Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
By Talia Lavin
New York loves nothing so much as a good scandal. So considering the carnival of a mayoral race that is now unfolding, it’s probably understandable some people might have missed this one: Aaron Greene, 31, a son of New York Jewish privilege, was sentenced today to seven years in prison for possession of explosives.
Greene was arrested in December after police found a cache of shotguns, bomb-making literature and several grams of a potent explosive known as HMTD in the Greenwich Village apartment he shared with his girlfriend, Morgan Gliedman, 27. Police say Greene planned to blow up the arch in Washington Square Park.
The story is a tabloid writer’s fantasy. Greene and Gliedman, who was nine months pregnant at the time of her arrest, are both heroin addicts. They are also both children of the New York Jewish elite. Gliedman is the scion of a wealthy Jewish family who attended Dalton, NYU and the Art Institute of Chicago. Greene’s father is a respected architect who helped design the Eldridge Street Synagogue. In the papers, Greene and Gliedman come off as rich-kid junkies with a fetish for weapons: Sid and Nancy meet the Weathermen, only a few decades late on both counts.
You’d think that would be enough for the tabloids. But the story of two nihilistic junkies about to give birth in an apartment full of sawed-off shotguns and a copy of “The Terrorist’s Encyclopedia” apparently wasn’t enough. Greene was reported to have attended Harvard, and to self-identify as a Nazi – the former claim refuted by the university, the latter by his attorney. The New York Post interpreted a lightning-bolt doodle that Greene used as a signature as the infamous symbol of the SS, and cited an anonymous source that declared Greene had a Nazi grandfather.
In reality, Greene’s relatives were survivors. In what may be the first instance of the Holocaust being used to defend a heroin-addicted terrorist, Greene’s lawyers gave this statement to the New York Times: “To state that the young man is a neo-Nazi when this is a man who comes from a family devastated by the Holocaust, based upon a mere doodle, is more than unfair, it is unforgivable.”
It’s almost August, so perhaps the Post and its brethren can be forgiven for getting a little hot under the collar. But fear not, New York: your trust-funded, drug-addled pregnant hippie terrorists are only that — not neo-Nazis or Harvard graduates.
Now isn’t there something about sexting we can read about?
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