Follow by Email

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The New York Times, Anti-Semitism and the Mike McMahon Election Scandal: See No Evil

As widely reported, U.S. Congressman Mike McMahon, representing New York's 13th District comprising Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, fired his spokeswoman, Jennifer Nelson, after his reelection campaign staff compiled a list of 80 Jewish donors to the campaign of McMahon's Republican rival, Mike Grimm. The list, disseminated by McMahon's staff, was entitled "Grimm Jewish Money Q2."

Notwithstanding the dismissal of Jennifer Nelson, there remain many unanswered questions:

Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matthew Brooks said on Friday in a statement that "in more than 25 years in politics I have never seen anything more despicable and offensive than this.”

"Congressman McMahon has fired his communications director, but what about the other staff involved? Who asked for that list to be compiled? Who approved that action? Congressman McMahon needs to do more than apologize for 'inappropriate comments' - he must be held accountable for actions that his campaign staff took to count Jews supporting his rival," Brooks said. “I don't think this is something that should be swept under the rug. Seeing such bigotry from a sitting congressman's campaign is deeply troubling."

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/democratic-congressman-fires-staffer-for-jewish-money-list-1.305068

Query: Why has this hot potato been ignored by the op-ed pundits of The New York Times?

More to the point, where is the news coverage of this story by The New York Times? After all, it does involve New York. I separately entered the names "Mike McMahon" and "Jennifer Nelson" in the search tool appearing in the upper left hand corner of The Times's online website and found nothing. I also did a Google search using "New York Times", "Mike McMahon" and "Jennifer Nelson", and after examining ten pages of results, again came up dry.

Why is The Times ignoring this story? A case in which the pot has decided not to call the kettle black?

Or, when it involves local Democratic congressional candidates, is it a matter of "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil"?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Winner of Weekly JG Caesarea Prize for Contributing to Anti-Semitism and Middle East Tension: David Cameron, Roger Cohen or Oliver Stone?

Who is the winner of this week's highly renowned JG Caesarea Prize for Contributing Beyond the Call of Duty to Anti-Semitism and Middle East Tension? This week's contestants, each deserving of this accolade in his own endearing way, are David Cameron, Roger Cohen and Oliver Stone.

David Cameron on a visit to Turkey this week called Gaza a “prison camp,” and declared that “the situation in Gaza has to change.” A prison camp? In order to prove his point, Gazans fired a Grad missile this morning into a residential area of the Israeli city of Ashkelon and two mortar shells into the Eshkol Regional Council in the western Negev. Excuse me, David, but are you aware of any prisons in the U.K. where the inmates are firing missiles and mortar shells into neighboring cities?

Roger Cohen this week wrote a New York Times op-ed entitled "The Forgotten American" in which he lambasted the absence of an investigation into the death of a young Turk, who lived in the U.S. for two years and held an American passport, while participating in the attempt by the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. No mention by Cohen of:

• ongoing rocket and missile fire from Gaza into Israel;
• the links between IHH, which organized the flotilla, and al-Qaeda;
• the desire expressed by Turks participating in the flotilla to be martyred;
• the songs sung by the Muslim flotilla participants calling for the murder of Jews;
• the weapons – clubs, knives and small arms – used by the Turks against the Israeli commandos who boarded the ship;
• the "aid" cargo being brought by the Mavi Marmara, consisting of expired medicines and rags, i.e. the flotilla was organized for purposes of provocation;
• Israel's offer to unload this precious cargo at Ashdod and deliver it to Gaza.

By ignoring all of the above and taking editorial bias beyond the bounds of ethical journalism, Roger Cohen richly deserves his status as a finalist for this week's JG Caesarea Prize.

Oliver Stone? Let's concentrate on his defense this week of Adolph Hitler, his support of Iran's tyrant Ahmadinejad, his claim that Jews dominate the media, and his allegation that Israel has f__ed up United States foreign policy. Although the Anti-Defamation League accepted on Wednesday Stone's second attempt at an apology, with Abraham Foxman saying Stone "now understands the issues and where he was wrong,” I am not as sanguine as Foxman and have decided to keep Ollie in this week's running for the JG Caesarea Prize.

And the winner is . . .

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Anti-Semitism Is Racism, Not Politics

See below correspondence with New York Times advertiser Borders, which speaks for itself. Their initial response:

Please note that although some websites may have our ads posted, they are in no way affiliated with our company. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have created for you.

My reply:

Can you possibly imagine the New York Times posting a reader's comment saying, "Pakistanis are the most stupid people on the face of the earth"? No way would this ever happen: this is absurd, racist and abusive in the extreme. If it were posted, the editors of The Times would react in a heartbeat to remove the offending comment and apologize for the error in judgment.

Why, then, when the New York Times actually posts a comment saying that Jews are the "most arrogant tribe on the face of the earth" (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2010/07/anti-semitism-still-awaiting-response.html) is the comment not removed, the "moderator" not fired, and The Times's staff of editors indifferent? My belief is that "risqué" expressions of anti-Semitism, which titillate both the extreme Left and Right, increase Web hits and enhance advertising revenues.

How dangerous can this be, if we are only talking about readers' comments ("Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me . . ."). Answer: The Times tells us that comments are reviewed by its "moderators" and "generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive," i.e. a leading national U.S. news organization has concluded that anti-Semitism is "not abusive", or equally offensive, has determined that labeling Jews as the "most arrogant tribe on the face of the earth" is not anti-Semitic.

Furthermore, we're not talking about an isolated incident. Over the past year the posting of vulgar anti-Semitic readers' comments has occurred regularly at The Times (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/search/label/anti-Semitism).

I kindly request that Borders cease advertising with The New York Times until such time as they remedy this outrage.

Their response:

While we appreciate your feedback, as stated previously, this is not one of our affiliates. As a Borders ad may have been posted on this site, this does not indicate that we neither agree nor disagree with the current subject. We do not take any political stance and instead strive to remain a neutral place where customers can gather information about any topic and any opinion. I've forwarded your comments on to the Borders Mail Editorial team for their consideration.

My reply:

This matter does not involve a political stance. Rather, we are talking about Borders paying a news organization to place advertising on a web page where the news organization has agreed to post vulgar anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism has absolutely nothing to do with politics.

Would you agree to advertise on a page where the news organization agreed to post, following that organization's so-called "moderation", a reader's comment stating "Catholics are the most arrogant tribe on the face of the earth"? Obviously you would not.

Would you agree to advertise on a page where the news organization agreed to post, following that organization's so-called "moderation", a reader's comment stating "Blacks are the most arrogant tribe on the face of the earth"? Obviously you would not.

So why agree to advertise on a page where the news organization agreed to post, following that organization's so-called "moderation", a reader's comment stating "Jews are the most arrogant tribe on the face of the earth"?

Moreover, this was not a one-time occurrence at The New York Times; it has happened repeatedly over the past year, as can be easily seen (see for example: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2009/06/open-letter-no-2-to-clark-hoyt-public.html). In addition, although the Public Editor and the Publisher of The New York Times were informed of this offensive comment, they have not removed it.

Again, I kindly request that Borders cease advertising with The New York Times until such time as they remedy this outrage.

Their response:

Feedback from valued customers like you is essential to us as it allows us to keep in touch with areas where we can improve our services. Your comments regarding the appearance of our online ads in the comments sections of various New York Times articles will be included in our regular reporting to our various departments and in information presented to the executives at Borders. While I cannot guarantee that a change will be made, we appreciate your sending us your thoughts.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Can Intellectualizing Alone Keep Us from the Gas Chambers?

Can you possibly imagine a New York Times "moderator" posting a reader's comment saying, "Pakistanis are the most stupid people on the face of the earth"? No way would this ever happen: this is absurd, racist and abusive in the extreme. If it were posted, the "moderator" would instantly lose his position and the editors of The Times would react in a heartbeat to remove the offending comment and apologize for the error in judgment.

Why, then, when a New York Times "moderator" actually posts a comment saying that Jews are the "most arrogant tribe on the face of the earth" (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2010/07/anti-semitism-still-awaiting-response.html) is the comment not removed, the "moderator" not fired, and The Times's staff of editors indifferent? My belief is that "risqué" expressions of anti-Semitism, which titillate both Left and Right, increase Web hits and enhance advertising revenues.

How dangerous can this be, if we are only talking about readers' comments ("Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me . . ."). Answer: The Times tells us that comments are reviewed by its "moderators" and "generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive," i.e. a leading national U.S. news organization has concluded that anti-Semitism is "not abusive", or equally offensive, has determined that labeling Jews as the "most arrogant tribe on the face of the earth" is not anti-Semitic.

Furthermore, we're not talking about an isolated incident. As you all know by now, over the past year the posting of vulgar anti-Semitic readers' comments has occurred regularly at The Times (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/search/label/anti-Semitism), and The Times is not alone.

So how alarmed should we be by these racist rumblings? Allow me to pose the question differently: Are we so removed from the Holocaust that we can rest assured that a similar set of atrocities will never happen again? Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon, answered this question by observing, "If [the Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide," and meanwhile no one has prevented Hezbollah from accumulating 40,000 rockets and missiles in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. Concurrently, Nasrallah's overlord, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose quest for nuclear weapons goes unimpeded, declared, "As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map."

And in the face of these threats of annihilation, how did The New York Times respond? It began by commending President Obama, who "set a constructive new tone for trying to engage Iran" (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/09/opinion/09mon1.html) and facilitated Roger Cohen's six-month harangue alleging that Iran is "not totalitarian", throughout which Cohen never missed an opportunity to fling darts at Israel. In addition, The Times played host to a several guest op-eds written by Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett calling for "rapprochement" with Iran as it is presently constituted. The Leveretts contended, "On its present course, the White House's approach will not stop Tehran's development of a nuclear fuel program" (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/24/opinion/24leverett.html).

A conspiracy between The Times and the Islamic Republic of Iran? I don't think so. Rather, additional evidence of an unholy alliance between a naïve anti-Semitic Left and radical Islam, but no less dangerous for that.

What to do?

I am in awe, for example, of Elliott Abrams and Alan Dershowitz. I can never hope to approach their written and verbal finesse, and they are a moral compass for me. Commentary Magazine and Professor Richard Landes's "Augean Stables" (http://www.theaugeanstables.com/) are also invaluable resources to me and a source of inspiration. However, I also believe that words, both written and verbal, also have their limitations. Sometimes there is a need for something more. Sometimes, indeed, there is a need to yell, as in that famous line from "Network", "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

And sometimes even yelling is not enough. Sometimes you need to find other ways to show The New York Times and its ilk that you are not going to be victimized.

I have written now to more than 20 online New York Times advertisers and explained that their advertisements appear above and beside the aforesaid anti-Semitic comment, which was never removed. Although I have not yet heard back from even one of them (What do you expect?), there will be follow-up letters, and ultimately someone will be forced to respond and react, which will cause others to do the same.

I should add that I sought to enlist the assistance of a certain organization, which shall go unnamed, in disseminating my message to their mailing list in order to seek support from persons of like mind. Their response:

1. This was a unique incident, given that this was a comment in response to a Times news article, as opposed to an editorial or op-ed, and I need more information before embarking on this campaign.

2. They would want more evidence that anti-Semitic comments are being posted because of the moderators' bias and malice as opposed to their inability to review adequately all comments.

I, of course, was enraged, notwithstanding my respect for the written materials appearing on their website.

Enough said. I am nauseous from the outpouring of hatred on the Web and might well need a Bathurst-Norman Bag for Internet sickness.

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Basketball Record in Gaza

Did you notice CNN's online headline today?: "Thousands of Gaza kids set unofficial record for basketballs bounced" (http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/07/22/gaza.basketball.record/index.html?hpt=C1#fbid=hT8-6XulQ3W). Something sounds horribly wrong here. Thousands of starving children bouncing basketballs? No way! Surely these emaciated children lack the strength to bounce basketballs in the heat of the summer!

And thousands of basketballs? Can't possibly be! According to Nicholas Kristof, Gaza is "under siege," and where could thousands of basketballs be obtained?

Given the "Warsaw Ghetto" conditions prevalent in Gaza, it is inconceivable that thousands of basketballs were smuggled into Gaza instead of food. I am convinced this is all a Zionist ruse.

But not to worry: A new Gaza flotilla is planned from Lebanon, bringing more medicines that have passed their expiration dates (http://www.jpost.com/Home/Article.aspx?id=182120). A pity that the aid is not contributed to Palestinians in Lebanon, who are in greater need of assistance; however, Lebanon's Shiites still have a score to settle with the Sunni Palestinians, who, prior to 1982, were the overlords of southern Lebanon.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Putting an End to Anti-Semitism Posted by The New York Times, III

New messages sent to online New York Times advertisers Continental Airlines and AICPA. Still awaiting a first response.

[Additional messages have gone out to The New York Film Academy, Fox, The Discovery Channel, NYSE Euronext, Dewar's, Nokia, JP Morgan Chase, Holland America Line, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Levi Strauss, AT&T, American Express Bank, Borders, Amtrak, Rock Resorts, Google, and The University of Phoenix.]

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Daughter Goes to the Army


Our house has grown quiet: On Monday, my daughter and I rose early and drove to the gathering point, where she and other young women of her age boarded a bus and were taken to IDF bases for basic training. In this age of cellular telephones, we have since heard from her several times, and she is slowly adapting to a world of discipline and routine, which will not be easy for a free spirit like my daughter, whose name means "wild" (as in "wild flower") in Hebrew. But notwithstanding the difficulty, she will manage, and if the army succeeds in harnessing her energy, I'm hoping to witness a win-win situation.

She is entering the IDF at a time when Israel is facing an existential threat, different but no less dangerous than that which it experienced in 1948, 1967 and 1973. I recently traveled to the north and the south, and notwithstanding the apparent calm on the borders, a storm is brewing. Depite UN Security Council Resolution 1701, Hezbollah has been armed by Iran and Syria with more than 40,000 missiles housed in villages throughout Lebanon, including areas patroled by UNIFIL. In Gaza, Hamas has been provided by Iran with Fajr-5 missiles, easily capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

When will the fighting erupt? Answer: When Ahmadinejad presses the button, which could be provoked by political turmoil within Iran and a consequent attempt to distract the populace. In addition, the timing of the deployment of Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system, currently scheduled for November, could factor into any Iranian decision.

How do people in Israel go about their lives with this overhanging cloud? Of course, there are those who are unaware of the severity of the problem; however, I think Israel's functionality stems more from familiarity with past crises and a spontanteous ability to cope with such threats. The missile fire from Iraq on Tel Aviv in 1991 is not such a distant memory.

Throughout the day, I will think of our middle child, "deprived" of Facebook and her music, mustering the strength to cope with new psychological and physical challenges in the heat of summer. Basic training will pass a day at a time for her, as it did for her older brother, now a reservist.

Our love, hope and prayers go out to you, my daughter.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Putting an End to Anti-Semitism Posted by The New York Times, II

An e-mail, almost identical to the message sent to Starbucks, today went out to another New York Times online advertiser, ING.

According to a message I received back from the "Corporate Responsibility & Sustainable Development" Department of ING, in general they respond within two business days to such inquiries.

Tomorrow, there will be another e-mail to an additional Times advertiser.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Putting an End to Anti-Semitism Posted by The New York Times

Below is the first e-mail to go out to a New York Times online advertiser, Starbucks Coffee:

Starbucks is an online New York Times advertiser. The Times posts anti-Semitic readers' comments in response to news items and op-eds, and although The Times doesn't write them, it states that comments "generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive," i.e. anti-Semitism posted by The Times is "not abusive".

Recent example:

I guess I now understand why Iran wants nuclear weapons! If I lived anywhere close to fascist Israel, I would want them too. After all, if Israel can have them why not everyone else? . . . . Imagine the creator choosing the most arrogant tribe on the face of the earth as his "special people"!

Note the reference to Jews as "the most arrogant tribe on the face of the earth". Criticism of Israel can be legitimate. Anti-Semitism, however, is racism.

Senior editors at The Times were notified of this comment, but didn't remove it.

This was not an isolated incident. Prior examples:

Israel lies all the time, and as I understand it lies are not considered sinful by the Orthodox if they serve to advance the cause of the chosen people.

[A]s our great nation the USA has recently shown, cheered on by one bright jew david brooks, a small bunch of stupid men claiming to be closer to god but really just being stupid, selfish and unfair, can run enormous fortunes into the ground and make enemies out of old friends.

The general Jewish reaction to Cohen's article about Iran Jews demonstrates to a good extent that most recent, and presently overriding, Jewish "malady". The term "malady" used here refers to two and only two things:
- Total unwillingness to see things any differently from their own perception
- Over sensitivity to any thing BUT complete, verbatim, repetition and duplication of their own outlook to things related to or "affecting them.

Israel was smart to place people in all areas of the US Govenment and Schools to make sure they were able to use the United States for their needs.

Seeing the destruction and misery that the current Jewish Israeli population is capable of, and willing to commit, against poor and defenseless people leaves one to wonder what they would do had the Holocaust never taken place and there were twice as many of them as there are now.

Some of these comments were removed by The Times after publication, but only after the damage had been done.

I ask Starbucks to halt advertising with The Times until it remedies this outrage.

Your response will be posted at http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/ and forwarded to the ADL, Weisenthal Center and CAMERA.

Arrest of Hamas Terror Cell that Murdered Policeman

Perhaps you will recall the murder several weeks ago in the Hebron Hills of a Jewish policeman, who was ambushed while stopping to assist a Palestinian with staged car trouble (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/15/world/middleeast/15mideast.html). Today it was announced that the Hamas terror cell responsible for the shooting has been captured.

This murder was ignored by Times columnist Nicholas Kristof in his recent op-ed mini-series concerning Israeli-Palestinian relations. Kristof also refused to acknowledge cooperation in the West Bank between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to quell Hamas terror, as evidenced by these arrests.

As noted by the Jerusalem Post:

"One of the leaders of the cell told how just two weeks before the attack he had accompanied his daughter to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem where she underwent surgery to remove a tumor from her eye. The surgery was funded by an Israeli organization."

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=181883

Humanitarian assistance of this kind provided by Israel to Palestinians was, needless to say, also disregarded by Kristof, who can only see through his Left eye. Unfortunately, Kristof's blindness cannot be corrected by Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Kristof, Dowd and Cohen's Unholy Alliance with Radical Islam

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recently visited Israel with his family and tried hard to discover horrors to relate back to his fawning readers. No mention of Israel's democracy, freedom of the press, judicial system, science, hi-tech, culture, or integration of a million immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia. No attempt to provide examples of integration of Israeli Arabs into Israeli society or to describe economic improvement (8% GDP growth) and increased freedom of movement (only 14 checkpoints where most traffic is waved through) for Palestinians in the West Bank. After all, he had come to stoke the fires of hatred.

As noted in an earlier blog entry (http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2010/07/kristofs-two-sides-of-barbed-wire-fence.html), Kristof visited the Bedouin village of Umm al-Kheir and compared their poverty with a neighboring Israeli settlement, but failed to point out whether a Western apartment-living lifestyle was even desired by these persons and did not disclose the number of Umm al-Kheir residents, i.e. 22 families. By the way, my inquiry with the Public Editor's Office of the Times whether this op-ed violated their standards of ethical journalism ("In print and online, we tell our readers the complete, unvarnished truth as best we can learn it") went unanswered.

From Gaza, Kristof acknowledged that there was no shortage of goods, but called for an end to the "siege" of Gaza. Needless to say, Kristof ignored:

• honor killings of female family members;
• the grisly murder of Hamas opponents;
• discrimination against homosexuals;
• discrimination against Christians;
• the Hamas charter which calls for the murder of all Jews;
• ten thousand rockets, missiles and mortar rounds fired into southern Israel.

See: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2010/07/nicholas-kristofs-burrowing-through.html).

In his final op-ed from Israel, "Waiting for Gandhi" (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/opinion/11kristof.html?ref=nicholasdkristof), Kristof visited the West Bank village of Bilin, which has become a Mecca for foreigners seeking to participate in weekly demonstrations against the Israeli "occupiers". In fact, hosting foreigners seeking to condemn Israel has become a cottage industry in Bilin: Sometimes they paint themselves blue like the Na'vi from Avatar for photographers, and sometimes they trot out models of ships in honor of the Gaza flotilla's MV Mavi Marmara.

Yet what I found most amazing was Kristof's call in this op-ed for a non-violent protest involving Palestinian women:

"But imagine if Palestinians stopped the rock-throwing and put female pacifists in the lead. What if 1,000 women sat down peacefully on a road to block access to an illegal Jewish settlement built on Palestinian farmland? What if the women allowed themselves to be tear-gassed, beaten and arrested without a single rock being thrown? Those images would be on televisions around the world — particularly if hundreds more women marched in to replace those hauled away."

Why was this remarkable (or perhaps not remarkable)? Because self-proclaimed human rights activist Kristof never once bothered to mention the horrific discrimination against Palestinian women, particularly in Gaza, and the "honor killings" which occur in both Gaza and the West Bank almost every month.

In fact, Kristof's refusal to communicate the suffering of Palestinian women (as well as that of Palestinian Christians and homosexuals) to the readership of the Times is part of a pattern. During Roger Cohen's 2009 campaign to persuade us that Iran is "not totalitarian", Times columnist Cohen:

• devoted a mere sentence to Iran's persecution of its largest non-Muslim minority, the Baha'is, who are routinely murdered, imprisoned without charges, and restricted from higher education.
• never mentioned how Iran publicly hangs homosexuals;
• never described how Iran actively supports genocide in Darfur;
• never observed that Iran stones to death women accused of adultery;
• never detailed how Iran violently discriminates against its Sunni minority;
• never explained how Iran violently discriminates against its Kurdish minority.

Throughout this series of op-eds, however, Cohen never missed an opportunity to condemn Israel.

And then there were the op-eds written by Times columnist Maureen Dowd during her 2010 visit to Saudi Arabia. As I observed in an e-mail to a very senior editor of the Times, who wrote me that Dowd had denounced Saudi Arabia's "barbaric policies" involving women:

Re Ms. Dowd's most recent series of op-eds concerning Saudi Arabia, I read all of them and do not recall a single instance where she denounced their "barbaric policies". Although there was castigation of Israel, she did not once mention the practice of "honor killings" in Saudi Arabia. She never described how women who are gang raped are sentenced to prison and lashings. She never mentioned the problem of "child brides" in this country.

I recall reading her op-ed, "Driving Miss Saudi", where she observed how "Young women in Riyadh try to balance Islam and modernity as the stunted desert kingdom makes progress in 'Saudi Time'", but didn't dare breathe a word concerning any of the above obscenities. Reading this op-ed, one was made to believe that Saudi oppression of women amounted to little more than a dress code. In fact, in her op-ed "Loosey Goosey Saudi" she stated: "after spending 10 days here, I can confirm that, at their own galactically glacial pace, they are chipping away at gender apartheid and cultural repression." Does this sound to you like a denunciation of "barbaric policies"?

See: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2010/06/new-york-times-removes-anti-semitic.html

Kristof, Dowd and Cohen are certainly not stupid and are aware of the abuse of women and minorities in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Palestine. That being the case, why do they so obstinately refuse to address these horrors?

Answer: The hatred of the Left for Israel, which has become fashionable throughout Western Europe and permeates the Obama administration, burns so strongly that the Left is willing to forgive Radical Islam all its sins, given their mutual loathing of the Jewish state.

Is there a tie between this abhorrence of Israel and the persistent willingness of the Times to post vulgar anti-Semitic readers' comments? Although the Public Editor of the Times refuses to believe that this is the case, I have my own thoughts concerning the matter.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Anti-Semitism, Still Awaiting a Response from The New York Times

TO: The Public Editor, The New York Times

Dear _______,

I still await your response concerning the grotesque anti-Semitic comment posted by the Times on July 12, 2010 in response to Ethan Bronner's article, "Israeli Military Finds Flotilla Killings Justified".

40.
rmarc
albany ny
July 12th, 2010
4:05 pm
Nothing new here. I guess I now understand why Iran wants nuclear weapons! If I lived anywhere close to fascist Israel, I would want them too. After all, if Israel can have them why not everyone else? I guess being gods chosen means never having to say I'm sorry! What claptrap. Imagine the creator choosing the most arrogant tribe on the face of the earth as his "special people"!
Recommended by 79 Readers

http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2010/07/13/world/middleeast/13flotilla.html?sort=oldest&offset=2

I would bring to your attention that this was only one of several abusive comments posted by the Times in response to the article in question.

If it is the opinion of the Public Editor or the Publisher of the Times that this comment is neither abusive nor inflammatory, please let me know immediately.

I would appreciate the courtesy of a response, so as to enable your readership and advertisers to make an informed decision whether they wish to continue to subscribe to or do business with the Times.

Again, I would note for the sake of good order that I will be publishing this e-mail as an open letter in my blog.

Regards,
Jeffrey

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ongoing Tolerance of Anti-Semitism by The New York Times

TO: The Public Editor, The New York Times

Dear _________,

Further to our correspondence concerning the publication of anti-Semitic readers' comments by The New York Times, I wish to draw to your attention the following comment posted by the Times on July 12, 2010 in response to Ethan Bronner's article, "Israeli Military Finds Flotilla Killings Justified":

40.
rmarc
albany ny
July 12th, 2010
4:05 pm
Nothing new here. I guess I now understand why Iran wants nuclear weapons! If I lived anywhere close to fascist Israel, I would want them too. After all, if Israel can have them why not everyone else? I guess being gods chosen means never having to say I'm sorry! What claptrap. Imagine the creator choosing the most arrogant tribe on the face of the earth as his "special people"!
Recommended by 79 Readers

http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2010/07/13/world/middleeast/13flotilla.html?sort=oldest&offset=2

This is vulgar, anti-Semitic, abusive and inflammatory in the extreme, and if this is deemed to fall within the realm of the norms of The New York Times ("Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive"), it deserves to be disseminated to all of your readership so as to enable them to decide whether they should be subscribing to or placing advertisements in the Times.

Moreover, given the persistent recurrence of this phenomenon at the Times and the resultant damage, it is not enough that someone at your newspaper ultimately removes such vile comments days or weeks following their publication. This is an issue which should have been addressed by The New York Times long ago.

Have your "moderators" ever been instructed concerning the meaning of anti-Semitism and its potential repercussions? Have any concrete measures been instituted to put an end to this phenomenon?

I will be publishing this e-mail as an open letter in my blog and await your response.

Regards,
Jeffrey

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Bathurst-Norman Bag for Internet Sickness

By now, most who read this blog are aware of the recent decision of a Brighton jury to acquit seven "activists" who caused £180,000 damage to an arms factory, which they believed was manufacturing weapons used by Israel in Operation Cast Lead. After the initial acquittal of five of the defendants, The Guardian reported:

"Five activists who caused £180,000 damage to an arms factory were acquitted after they argued they were seeking to prevent Israeli war crimes.

The five were jubilant after a jury found them not guilty of conspiring to cause criminal damage to the factory on the outskirts of Brighton.

The five admitted they had broken in and sabotaged the factory, but argued they were legally justified in doing so.

They believed that EDO MBM, the firm that owns the factory, was breaking export regulations by manufacturing and selling to the Israelis military equipment which would be used in the occupied territories. They wanted to slow down the manufacture of these components, and impede what they believed were war crimes being committed by Israel against the Palestinians.

* * * *

The judge highlighted the testimony by Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, that 'all democratic paths had been exhausted' before the activists embarked on their action."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/30/activists-arms-factory-acquitted

Judge Bathurst-Norman's instructions to the jury and the jury's decision were scrutinized with great acuity by Robin Shepherd (http://www.robinshepherdonline.com/anti-semitic-juries-in-the-uk-may-start-decriminalising-crimes-committed-against-israeli-interests/#more-2919), Caroline Glick (http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=180523) and Melanie Phillips, who observed:

"But what really jumps out from this story is the direction the jury received from the judge in the case:

In his summing up, Judge George Bathurst-Norman suggested to the jury that ‘you may well think that hell on earth would not be an understatement of what the Gazans suffered in that time’.

Let’s get our heads round this, folks: an English judge in an English court of law effectively directed a jury to acquit people of criminally smashing up a factory, because he chose to believe Hamas propaganda about the suffering of people in Gaza during a war about which he presumably has no knowledge whatever apart from what he has read or seen in the media – a war, moreover, launched solely to prevent Gazans from aggressively firing rockets into Israel in order to murder its civilians, during the course of which war Israel went to heroic lengths to avoid hurting Gazan civilians who were being put in harm’s way by Hamas, the true cause of Gaza's 'hell on earth'.

Quite apart from the ignorance and bigotry of Judge George Bathurst-Norman, what on earth is a judge doing imposing his political prejudices upon a jury and thus taking the side of the defendants in the case he is trying – with the result that he effectively directed the jury to acquit them of a crime?"

(http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/6117164/the-hellish-histrionics-of-hove-propaganda-court.thtml)

I would be hard pressed to supplement the analysis of Mr. Shepherd, Ms. Glick and Ms. Phillips, and would only mention that hearing of this case made me ill and set me to thinking. Tomorrow I will be flying, and in the seat pocket in front of me there will be an air sickness bag. I do not suffer from air sickness, yet I do suffer from Internet sickness. This being the case, why not design a special bag for persons like myself who suffer while surfing the web? Such a bag designed for the Internet could hardly be called an air sickness bag and would surely merit its own appellation. Hence, after much thought and in recognition of this propitious decision by the Brighton court:

The Bathurst-Norman Bag for Internet Sickness

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Nicholas Kristof"s "Burrowing Through a Blockade": Biased or Just Plain Dumb?

In an op-ed in today's New York Times, Nicholas Kristof, describes his visit to some of the 1,000 tunnels bringing goods from Egypt to Gaza. After explaining that the tunnels are barely hidden, Kristof tells us that Israel's decision to ease its blockade is creating turmoil among the tunnel operators, which employs thousands of workers, and concludes, quite expectedly, that Israel should altogether eliminate its blockade of Gaza:

"The tunnel owners are aghast that Israel is talking about easing the siege and grumbled that they are already facing a huge drop in orders as a result. A significant number of tunnels have had to suspend work for the time being.

I wish Israeli and American officials could see these tunnels, too.

* * * *

Visiting Gaza persuaded me, to my surprise, that Israel is correct when it denies that there is any full-fledged humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The tunnels have so undermined the Israeli blockade that shops are filled and daily life is considerably easier than when I last visited here two years ago.

That makes it especially silly of Israel’s leadership to have squandered nine lives and its global reputation by seizing ships on the high seas — when the freight on that flotilla was probably less than what passes through the tunnels in a single hour.

* * * *

It’s time not just to ease the siege of Gaza, but to end it once and for all."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/opinion/04kristof.html?hp

No shortage of goods in Gaza, and hence, no need for "flotilla" aid? Tunnel operators suffering from less expensive access to goods from Israel? Hamas suffering from diminished taxes on goods brought in via the tunnels? Already told you so (e.g., http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2010/06/netanyahu-takes-wind-out-of-sails-of.html).

But entirely eliminate the blockade and allow the free flow of missiles by sea from Iran into Gaza, as demanded by Kristof? No way, Jose. Had Kristof spent any time whatsoever in Sderot, perhaps his left-leaning lobes would be a bit more sensitive to Israeli civilian suffering. As is, the world has allowed Hezbollah to ignore UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and bring 50,000 rockets and missiles from Iran and Syria into Lebanon. This is not going to happen also in Gaza.

Kristof wishes that "Israeli and American officials could see these tunnels". Is he really stupid enough to believe that he is the only one who has seen them?

Kristof also suggests that the tunnel operators "may be tempted to lob missiles at Israel if peace threatens to break out." More inanity. The tunnel operators are profit driven and do not engage in rocket attacks against Israel. On the other hand, with the flotilla PR ploy scuttled, Hamas has resumed rocket and mortar fire on southern Israel, and this is apt to intensify, given Hamas frustration with 8% GDP growth in the Fatah controlled West Bank, which has not gone unnoticed by Gazans.

Nick does mention the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit and the "unconscionable refusal of Hamas to allow him Red Cross visits." However, this is where Kristof's attempt at objectivity ends. No mention of:

• discrimination against women;
• honor killings;
• the grisly murder of Hamas opponents;
• discrimination against homosexuals;
• discrimination against Christians;
• the Hamas charter which calls for the murder of all Jews;
• ten thousand rockets, missiles and mortar rounds fired into southern Israel.

Unlike the tunnels, none of this ugliness finds its way into Kristof's column. Predictable and sickening . . .

New York Times Editorial "Congress, Sanctions and Iran": Selectively Enforce Sanctions

Incredibly - or not so incredibly - The New York Times editorial board today takes the position that sanctions approved by the U.S. Congress should be selectively enforced by Obama. As observed by this editorial:

"Extraterritorial sanctions are always problematic. They can open American companies to retaliation and provoke a political backlash.

* * * *

Unless they are used sparingly, they could strain relations and make it even harder to persuade governments of the need to isolate Iran.

* * * *

If Tehran keeps pressing ahead with its nuclear program, the international community may have to restrict gasoline sales to Iran. That could hurt ordinary Iranians and rally support for the government. Since the demand on foreign companies goes beyond what the Security Council is requiring, it could shift international anger away from Tehran and toward Washington.

* * * *

Congress is insisting that President Obama enforce this new law. It also gave him some room to waive punishments, on a case-by-case basis, on companies in countries that are cooperating with efforts to isolate Iran. Political and business leaders should give Mr. Obama every reason to do that. For this to work, the White House will also have to exercise considerable diplomatic finesse."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/03/opinion/03sat1.html

This editorial fails to mention even once Iran's horrific oppression of Baha'is, Kurds and other minorities. The editorial would have Obama exercise caution in enforcing sanctions while Iran's Baha'is, Kurds, Sunnis, homosexuals and political dissidents rot in prison and are executed.

The Times editorial board warns that sanctions can lead to "political backlash"? Don't fundamental requirements of morality take precedent over any such "political" considerations?

While anguishing over possible "political backlash" instead of over an Iranian initiated atomic war against Israel or Iran's Sunni neighbors, I wonder whether The New York Times editorial board took into account the following letter from the children of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who faces imminent excecution by stoning for alleged adultery:

"Today we stretch out our hands to the people of the whole world. It is now five years that we have lived in fear and in horror, deprived of motherly love. Is the world so cruel that it can watch this catastrophe and do nothing about it?

We are Sakine Mohammadi e Ashtiani’s children, Fasride and Sajjad Mohamamadi e Ashtiani. Since our childhood we have been acquainted with the pain of knowing that our mother is imprisoned and awaiting a catastrophe. To tell the truth, the term 'stoning' is so horrific that we try never to use it. We instead say our mother is in danger, she might be killed, and she deserves everyone’s help.

Today, when nearly all options have reached dead-ends, and our mother’s lawyer says that she is in a dangerous situation, we resort to you. We resort to the people of the world, no matter who you are and where in the world you live. We resort to you, people of Iran, all of you who have experienced the pain and anguish of the horror of losing a loved one.

Please help our mother return home!

We especially stretch our hand out to the Iranians living abroad. Help to prevent this nightmare from becoming reality. Save our mother. We are unable to explain the anguish of every moment, every second of our lives. Words are unable to articulate our fear…

Help to save our mother. Write to and ask officials to free her. Tell them that she doesn’t have a civil complainant and has not done any wrong. Our mother should not be killed. Is there any one hearing this and rushing to our assistance?

Faride and Sajjad Mohammadi e Ashtiani"

http://missionfreeiran.wordpress.com/2010/06/26/sakine-children-2/

Needless to say, I am horrified beyond words by this Times editorial.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Kristof's "The Two Sides of a Barbed-Wire Fence": What Nicholas Didn't Tell Us

In an op-ed entitled "The Two Sides of a Barbed-Wire Fence" (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/01/opinion/01kristof.html?ref=nicholasdkristof), New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof predictably slimed Israel for its treatment of the West Bank Bedouin village of Umm al-Kheir:

"where Palestinians live in ramshackle tents and huts. They aren’t allowed to connect to the electrical grid, and Israel won’t permit them to build homes, barns for their animals or even toilets. When the villagers build permanent structures, the Israeli authorities come and demolish them, according to villagers and Israeli human rights organizations.

On the other side of the barbed wire is the Jewish settlement of Karmel, a lovely green oasis that looks like an American suburb. It has lush gardens, kids riding bikes and air-conditioned homes. It also has a gleaming, electrified poultry barn that it runs as a business."

Kristof never bothers to seek an opposing view from the Israeli army or the Jewish settlers. He of course never asks the source of Karmel's water. He never asks why the Palestinian Authority has no responsibility for providing Umm al-Kheir with electricity or water.

No mention by Kristof of the eight percent GDP growth being enjoyed by the West Bank.

Although he mentions that a pregnant 19-year-old Palestinian woman in the village of At-Tuwani was hospitalized this month after an attack by settlers, there is no mention of the murder two weeks ago of a Jewish policeman (two others were wounded), who was ambushed while stopping to assist a Palestinian with staged car trouble (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/15/world/middleeast/15mideast.html).

Although Kristof observes that the residents of Umm al-Kheir are Bedouins, he doesn't stop to ask whether a Western apartment-living lifestyle is even desired by these persons.

But worst of all, Kristof doesn't tell us the number of residents of Umm al-Kheir. Kristof has written an op-ed about the purported suffering of only 22 families. How do we know? Because there is little difference between the content of Kristof's op-ed and the content of an April 14, 2010 item published by the "Israel-friendly" UNRWA, which takes the trouble to provide the number of families (http://www.unrwa.org/etemplate.php?id=648).

Why didn't Kristof provide the number of families? Because when five million have died in the Congo, millions more have died in Darfur, there are 400,000 Uzbek refugees in Kyrgystan, and there are 200,000 additional refugees in the Saada Province of Yemen, the purported suffering of 22 families (their water is overpriced) becomes palpably absurd.

I have two suggestions:

1. That for the price of a few Scud missiles, Hamas can fund palatial housing for these poor souls.

2. That Kristof look closer to home and vacate his house for the benefit of a group of homeless persons from Manhattan, who would very much appreciate the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen fixtures of his humble abode.

Fair is fair . . .

[I inquired with the Public Editor's Office of The Times whether Kristof's op-ed violated their standards of ethical journalism ("In print and online, we tell our readers the complete, unvarnished truth as best we can learn it"). Let's see how they respond.]

Thursday, July 1, 2010

No Genomics Revolution? Compugen's Answer

Recently we have witnessed a profusion of reports that despite billions of dollars spent on genomics research, it has failed to yield the bountiful harvest of medicines and diagnostics that had been anticipated following completion of the first draft of the Human Genome Project (see, for example: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/health/research/13genome.html?hp; http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/15/business/15genome.html; http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/21/opinion/21mon2.html?ref=editorials).

In an earlier blog entry, I took issue with this conclusion (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2010/06/decade-later-genetic-map-yields-few-new.html). The science underlying human disease may be far more complicated than originally thought, and the "mere" mapping of the human genome is plainly insufficient to provide the next generation of drugs, but as evidenced by the lonely pioneering efforts of a tiny company named Compugen, I believe that genomics is essential to the future of medicine.

Compugen has spent the past decade engaged in computerized modeling of biological phenomena at the molecular level, giving rise, inter alia, to proprietary maps of the human proteome (all of the proteins in the human body) and peptidome (all of the peptides in the human body). Compugen's 12 predictive discovery platforms, with more on the way, have already yielded multiple new drug and diagnostic candidates predicted in silico, i.e. by Compugen's computers, to validate these platforms, without the need for inefficient trial and error methodology.

How many of you have a friend or family member suffering from multiple sclerosis? Almost all of us know someone who has fallen victim to this devastating disease. I think Compugen's announcement of today's date, describing the in vivo testing of a heretofore unknown protein predicted and discovered by Compugen, speaks for itself:

"Compugen . . . announced today that administration of CGEN-15001 in an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS) has been shown to completely abolish spontaneous relapses. In addition, administration of this novel molecule prior to disease onset demonstrated a pronounced delay of disease onset and a significant decrease in disease symptoms. These results, together with complementary results from earlier studies, strongly support a significant potential therapeutic utility for CGEN-15001 in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory bowel disease, and type 1 diabetes.

* * * *

Professor Stephen Miller from Northwestern University, a leading scientist in this field who supervised the studies, stated, 'The capacity of CGEN-15001 to prevent the development of disease in this well-recognized animal model for multiple sclerosis, and more significantly to ameliorate its progression when administered in the presence of pre-existing disease is quite dramatic. Furthermore, these beneficial effects were shown to be long lasting and persisted through the study, indicating that CGEN-15001 may prevent disease progression as efficiently as immune tolerance induction, a process whereby the immune system no longer attacks the self antigens that cause the disease. These findings, together with those demonstrated in our earlier studies, are unique among the molecules targeting the B7 family of co-stimulatory molecules that have been published to date.'”

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Compugen-Discovered-Protein-bw-3902315198.html?x=0&.v=1

As further observed by Compugen in an earlier press release with respect to the science leading up to the discovery of this protein:

"CGEN-15001 is a novel soluble recombinant fusion protein corresponding to the extracellular region of the Compugen discovered parent protein. The discovery of the parent protein, which is a membrane protein, was accomplished through the incorporation in Compugen’s LEADS Platform of additional algorithms specifically designed to predict novel members of the B7/CD28 family of co-stimulatory proteins. This approach relied on Compugen’s proprietary understandings and modeling of genomic structure, gene expression, protein structural domains, and cellular localization."

http://www.cgen.com/Content.aspx?Page=press_releases&NewsId=470

CGEN-15001 has yet to enter human clinical testing, and there can be no assurances that this particular candidate will ultimately become a therapeutic product. What we can be sure of, however, is that Compugen's predictive "discovery on demand" capabilities are constantly improving and continuing to yield an ever-growing number of significant therapeutic and diagnostic candidates, which are not confined to any one family of diseases, at a time when the pipelines of Big Pharma are growing drier by the day.

Unbeknownst to the world, we are witnessing, in my opinion, a scientific revolution in the making, which can no longer be ignored by Big Pharma and the scientific community at large.

[As noted in prior blog entries, I am a Compugen shareholder, this blog entry is not a recommendation to buy or sell Compugen shares, and in mid-September 2009 I began work as a part-time external consultant to Compugen. The opinions expressed herein are mine and are based on publicly available information. This blog entry has not been authorized or approved by Compugen.]