Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

‘All the News That’s Fit to Print’ Really?

August 20, 2013 10:00 am 8 comments

The New York Times building in New York, NY. Photo: Haxorjoe.

Among the many Israeli sources of irritation for The New York Times, none is more persistently aggravating than Jewish settlements. August has been an especially difficult month for the Times. In rapid succession, its Jerusalem reporter Jodi Rudoren, Pulitzer-prize winning columnist Thomas Friedman, and editorial board contributed factual errors about settlements that not only  revealed  falsehoods but blatant bias.

It began on August 7, when Rudoren – who two days earlier had rapturously lionized Palestinian stone-throwers while all but ignoring wounded and murdered Israeli victims – erroneously stated that the American government viewed settlements constructed in Judea and Samaria to be illegal. In fact, as a subsequent Times correction noted, the United States “has not taken a position on the settlements’ legality” (although a day later the State Department declared, “We do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity”).

That same day, Friedman – who seems to delight in vilifying settlers – wrote: “One should never forget just how crazy some of Israel’s Jewish settlers are. They assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. . . .” False. Yigal Amir, who (alone) assassinated Rabin, was not a settler. He lived in Herzliya, the Israeli city founded in 1924. While anyone can make a foolish mistake, not everyone would make such a glaring – and slanderous – error in print and then decline to correct it. Although the Times Correction and Editors’ Notes sites were contacted, there was no printed notice of the mistake.

Not a week later (August 13), the Times ran an editorial entitled “Shortsighted Thinking on Israeli Settlements,” which might best describe its own persistent hostility. The Times was responding to the Netanyahu government decision to bracket the release of Palestinian terrorists and murderers from their deservedly lengthy prison terms with the publication of bids for the construction of 1,000 new housing units in East Jerusalem (hardly a settlement) and existing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

It may have been a vulgar Israeli “balancing act,” but hardly for the reason claimed by Times editors. Secretary of State Kerry’s delusion of “a comprehensive peace settlement” within nine months palpably excites the Times, but it is unlikely to come to fruition for reasons having nothing to do with Jewish settlements or intransigent Israeli “right wingers.” It is the Palestinians, after all, who have never missed an opportunity since 1937 to miss the opportunity for a peace agreement based on partition of the land.

“No two-state solution can ever be reached,” warned the Times, “if Israel expands its settlements on territory that will eventually become part of a Palestinian state.” This has long been the party line at the Times, which insisted (in the words of columnist Nicholas Kristof nearly two years ago) that “Nothing is more corrosive than Israel’s growth of settlements.” But its editors miss the point: Jewish settlements exist on land that will not become part of a Palestinian state. The Times may worry about “the already politically powerful block of settler voters who will resist removal.” It would be better advised to grasp the reality of 350,000 Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, in communities within an easy commute of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, who are unlikely to abandon their homes to mollify Mr. Sulzberger and his acolytes.

The Times, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) recently concluded, “has an Israel problem. And that means it has an ethical journalism problem,” which its constant and often misguided criticism of Jewish settlements illuminates and exacerbates. International law does not prohibit Jewish settlement. To be sure, Jews lost two-thirds of Palestine when Winston Churchill decided to reward Abdullah of Mecca with the kingdom of Trans-Jordan, carved from eastern Mandatory Palestine after World War I. But ever since 1922, when the League of Nations endorsed the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” Jews have enjoyed the right, never rescinded, of “close settlement” on the land west of the Jordan River. That means the West Bank.

The Times is entitled to its fantasy that land for peace will seal the deal between Israelis and Palestinians. But Palestinians have rejected every international recommendation for the partition of land west of the Jordan. All or nothing has its cost, but readers should not hold their breath in anticipation of Times recognition that it has been Palestinian recalcitrance, not Jewish settlements, that have proven to be the overriding obstacle to peace.

Two weeks ago the Times reported the discovery in Jerusalem by a prominent archaeologist of a fragment of King David’s palace. Former Jerusalem bureau chief Steven Erlanger made sure to insert his own doubts about its veracity, equating historic Jewish claims to Jerusalem with Yasir Arafat’s absurd denial of any Jewish connection there. But several days later, when the print media overflowed with accounts of the discovery of a juglet with a 3,000 year-old text from King David’s time, pre-dating the earliest known Hebrew inscription from the 8th century BCE, the Times ignored the story.

Beware of “all the news that’s fit to print.”

Jerold S. Auerbach is completing a book about Israel’s legitimacy struggles.

8 Comments

  • “ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO PRINT”: another myth. Too bad. Y’ can’t trust the NY Times. Well, it’s always good for wrapping up the garbage, y’knaow!

  • Wallace Edward Brand

    Since 1950 the Arabs have built more than twice as many settlements in Judea and Samaria as the Jews. They fill them with Egyptians, Iraqis, Syrians, Jordanians and Lebanese and mirabile’ dicta, they are “Palestinians”. You can find a list of them on the Internet.

  • Jerold: Fact checking is just as important in rebuttals. Though I agree largely with your criticisms, you should be aware that Steve Erlanger, to the best of my knowledge, has been in Paris since 2008.

    andy

  • I think their mantra works just fine, with the caveat that “news” is replaced with “anti-Semtisim.” If the print fits, wear it.

  • The New York Times should change its name to The New York Sturmer its editors & journalists have enough hatred for Jews & Israel to follow Hitlers anti semitic rag.

  • Herman Gershon

    The slogan of the N. Y.Times “All the News fit to print” needs to merge with the UN so that it reads correctly
    “All the News that’s UNfit to print!” That newspaper gives no news, merely opinions, all slanted and prejudiced. It will never change. It will choke on its ultra-liberal character.

  • Joseph Silver

    A very good article, except for the glaring mistake at the end.
    The longest and oldest proto-Hebrew inscription found till now in Israel, an ostracon with over 70 characters, was found in 2008 in the dig at Khirbet Qeiyefa in the Ela Valley.
    It has been dated to the time of King David, based on 16 olive pits found in situ and used to carbon 14 the site (ca. 1000-970 BCE). The ostracon is so famous it even featured in a SNL skit!
    But except for this detail, the article hits the mark.
    Sadly.

    J.Silver, Jerusalem

  • Israel’s number 1 bad policy of expanding on disputed territories has had a devastating effect on its image in the world and has fueled Jew haters with nuclear propaganda to discredit our intentions of truly wanting peace.
    I am not at all suggesting that building in the disputed territories is illegal. I am only saying that doing it is doing us immeasurable harm and should be stopped immediately.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Blogs Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Actress Natalie Portman acted like a typical “Jewish mother” on the set of her latest movie, Jane Got a Gun, the Israeli-born star told the New York Post‘s Page Six on Sunday. The 34-year-old, who also co-produced the western, said she made it her job to look out for everyone involved in the project, because the film has had to overcome “so many obstacles,” such as losing its director early on. She explained: “Actors changed. We suffered financial and legal challenges. We endured so many replacements. There were delays. […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    “We’re looking very much forward to coming back to Israel this summer,” said the lead singer of the German rock band Scorpions in a video on Monday. “Make sure you don’t miss it because we rock you like a hurricane!” said a jovial Klaus Meine, quoting the band’s seminal 1984 anthem, “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” The hard rock band lands in Israel for a show at the Menorah Mivtachim Arena on July 14 as part of its 50th anniversary tour. It will be the band’s third time […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel were the two most immediate and authentic literary voices who gave witness to the Holocaust. Wiesel was an extrovert and a very public figure who wrote initially in French. Levi was a modest retiring chemist who wrote in Italian. Whereas Wiesel was rooted in the Eastern European Jewish Hassidic world, Levi was the product of an assimilated, secular Italian society that saw itself as Italian first and Jewish as an accident of birth. As Levi himself said, “At Auschwitz I […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Lifestyle Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    JNS.org – Wine has long been considered a social lubricant, and it’s Nir Lavie’s hope that wine from his Har Bracha Winery in the Samarian hills will serve as a social lubricant between the city-goers of Tel Aviv and the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, two locales split geographically, and often politically, on the left and right of the country. The new flagship store of Har Bracha has recently popped its corks on 190 Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Gentile Actor Zachary Levi Says He’s Denied Roles for Being ‘Too Jewish’

    Gentile Actor Zachary Levi Says He’s Denied Roles for Being ‘Too Jewish’

    Actor Zachary Levi said casting directors have denied him roles for being “too Jewish,” despite the fact that he is not a Jew, the New York Daily News‘ Confidenti@l reported on Wednesday. “I guess they were looking for more of a corn-fed, white boy look,” he said. “My family is from f****** Indiana! Come on, I’m like dying here!” The Thor star clarified that he is Welsh, and that Levi is actually his middle name, while his real last name is Pugh. He said he […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Spirituality/Tradition Tracing Chabad’s History and Success (REVIEW)

    Tracing Chabad’s History and Success (REVIEW)

    The secret of Chabad’s worldwide success is revealed by veteran Chabad shliach (emissary) Rabbi David Eliezrie in his new book, The Secret of Chabad. The Chabad movement was founded by Rabbi Schnur Zalman of Liadi, Belarus, in 1775. Years later it came to the US with the arrival of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn in 1940, after his escape from Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Upon his arrival in New York, a number of his co-religionists advised him that there was no place for traditional […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Rapper B.o.B’s New Song Invoking Antisemitism, Holocaust Denial Has Jewish Group ‘Deeply Troubled’

    Rapper B.o.B’s New Song Invoking Antisemitism, Holocaust Denial Has Jewish Group ‘Deeply Troubled’

    A Jewish human rights organization expressed concern on Wednesday over a new song by a popular US rapper that includes lyrics promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories and cites a Holocaust denier, The Algemeiner has learned. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was responding to Tuesday’s release of B.o.B’s “Flatline,” the lyrics of which include: “But before you try to curve it, do your research on David Irving; Stalin was way worse than Hitler, That’s why the POTUS gotta wear a Kippa.” Irving is a historian who has questioned […]

    Read more →
  • Business Features World-Changing Israeli Technologies Wow at Global Investor Summit

    World-Changing Israeli Technologies Wow at Global Investor Summit

    JNS.org – You’re cruising along the highway. Suddenly, your car starts to sputter, your engine grumbles, and your car comes to a screeching halt. The tow truck drags the car to a local auto mechanic. Damage: $1,000. You have no idea whether or not the mechanic is trying to do one over on you, but you will soon, thanks to a new Israeli innovation. Engie puts the car owner in the driver’s seat by providing a special malfunction reader that simply […]

    Read more →