Popular internet newspaper, The Huffington Post, is under fire yet again for a headline and accompanying image that offended major Jewish groups.
Both the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) criticized the article, headlined “Saboteur Sen. Launching War Push,” which featured a picture of New Jersey’s Senator Robert Menendez addressing pro-Israel lobby the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
In the article, the publication attacked Senate leaders who backed a bill which calls for new sanctions against Iran in response to the country’s nuclear program. The bill threatens “to push the United States toward war with Iran,” the paper claimed.
Confident that the choice was a deliberate “editorial decision,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean at the Simon Wiesenthal Center sharply criticized the presentation as reminiscent of anti-Jewish tropes.
“It goes back to the age old canard,” he told The Algemeiner, “that certain people have never seen a war that they can’t find a way to blame on the Jews.”
“Conscious or subconscious it just screams out ‘there they go again,’ meaning Jews, ‘they are bringing the country to war,’” he added.
The AJC said it was “dismayed” and “appalled” by the article, and spoke out in defense of Senator Menendez.
“The Huffington Post has launched a shameful, unjust assault on Senator Menendez,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris.
“Why this incendiary attack on a respected and experienced legislator, who has every right to express his viewpoints, without being depicted in such toxic terms?” Harris continued. “Senator Menendez believes, as do many of his Senate colleagues and a majority of the American people, that the best way to reach a diplomatic solution with Iran is through a hard-nosed, clear-eyed approach to a dangerous and wily adversary. So do we.”
The Huffington Post has often been accused of anti-Israel bias and tolerating anti-Jewish sentiment. Two anonymous blogs, HPMonitor and Huff-Watch have extensively recorded the allegations.
The site “has become a home to a sub sect of commentators expressing anti-Israel hate speech and anti-Semitism,” says the mission statement of HPMonitor. Huff-Watch goes a step further, writing: “…for at least the past two years, Israel and Jews have been HuffPost’s secondary ‘targets.’”
Earlier this year Huffington Post editor Roy Sekoff told Israel’s channel 2 that the publication was planning to open an Israeli branch of the site.