Sunday, March 18th | 2 Nisan 5778


Be in the know!

Get our exclusive daily news briefing.

January 12, 2015 5:08 pm

On Eve of Terror Victims Burial in Jerusalem, New York Times Publishes Scathing Op-Ed Entitled ‘Why I Won’t Serve Israel’

avatar by Ben Cohen

Email a copy of "On Eve of Terror Victims Burial in Jerusalem, New York Times Publishes Scathing Op-Ed Entitled ‘Why I Won’t Serve Israel’" to a friend

As grieving families prepared for the funerals of four murdered French Jews in Jerusalem, the New York Times published an anti-Israel op-ed by previously unknown contributor Moriel Rothman-Zecher. Photo: 'The Leftern Wall'

Even a week of terrorist outrages in Paris wasn’t enough to convince the New York Times editorial page to temporarily suspend its obsession with the supposed evils of Israeli policy.

On Monday morning, alongside a piece signed by the Times Editorial Board which discussed anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment in France in several places – but did not deign to mention the fear among French Jews of rising anti-Semitism – readers of the “newspaper of record” were confronted with another article, entitled “Why I Won’t Serve Israel.”

The author, a 25 year-old Israeli-American named Moriel Rothman-Zecher, penned a lengthy manifesto justifying his refusal to be drafted into the IDF. “Some hope for a less violent, more decent future lies with the real traitors, the disregarded millions of Israeli citizens who have refused to serve in the army,” he wrote.

Neither the timing of the article nor its theme escaped critical scrutiny, however.

“Tomorrow, the families of four French Jews, were murdered in Paris for the sin of buying challot before shabbat, have chosen to bury their loved ones in Israel,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Algemeiner. Cooper pointed out that last year, more than 50,000 French Jews sought information about immigrating to Israel, a country, he said, that remains “a safe haven for Jews targeted for death because they are Jews.”

“Too bad there was no such state during the Shoah. Six million Jews paid the price,” said Cooper. “Apparently, there was no space in the oped pages of the New York Times for these inconvenient truths. Instead we got another cranky essay by another Israeli exercising his right to dissent, a right safeguarded by the very IDF he loathes.”

Until today, Rothman-Zecher – who confusingly gives his name as “Moriel Zachariah Rothman” on his personal blog – was virtually unknown. Those visitors to his blog who are familiar with the endless meditations on personal identity beloved of the American Jewish left will immediately be struck by a number of familiar themes.

In a personal statement, Rothman-Zecher, who was born in Israel and grew up in the United States, acknowledged on his blog “both my privilege and the fact that I am here [in Israel] by choice.” Had he been an 18 year-old drafted into the army, he speculated, he probably would not have refused the draft.

Rothman-Zecher then went on to argue that “most” young Israelis serve in the IDF because of legal and social pressure to do so, and not because they aspire to military service. “In many if not most cases, the decision to serve was barely a choice, and was more of a product of 18 years of upbringing, societal pressure, propaganda, the threat of jail or punishment and the perhaps more devastating threat of stigmatization and metaphorical/spiritual exile,” he wrote.

Perhaps predictably, Rothman-Zecher made no secret of his ambition to be a cause celebre.  “I certainly hope that my action can be an example for others (including other immigrants from the US who have similar privileges and opportunities), that it will take away a bit of the fear and stigma surrounding the idea of refusal, and that others will, indeed, follow in the same path, just as I am following in the path of those who have refused to serve in the military before me, here and elsewhere in the world.”

In his New York Times piece today, Rothman-Zecher was at pains to portray Israel as a rogue state. “As the Israeli government leads us further from peace, and the army faithfully executes its violent orders, this is the kind of treachery we need most,” he said.

Gilead Ini, a senior analyst with media watchdog CAMERA, slammed the Times for “perversely using the emigration of over one percent of the French Jewish population as an occasion to do what the newspaper does so often: Undermine Israel’s right to exist or, in this case, its ability to defend itself, by giving the country’s most marginal and hateful critics a platform.”

Added Ini: “It is a reminder that the New York Times opinion editor recently admitted to treating Israel with a harsher standard.”

For Rabbi Cooper, however, the publication of the piece “inadvertently highlighted an important truth.”

“Israel the only democracy in the neighborhood,” he said. “Good luck to the author if he had dared pen such a piece from Beirut, Damascus or Tehran.”

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • Afonso

    Charlie Hebdo would say that The New York Times serves the purpose of masturbating the obsessive pseudo-liberal minds of some self-hating individuals that had the “bad luck” of being born Jews.

  • asherpat

    “Israel the only democracy in the neighborhood,” he said. “Good luck to the author if he had dared pen such a piece from Beirut, Damascus or Tehran.”

    There was a good Soviet joke on the theme:

    A Soviet propagandist argues the Communist system’ case with an American. the American say “you guys have no freedom of speech. For example, I can go in front of the White House and yell “the American president is a war criminal”, and nothing, nothing will happen to me! Bet you can’t do the same on the Red Square” he concludes with a triumphal face. “Easy”, answers the Soviet guy, “I can go to the middle of the Red Square and yell “the American president is a war criminal”, and nothing, nothing will happen to me!

  • Edward J . Alweis

    This is the Jewish owned newspaper that buried stories of murder of Jews in the 30s to the back pages. As far as the author of this piece of nonsence it is obvious his far left leanings are probably inherited from his self-hating socialist parents. Somehow, over the centuries we have survived morons like this.

    • Stella

      The grey lady suffers from dementia. We need and deserve a paper with all its marbles. To add insult to injury the piece is poorly written. The paper of record has a dismal record and should be scorned. F

  • Eve

    What has apparently “escaped critical scrutiny” is that this is not a *Jewish* Israeli. People seem to forget that “Israeli” doesn’t only mean “Jewish”; it means Arab, as well. Clearly, they’re not much good at profiling, either. That photo is not of a Jew; it’s of an Arab. No wonder he’s having so much trouble with that name. But if you’re paying close attention, you’ll know that every “Jewish-named” contributor to the “Israeli” newspaper, ‘Haaretz’ is an ARAB, using a distinctly Jewish-y nom de plume, so as to create the appearance of being Jews against the state of Israel. (Case in point: the flagrantly Arab ‘Israel Shamir’). And what a surprise: ‘Haaretz’ is owned by Germans. Owned by Germans and run by Arabs; get the picture? As for the New York Times: it is another thing misunderstood, having morphed from its previous fine form into a virulent, purposefully incompetent source of misinformation – – gone the way of “democracy” and “liberalism”, which have devolved into *mob rule* and its facilitator. And, but of course the Times would cover its ass, in the wake of an attack on a press office. “Yellow” journalism in every sense of the word. But ironically amusing, because – – the ass-kissers of the world, eager to demonstrate their cowardly “benign” nature, would be the *enslaved*.

  • Monty Pogoda

    I think the New york Times is scared that what happened to the French Charlie Hebdo journal could happen to them. Therefore they attack Israel. In Engineering it’s called a “safety factor”

  • Penny

    What a sorry excuse for a human excuse is this Rothman-Zucker. He unfortunately is a self hating Jew. Maybe it’s time for him to visit the sites where 6,000,000 of our mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles were decimated to fully appreciate the existence of Israel and the IDF.
    I for one am ashamed to call him a Jew.

  • Ron

    since he wants to be a celebrity, we should aid him in that. Throw him out. There, now he can live in peace with a free conscience.

  • Bernard

    Perhaps he should raise funds to get to Beirut , Damascus or Teheran………I am sure many would make voluntary contributions .
    I wonder how long he would last there ?


    The New York Times knowingly falsified information about the mass murders Germany was committing – which became known as the Holocaust.
    The New York Times is a sad example of Jews supporting Jew-Haters, probably out of hope that the hate won’t reach them.

    The New York Times supports the deligitimisation of Israel.
    The New York Times supports Arab terrorism against Israel.

    No person who is not a Jew-Hater should have a subscription to The New York Times.
    No company which is not run by Jew-Haters should have advertise in The New York Times.
    No person who is not a Jew-Hater should buy from companies who advertise in The New York Times.

  • Stephen Kohn

    As bad as Rothman is, the NYT is 10X worse. It never misses an opportunity to be critical of Israel.

    The fantasy that it is ‘the newspaper of record’ has long since lost its meaning.

    It may be a broadsheet but when it comes to Israel it is a yellow rag,

  • Arthur Cohn

    The NY Times has descended into the depths of infamy. Since the days of its reporter, Walter Duranty, extoling the forced labor in the Soviet Union The Times’ editorial policy has not been so foolish. When are they ever going to get good sense?

  • steven L

    BBC, the Guardian and NYT equal in their antisemitism. Flagships of Western mass media ANTISEMITISM.

  • sifter

    So fine, dont serve. Y’all lay down your weapons, drop some Ecstasy and waitvfor the Arabs to come and shoot your father, rape your mother and sisters and cut your stinking head off, ‘cuz thats what you get ifvevery Israeli felt like you.

    Holocaust Deux.

  • robert borns

    losers are everywhere. the n y times is loaded with them.of couse they love other losers.

  • Bullfrog Europe

    The New York Times & Rothman Zecher aka Moriel Zachariah Rothman are both scum.

    Yet again the NYT portrays its harsh view of Israel. American action in Iraq & it’s foreign policy over many years have exacerbated, if not created the ‘world of terror’. Accurate journalism in addressing the constant failure of American foreign policy would not be so well received by NYT readers.

  • Nobbly Stick

    One wonders if they would ever have dared to print such an article written by a US refusenick when the US was mobilizing after Pearl Harbor.

    One has to wonder who the subscribers are to the new York Times.

  • Linda Herman

    i am thoroughly disgusted by the editorial coverage of Israel in the N.Y. Times. Every day another article critical of Israel and its policies appears. It is responsible, in my opinion for increasing the wave of anti-semitism throughout the U.S. and abroad. Hitler will soon be posthumously achieveing his goal of eliminating all Jews from Europe. They were forced to leave all of the Middle East when Israel was created. Hamas wants to eliminate Israel entirely, with Iran as its biggest sponsor. I believe the editors of the Times are just so happy that they aren’t Jewish, as they have so many countries in which they can immigrate to if they so desire without living in constant fear of being attacked simply because of their religion. Why hasn’t the Gaza Strip been reconstructed? The leaders of Hamas want their citizens to live in abject poverty and blame it all on the Jews. They continue to build tunnels instead of infrastructure. Where is the sympathy for and empathy with the Jews of the world? Time and again the Israelis have tried to give up land for peace to no avail. Even-handed reporting is non existent in the N.Y. Times, and I say “shame on them.”

  • Ian

    Let’s see how this guy reacts if the USA ever turns as anti-Semitic as France is today. I bet he’ll be clambering for his Israeli passport and air ticket to Israel.

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    In my innocent youth I was an avid reader of the New York Times. It was both a result of a combination of being a news junkie, snob appeal (after all ONLY the best read the NYT) and my boredom of commuting to Manhattan. Now that I have become older and wiser, I no longer read the Times. I am still a news junkie, but see the consistent lies and propoganda the paper spews, I no longer believe the best read it or do so with a grain of salt. I have to use the famous statement of Judge Welch in the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s “Have you no decency? Have you no shame?”

  • Arthur Fliegenheimer

    The NY Slimes sent me an offer tostart a subscription of this slime.Unfortunately, there are too many Jews (like my wife’s family who belive in the NY Slimes rather than the bible.They obama zombies -non thinking lemings.To Israel’s and the US detriment obama zombies have been elected (Schumer-NY,Blumenthal-Ct,Feinstein,Boxer etc.Israel will have to count on Lindsay Graham and Marco Rubio for real support.Luckily the REpublicans can now block some of hussain obama’s anti-Israel threats.

  • judithg

    the new york times is a stinking toilet of anti-semitism
    stuffed up with islamic Jew hatred and the millions of muslims who share that psycopathy. a mercy flush is demanded. the stench is overwhelming.

  • Eve

    The Times must really be desperate if they are publishing this non-entity’s musings. “Millions of Israeli citizens who have refused to serve in the army.” Would that be 5 million or 10 million? That’s quite an assumption considering that there are not that many who are of age to serve. If that were even remotely true, there would not be an IDF. And somehow I get the feeling that this moron who can’t quite figure out his name has not interviewed “most” Israelis who really don’t want to serve. This narcissitic putz was published in the Times?? LOL!! In a way we have to be grateful that we have the Times. More people would have to buy pooper scoopers or birdcage liners without it.

  • Isaac brajtman

    In a country that is at war (and Israel is at war,as there has never been a peace treaty signed by the Arab aggressors, if somebody refuses his call up to defend the country,he should either be deported to his other country that he is a citizen of, or deprived of all rights ,as he is living in a country where others are risking their lives to defend him and his family’. The hell with democratic rights

  • Bernard Ross

    the question is will I be sad when the honor killers which the NYT supports burst into their offices and shoot their editors or will I consider it ironic justice? HMMMMM, more journalists spreading lies and libels against Israel and the Jews, what should be their fate??????

  • Larry

    The New York Times was, is and will always be an Anti-Semitic and Anti-Israel rag of a newspaper.

  • Rothman-Zecher may think his position will bring like mined to his cause. He is barking up the wrong tree. He will bring ISIL to himself and they will destroy him. Being an Israeli is all ISIL is interested in to destroy you. If you want to convert to their type of Islam , you may survive. Don’t count on it. You are as stupid as they are.

  • charlie johnson

    The Times is an insult to the majority of citizen of the USA. TThey made Bin Laden ,Man of the year .They take the side of any enemy of our soldiers in a war. If our citizen were like the Islamics these people would be slaughtered as was the people in France.I would think the people at the Times lives well in the country they advocate against. In the West you can make a very large fortune attacking the nation that provides you the security to do so. They put a US president out of office.

  • I hate to say it, but, percentage-wise, I fear there are too many of these so-called “Jews,” really JUIs, who do everything they can to delegitimize Israel and give fodder to those who seek to murder every Jewish man, woman, and child. Alas, once again Pogo’s message comes through: “We have met the enemy, and it is us.”

  • What a studid boy. He probably did not even got well paid for his treason. He has the right not to be draft into the IDF but no right to be used in an article made against his own people in exchange for a minute of fame. The New York Times deserves to be completely forgotten for ever by all Jews: none should buy this newspaper again.

  • art

    The nyt has long been an enemy of Israel and Jews. Prior to WWII it opposed Zionism whenever it could. It down played the Shoah. It blew the cover of EL Al flights from behind the iron curtain in the early 1950’s, resulting in the Russians shooting down a plane and killing the passengers. It blew the cover on Operation Moses, the rescue of Ethiopian Jews, and has done its best to harm Israel. The nyt and Tom friedman campaigned on withdrawal from South Lebanon saying Israel should take the “high road” and assuring us that hezbullah would cease, they pushed for surrender of Gaza telling us hamas would fold and the South would be safe. They continue to present anti Israel positions and editorials as news or fact

  • Simone

    Moriel Rothman-Zecher considers Israel a rogue state, and insists on tearing it to shreds. Let him go back to America!
    Living in any democracy is a privilege, not a right! And living in Israel is a special privilege.
    I hope that the Israeli leadership will permanently revoke his citizenship, because if there’s an influx of European immigrants due to increased anti-Semitism, Israel will be too densely populated, and the haters do NOT deserve any land space there.

  • Isaac

    Rothman-Zecher is a coward who doesn’t comprehend that Israel is in a perpetual war for survival. He has done a service to Israel by fleeing to the US to avoid his obligation as an Israeli citizen. Israel won’t have to prosecute him!
    This article is typical of the garbage presented by the Times.

  • Paul Leber

    Today’s anti-israeli canard in the NYT is the work of a chap who asks us to believe it was principle, not cowardice, that explains his refusal to take up arms in the defense of his country. Can the editors of the Times possibly be that credulous? Perhaps, but the more likely explanation for the decision to publish this self-serving screed is the utter contempt the editors of the Times have for basic journalistic principles of fairmess and objectivity. Contrary to the paper’s slogan, today’s editors of the Times print only the news that fits their tendentious anti-Israeli agenda

  • Johana. Nadler

    The NYYimes was, is and will always be antisemitic. It has no scruples, no respect for the victims. May be one day it’ll experience first hand what Israeli experience every day

  • When so many outstanding Jews were murdered by the Nazis, how could G.D allow this evil Jews grandparents to be spared to give birth to such an evil Jew.

  • CGG

    Rothman-Zecher is taking his freedoms for granted. I’ve no doubt that the Israeli army is safer without spoiled boys like him.

  • You meant Der Sturmer, didn’t you.

  • kern

    The repetitive,obsessive anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli campaign of the New York Times clearly will march on unabated. It can only convince the uninformed and anti-Semitic.

    Apparently, the self hating Jews and the scum which constitutes their dishonest radical left, anti-Western democracy army think that this will be sufficient to cripple and destroy Israel.

    We must strive to defeat their sickening efforts by speaking out with truth and sanity, and employing all other means within our reach in support of the devoted efforts and sacrifices of the overwhelming majority of Israelis to survive and prosper despite them

  • I hope the Mossad gives him a very special education.

  • gerald cohen

    he is free to speak but he knows not what he is talking about.

    I have many relatives living in Israel the only state in the region that one is free to speak and write what he feel’s is his opinion., writing for a traitorous paper , in the USA
    not the times i recognize

  • John Glueck

    What does this guy expect! Thank God that young Israelis serve proudly with distinction because of 18 years of [appropriate] upbringing, [positive] societal pressure, stories of heroism and bravery he calls propaganda, [appropriate] threat of punishment and the stigma of being a yellow leftist. This young man is being preserved and protected by the IDF he resents. His world does not exist and his deception is tragic.

  • Moshe

    This brat doesn’t understand that the IDF is the main reason there is an Israel for him to go to and use as a platform for his stupidity.

  • Arthur Klass

    I know a young man (American citizen) who went to Israel to volunteer as a “Lone Soldier” in the IDF – unfortunately, after basic-training they found his qualification unneeded and involuntarily discharged him, but the fact remains that he had been under no societal pressure to become a member of The IDF, and as a citizen in the Galut wanted to fulfill his personal obligation as a Jew.

  • Lynn K. Circle

    One has to wonder how much of what he wrote is a rationalization for his fears of military service? Anyone who cannot comprehend the moral distinction between Palestinian offenses and Israeli responses has to have something dead in his moral sensibilities.

    But here is a clear way to understand it: if the Palestinians quit trying to kill Jews, there would no longer be any Israeli reprisals. If the Palestinians would behave pacifically, then in all likelihood there would be a Palestinian state.

    Now, if the Israelis behave pacifically and beat their guns into plows, that would also guarantee a Palestinian state. But it would not be side by side with Israel; instead, it would replace Israel. Israel would no longer exist, and most of its population would have been massacred.

    That is the moral distance and difference between the Israelis and the Palestinians.


    A wonderfully efficient way of transforming a Jewish (preferably Israeli) mister-nobody into a world-renown celebrity: do nasty, vicious, agressive Israel-bashing.
    In particular,that’s the case of some pseudo-intellectuals whose academic carreer is totally obscure. Their mediocre works will be rewarded by the usual leftist and islamist-friendly media.

  • anon

    My father was a conscientious objector in WWII but he went. He didn’t want to kill anyone so he became a medic – a dangerous job – people shoot at you but you don’t carry a gun.

    And the NYTimes probably had such a backlog of anti-Israel pieces that they just couldn’t wait any longer! They are coming almost every day. The Times thinks it’s Haaretz.

  • Reuven


  • We have been gutless. Since Korea our military has not been allowed to use their full force. We have a brave military whose hands have been tied. Isis is not afraid to use all weapons at their disposal. This is World War 111. Like the Nazis these villains care little for human life. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard ROSENBERG