web analytics
December 17, 2014 / 25 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

The Jewish Moral Superiority Complex is Eroding Our Rights

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Living in Israel this year is very centering, as in helping me feel centered, ground, rooted – look at the words that apply! – in my connection to Israel.

It also makes me even more frustrated with Jews everywhere for continuing to sacrifice Jewish rights and refuse their obligations on the alter of appearing to be the “better” person, the more “reasonable” partner, the one willing to give up and away rather than even quietly insist on having that to which we are entitled.

An example of my increased connection: Israel’s Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, spoke to the nation on the evening of Nov. 10, the day of multiple terror attacks which included two stabbing deaths, one in Tel Aviv and one down the road from where I live. I listened to his address, seeking comfort and protection, not for news, but because I am living here.

And on the other hand, the very sad and shriveling other hand, it is also disconcerting living here.

Here’s an example: a dear friend who lives in Jerusalem called me the night of the stabbing attacks. She was calling to check in, to see if I was okay, because she knew one of the attacks took place nearby. (She wasn’t the only one who called to check – now I’m the one receiving, instead of making, those phone calls.)

As we spoke, I mentioned that I had just been to an event at the Begin Center. I told her I was astonished that there was absolutely no visible security for the event – the front door was wide open and no one checked me or the people with whom I entered, or any of our bags.

My stomach twisted at her response.

“Well, you aren’t advocating building the Third Temple and throwing the Arabs off the Temple Mount.”

What?

This was spoken very matter of factly to me by a woman who made Aliyah with her family, including quite a few children, about eight years ago.

It is not easy living here. Her life and that of her family would have been much more comfortable in the U.S. They left behind all of their extended family, and made this their home.

And yet, my friend said and believes that Rabbi Yehuda Glick, the Jewish rights advocate who was shot on Oct. 29 at point blank range four times as he left a meeting at the Begin Center, was somehow at fault.

Let’s make this perfectly clear for anyone reading this: Glick is a man of peace who simply advocates – yes, forcefully and with conviction – that Jews AS WELL AS MUSLIMS have the right to pray on the Temple Mount.

There. Now you know it, so if you hear people say otherwise, the obligation is on you to correct them. Of course you’ll need proof. Here it is:

For a helpful explanation of who Glick is and why what he wants is sensible, not extreme or outrageous, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik provides a useful and succinct explanation.

So why do people believe the opposite? Why is Yehuda Glick, in the eyes of so many, a symbol of Jewish “extremism” and presented as an obstinate man of moral superiority?

A huge part of the answer to that is the way in which he was described in virtually every news story about the attack on him. He was referred to as a “far right activist,”  (Reuters and Aol News). Even the centrist to center right papers in Israel referred to Glick as a “right wing activist” (YNET and the Jerusalem Post), in their headlines on the story.

NY Times and Haaretz Officially in Cahoots

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

For those seeking to explain to Americans who don’t know what type of newspaper Haaretz is, in terms of its political orientation and its perspective on lsrael, Israel supporters will typically explain it as the New York Times of Israel. And they don’t mean that as a compliment.

The same is true in the other direction: the New York Times is the Haaretz of the United States.

What this shorthand means is that the two papers are frequently viewed (mostly by their own readers) as the paper of the elite, the intellectuals, the academics. And it also means that the two papers are consistently unflattering to Israel – even at the expense of accuracy – whenever possible.

For abundant examples, just take a visual tour through CAMERA’s website. CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, has expanded its reach and not only monitors U.S. media sites for inaccuracies regarding Israel, it also monitors the press in Britain, Spain, and now in Israel.

But both leftist papers have been struggling economically over the past several years. One astonishing fact revealed at a CAMERA event held in Jerusalem earlier this week revealed that only 4.8 percent of Israelis read Haaretz – an infinitesimally small number, especially compared to the high regard in which Haaretz holds itself.

So it was less of a shock than it might otherwise have been, but still a surprise to see that the New York Times has now officially teamed up, at least in terms of subscription piggybacking, with Haaretz.

Notices were sent out to those on the New York Times email list offering a special: all New York Times readers can now get a 40 percent discount on a one-year subscription to Haaretz, and the new subscribers will pay only $1 for the first month of the subscription.

In addition to revealing how desperate both papers are for additional subscribers, it is worth noting that even people who only subscribe to online news alerts from the Times received the offer. In other words, it is not a stretch to believe that the Times includes those alert-only subscribers in reporting to advertisers the number of its subscribers, thereby inflating the numbers.

But here’s a question: why would readers of the New York Times want a subscription to Haaretz? They are already receiving all the negatively-slanted information about the Middle East from the Times.

Israel’s Freedom of the Press; New York Times “Nonsense”

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

{Originally posted on the author’s site, “FirstOne Through”}

 

On May 1, 2014, Freedom House, a leading advocacy group on democracy and political freedom, released its annual report on freedom of the press around the world. “Global press freedom has fallen to its lowest level in over a decade” according to their report, led by declines in: Egypt; Libya; Jordan; Syria and Turkey. A notable exception was Israel, which became the only country in the entire MENA (Middle East and North Africa) to be ranked as having a free press.

Select 2013 country rankings (bold are MENA countries):

Israel (62) Italy (64) Chile (64) South Korea (68) South Africa (69) India (78) Philippines (87) Brazil (90) Argentina (106) Lebanon (112) Tunisia (112) Kuwait (127) Turkey (134) Libya (134) Morocco (147) Qatar (152) Jordan (155) Egypt (155) Iraq (157) Oman (161) Yemen (167) UAE (167) Ethiopia (176) West Bank, Gaza (179) Somalia (179) Saudi Arabia (181) Syria (189) Iran (190)

The New York Times declined to cover the story in May. However, on September 26, 2014 it ran an op-ed called “How Israel Silences Dissent”. The editorial said that the Israeli government punishes journalists that show sympathy for the Palestinians. There was no mention of the Freedom House ranking at that time either.

There was also no discussion of the Palestinians’ intimidation of the press. While the NYT was printing its anti-Israel editorial, the Foreign Press Association was reporting on the intense discrimination they endured in covering Operation Protective Edge: “The FPA protests in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza.” Even the extreme Israeli left-wing paper Haaretz reported that ““some reporters received death threats. Sometimes, cameras were smashed. Reporters were prevented from filming anti-Hamas demonstrations where more than 20 Palestinians were shot dead by Hamas gunmen.”

The New York Times did not report on any of this. The only time the NYT opted to quote the FPA during the 2014 Palestinian war against Israel was early in the conflict on July 23 when the FPA complained about Israeli intimidation.

While ignoring the Hamas harassment, the Times was not completely silent. Jodi Rudoren, the New York Times Middle East Bureau chief decided to make her position clear – on Twitter. Roduren proclaimed: “Every reporter I’ve met who was in Gaza during war says this Israeli/now FPA narrative of Hamas harassment is nonsense.”

Is the FPA only worth quoting when they complain about Israel? Is an opinion piece about possible Israeli intimidation the only op-ed that is worth printing while remaining silent about Hamas death threats? Is the uniqueness of Israel’s record of freedom of the press too hard for the New York Times to believe and therefore to report?

“Nonsense” seems to be the New York Times sense of balanced and accurate coverage. Sources:

Freedom House May 2014 press release: http://freedomhouse.org/article/freedom-press-2014-media-freedom-hits-decade-low#.VDnLh_8tCUl

Freedom House 2013 country ranking: http://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press-2014/press-freedom-rankings#.VDnNCv8tCUl

Foreign Press on Hamas intimidation: http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-admits-intimidating-foreign-press-who-reported-wrong-message/

New York Times on FPA discussing Israeli intimidation July 23: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/24/world/middleeast/foreign-correspondents-in-israel-are-targets-of-intimidation.html?_r=0

Rudoren nonsense: http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=35&x_article=2814

FirstOneThrough music video for journalists in the Middle East: http://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/journalists-in-the-middle-east/

FirstOneThrough on Rudoren reporting nothing of Palestinian violence and Jewish history: http://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/reading-roduren-unrest-by-palestinians/

Blessing Islamophobia

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

The New York Times gave a warm and strong endorsement for Islamophobia this weekend. It’s opinion pages wrote strongly about the importance of free speech and the logic of exploring the hatred that many people feel towards all Muslims around the world, whether due to the 9/11 terror attacks or the beheadings of innocents today.

The New York Times editorial said it was “entirely correct” for people to express why they want to kill Muslims. It added that people “should not yield to critics” who want to use political correctness to suppress their anger.

The Times is on record – again – defending those who want to broadcast their rationale for killing any follower of Islam. Free speech “gives voice to all sides” including racists.

The paper remains standing “properly firm in defending… the principle of artistic freedom in a world rife with political pressures.” A surprising wake-up from a paper that people often view as erring more towards political correctness than towards the right of free speech.

In case you don’t believe the quotes and sentiments of the current NY Times editorial board, the links to the two editorials are below. The one (small) item worth noting, is that the paper actually wrote about killing Jews, not Muslims. But in balancing free speech and political correctness, I have made an assumption that the Times isn’t going to limit free speech just to anti-Semites. Was that a bad assumption?

NY Times editorial September 20 “The Met Opera Stands Firm”: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/20/opinion/the-death-of-klinghoffer-must-go-on.html

NY Times editorial June 19: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/20/opinion/the-metropolitan-operas-backward-move.html

FirstOneThrough on Klinghoffer Opera: http://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/eyal-gilad-naftali-klinghoffer-the-new-blood-libel/

The Images Missing From The Gaza war

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

There has been no shortage of images from the Gaza conflict.

We’ve seen rubble, dead Palestinian children, Israelis cowering during rocket attacks, Israeli military maneuvers and Israeli army footage of Hamas militants emerging from tunnels to attack Israeli soldiers.

What we haven’t seen are practically any images of Hamas fighters inside Gaza.

We know they’re there: Someone’s got to be launching those rockets into Israel (more than 3,200) and firing at invading Israeli troops. But so far the only images we’ve seen (or even heard about) are the Israel Defense Forces’ videos of Hamas fighters using hospitals, ambulances, mosques and schools (and tunnels) to launch attacks against Israeli targets or ferry arms around Gaza.

Why haven’t we seen journalists’ photographs of Hamas fighters inside Gaza?

We know Hamas doesn’t want the world to see images of Palestinian fighters launching rockets or using civilian havens like hospitals as bases of operation. But if we’re able to see images from both sides of practically every other war – in Syria, in Ukraine, in Iraq – why is Gaza an exception?

If journalists are being threatened and intimidated when they try to document Hamas activity in Gaza, their news outlets should be out front saying so. They’re not.

Last week, The New York Times published an account by photographer Sergey Ponomarev on what his days are like in Gaza. Here’s what Ponomarev said:

“It was a war routine. You leave early in the morning to see the houses destroyed the night before. Then you go to funerals, then to the hospital because more injured people arrive, and in the evening you go back to see more destroyed houses.

“It was the same thing every day, just switching between Rafah and Khan Younis.”

If you’re wondering whether the Times has assigned another photographer to cover the Hamas aspect of the story, it hasn’t. Looking through the 45 images in four of the Times’s recent slideshows on the conflict, there’s not a single one of a Hamas fighter.

Why not? After all, Hamas attacks against Israel are crucial to understanding what’s underpinning this conflict.

When I posed this question to the Times, here’s what Eileen Murphy, the newspaper’s vice president for corporate communications, told me:

“Our photo editor went through all of our pictures recently and out of many hundreds, she found 2 very distant poor quality images that were captioned Hamas fighters by our photographer on the ground. It is very difficult to identify Hamas because they don’t have uniforms or any visible insignia; our photographer hasn’t even seen anyone carrying a gun.

“I would add that we would not withhold photos of Hamas militants. We eagerly pursue photographs from both sides of the conflict, but we are limited by what our photographers have access to.”

Now, I’m no war reporter. It’s a risk I’m not willing to take, and I commend those who do. So I’m hesitant to question the work of reporters in Gaza right now.

But here’s what I don’t get: With the hundreds of journalists there, including numerous photojournalists with experience covering bloody conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, and Afghanistan, how is it that they aren’t able to get any images of Palestinians fighting the Israelis?

We know these images exist – unless you believe the IDF is fabricating its footage of Palestinian fighters using ambulances to transport rockets, firing from hospitals and mosques, and launching rockets at Israel.

It’s certainly important to show the human and structural devastation in Gaza. But with more than 3,200 rockets fired at Israel thus far from Gaza, and plenty of other fighting there, you’d think media outlets would be able to document some of it. But they haven’t. (Israeli news outlets are barred from Gaza, so they get a pass.)

Moral Equivalence No Answer To Terror

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Now that the bodies of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers have been found, we can expect the usual chorus of pro forma condemnations of terrorism and sympathy for the victims to be voiced by many world leaders.

But the willingness of so many of the same people to treat deliberate attempts to target civilians by the Palestinians as morally equivalent to the fate of those Arabs killed while conducting violence against Israelis gives the lie to their pose of objectivity.

The discovery of the bodies of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frankel brings an unhappy ending to the effort that transfixed Israelis and Jews around the world but aroused relatively little interest outside of the Jewish community.

The Hamas terror group that is believed to be behind the crime will feel the consequences of what appears to be the cold-blooded murders of these three boys shortly after their abduction.

Hamas’s partners in the Palestinian Authority will also be put to the test as the Israelis will now see whether PA leader Mahmoud Abbas’s helpful rhetoric condemning the kidnapping will be matched by actions that disassociate his government from terrorists.

But once condolences have been given, the atrocity will probably be shoved down the global memory hole as Palestinians and their cheerleaders contend that the terror attack on the teens must be seen as either an understandable reaction to the “occupation” or morally equivalent to the fate of those Palestinians who die while attacking Israeli forces.

The New York Times provided a prime example of such thinking the morning of Monday, June 30, in an article published only hours before the bodies were found.

In the piece, by Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren, the paper contrasted the grief felt by Naftali Frankel’s mother Rachel and that of another mother, Aida Dudeen, whose son Muhammad was killed while confronting Israeli soldiers searching for the boys.

The loss of any life is a tragedy and the sadness of both mothers is genuine. But other than those bare facts, there is no real basis of comparison between these two families. In one case, you have a boy who was targeted by terrorists because he was a Jew and vulnerable and then murdered. In the other, another boy actively chooses to join the ranks of those attempting to obstruct the forces attempting to find the kidnapping victims and attacks them with rocks, seeking to provoke the Israelis into firing to protect their own lives.

The words of the two mothers also belie any moral equivalence. While Rachel Frankel expressed sympathy for any Palestinians who have been hurt, Aida Dudeen proclaimed her boy to be a “martyr” who “died for his homeland.”

Dudeen, who said she tried to prevent her son from joining in the violence, also regards the Jewish presence in the land to be a matter of “colonialism.” Like the Palestinian social media campaign mocking the kidnapped boys, there is a clear sense on the part of the Arabs that any Jew who suffers in the conflict had it coming.

Reduced to the personal human element of mothers and sons, one can argue that one is no different from the other. But so long as the Palestinians cling to the notion that the country can be “liberated,” as Dudeen suggests, from the Jews, nothing will change.

Despite the clichés about a cycle of violence in which both sides are stuck, the events that led to the deaths of Naftali Frankel and Muhammad Dudeen were not involuntary. They involved the decision on the part of Hamas terrorists to kill Israeli kids and the subsequent decisions of other Palestinians to pour into the streets in an effort to either impede Israeli searchers or to seek out confrontations in which the ranks of Palestinian “martyrs” would be replenished.

Downplaying the Holocaust, A TEDx Talk

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

If only more members of this generation were like Anna Blech: a poised, factual and no-holds-barred truth teller.

Blech attended Hunter College High School in New York. For her 11th grade history paper, Blech chose to explore the media’s coverage of the Holocaust, while it was happening.

She chose this topic because three of her four grandparents escaped from Germany and Austria before the outbreak of World War II. They spent the war years in New York City.

Her grandparents explained to Blech that they really had no idea of the extent of the destruction of European Jewry until after the concentration and labor camps were liberated. This led her to wonder what news was available in the American media.

“The works of historians David Wyman, Deborah Lipstadt, and, especially, Laurel Leff, helped me understand how the knowledge of the Holocaust did not enter the public psyche despite the fact that the Holocaust was covered extensively in the New York Times,” Blech told The Jewish Press.

After her paper won the New York City History Day prize, Blech was invited by her school principal to give a TEDx Talk for the high school’s TEDx event.

 

When asked by The Jewish Press how her grandparents responded to the information she had garnered and presented at the TEDx Talk, Blech said they were very proud of her.

“They found the information true and painful,” Blech explained. “My grandmother said that she knew of people who almost made it out of Europe and who might have been able to, if the situation had been better publicized.”

Blech has since graduated from high school, and will be spending part of the summer in China for the Student Leaders Exchange of the National Council on U.S.-China Relations.

During this coming academic year, Blech will be on a special program called kivunim which is based in Jerusalem, but which takes participants to many different countries to explore the history of their Jewish communities and also explore all aspects of Israel.

Once finished with her year of travel with kivunim, Blech will become a freshman at Yale University in the fall of 2015.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/downplaying-the-holocaust-a-tedx-talk/2014/06/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: