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July 29, 2016 4:12 am

New York Times Bureau Chief in Iran Promotes Anti-Israel Agenda

avatar by Daniel Rosen

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Thomas Erdbrink. Photo: Facebook.

Thomas Erdbrink. Photo: Facebook.

Thomas Erdbrink is the New York Times Bureau Chief in Iran. A Dutch citizen, he has lived in Iran for more than 10 years, and the Times affectionately describes him as “our man in Tehran.” However, the paper should urgently rethink that nickname now that Mr. Erdbrink is using his status to promote anti-Israel extremism on mainstream Dutch TV.

This year, Erdbrink received the honor of hosting Zomergasten (Summer Guests) — one of the most prominent Dutch TV series. It’s a feel-good format show of six episodes that features a famous guest on each.

But after the program already confirmed the Dutch prime minister and four other well-known celebrities as this year’s guests, Mr. Erdbrink shockingly announced that he wanted to invite Lebanese-Belgian extremist (and self-declared Hezbollah member) Dyab Abou Jahjah to be the first guest on the show this Sunday.

Abou Jahjah founded an organization that was convicted of Holocaust denial; he called the  9/11 attacks “sweet revenge;” and he’s said Europe made “the cult of the Holocaust and Jew-worshiping its alternative religion.” He is banned in the UK, and deemed so radical that even Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was forced to denounce any connection to him late last year.

But the fact that Mr. Erdbrink has no problem with promoting this extremist comes as less of a surprise once Erdbrink’s other statements on Dutch TV are scrutinized. For example, during a show on April 29, 2016, he defended Iran’s Holocaust denial cartoons as an understandable response to what he deemed anti-Muslim Danish cartoons.

Moreover, when Ahmed Aboutaleb, the mayor of Rotterdam and another guest on that show, retorted that classical antisemitic conspiracy theories should be denounced, Mr. Erdbrink ridiculed this response.

His New York Times prestige is now allowing Mr. Erdbrink to provide Abou Jahjah with a uncritical platform on primetime Dutch TV. The Times should take responsibility and distance itself from this journalist who uses the newspaper’s reputation to promote anti-Israel extremism abroad.

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  • It’s interesting that the stock price of the New york Times is down about 80% in the last 20 years. Maybe it’s not a coincidence, that as the Times has become progressively more anti-Israel, their stock plummets towards zero.

  • Daniel Jessurun Lobo

    Most Dutch descend from nazi collaborators so no wonder

  • Liza radvany

    Great to see how free press is used to create an unfree world thank you Mr.Thomas Erdbrink.and may your actions effect your life in the same way you are effecting ours.
    L. R.

  • Isaac Wateerman

    Mijnheer Erdbrink,

    U moet zich diep schamen als Nederlander over U blijkbaar ingeboren anti-semitisme, wat Uw leven beheerst en hopelijk zal vernietigen. U bent niet waardig journalist te zijn en Uw vuiligheid te publiceren. Ik ben een Holocaust survivor, die meer dan 300 famlileden heeft verloren.U houdt ervan om de kont van de Arabieren te likken. Geniet ervan en stik erin.
    Isaac Waterman.

  • ludo

    Thanks for the article. Keep following it please. There are actions going on in the Netherlands to tackle this kind of mud. To keep pressing this issue is of help to tackle it.

    Thank you,

    LJJM Tausch
    director Mother of the Mount Carmel
    the Netherlands.

  • This Mr. Erdbrink became a Shi’ite Muslim I don’t know how long ago, so it is no wonder that he gives a podium to a repugnant individual like this Jahjah, the Dutch TV station VPRO is notoriously “provocative,” “politically correct” i.e. aiming at wealthy and trendy “socialists” for whom “antizionism” is the “socially and fashionable” ugly face of antisemitism. The VPRO organization alleges that they give a podium to “relevant opinion makers,” so maybe they will invite Mr. David Irving and other Jew haters in the near future. To the Dutch viewers I can give the advice to watch if they have eaten too much and need to throw up.

  • Helen Armstrong

    The New York Times has lost much credibility since it has become just a partisan publication

  • to NYT: fire this anti-semite

  • and this is surprising from this moron because…?

  • Myron Slater

    As usual, the New York Times shows its antisemitic attitude expressed in its rag of a newspaper. This journalist, if the paper would be honest, should be be fired!

  • Leah

    That is a shame. And shameful. We should be building bridges and promoting peace, not condoning in any this person’s attitudes and anti semetic views and philosophies.

  • Jonas

    This is also about antisemitism not just anti-Israel extremism.

  • erdbrink is a disgusting, dilettante, terrorist-chasing slut. he can be taken seriously only because he has been given notionally responsible positions in the media and because of the way that he uses those positions.

    that brings one to the nyt and its headlong rush to disreputable, dishonest, obsessive belligerence against US security and Israel. any decent person can only be stunned by the nyt’s rejection of efforts at objectivity and dispassionate and honest reportage and the traditional ethical standards of journalism, by its disdain for decency, and by its scorn for Israel and the Jews.

    the despicable publisher and editors will, one day, seek forgiveness for the damage that they have done. but, there can be no forgiveness for people who have eagerly made themselves the allies of the barbarians.

  • Richard

    It is ridiculous that a NYT correspondent in Iran is not more sensitive to the ridiculous anti-semitism promoted by the regime in that country and by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

    The 10 years in Iran must have had an impact on Mr. Erdbrink’s views on Israel and the world. He probably thinks he can get away with spewing his extremism in The Netherlands as his newspaper in the US doesn’t allow it.