FIGHTING BACK: Agudath Israel Unleashes Billboard Campaign Excoriating New York Times’ Attacks on Jews

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As part of a far broader campaign aimed at providing the unfamiliar an authentic glimpse of Jewish life and culture, Agudath Israel of America has purchased billboard slots in Times Square and outside the Lincoln Tunnel that call out the New York Times’ unfettered hatred of Orthodox Jews and tie it to the troubling increase in antisemitic hate crimes committed in New York City.

With the New York Times incessantly attacking the Orthodox Jewish community with slanted, one-sided articles that fail to provide its readership with unbiased alternative perspectives or objective context, the billboards are a single component of a multi-pronged push by the Agudah to correct the record.

“Attacks on Orthodox Jews have more than doubled recently,” one of the billboards state. “Dear New York Times, words do break bones. Please stop attacking our community.”

In addition to its public display of protest against the Times, the billboards direct viewers to a new website, KnowUs.org, that aims to enlighten readers on the facts surrounding yeshivas, Hasidim, and Orthodox Jews.

“With antisemitic violence on the rise, it is critical that our public discourse promote facts, not gross mischaracterizations,” the site states on its home page. “Unfortunately, there are those, especially at the New York Times, who have engaged in a smear campaign against Orthodox Jewish and Hasidic private schools – and the community’s entire way of life – in a way that unfairly targets them and plays into centuries-old, hurtful stereotypes that can increase the already alarming number of attacks against Orthodox Jews.”

The site places a heavy focus on the New York Times’ ostensible “reporting” on the Orthodox Jewish and Hasidic communities, debunking claims made in the 12 anti-Orthodox Times articles published in the last three months alone, and offering readers a chance to get to gain knowledge and understanding into the Jewish community with whom they are neighbors.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

11 COMMENTS

  1. And how many of “unzerer menchin” are buying that horrible newspaper or reading it online? shame on those who still do–using the excuse that they need to read the financial pages or they have to do the crossword puzzle–They can get crossword puzzles that are difficult from a bookstore or Amazon and the financial reports can be gotten online as well or from other sources. Quit using it as an excuse. Good shabbos far gantz klal Yisroel

  2. It’s not going to help. Fighting back hasn’t proven to be effective.

    For thousands of years we have been suffering systemic , politically sanctioned רדיפות. That’s what Galus is.

    Explaining to the UN why it’s not fair to treat us like a כבשה אחת בין שבעים זאבים doesn’t make them change their behavior.

    We were Zocheh to experience a benign friendly Golus in the Medina Shel Chessed. Becuase HKBH had Rachmanus on our Dor. We hope and Daven that this doesn’t change.

    But The only thing that will truly help is
    RACHAMEI SHAMAYIM.

    We need to each of us turn inwards and cry out to HKBH. That’s the way we can utilize an effective tool.

    And on the side , we should of course have people do whatever nice forms of potential Hishtadlus they can come up with. This is not from whence will come our Yeshua
    מאין יבא עזרי? עזרי מעם ה׳…

  3. IMHO the ads should be more fact oriented: “NYT has published distorted, non-factual, articles about Orthodox Judaism and has resisted efforts to open fact-based dialogue with our community. To get the real facts and engage in open discussion please visit our site. We want to engage with you and make sure you are getting the real picture.” BTW, my internet filter doesn’t allow me onto the site linked.

  4. this article refers to a website that actually has a 40 page paper responding to allegations. After reading both the NYT article and the response, I am left with more questions than answers. Given weak arguments on both sides, I don’t think anyone will change their positions.

  5. rather than calling the NYT anti-Jewish, a davar yaduah lakol, tell us what they got wrong. Just pointing out genaivah may reflect their biases to concentrate on Jewish versus others corruption, but it does not mean we are not corrupt. Numbers are our friends; facts are facts even when said by an anti-Semiten

  6. Let us learn a lesson from תורתנו הקדושה about this.

    In דברים כה:יז where one of the great enemies of Klal Yisroel, עמלק, is discussed, Rashi teaches us a very important lesson from our Chazal, which point out that it is next to the Torah’s warning against dishonest business dealings. Teaching us that such dishonesty and cheating empower our enemies, R”L.

    If we lose the moral high ground, G-d forbid, we are rendered vulnerable. Screaming, shouting, and large billboards will not change that spiritual fact of life.

    We need mussar and teshuvah, rebuke and repentance. We need modern versions of Rav Shimon Schwab zt”l, and Rav Avraham Pam zt”l to speak out strongly against this moral corruption, and put the sinners among us in order.

    We have a fast day coming up this Tuesday, perhaps we can utilize it to draw attention to this very important issue, to repair the breaches in honesty among some of us, and strengthen the emphasis on integrity and truth.

  7. Calling the NYT anti semitic is absurd, since it is owned and to a large extent staffed by individuals that identify as Jews. To be honest, they are Jews that scrupulously separate their ethnicity from their political judgment. At most one might call them traitors. But therein lies the problem. When we separate ourselves from society as a whole, they hate us. When we try to assimilate, the RBSO interferes. Neither way works for very long.

  8. maskildoresh I agree with you but sometimes tefillah isnt enough. If this medina shel Chessed doesnt like us anymore then maybe we should search for a differnt place? Maybe Israel? Anyway, we are going to end up going there so maybe it’s time. People say that when Moshiach comes, we will go to Eretz Yisrael. Meanwhile the prices of apartments are skyrocketing. If you wait for moshiach you may end up living out in the boondocks. Maybe the time has coem to be proactive.

  9. What does the Kinnus Hashluchim have to do with this. Simple, the NYT put a photo of it in the article just for incitement purposes. We do have to watch our backs though. Just because something is legal, does not mean that we should be doing it – if it is going to raise questions about our ethics.