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May 30, 2016 7:03 am

The New York Times Wistfully Mourns an Anti-Israel Activist

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avatar by Ira Stoll

Anti-Israel Jewish activist Hedy Epstein. Photo: Wikipedia.

Anti-Israel Jewish activist Hedy Epstein. Photo: Wikipedia.

A virulently anti-Israel (Jewish) activist named Hedy Epstein gets a long and respectful obituary in the Sunday New York Times.

The Times reports that in 2011, she “was aboard the ship the Audacity of Hope in a flotilla attempting to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.”

The phrase “the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip” is classic anti-Israel Times nonsense. Go look at a map of Gaza. It has a border with a country other than Israel — namely, Egypt. The Egyptian government doesn’t want its country flooded by a bunch of violent terrorist fanatics, either. But somehow the Times obituary language is about the Israeli “blockade” of the Gaza Strip, not the Egyptian blockade.

Both “blockades,” by the way, were sufficiently porous for Hamas — the terrorist group that controls Gaza — to have adequate supplies with which to launch murderous attacks on the civilian population in neighboring Israel, through concrete-walled tunnels equipped with wi-fi networks, electric lighting and air conditioning. Those tunnels were to be used by the Hamas terrorists to burrow under the border into Israel for attacks.

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The Times recounts Epstein’s inspiration as follows:

After the massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982, Ms. Epstein channeled her energies into the Palestinian cause. She helped found the St. Louis chapters of the Palestine Solidarity Committee and Jewish Voice for Peace.

The Times doesn’t describe what Jewish Voice for Peace is, but, just for the record, notwithstanding its name, it is a boycott, divestment and sanctions group dedicated to policies that would eradicate Israel as a Jewish state.

The headline on the Times article describes Epstein as a “rights activist.” Whatever “rights” the Times thinks she was active on behalf of, they apparently did not include the right of Israeli Jews to live in peace and security in a Jewish state.

Finally, given the narrative of Epstein emerging as an anti-Israel activist “after” the Sabra and Shatila massacre, a young Times reader unfamiliar with the event might imagine that it had been committed by Israel. In fact, the massacre was perpetrated by a Lebanese Christian militia, and the victims included not only Palestinian Arabs but also Lebanese, Pakistanis, Iranians, Syrians and Algerians. The logic of someone emerging as an anti-Israel activist following it is only just marginally more than someone deciding to take up against Israel after the Boston, My Lai or Tiananmen Square massacres.

More of Ira Stoll’s media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

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