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Thursday, December 15, 2011

BOYCOTT NEW YORK TIMES ADVERTISERS!

Since creating this blog, I have persistently warned of frightening anti-Semitic trends at The New York Times. As I have stated in the past, New York Times "moderators" have repeatedly posted the vilest expressions of anti-Semitism in online readers' comments, notwithstanding the purported policy of The Times that "Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive" (see, for example: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2009/06/open-letter-no-2-to-clark-hoyt-public.html).

I have also noted the overwhelming number and preponderance of op-ed and editorial opinions hostile to Israel, which are fond of distorting facts and of focusing on occurrences that don't reflect reality in this country (see, most recently: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2011/11/new-york-times-and-israel-bashing-yes.html). As observed by a senior adviser to Netanyahu, Ron Dermer, in a letter (see below in its entirety) to The New York Times, in which he declines their offer to publish a contributor op-ed to be written by Netanyahu (http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=249724), antagonism to Israel on the opinion pages of The New York Times has reached epic proportions:

"I discovered that during the last three months (September through November) you published 20 op-eds about Israel in the New York Times and International Herald Tribune. After dividing the op-eds into two categories, 'positive' and 'negative,' with 'negative' meaning an attack against the State of Israel or the policies of its democratically elected government, I found that 19 out of 20 columns were 'negative.'

The only "positive" piece was penned by Richard Goldstone (of the infamous Goldstone Report), in which he defended Israel against the slanderous charge of Apartheid. Yet your decision to publish that op-ed came a few months after your paper reportedly rejected Goldstone's previous submission. In that earlier piece, which was ultimately published in the Washington Post, the man who was quoted the world over for alleging that Israel had committed war crimes in Gaza, fundamentally changed his position."

Needless to say, the obsessive hostility to Israel of Roger Cohen, Nicholas Kristof, Thomas Friedman and Robert Mackey has become legendary.

After reading Sarah Schulman's recent New York Times contributor op-ed entitled "Israel and 'Pinkwashing'" (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2011/11/sarah-schulman-israel-and-pinkwashing.html), in which Israel is assailed for safeguarding gay rights allegedly in order to disguise abuse of Palestinian rights, I was of the opinion that The Times had reached a new journalistic nadir and wondered how even Andy Rosenthal and friends could publish this highly politicized tripe. However, the baseness of Schulman's opinion piece has now been surpassed by Thomas Friedman's "Newt, Mitt, Bibi and Vladimir" (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2011/12/thomas-friedman-newt-mitt-bibi-and.html), which, calling to mind the rabidly anti-Semitic "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," claims:

"I sure hope that Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, understands that the standing ovation he got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby."

Enough! Most in the US who read this blog have long ago cancelled their subscriptions to The New York Times. It is now time to contact companies and organizations advertising in The Times and to demand in no uncertain terms that they cease advertising with The Times until anti-Semitism at The Times is extirpated, and until an apology is received from Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor of this befouled newspaper.

The Times is of course free to continue to serve as the mouthpiece of the new anti-Semitism, and it could well be that they have made a calculated decision that the radical left comprises their core market. However, those advertising with The Times should be made to know that there is a price for subsidizing racism.

Ron Dermer's important letter to The New York Times, published by The Jerusalem Post:

Dear Sasha,

I received your email requesting that Prime Minister Netanyahu submit an op-ed to the New York Times. Unfortunately, we must respectfully decline.

On matters relating to Israel, the op-ed page of the “paper of record” has failed to heed the late Senator Moynihan's admonition that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but that no one is entitled to their own facts.

A case in point was your decision last May to publish the following bit of historical revision by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas:

"It is important to note that the last time the question of Palestinian statehood took center stage at the General Assembly, the question posed to the international community was whether our homeland should be partitioned into two states. In November 1947, the General Assembly made its recommendation and answered in the affirmative. Shortly thereafter, Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened. War and further expulsions ensued."

This paragraph effectively turns on its head an event within living memory in which the Palestinians rejected the UN partition plan accepted by the Jews and then joined five Arab states in launching a war to annihilate the embryonic Jewish state. It should not have made it past the most rudimentary fact-checking.

The opinions of some of your regular columnists regarding Israel are well known. They consistently distort the positions of our government and ignore the steps it has taken to advance peace. They cavalierly defame our country by suggesting that marginal phenomena condemned by Prime Minister Netanyahu and virtually every Israeli official somehow reflects government policy or Israeli society as a whole. Worse, one columnist even stooped to suggesting that the strong expressions of support for Prime Minister Netanyahu during his speech this year to Congress was "bought and paid for by the Israel lobby" rather than a reflection of the broad support for Israel among the American people.

Yet instead of trying to balance these views with a different opinion, it would seem as if the surest way to get an op-ed published in the New York Times these days, no matter how obscure the writer or the viewpoint, is to attack Israel. Even so, the recent piece on “Pinkwashing,” in which Israel is vilified for having the temerity to champion its record on gay-rights, set a new bar that will be hard for you to lower in the future.

Not to be accused of cherry-picking to prove a point, I discovered that during the last three months (September through November) you published 20 op-eds about Israel in the New York Times and International Herald Tribune. After dividing the op-eds into two categories, “positive” and “negative,” with “negative” meaning an attack against the State of Israel or the policies of its democratically elected government, I found that 19 out of 20 columns were “negative.”

The only "positive" piece was penned by Richard Goldstone (of the infamous Goldstone Report), in which he defended Israel against the slanderous charge of Apartheid. Yet your decision to publish that op-ed came a few months after your paper reportedly rejected Goldstone's previous submission. In that earlier piece, which was ultimately published in the Washington Post, the man who was quoted the world over for alleging that Israel had committed war crimes in Gaza, fundamentally changed his position. According to the New York Times op-ed page, that was apparently news unfit to print.

Your refusal to publish “positive” pieces about Israel apparently does not stem from a shortage of supply. It was brought to my attention that the Majority Leader and Minority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives jointly submitted an op-ed to your paper in September opposing the Palestinian action at the United Nations and supporting the call of both Israel and the Obama administration for direct negotiations without preconditions. In an age of intense partisanship, one would have thought that strong bipartisan support for Israel on such a timely issue would have made your cut.

So with all due respect to your prestigious paper, you will forgive us for declining your offer. We wouldn't want to be seen as "Bibiwashing" the op-ed page of the New York Times.

Sincerely,

Ron Dermer
Senior advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu

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