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Saturday, April 18, 2015

New York Times Editorial, "Anti-Semitism in the Soccer Stands": The Pot Calls the Kettle Black

In an editorial entitled "Anti-Semitism in the Soccer Stands," The New York Times writes of anti-Semitic conduct by fans and players during European football matches:

"It is absurd to claim, as some soccer apologists do, that this is no more than the usual rough give-and-take of pumped-up, and sometimes liquored-up, spectators. The history of anti-Semitism in Europe is too deep and too raw not to see the problem for the hate-mongering it is. Even neo-Nazi salutes have been brandished at games by fans and an occasional player.

. . . .

European clubs that campaigned for years to rein in racism claim some progress. Officials must be no less aggressive in stopping the anti-Jewish slurs from being heard around the playing field."

Now if only The New York Times could be "no less aggressive in stopping the anti-Jewish slurs from being heard around" its pages. The Times fails to consider an op-ed entitled “Newt, Mitt, Bibi and Vladimir” by Thomas Friedman, in which Tom Terrific declared:

"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."

Similarly, the Times ignores the conduct of columnist Nicholas Kristof. As was reported in an article entitled "Nick Kristof’s Piggishness," written by Adam Kredo for The Washington Free Beacon:

"New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is facing criticism after retweeting a controversial message that referred to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the National Rifle Association as 'the 2 most pig like lobbies' in America.

Longtime Israel critic M.J. Rosenberg, who was dumped by the liberal Media Matters for America for his use of borderline anti-Semitic language, authored the controversial tweet Wednesday afternoon. It called to mind recently unearthed statements by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi that referred to Jews as 'pigs.'"
 
Why was I not surprised by Kristof's retweet? As I explained in an article entitled "Nicholas Kristof, Israel, and Double Standards" for The Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, Kristof routinely rails against purported Israeli injustices, while ignoring the improprieties of other democracies.

Times columnist Roger Cohen? Have a look at the title of one of Cohen's op-eds, "Obama in Netanyahu's Web," which was painfully in keeping with the anti-Semitic tradition of depicting Jews as voracious spiders, and which, according to a very senior Times editor, "was not a good headline."

Consider also the behavior of certain "fans" of the The New York Times, whose horrifying anti-Semitic comments were routinely published by the Times, notwithstanding purported "moderation" by this would-be beacon of ethical journalism. (I no longer read comments appearing in the Times, and I have no idea whether Andrew Rosenthal has been able to bring this disgusting "phenomenon" under control.)

And what about the editorial board of the Times itself? Several days ago, in an editorial entitled "President Vladimir Putin’s Dangerous Moves," an alarmed New York Times observed:

"President Vladimir Putin of Russia has added new, chilling nuclear threats to his aggression in Ukraine, where 6,000 people have been killed in a war with Russian-backed separatists."

If only the editoral board of the Times could express the same level of concern over Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei's calls to annihilate Israel.

I would suggest to the editorial board of the Times that anti-Semitism in the United States, particularly its "highbrow" form in the media, can be just as sinister as the baser strains of this disease which exist in the Middle East and Europe. Moreover, American anti-Semitism is far "closer to home" than the editorial board would care to believe.

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