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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 (, 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.


In his final op-ed from Israel, "Waiting for Gandhi" (, 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"?


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.


  1. Hi, Jeffrey

    You write:

    "...Although the Public Editor of the Times refuses to believe that this is the case,..."

    Did you get an answer from a public editor already?

    The book "United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror" by Glazov explains and documents alliance between Left and Islam. It is very interesting reading! Left like Islam as they always loved all totalitarian regimes.

    For example, using women as human shields: this is the great romantic idea of heroism shared by Kristof, NY Times and Islam. Both Left and Islam love human sacrifices more than anything.

  2. Marina,

    From a June e-mail to me from the Public Editor's office:

    "While I hope you continue to bring these [comments] to my attention, I also hope that you can see that there is certainly no institutional anti-Semitism at The Times moderation desk. I have seen truly inappropriate and hateful comments among the many rejected comments in The Times's system. And I have seen countless comments in fervent support of Israel approved alongside those critical and harsh against the actions of the government. The Times tries to keep an open and civil dialogue amidst its various comments and I think it does a good job overall."

    As evidenced by recent readers' comments posted by The Times, the Public Editor's contentions are absurd.

  3. JG: having just read Maureen Dowd's "A Girls Guide to Saudi Arabia" in the July 2010 Vanity Fair, I think you should cut her some slack. Unlike Kristof, whose personal mission is allegedly about the broad range of human rights, Dowd is a lighter voice, usually trying to satirize whatever strikes her fancy.