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We were intrigued to read on the front page of last week?s New York Jewish Week that New York?s Rabbi Haskel Lookstein has called for a boycott of The New York Times because of the anti-Israel animus that has driven its reporting and editorials on the Middle East. According to the story:
Angered by what he sees as persistent bias against Israel in The New York Times? coverage of the 9-month intifada, a prominent rabbi here is urging a limited boycott of ?the paper of record.?
In a move hailed by some rabbis but seen by Jewish leaders as dubious, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, spiritual leader of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, is asking Jews not to buy the Times, or to cancel subscriptions during the 10 days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur (Sept. 18-27).
What piqued our interest was not so much that Rabbi Lookstein called for a boycott. In fact, many have called for one. What is remarkable is that it was deemed front page news. Of course, the fact is that The Jewish Press has for many months dissected the pages of the Times and regularly demonstrated its bias. We most recently broke the story in print of The Times? ?correction? after they referred to Efrat as part of Israel. The reason for The Jewish Week?s anointing Rabbi Lookstein as leader of the effort may well lie in Rabbi Lookstein?s lauding The Jewish Week in an opinion piece the same week for ?revealing? the bias, despite its warming to the issue only rather recently.
Moreover, one wonders why, after determining that a boycott was the way to go, Rabbi Lookstein built in a 90-day grace period? He reportedly wanted it to coincide with the anniversary of the outbreak of the intifada. But can anyone recall a similar hiatus associated with calls for boycotts by Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, who despite everything else, have fined-tuned this sort of tactic?
We recognize that there is a serious debate over the use of boycotts. But we are concerned that trivializing it also trivializes the ultimate goal of changing the public perception of Israel. It is unfortunate that The Jewish Week, Rabbi Lookstein, and many of his colleagues touted Oslo long after it became clear that Israel was being saddled with a no-win script which provided a cover for Palestinian duplicity. And as Israel sought to extricate itself, it fell victim to a hostile press which seized upon every instance of its not scrupulously adhering to Oslo?s terms. The seeds for the demonization of Israel were thus planted and nurtured by The New York Times.
Indeed, a report in last Friday?s Times contained the following revealing observation:
Israel had been widely regarded as the aggressor in the Palestinians? eight-month uprising. But international opinion swung to Mr. Sharon?s side when he did not order retaliation after the Tel-Aviv bombing.
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Yossi Klein Halevi’s Like Dreamers (Harper) explores the lives of seven Israeli paratroopers in the Six-Day War who, his subtitle suggests, “Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation.” It offers a fascinating variation on the theme of Israel at a fateful crossroads, in search of itself, following the wondrously unifying moment at the Western Wall in June 1967 when Jewish national sovereignty in Jerusalem was restored for the first time in nineteen centuries.
Although she survived the attack, she was demonized on Egypt’s talk shows for the violence she endured.
With the conclusion of the Syrian fiasco, the Obama administration had to turn it’s attention to a more imminent threat.
The Saudis are signaling that they will unleash a pre-emptive war in the Middle East.
The less you know about Islam, the better. Ignorance is strength.
The topics are “The Reagan Strategy,” and the “Iran Time Bomb.”
The fact that ObamaCare was sold with lies multiplies the political resonance tenfold.
Like his father, Lapid believed that the Hareidim, together with the Palestinians, are parasites.
Terrorists are not folks and Americans were not attacked but murdered in a despicable and cold-blooded act of terrorism.
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The arrest of a businessman is part of a campaign by the PA to intimidate and extort money.
After nearly five years in office it should be clear that President Obama has always been a man on a mission to change America and the world. To be sure, we couldn’t disagree more with his vision – and in this we think we speak for most Americans.
We find it noteworthy, if not surprising, that with all the well-documented systematic human rights abuses committed by governments around the world – including, but not limited to, China, Cuba, Egypt, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Zimbabwe – not one resolution condemning any of them is planned by the UN General Assembly.
There is no shortage of pundits who, in pointing out the negatives inherent in the deal the Obama administration struck with Iran over its pursuit of nuclear power, suggest the president and his secretary of state were hoodwinked by the Iranians.
Last week, at the urging of President Obama, the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 52-48, muscled through a change in Senate rules that will severely restrict the use of filibusters by the Republican minority.
It is no secret that The New York Times editorial page is ordinarily in the tank for President Obama or that, conversely, it rarely misses an opportunity to cast Israel in a negative light.
The controversy over President Obama’s several public assurances that Obamacare would permit people to keep their insurance plans is a disturbing reminder of some very troubling things about this president that have come to light during the course of his presidency.
Soon after taking office in 2009, President Obama spoke of reining in the U.S. role around the world and of making a concerted outreach to non-Western countries, particularly the Arab states and Iran, which he said had been unfairly dealt with in the past by the U.S.
Ray Kelly will soon be stepping down as New York’s police commissioner. While he gets near universal kudos for presiding over law enforcement in a city with crime at record lows, he also has his share of critics who fault him for the way he managed the NYPD’s crime fighting effort, particularly its stop and frisk program.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/rabbi-lookstein-and-the-new-york-times/2001/07/20/
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