By Larry Gordon
Last weekend there were so many Jewish oriented and themed stories in the New York Times, it was difficult not to believe that the publication had finally succumbed to its overwhelming desire to become an Anglo-Jewish weekly.
I will always feel attached to the Times and though countless friends and associates have told me that they have cancelled subscriptions and have given it up, for the reasons they have done so, I cannot. And that is not because of any type of traditional form of allegiance. Believe me when I say that I know well what moves and motivates the Times. Rest assured it is not journalistic objectivity. There is a clear agenda to denigrate, ridicule and consistently criticize in both direct and circuitous ways whatever it is that emanates from Israel.
No other ethnic, religious group or nation is held to the standard by Times writers and editors as Israel and Jews in general are. If the Times reporter in Israel Jodi Rudoren posts a story sympathetic to Israel or Israeli’s before the piece is published it is filled with “balance” by editors here in New York.
When we met with Rachael Frankel, the mother one of the students murdered by Hamas terrorists in June she had just earlier that day met with Ms. Rudoren who later called her to say that her editors in New York had revised the piece and provided equal space in the paper to one of the Palestinian young men affiliated with Hamas who was killed trying to elude Israeli troops during the search for the boys. Obviously there is no moral equivalency between the two situations. But you would not know that by reading the article in the Times.
Perhaps Times reporters fear what we have learned so many others in the media had feared during the Gaza operation. That is warning to reporters that if they exposed the identity of Hamas fighters or the location of rocket launches they would unhesitatingly dispatched with on short order. By the way that means they would be killed by Hamas terrorists.
So you might be interested to learn that of all the hundreds of reporters, cameras and video crews in Gaza during the war there was no footage of Hamas terrorists doing their thing. This was Hamas was able to claim that 2,000 Palestinian civilians lost their lives as a result if the Israel aerial bombardment and ground offensive. The reality, however, is that more than half were terrorist fighters and hundreds more were killed by errant Hamas rockets that landed in Gaza. So far the Times have not bothered with the details of these statistics. They apparently still want access to Gaza for their journalists and photographers.
So much for the Times coverage of Israel and Gaza; now to the matter of the seemingly insatiable abundance of Jewish content in last weekend’s Saturday and Sunday papers. Over just these two days there was coverage of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s barely two days of a solidarity visit to the Jewish state with a good measure of critique on the motivation behind the visit. There was a story about a Reform Rabbi leaving his pulpit in Brooklyn Heights, a front page story about an elderly Dutch Nazi resister now in his 90’s who decided to return his Righteous Gentile award and designation to Israel to protest her actions in Gaza.
There was a story by Steve Erlander about how internal political debate in Israel is preventing the government from reaching a cease fire agreement, though by this time one might have been reached, though it looks like hostilities have been revived. Erlander neglects making the observation that this is the fashion in which an actual democracy functions.
Erlander quotes an Israeli political scientist who says that the problem specifically in the Middle East is the incompatible mixture of religion and warfare. He writes that it is a blind religious zeal that moves groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and ISIS. Then for good measure he throws in the story of Samson who brought down a Philistine temple as recorded in Book of Judges killing himself along with his captors. The Times reporter ends his piece by suggesting that Samson may have been one of the first suicide bombers in history. More in this week’s 5TJT