of insensitivity when it chose to run an op-ed by Tony Judt that praised the Walt/Mearsheimer paper. Of all the people the Times could have chosen to write a response, they settled on Judt who previously had called Israel "an anachronism" and called for its elimination. He later described the founding of Israel as nakba -- the Arabic word for catastrophe that terrorists and other foes of Israel's existence use to describe the founding of the state of Israel.
The Times also departed from almost every major American paper in refusing to criticize the prosecution of two Jewish Americans who had formerly worked for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a group that advocates for stronger American-Israel ties. Jon Rosen and Keith Weissman worked for the group and were charged with accepting possibly classified information from Lawrence Franklin, an analyst at the Defense Department. The information reportedly involved Iranian plans to kill American and Israeli agents in northern Iraq. The information did not impinge on US security at all, disclosed no state secrets in the commonly accepted use of the term (no codes, no deployment of forces abroad, no disclosure of rendition practices, or phone taps, or financial transactions).
It is unclear if the two even understood that the information was classified. However, the mere presence of Jews who supported a foreign nation, particularly Israel, in a case such as this raises understandable fears of charges of dual loyalty-again, a common anti-Semitic charge.
On legal grounds alone, the prosecution has been roundly criticized. The case is the very first time the federal government has charged two private citizens with "leaking" state secrets. Washington is a city in which this type of information exchange is a fact of life: think tank experts, government employees, Congressmen, and journalists routinely trade information or traffic in gossip. Law professors, an array of other experts, and a myriad of newspapers have criticized the prosecution. While this criticism was on legal grounds, it also had the effect of destroying any possible validity of charges of dual loyalty.
Most major newspapers realized that this prosecution, heavily suspect anyway, also posed risks to the principle of the freedom of the press. A prosecution would have a chilling effect on the exchange of information between sources and members of the press, which is the media's lifeblood. There has accordingly been a torrent of criticism.
- Eli Lake in The New Republic expressly noted the threat to free speech this prosecution poses.
- The Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy has called the prosecution a case of criminalizing public speech.
- Slate magazine wrote that the trial could threaten the whole enterprise of investigative journalism.
- USA Today also took issue with the prosecution of the former AIPAC employees.
- The Los Angeles Times has run op-eds opposing the case ("Read the News, go to Jail" and "Weak on Leaks").
- The Washington Times ran an op-ed titled "Chilling Free Speech" that called for the charges to be dismissed.
- The Washington Post has carried numerous editorials and op-eds heavily criticizing the prosecution, such as "Dangerous Prosecution" and "Watch this Spy Story" in which columnist David Ignatius expressly noted the great danger to a free press in the prosecution. Ignatius's colleague, Jim Hoagland also condemned the prosecution, as did his colleague Walter Pincus.
Yet, the New York Times, which normally holds the First Amendment guarantee of a free press as sacrosanct, which willfully publishes classified information that harms our national security, which openly traffics in leaks from disgruntled government employees, and which is proud of its investigative journalism has produced not one editorial or op-ed that expressly takes note of the threat the prosecution of Rosen and Weissman poses to a free press and free speech.
Every other major paper has rallied to the defense of these two individuals and, wittingly or not, have helped to defuse charges of dual loyalty that lead to anti-Semitism. Not the New York Times. Would Emile Zola be welcome at the New York Times?
The problem is not limited to the news pages. The Times has run a series of full-page ads over the years that promote anti-Semitic myths. The Council For the National Interest is an anti-Israel group that routinely castigates American Jews for supporting Israel. They have run a series of full-page ads in the New York Times that employ anti-Semitic motifs. The claims involved dual loyalty of American Jews, the control of the government by Jews (reminiscent of the Zionist Occupied Government myth spread by Nazi hate groups), and rich Jews controlling the media. The imagery includes hairy Jews (in the form of a gorilla) atop the Capitol, holding the Israeli flag.
On the face of it, these ads are anti-Semitic (for other odious examples of the cartoonist anti-Semitic work see this). When the first ad and cartoon ran a few years ago, the Times ignored criticism and the pain it caused to Jews and other show oppose prejudice. Since then the paper has run additional ads from the same group with equally, if not more, painful imagery and claims.
However, the paper did show concern for the feelings of Muslims when it refused to run the Danish Mohammed cartoons that caused such uproar last year. Seemingly, cartoons are fine if they besmirch and offend Jews but are censored if they might offend Muslims. Double standards? Yes. Are double standards one of the textbook definitions of anti-Semitism? Yes.
However, it gets worse. When people pointed out that Muslims should practice what they preach and stop running the anti-Semitic cartoons that are rife in the Arab world, Stanley Fish penned an op-ed for the paper that defended the running of anti-Semitic cartoons in the Arab media because they reflected the actual beliefs of Muslims.
The New York Times cultural page has dominance in the media industry that is well known. Plays live or die on reviews from the paper; book sales soar when reviewed positively. The Times' cultural coverage celebrates multi-culturalism and rarely offers any criticism about ethnic groups. Stephen Holden, who seems never to have found a film created by or about minorities that he does not praise, made an exception for the 2000 film Kadosh that explored the role of women in the orthodox world of Judaism. Holden informed his readers that Orthodox Jews have a "fear and loathing of sex" and that their women are "little more than baby making machines."
Holden had much higher regard for Muslim terrorists, whom he thought were heroic. He had high praise for Paradise Now, a movie about two suicide bombers set out to attack innocent Israelis. He calls the bombers "never less than fully human characters," one of whom speaks repeatedly of his shame and humiliation at the hands of Israelis. He calls these killers "all-too-human."
Holden's colleague in the theatre review section did find one Jewish person to be an object of mirth: Anne Frank. Phoebe Hoban thought a comedy show by Judy Gold "fiercely funny, honest and moving." Ms. Hoban shared one skit with readers: a satire of The Diary of Anne Frank. Ms Gold joked about her mother reading the pop-up version:
Pull the tab, Judith. Alive. Pull it again. Dead."
This apparently is what passes for brilliant humor the New York Times.
The Book Review section seems to share this odd affection for anti-Semitism. At the end of last year, the paper published a list of the 5 best non-fiction books of 2005. Tony Judt's book, Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945 came and went with barely a flicker of sales, yet the paper awarded the prize to man who believes the founding of Israel, the haven for oppressed Jews from around the world and the home for the surviving Jews of the Holocaust, was a catastrophe.
One of the other prize spots went to the book The Assassin's Gate: America in Iraq by George Packer, which has been used by anti-Semites to promote the view that Jews started the Iraq War. In the book Packer wrote that for certain officials of the Administration (Feith and Wurmser) the "security of Israel was probably the prime mover." One of the final sentences in the book is a quotation, purportedly from Colin Powell to President Bush, that characterizes Doug Feith as being "a card-carrying member of the Likud Party."
Such charges of dual loyalty have a long history in anti-Semitic circles and Colin Powell has made statements before that are tinged with insensitivity towards Jews (especially surprising for a diplomat). For instance, he called Doug Feith and his aides, "The Gestapo Office" despite the fact that Feith lost many relatives to the Nazis during the Holocaust. That Packer chose this particular sentence as one of his concluding thoughts is particularly disturbing.
The New York Times stands almost alone in its dismissal of claims that Muslims are threatening Jews with genocide
While other newspapers and magazines across the political spectrum are suitable alarmed by Iran's nuclear weapons program and by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad's stated goal of destroying Israel, the Times itself is rather blasé about the issue. Despite Iran's lead role in international terrorism, its support for Hamas and Hezbollah, its role in the killing Americans over the last 20 years and the hostage crisis 30 years ago, and numerous statements from its leaders over the years (a former President openly gloated that Israel could be destroyed with one nuclear bomb and the current leader echoes this when he talks of "Rotten Israel will be annihilated by one storm"), the Times doesn't seem to see a problem with an Iran possessing nuclear weapons.
Tom Friedman wrote that "I'd rather live with a nuclear Iran" because it "is the wisest thing under the circumstances". This is despite Ahmadinejad's statement in October 2005 that the "Zionist regime" must "be wiped off the face of the earth." He also proudly hosted a conference "A World without Zionism" (the sequel to the infamous Wannsee conference where the Holocaust was planned?).
Despite reams of evidence pointing to an Iranian plan to develop nuclear weapons and its gloating over the prospect of destruction of Israel, the Times went to bat for Ahmadinejad in perhaps one of the most offensive think pieces ever in the Sunday, June 11th edition. Written by Ethan Bronner, it engaged in a most remarkable and disgraceful display of sophistry while deriding the well-founded fears of Jews that another Holocaust is at risk of happening. The paper parsed the words and used the translation services of Juan Cole to deny that Ahmadinejad ever meant what he said, while completely ignoring all the other evidence of his genocidal intentions. The translation parsing was of the "he says tomato; I say tomahto" variety.
However, what was also truly disgraceful is the use of Juan Cole who, like Tony Judt, loathes Israel.[77 27**] Cole has many critics: many question his academic talent He also has a string of his own statements that can certainly be construed as being anti-Semitic. He has stated that Jewish American public servants are "Jewish American Likudniks" that use the Pentagon as "Israel's Gurkha regiment, fighting elective wars on behalf of Tel Aviv." Many other instances of his problematic attitudes toward Jews abound.
Given his many statements, the supposition is reasonable that the Iranian president has genocidal intentions and is just awaiting the completion of the Bomb to fulfill his dreams. The Times portrays him as someone whose real concerns are coming to grips with a "system of conservative clerical rule that has lost credibility with the public," negotiating with America, and "fighting wealthy people" who are making life difficult for "poor people" inside Iran. The Times alone among major media outlets somehow wants us to believe they are right and everyone else is wrong and uses a professor, roundly accused of anti-Semitism and at the very least someone who loathes Israel, to support its stance.
This whitewashing of the genocidal plans of various Muslim groups is a proclivity that the New York Times engages in on a regular basis. While portraying Hamas as a social welfare group, the Times rarely if ever mentions that its charter explicitly calls not just for the destruction of Israel but the destruction of the Jewish people:
"Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious" In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate -- the People of the Scripture [i.e., Jews and Christians] ... most of them are evil-doers. ... Israel will -- remain -- until Islam eliminates it. ... [Hamas] strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine". [Salvation] will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!
Hamas's view of the Jews is clearly stated in Article 22 of its charter:
The enemies have been scheming for a long time. ... They took advantage of key-elements in unfolding events, and accumulated a huge and influential material wealth that they put to the service of implementing their dream. This wealth [permitted them to] take over control of the world media such as news agencies, the press, publication houses, broadcasting and the like. [They also used this] wealth to stir revolutions. ... They stood behind the French and the Communist Revolutions and behind most of the revolutions we hear about here and there. ... They obtained the Balfour Declaration and established the League of Nations in order to rule the world. ... They also stood behind World War II, where they collected immense benefits from trading with war materials. ... They inspired the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council to replace the League of Nations. ... There was no war that broke out anywhere without their fingerprints on it.
Article 28 relates more directly to Zionism:
"Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, Lions, and other spying associations -- act for the interests of Zionism and under its directions, strive to demolish societies, to destroy values, to wreck answerableness, to totter virtues and to wipe out Islam. It stands behind the diffusion of drugs and toxics of all kinds in order to facilitate its control and expansion." Article 32 states that "they will covet expansion from the Nile to the Euphrates -- Their scheme has been laid out in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present [conduct] is the best proof of what is said there."
As to Palestine, Article 34 instructs that
"the greedy have coveted [it] more than once. ... Multitudes of Crusades descended upon it -- waving their Cross. ... [Then it was liberated] by Jihad under -- Saladin. ... This is the only way. ... Only iron can blunt iron, only the true faith of Islam can vanquish their false and falsified faith."
Might its Jewish readers find these facts of interest? Apparently, the Times does not find that news fit to print.
Steven Erlanger, the Times correspondent in Israel has become a cheerleader for Hamas, constantly concentrating on the "softer side" of Hamas: its role as a charity and its role in sponsoring schools and summer camps for Palestinian children. The superb new book Hamas by Matthew Levitt, praised in many book reviews, should finally put to bed the ruse of itself as a do-gooder organization that Hamas peddles. The group uses charity money to run schools and camps that indoctrinate children to hate and to grow up to be martyrs; the money is also used to purchase weapons and bomb belts to spread terror and kill innocent people. The book has been favorable reviewed in many places but not -- you guessed it -- at the New York Times. Erlanger himself took a break from his correspondent role to denounce the book. Other groups have, in turn, harshly criticized Erlanger for being an apologist for a group that hates Jews.
While Jews consider the paper an ally in their battle against prejudice, they seem to ignore the paper's treatment of their own community. Anti-Semitism is an awkward subject for many people, Jews included, to consider. Many might regard those who touch upon it as hyper-sensitive and too focused on their own well-being.
However, American Jews celebrate and support the self-regard that other groups display when they campaign to be fairly treated. Such self-regard is a fundamental principle of self-preservation. If blacks or Hispanics were treated the way Jews have periodically been treated by the New York Times, some Jewish readers would be outraged. So why the apathy regarding principles that Jews have always held dear: civility, justice, and equal treatment?
Is such a betrayal of principles a double standard? Aren't double standards themselves a sign of anti-Semitism?
32. www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id= 4994&search=lasky
44. If one were so inclined, since the Times engages in
efforts to bring up the religion of people as possible reasons to
suspect their loyalty and honesty, one could ask them why the Islamic
and Egyptian origin of Mohammed el-Baradei, head of the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), might influence his feckless response to
the Iranian nuclear program that threatens to destroy half the world's
Jews. El-Baredie has been involved in endless pseudo-negotiations with
the Iranian regime that have promised to wipe Israel off the face of
the earth. His response on how to deal with the Iranians? Compel the
Israelis to open up their nuclear program and foreswear the
development and possession of nuclear weapons. Yes. Israel, founded
after a genocide against the Jews, is called upon to leave itself
defenseless. El-Baredei is far from to be trusted to derail Iran's
quest for nuclear weapons: in 2004, intelligence reports found him
coaching the Iranians on the intricacies of the nuclear
nonproliferation treaty -- information that could be used
(www.nysun.com/article/35728) to escape sanctions Lately, he has readily agreed to Iran's a demand that the lead Iran investigator for the IAEA be fired because he was too intrusive (i.e., effective) for the Iranians. Might El-Baredei's Muslim/Egyptian heritage be an influence or would that be too louche to bring up?
77. The Times seems to have a penchant for using experts that have been active in peddling anti-Semitic canards. Michael Scheuer (a.k.a., Anonymous, the author of a book about the CIA and the hunt for Bin Laden) has blamed the dual loyalty of American Jews for leading us into Iraq. James Bamford harbors similar thoughts. A google search using their names and "Jews" would disclose their views about the Jewish community. That has not dissuaded the Times from offering them a platform.
This article was published in The American Thinker in two
parts. Part I appeared November 17, 2005
Ed Lasky is the news editor of The American Thinker.
(www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=4994) and Part II appeared July 19, 2006
This article was published in The American Thinker in two
parts. Part I appeared November 17, 2005
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