Follow by Email

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Is New York Times Columnist Maureen Dowd Anti-Semitic?

Everyone knows that Maureen Dowd once lifted a paragraph from Josh Marshall without attribution. This is called plagiarism.

We also know that Maureen is a hypocrite. In the past she has devoted many of her columns to the molestation of young boys by Catholic priests. On the other hand, during the course of a 2010 trip to Saudi Arabia, during which she was hosted by Prince Saud al-Faisal at "his sprawling, glinting ranch house with its stable of Arabian horses," she reported that the Desert Kingdom is "chipping away at gender apartheid and cultural repression" (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/03/opinion/03dowd.html), but forgot to mention the horrors being perpetrated against Saudi women. When I complained to Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor of The New York Times, about this paradox, he quickly came to Dowd's defense:

"Maureen has denounced the barbaric policies in Saudi Arabia against women more than once, including on an earlier trip to that country as I recall."

My response to Rosenthal:

"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, did 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."

Rosenthal did not respond.

More recently, following her Sunday op-ed entitled "Neocons Slither Back" (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/opinion/sunday/dowd-neocons-slither-back.html), Dowd has been accused of anti-Semitism. As summarized by Politico's Dylan Byers (http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2012/09/maureen-dowd-meets-antisemitism-charge-135700.html):

"New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd set the Jewish political community on fire today with a column about the Republican ticket's foreign policy proposals that, according to her critics, peddled anti-Semitic imagery.

Dowd fairly observed that neither Mitt Romney nor Paul Ryan are experts in the field of foreign policy, but asserted their strategy was orchestrated by a 'neocon puppet master' who was leading the neocon effort to 'slither back' into power.

Such language, to say nothing of the questionable legitimacy of her claims, struck experts on American-Israeli relations as an inappropriate (though perhaps unintentional) appeal to anti-Semitic stereotypes, and especially offensive ahead of the first night of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah."

Observing the outrage expressed by Steven A. Cook, Jeffrey Goldberg, Blake Hounshell, Daniel Halper and Jonathan Tobin, Byers reported that Andrew Rosenthal had defended Dowd from these charges by declaring:

"No fair-minded reading of Maureen Dowd's column supports the allegations you and others are making. She makes no reference, direct or implied, to anyone's religion."

Yeah, right. Not one of these commentators from both the left and the right is "fair-minded."

But why is everyone suddenly ganging up on poor Maureen?

Not long ago, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/opinion/friedman-newt-mitt-bibi-and-vladimir.html?ref=opinion):

"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."

Is this any less horrifying than what Maureen wrote?

And then there was Roger Cohen's New York Times op-ed "Obama in Netanyahu's Web" (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/opinion/28iht-edcohen.html), whose title was painfully in keeping with the anti-Semitic tradition of depicting Jews as voracious spiders. As a "very senior" Times editor later acknowledged to me, this "was not a good headline."

More about Cohen? Earlier this year, following my complaint by e-mail to Andrew Rosenthal concerning the title of Roger Cohen's op-ed, "The Dilemmas of Jewish Power," the title was quickly changed online to "The Dilemmas of Israeli Power" (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/opinion/cohen-the-dilemmas-of-jewish-power.html). Rosenthal did not write back to me, and when I protested to Jill Abramson, executive editor of the Times, she also failed to reply (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2012/02/stench-of-anti-semitism-at-new-york.html).

Also, we mustn't forget the "contribution" of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof to this depravity. As I explained in an article entitled "Nicholas Kristof, Israel, and Double Standards" (http://www.jsantisemitism.org/essays/GrossmanJSA210(4).pdf) for The Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, Kristof routinely rails against purported Israeli injustices, while ignoring the improprities of other democracies:

"Ignorance, however, has never prevented Kristof from foisting twaddle upon the Times’s readership, particularly with respect to Israel. In an August 2011 op-ed, “Seeking Balance on the Mideast” (http://www.nytimes
.com/2011/08/04/opinion/seeking-balance-on-the-mideast.html?_r=1&hp), Kristof lambasted Israel at a time when Assad’s tanks were massacring the inhabitants of the Syrian city of Hama. Kristof sought to excuse himself by observing:

'Whenever I write about Israel, I get accused of double standards because I don’t spill as much ink denouncing worse abuses by, say, Syria. I plead guilty. I demand more of Israel partly because my tax dollars supply arms and aid to Israel. I hold democratic allies like Israel to a higher standard—just as I do the U.S.'

True, Syria has not been a recipient of U.S. aid. But whereas Egypt has received billions of dollars of American aid, Kristof doesn’t write about the persecution and murder of its Coptic Christian minority . . . And while Pakistan, a democracy of sorts, has also benefited from billions of dollars of U.S. aid while abetting the Taliban in Afghanistan, Kristof has been seeking a reduction of tariffs on Pakistani garment exports to the United States, purportedly in order to fight extremism.

. . . .

According to the 'working definition of antisemitism' of the European Forum on Antisemitism: 'Examples of the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to the State of Israel taking into account the overall context could include: . . . Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.'

. . . .

Kristof plainly has no problem ignoring the persecution of 30 million stateless Kurds, the oppression of Iran’s Baha’is, and the despair of Egypt’s Copts. He clearly holds Israel to rules unlike those that he would set for any other country, democratic or otherwise, be it Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, or the United States. Kristof worries over whether he will be accused of applying a double standard to Israel, to which concern I would observe that there is an old Jewish maxim applicable to Kristof’s angst: 'The hat burns on the head of the thief.' In the best-case scenario, Kristof is guilty of applying double standards to Israel, notwithstanding his protestations to the contrary. In the worst-case scenario, Kristof is guilty of something far more insidious."

More? The New York Times has persistently published the vilest imaginable anti-Semitic comments from its readers notwithstanding review by its "moderators," e.g., "There is no country called Israel, just the squatting of tribal criminals from the Eastern Bloc." Although I repeatedly brought this practice to the attention of past New York Times public editors, I was ignored (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2009/06/open-letter-no-2-to-clark-hoyt-public.html and http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2010/10/sanchez-dismissal-spawns-more-anti.html). When I showed specific examples of these readers' comments to Andrew Rosenthal, he personally removed some of them, but the phenomenon persisted. (I have long ceased reading these comments or submitting them, given that I was routinely censored by the Times's "moderators.")

Still more? When Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to a Times request that he submit a guest op-ed for publication, his senior adviser, Ron Dermer, responded this past December by observing (http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=249724):

"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."

Well, over the past week leading up to Rosh Hashanah, The New York Times was again up to its old tricks. The Times published an Israel bashing guest op-ed entitled "Seven Lean Years of Peacemaking," written by Daniel Levy, whose inaccuracies are most kindly described as egregious (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2012/09/daniel-levy-seven-lean-years-of.html). The Times didn't bother to inform its readership that Levy was a founder of J Street and continues to serve on its advisory board (see: http://www.newamerica.net/people/daniel_levy).

On Rosh Hashanah, the Times "feted" its readers with another Israel bashing guest op-ed entitled "A Preventable Massacre," written by Seth Anziska, a Columbia University graduate student, whose casual attitude toward historical facts speaks volumes about his inclinations (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2012/09/seth-anziska-preventable-massacre-more.html). Again, the Times didn't take the trouble to inform its readers that Columbia lists Anziska's "Advisor" as Rashid Khalidi (see: http://history.columbia.edu/graduate/Anziska.html), a professor once linked to the PLO (see: http://www.martinkramer.org/sandbox/2008/10/khalidi-of-the-plo/). As known to all, a tape of Obama's 2003 tribute to Khalidi at a farewell party in Chicago is locked away in the offices of The Los Angeles Times (see: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/226104/i-l-times-i-suppresses-obamas-khalidi-bash-tape/andrew-c-mccarthy).

In short, why is everyone beating up on poor Maureen Dowd when the stench of anti-Semitism permeates the entirety of the Times's edifice?

3 comments:

  1. Yes, it's Der Neue Stuermer.
    I am wondering about one thing. It looks like Frank Rich was forced out. Is it possible that he was forced out because he refused to join the antisemitic orgy of Der Stuermer?
    I just noticed that unlike everyone else he never had antisemitic "expression."
    Just a theory.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your list would be incomplete without Patrick Tyler, former chief correspondent for the New York Times.
    In his book, "A World of Trouble", he wrote "Benjamin Netanyahu, who — along with Hamas suicide bombers — helped destroy any chance of a peace agreement". Along the same lines of biased reporting, he recently released another book entitled "Fortress Israel: The Inside Story of the Military Elite Who Run the Country--and Why They Can't Make Peace"
    Hillel Halkin's excellent review/rebuttal from an Israeli's perspective can be read here:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443819404577635343206260340.html?mod=wsj_share_tweet

    ReplyDelete
  3. Of course, the NYT is not alone in it's blatant anti-Israel coverage. After a family of five, including an 11 year old, a 3 year old and a 1 month old baby were brutally murdered last year while they were sleeping by Palestinian terrorists, CNN reported the story as "Family members killed in what military calls 'terror attack'". Not to be outdone, the BBC reported the attack as "Family members stabbed by an intruder".
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4041694,00.html

    ReplyDelete