(By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5TJT.com)
In 1951, an article in Life Magazine celebrated the 100th year anniversary of the New York Times and called her “the grey lady.”
But now, the grey lady has slipped and fallen and the whole world has seen her hidden swastika tattoos.
Last week, the international edition of the New York Times had published the most anti-Semitic cartoon ever seen in a newspaper since Julius Streicher had published Der Sturmer in the 30’s and 40’s. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was depicted as a dog – leading a blind and Yarmulke-clad American president. The response was fast and swift with condemnation piling upon condemnation. And deservedly so.
The New York Times first tweeted that the image “was offensive, and it was an error in judgment to publish it. But that statement did not contain any apology, and the Times came under increasing criticism from many. They finally issued a statement saying they are “deeply sorry”. It appears the NY Times was “deeply sorry” for around 24 hours until the next cartoon was published.
Incredibly, the tone-deaf New York Times embarked upon printing yet another anti-Semitic cartoon depicting the prime minister acting as Moses preaching hatred with the Ten Commandments in hand.
What the New York Times does not realize is that there is such a thing as an editorial slip and there is such a thing as a pattern of behavior. The New York Times should be boycotted by the Jewish community, and anyone else who values journalistic ideals of fairness and integrity, until its editorial board and ownership do some serious soul-searching and recognize their decades of a lack of integrity. After the soul-searching, they should take it upon themselves to embark upon some serious changes.
Apologies are worthless when the person or institution doing the apologizing is engaged in a consistent and yes, unswerving, pattern of behavior. The grey lady’s fall didn’t just reveal one little swastika tattoo – her body has been figuratively covered with anti-Semitic tattoos – ever since the holocaust.
Listed below are just a few manifestations of the deep anti-Semitic bias of the New York Times. Margaret Sullivan was the public editor of the New Times from 2012 to 2015. In a column she wrote about coverage of the Mideast in 2014, she called upon NYT reporters to remember that the Palestinians “are more than just victims.” Come again? This is tantamount to a declaration of, “Guys, guys, we need you to be even more biased in your coverage. Got it?”
In March of this year, the New York Times printed a story called “Terrorist Label for Iran Force” about the U.S. decision to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror organization. The article suggested that Israeli intelligence should also be designated as a foreign terrorist group.
Let’s just let our inner biases flow feely now, New York Times.
In 2018, New York Times journalist Nellie Bowles described the Palestinian Authority’s payments to families of imprisoned terrorists as a “figment of the right-wing imagination.”
Um, why don’t you just Google that one – the Palestinian Authority is pretty open about that one.
There are anti-Semitic biases of commission, and there are also biases of “omission.”
According to CAMERA, on March 20th of last year, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas called the Honorable David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, the “son of a dog.” That is pretty newsworthy. And yet the New York Times entirely ignored the story.
In case after case, the New York Times ignores every time that the Palestinian leader delivers inflammatory and anti-Semitic speeches. Whether it is when he addressed the PLO Central Council – where he slandered his Jewish neighbors, recited conspiracy theories, and generally rewrote history, or whether it is a speech given in Arabic at a rally to his constituents.
Hamas, the terror organization that rules the Gaza Strip, is never portrayed as the intolerant murderers that they are. And they are never labelled “terrorists” by the New York Times.
Tunnels into Israel to murder and kidnap and called “peaceful tunnels.” Really and truly? How can tunnels be peaceful?
Well-armed combatants are constantly being called “protesters” in an attempt to soft-sell what they are really doing at the borders.
C.A.M.E.R.A. reports that once, after eight Hamas gunmen and three bomb-planting operatives were killed while attacking Israel, Times Cairo bureau chief Declan Walsh —and correspondents Iyad Abuheweila, Isabel Kershner, Megan Specia, Marlise Simons, and Alan Cowell —repeatedly included these open terrorists attackers among “purported protesters” shot by the army. When editors were made aware that the casualties included at least 11 armed assailants, the paper’s standards editor Rogene Jacquette stood by their language.
An unprovoked stabbing of an Israeli embassy guard in Amman, which ended with the killing of the assailant, was later rewritten as a “confrontation involving an Israeli guard at Israel’s embassy compound in Amman, which left two Jordanians dead”? Must reporters be reminded that Jordanians, too, are more than just victims?
When NYT reporter Rebecca Flint Marx’s described Rasmea Odeh, the convicted murderer of two Jews, she used the term “controversial activist” – with no mention of any murder of innocents. The examples go on and on.
These examples and incidents of biased reporting are the pattern – the rule – not the exception. A mere perusal of CAMERA’s website will reveal several hundred of these biases.
The New York Times is in a state of denial and they need an intervention. They need to address their past and come up with a plan as to how to avoid their consistent bias in the future. Until this happens, the Jewish community should cancel their subscriptions.
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.
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