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Friday, September 10, 2010

Israel: An Ugly Start to the New Year

Determined to dash what little hope exists for Obama's peace talks, Hamas ushered in the Jewish New Year with Qassam rockets and mortar attacks aimed at Israeli civilian targets. In one instance, a disaster was narrowly averted:

"Thursday's rocket attacks comes after a mortar shell landed near several children's school buildings on Wednesday in a Sha'ar Hanegev regional council kibbutz, some 30 minutes prior to the students' scheduled arrival."

The world's response? Silence. Meanwhile, new flotillas are being planned to break the arms embargo on Gaza (

In tandem and emboldened by Obama, the closet racists of the left continue to test the receptiveness of the U.S. electorate to anti-Semitism with new excesses. Recently The New York Times again unashamedly published anti-Semitic readers' comments (, while its editorial board smeared Netanyahu as a "master manipulator" ( As such, it came as no surprise when The New York Times editorial board declared, "We have long been skeptical that Mr. Netanyahu really wants a [peace] deal" (

Now Time Magazine is joining the miscreant chorus.

In its September 13 edition, Time Magazine's cover consisted of a large Jewish star consisting of daisies, and in its center the title of the lead story, "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace." An online, abbreviated version of this story by Karl Vick, Time Magazine's new Jerusalem Bureau Chief(,8599,2015602,00.html) shows Israelis smoking a hookah at the beach, and emphasizes how la dolce vita Israelis are preoccupied with making money instead of seeking peace with their neighbors.

Vick seeks to prove his thesis with the following observation:

"Asked in a March poll to name the 'most urgent problem' facing Israel, just 8% of Israeli Jews cited the conflict with Palestinians, putting it fifth behind education, crime, national security and poverty. Israeli Arabs placed peace first, but among Jews here, the issue that President Obama calls 'critical for the world' just doesn't seem — critical."

Strange. I always thought that "national security" and the "conflict with the Palestinians" were largely tantamount, and the two categories combined would probably top the list, but obviously Vick had a particular storyline in mind and could not be bothered with such trivialities.

Needless to say, Vick never spoke with me. Like most who have served in combat units in the IDF and have seen the horrors of war, I dream every night of peace, but wake each morning to the barbarism of Ahmadinejad, Assad, Qaddafi, Nasrallah, Mashal and their cohorts.

Like Obama, Vick lacks the maturity to comprehend that not every problem is susceptible to an instantaneous solution. Europe suffered hundreds of years of wars that killed tens of millions of people, and we can only hope that Europeans have now come to their senses. Similarly, the Middle East may not be ready for an overall peace solution, particularly given Iranian aspirations for hegemony over the region, and as such, we can only make the best of a bad situation, keep the spirit of peace alive, and try to survive.

On his CNN television program "Reliable Sources", host Howard Kurtz asked Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel about this inflammatory cover picture featuring the Star of David and the accompanying story:

KURTZ: Let's talk about your magazine, "TIME," of course, published by CNN's parent company, Time Warner.

You have moved from more classic news magazine, Henry Luce-style approach to the news, to what you call reported analysis. A cover story in the new issue? Here it is, "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace."

Is that example of reported analysis?

STENGEL: Yes. I mean, look, in so many way, Howie, as you know, the news, the information itself, has become a commodity. What we offer is insight, analysis, putting the news -- putting what you already know in perspective.

So, to take the example of this week's cover story about Israel, you know, what we did is we sent our correspondent there, and he basically went around and he said, you know, people in Israel don't care about peace. They're happy. The society is prosperous. GDP is growing. They don't regard the Palestinians as a threat.

To me, this is giving people a kind of look around the bend. It's a kind of conceptual scoop which I think we can provide that a lot of news outlets can't provide. So that's the idea.

KURTZ: But the headline is a bit of a marketing gimmick, because it suggests that Israel doesn't want to participate in the peace process, despite the meetings that started this week in Washington. And when you read the story it's as you described. So, obviously, you're trying to draw people in with a provocative headline?

STENGEL: Yes, it's provocative headline, it's provocative thesis. I mean, there are plenty of people who argue, as you know, Howie, that, in fact, Netanyahu is just giving the appearance that he actually wants peace, and to negotiate, because really he wants the U.S. to help him with Iran. And that may in fact be true.

"It may be true"? Are we to understand that Time Magazine is no longer in the business of reporting news, but rather engaged in titillating its readership with obscene theories to which "plenty of people", i.e. radical leftists, adhere? Today, apparently there is no longer a need for journalistic ethics given Time Magazine's pursuit of "conceptual scoops".

In my view, anti-Semitism for once-respected publications has become a form of pornography intended to tickle the fancy of their readerships. However, is the motivation of the publishers of The New York Times and Time Magazine strictly pecuniary? Do they believe that by fueling hatred, they will maintain their circulation and avoid bankruptcy? Or does the pathological anti-Semitism that is penetrating their pages also flow deeply in their veins, and do their editors now feel freer than ever to infect others with the disease?


  1. Hi, Jeffrey

    You wright:

    "Like Obama, Vick lacks the maturity to comprehend that not every problem is susceptible to an instantaneous solution."

    "Lacking the maturity" is a very kind term for this worldview.

    When it concerns Jews, Hitler had pretty " instantaneous solution". At least, he almost succeeded.

    Were Hitler and nazi Germany lacking the maturity as well?

    Having thousands of years of history, anti-Semitism is hardly "immature".

    I noticed, you try to excuse liberal anti-Semitism with "naivety", "lack of maturity". Why?

  2. Hi Marina,

    Shana tova!

    I don't excuse any form of anti-Semitism, but I do believe that some of the tenets of liberalism as they pertain to the Middle East, untainted by anti-Semitism, derive from naivete.

    Perhaps I, too, was once a "liberal" mugged by Middle East realities . . .

  3. Jeffrey,

    Now, I read the whole post. In the end, you ask: whether they do it for money, or because they love it?
    My guess is you still do not want to believe that anti-Semitism is inseparable from their worldview - which seems so benign to plenty of people in the world.

    It was hard for me to comprehend it too. But the facts are there. Glazov's book, explaining the history of Lefts' love with totalitarism and islamism, helped.

  4. Karl Vick's Time magazine cover story and title was minimally inflammatory to the peace process, minimally antisemitic for the general population and maximally unsupported by any evidence except a poll in which Israelis rated Palestinian peace efforts lower than crime etc. I wonder how differently the article would have read if Mr. Vick had understood that after 60+ years of being ravaged by war, bombed by suicidal maniacs and ongoing hypervigilance, Israelis like anyone else are psychically numb but as genocide expert Israel Charny might say, made the decision to choose life!
    Steve Baum Editor
    Journal for the Study of Antisemitism

  5. Shana Tova, Jeffrey

    I posted my second comment before I read you answer.

  6. When examining the Time Magazine story, there can be no separating the vile cover from the vacuous article itself. The cover was intended instantly to insult and inflame, and it succeeded -- I am outraged.

  7. Also, let's not forget the timing of this Time Magazine cover story: around the Jewish high holy days. No mistaking the provocation.

  8. Time (and Newsweek) sales are down 30%.
    By playing a provocative stunt, Time is no different than the Preacher Jones saying, not doing, he was going to burn the Koran. No difference at all - Time got more publicity with this cover than they could hope for with actual news reporting. Maybe Time will get sold for one dollar, just like Newsweek.

    Circulation for Cosmopolitan and House Beautiful continue growth :)