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Monday, October 7, 2013

Roger Cohen, "A Jew Not Quite English Enough": What About Anti-Semitism at The New York Times?

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "A Jew Not Quite English Enough" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/08/opinion/cohen-a-jew-not-quite-english-enough.html?_r=0), Roger Cohen decries the attempt by Britain's newspaper "The Daily Mail" to smear "Ralph (born Adolphe) Miliband, the late father of David Miliband, Britain’s former foreign secretary, and of Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party" in an article entitled "The Man Who Hated Britain." Cohen says of this article:

"The headline stood atop a recent piece that portrayed Ralph Miliband as a disloyal socialist. He is accused of 'availing himself' of a good British education while criticizing the nationalism he encountered on arrival. He helped his father in 'rescuing furniture from bombed houses in the Blitz.' He stood reverently at the grave of Karl Marx in north London.

. . . .

Sound familiar? The rootless Jewish Bolshevik who profits from others’ losses, shows no loyalty to the society in which he prospers, and devises clever two-faced financial maneuvers that demonstrate his essential hypocrisy: All this could of course have been borrowed from the Nazi propaganda Ralph Miliband fled as a young man.

No matter, for The Daily Mail, that the young Jewish immigrant put his life on the line for Britain."

Cohen further observes:

"The Mail piece, which was written by a Jew, Geoffrey Levy, and defended most publicly by another Jew, The Mail’s deputy editor, Jon Steafel. For Levy and Steafel, in what the historian Lewis Namier characterized as the land of the 'trembling Israelites,' Miliband was somehow not quite English enough. He was the Jewish communist outsider masquerading as an Englishman."

Hmm, Jewish journalists defending or even advancing the cause of anti-Semitism? At what other newspaper have we experienced this same phenomenon?

Perhaps you recall New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman's declaration (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."

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 Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor of the Times, later acknowledged to me, this "was not a good headline."

More recently, let's not forget the retweet of a message by Nicholas Kristof, who is not Jewish, referring to AIPAC as one of "the 2 Most Pig Like Lobbies" (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2013/01/nicholas-kristof-retweets-obama-told-2.html). We never received an explanation concerning this horror from Nick, who soon thereafter took book-writing leave from the Times. Nicholas Kristof and anti-Semitism? You might want to have at look at my article entitled "Nicholas Kristof, Israel, and Double Standards" (http://www.jsantisemitism.org/essays/GrossmanJSA210(4).pdf) in The Journal for the Study of Antisemitism.

You might also want to have another look at Ron Dermer's December 2011 letter to The New York Times (http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/PM-advisers-letter-to-New-York-Times), denouncing perpetual criticism of Israel by the Times:

"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.'"

In this regard, the US Department of State writes (http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/fs/2010/122352.htm) (my emphasis in red):

EXAMPLES of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel, taking into account the overall context could include:

DEMONIZE ISRAEL:

  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis ["Obama in Netanyahu's Web"?]
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis
  • Blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions
 
DOUBLE STANDARD FOR ISRAEL:

  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation

And then, of course, there was the persistent willingness of New York Times "moderators" to permit the publication of the most vulgar expressions of anti-Semitism (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2009/06/open-letter-no-2-to-clark-hoyt-public.html). In the past, only after I turned to Andrew Rosenthal were some of these comments expunged.

In short, although Roger Cohen bemoans the conduct of The Daily Mail, it is a pity that he is incapable to examining the behavior of his own newspaper.

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