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October 14, 2015 7:42 am

New York Times Editor: Coverage of Israel Most Criticized Aspect of Opinion Pages

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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Office of The New York Times, in New York City. Photo: WikiCommons.

Coverage of Israel is the most scrutinized aspect of The New York Times, according to the publication’s opinions editor. Photo: Wiki Commons.

The editorial page editor for The New York Times said on Friday that coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most scrutinized aspect of the publication’s opinion section.

“Writing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is extremely difficult. The only guarantee when we write about that conflict is that everyone will be mad,” said Andrew Rosenthal, who oversees the newspaper’s opinion section.

Rosenthal added that the most common complaint about the paper’s opinion pages is that the Times is anti-Israel, a charge he denies. He said he refuses to accept the notion that “criticizing Israeli policy is the same as being anti-Israel.”

“We have been big supporters of Israel’s right to exist and of the need for the U.S. to support this right, with force when necessary,” he insisted. “This doesn’t mean that we agree with [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu all the time or that we support all of Israel’s policies.”

In spite of Rosenthal’s claims, Gilead Ini, senior research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East reporting (CAMERA), does not think the publication upholds that stance in its coverage of Israel. He told The Algemeiner on Tuesday that Ronsenthal’s assertion “withers with an examination of the actual content of the paper.”

“On multiple occasions, Rosenthal published op-eds calling for an end to Israel,” Ini said. “If he wants to make the case that the opinion pages aren’t anti-Israel, let him point out any op-eds he published calling for an end to Pakistan or Ireland. He won’t be able to, because they don’t exist.”

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most criticized aspect of the Times coverage, said Ini, because it is the topic the newspaper “skews most dramatically and consistently.” He noted that “if anything, the opinion pages, which Andrew Rosenthal predictably defends, are worse” than the publication’s news section when it comes to biased coverage of Israel.

Ini said a recent Times article questioning the existence of Jewish temples on the Temple Mount was “absolutely skewered by experts and ultimately walked back.” He also slammed Jodi Rudoren, the Times‘ Jerusalem bureau chief, saying she “routinely advocates for the Palestinian narrative.” He also said that Rudoren “openly sided” with Hamas when journalists criticized the terrorist organization for intimidating journalists during last summer’s Gaza war.

A 2014 study published by CAMERA shows the Times is nearly seven times more likely to publish pieces critical of Israel than of the Palestinians. The analysis also revealed that the newspaper is twice as likely to publish opinion pieces predominately supporting the Palestinian cause — in relation to which side deserves more sympathy or criticism — than articles supporting the Israeli narrative. One Times opinion editor, Matt Seaton, even admitted last year that the newspaper has a policy of veering away from criticism of Palestinians.

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  • In the concerns about the numbers of attacks against and casualties of Israeli citizens I see no mention of the fact that time and

    again the Israeli response is tremendously out of proportion to what has occurred. May I compare it to an Israeli hammer striking Palestinian nails? How much death and destruction ,(a thousandfold?) was visited on the Palestinians in the not so long ago retaliatory assault against the West Bank? Proportionality of response?

  • Israel has faced over 21,980 terror attacks since September 2000, when a wave of terror started against Israeli citizens right after Arafat was offered an independent Palestinian state.

    To date Israel’s concessions and appeasement to the Arabs has decreased the safety and security of Israel’s population. It is time to change direction and not worry about world opinion. Do not wait for the world at large to condemn these terrorist attacks, they did not care in the past when Jewish blood was spilled and they do not care now. The security and safety of the people of Israel must be first and foremost above any other consideration. That is the duty and obligation of a responsible government. Deliberating at time of National crisis without a previous set plan borders on dereliction of duty, based on Israel’s experience with terror, they should know better. Meanwhile, Israelis are being killed and injured on a daily basis throughout Israel, the people in Israel feel unsafe and the economy is suffering. Get your act together, forcefully with no compromise, now it has to be Israel’s way or the highway. Any delay will increase terror and violence and escalate the death and injury of Jewish lives in Israel. Israel must face the facts. The Arabs do not want peace, they want the destruction of Israel, act accordingly with no illusion and fantasy that the Arabs are partners for peace, it is perfectly clear that they are not.
    YJ Draiman

  • “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore”

    How many Jewish lives have to be lost before the Israeli government takes a decisive action, no holds barred and zero tolerance? Death to the terrorists and no restraint to terror and violence. A terrorist is a terrorist; the age of the terrorist does not mitigate an act of terrorism, or the consequences thereof. Israel must execute mandatory eviction and demolition of homes, confiscation of property to compensate for the damage and barring Arabs in those areas. Let the Arabs know that if this terror and violence continues, the price will be high and non-negotiable. Stop talking; let’s see some serious action on the ground. This situation is spiraling out of control and the government and its security forces are deliberating and hesitating to take forceful and uncompromising actions. The Israeli government must consider first and foremost the safety and security of its people and not the biased world nations, who throughout history stood idle while Jews were killed, tortured, terrorized and persecuted. Israeli people are trained soldiers; they know how to defend themselves. If the government is not able to stop this wave of terror, it is the Job of the Israelis to defend themselves. This is not Nazi Germany; this is Israel, our own historical land with our own government and a strong defense force, use it and stop the ghetto mentality. Death to the terrorists, nothing less will suffice. May the lord support you in defending yourselves, but G-d helps those who help themselves. Israel must take a strong initiative once and for all.
    YJ Draiman

    Israel should give a 90 day notice the UN and the world at large that it intends to exercise its historical and international rights under the international law and treaties post WWI which are still in effect and have not been superseded. Under those treaties all of Palestine is in effect belongs to Israel. Israel will no longer tolerate the deceptive term of occupation by Israel; it is internationally guaranteed Jewish land liberated by Israel. It is the Arabs who are the occupiers.
    YJ Draiman

  • Worldwide alert: the real Muslim mission.

    Israel has no choice but to continue to fight for its survival. Thus, it is time for a Clarion Call unifying all Israelis on a national scale, as well as all Jews worldwide.
    I have long stated the real Arab Muslim mission in Israel is NOT about alleged “occupied” land. Rather, the real Arab Muslim mission is the extermination of Israel as a nation; the extermination of Judaism as a religion; and the genocide of Israelis and their culture. The reason for such an Arab Muslim mission has been repeatedly stated by their leaders: their belief they “have the right to kill all non believers”.
    Posit the following, what if there was no “Holy Land” as part of modern day Israel? Would the Arab Muslims still demand land which they have no legal right to claim? Would they still use terroristic tactics to kill innocent Israeli Jews wishing for a peaceful co-existence? The irrefutable answer, as proven by their unfounded rhetoric and actions is an emphatic YES. The reality is, the Arab Muslims use of “contested land rights” is a thinly disguised façade to hide their true mission: the genocide of Jews and extermination of Israel at any cost.
    History proves the Arab countries terrorized and expelled over a million Jewish families and their children. In so doing the Arab countries confiscated all Jewish assets, businesses, homes and real estate totaling over 120,000 sq. km. or 75,000 sq. miles, (which is 6 times the size of Israel), and valued in the trillions of dollars. The reason they were expelled, hatred and greed. Those expelled Jewish families were resettled in Israel and account for over half the population of Israel today.
    Those in power in the Arab-Palestinian leadership have rejected again and again any and all attempts to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Although sometimes occupied, there has been a Jewish Nation in the land of Israel for the past 4000 years. In fact, the Jews are the ONLY surviving indigenous people to Israel. Yet, even though history proves there has never been an Arab-Palestinian Nation, the Arab Muslims falsely claim they have a right to Israel. Said false claim exposes the true mission of the Arab Muslims: extermination of Israel and the genocide of Jews.
    An examination of what Arab Muslims teach their children further exposes their true mission. They continue to teach their children to hate, enslave, terrorize and kill Jews, and all non-believers by any means possible. Ironically, the world idly sits by allowing such hatred and violence to exist and expand thinking it is only an Israeli problem (Déjà vu Hitler and Nazism).
    The Muslim mission in the world is not only Israel but the rest of the world, and all “infidel non-believers”. Though there are constant instances of terroristic acts throughout the world which support the above statement, we need not consider any other than September 11, 2001. On 9/11 Arab Muslim terrorists killed close to 3,000 innocent people, including children in America. It is time for the world to accept the fact the Arab Muslim mission of worldwide genocide of ALL non-Muslims, and even some Muslims, will continue until education and humanity replaces such hatred, or eliminates it altogether.
    History proves Arab Muslims have killed over 500 million people since its inception 1500 years ago. Moreover, the number of deaths by Arab Muslims continues to grow every day. They have colonized the Middle East over the years. Now they are slowly but surely taking over Europe. Rest assured if we are not careful to protect ourselves, they will attempt to take over the United States and all other countries. Then we the non-believers and our children will be forced to kneel before a sword wielding Arab Muslim, having committed no other crime than having a different religious belief.
    It is time for the world to wake up and face stark reality: wherever there are Arab Muslims there is hatred fueled conflict and terrorism in an ongoing mission of genocide.
    I hope Israel understands it cannot concede to any of the Arab Muslim demands, or give up any more land. To do so will only weaken Israel, making it more vulnerable and endangering the safety and security of its citizens. Israel must retract all previous concessions since the Arab Muslims have not abided by any of the agreements. It is time to expose the real mission of the Arab Muslims: worldwide genocide.
    YJ Draiman

  • Lmccra

    Why are you focusing on these relatively petty issues when the fact that escalation of violence between Israel’s police and some Palestinians has been occurring for the past month? Instead of looking at the sequence of events and trying to understand what is going on there, we have an opinion published in NY Times that questions the validity of the historical claim that the two Temples were ever there on the Mount. Then when the publisher of that newspaper prints a disclaimer/retraction and makes a claim that they are fair in publishing opinions that are pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian, this publication argues that the NY Times is biased on this matter. What we all need to do is look at the details of what is going on there. For example, when the police or the military react in Israel, are they following Government policy. If so, how is it that government policy allows their police to storm the extremely sensitive location Mosque in order to confiscate pipe bombs or other weapons, without first contacting the Palestinian parties in the government and asking for their diplomatic assistance. If they did ask and they got a refusal, why isn’t this reported in the Israeli newspapers? If the Israeli police and security leaders react to the threat of violence in a vacuum without regard to government policy–then why does this occur? This is a small country–it’s difficult to understand how the government would not have policy control over their security forces. And what about the Arab Countries? Why has nobody questioned them out for allegedly making provocative and misleading statements after the Sept. 14 attempt by Israeli police to “secure the Mosque”, if these reports are even true. Reportedly there have been subsequent official statements that started rumours among Arabs and Palestinians about the Israel government planning to take over control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and allow Jewish people to worship there for part of the day. But I have seen nothing in the Israeli news that this idea has any truth to it. It seems that Israel again has made the mistake of quickly acting to protect the country from potential violence and looking like the big bad aggressors to the Palestinians that then rioted outside the Mosque and have responded with attacks and bombings, etc. Today the violence has gotten so out of hand that the government is seriously considering a lockdown of Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem. And innocent Palestinians will suffer as their civil rights disappear and they can’t work, shop for food, etc. So, here we go again and here in the Americas we’re worried about whether the NY Times is publishing biased reports instead of getting at the truth. This is just a lot of smoke that obscures the issues. If you are interested in what’s going on, I suggest you subscribe to an Israeli newspaper and a pro-Arab one to get your facts from both sides.

  • I eagerly look forward to the day when all decent people, especially Jews, finally wake-up and STOP BUYING THE NEW YORK TIMES.


  • Gnomercy9

    NYT is the rotary-dial phone of propaganda.

  • Gnomercy9

    NYT still thinks this is the 1930s where it can shove its agenda down its readers’ throats and manipulate public opinion….. those days are over.

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    Rosenthal is a self serving tool of antisemites. At least the Iranians have the courage of their own convictions to stand up and shout they are Jew haters. The Times on the other hand, are craven cowards.

  • Sherlock Holmes

    The Reform Jews who have played a major role in the NY Times’ history had a very hard time during WW2 when the NY Times minimised coverage of the Holocaust, although reliable informatiuon was available. 309,000 German, Austrian and Czech Jews applied for US visas by June 1939, of whom 27,000 were accepted, about one in eight, while the UK accepted 100,000, i.e. 40,000 to the UK and 60,000 to British Palestine. Was this news not fit to print? When FDR closed the gates to the USA, not even filling the agreed national quotas, and knowing what was happening in Europe, was that news not fit to print? When the |UK passed a special law allowing the Kindertransport to bring about 10,000 Jewish children to the UK in 1938 and 1939, the Senate refused to take even one Jewish child on the grounds children cannot be separated from their parents even if their parents have been denied visas. Was this news not fit to print?

    • Simon Taylor

      Sherlock Holmes, ABSOLUTELY SENSATIONAL my friend.

  • nancy

    I hold the NYT accountable for their encouragement of violence by Palestinian terrorists due to the Times “news” reports, which give legitimacy and support this horrific terrorist propaganda. The printed format of the paper, permanently marks an irretractable stain on the Times history.