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November 1, 2015 8:43 am

Jewish-Arab Unity Against Israel at The New York Times

avatar by Jerold Auerbach

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New York Times headquarters.  Photo: Wiki Commons, via Haxorjoe.

New York Times headquarters. Photo: Wiki Commons, via Haxorjoe.

Next week’s Shabbat Torah reading will be Chaye Sarah, recounting Abraham’s purchase of the Machpelah cave in Hebron from Ephron the Hittite as the burial site for his wife Sarah. Recording a simple real estate transaction, it marked the beginning of Jewish history in the Land of Israel. Commemorated annually, it remains embedded in the deepest historical memory of the Jewish people.

Fast forward several millennia to The New York Times (October 30). First paragraph: first falsehood. Reporters Diaa Hadid and Rami Nazzal identified Hebron as “this ancient city surrounded by Jewish settlements.” Aside from adjacent Kiryat Arba, there is only nearby Ma’ale Hever with fewer than 100 Jewish families. It would be more accurate to say that Hebron, with its Arab population of nearly 200,000 (and 700 Jews), surrounds  tiny Jewish enclaves.

They go on to describe Hebron as “the birthplace of the biblical patriarch Abraham.” Oops, second falsehood. Abraham’s birthplace is first identified biblically (at least by implication) as “Ur” and then as “Haran” – but nowhere as Hebron. But give Hadid and Nazzal credit: they correctly state that Hebron is “holy to both Muslims and Jews.” To be sure, they fail to indicate that it became holy to Muslims in the 7th century, some seventeen centuries after King David ruled the Jewish people from Hebron.

Reporting the recent flurry of violence in Hebron, in which nearly a dozen knife-wielding Palestinians have been killed while attacking Jews, they note the proud current identity of the city as “the fortress of Hamas.” But they are so busy interviewing a handful of Palestinian residents with grievances toward Jews – mostly that they live nearby and are protected by Israeli soldiers – that they hardly notice any linkage between Hamas incitement, violent attacks against Jews and the deaths of their beloved young martyrs.

Visiting Shadi Sider, father of six, they note his pride over a Palestinian attack against Israeli soldiers. Sider has the misfortune to live “within sight” of a Jewish playground, synagogue and residential apartment building. He is evidently pained by his proximity to Jewish settlers, who “don’t want to leave” their homes in the tiny enclave that requires constant military protection against Palestinian attacks. He is given the final words: the recent surge in Palestinian violence “is their medicine.”

Based on its historical record, it would be demanding far too much of The New York Times to expect fair coverage of the Palestinian war against Jews, invariably blamed on Israel. In the current fashion of political correctness it might even be understandable that the Times would want an Arab-speaking female reporter to complement Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren, who grew up in an Orthodox family in a Boston suburb. The result has been the relentless criticism of Israel by both women that may qualify at the Times as balanced coverage.

It could hardly have been otherwise. Before coming to the Times, Ms. Hadid worked in public relations for Ittijah, a network for Palestinian NGOs based in Haifa to focus on “discriminatory practices and policies of the (Israeli) State.” Its political identity may be gleaned from leader Amir Makhoul, who was sentenced to nine years imprisonment for spying for Hezbollah. Ittijah endorses the anti-Israel Boycott Divestment & Sanctions movement.

Hadid also wrote articles for Electronic Intifada, whose founder, Ali Abuniah, was a Hamas supporter. In one of her contributions, “My Israel, My Palestine,” she wrote: “I can’t look at Israelis anymore. I can’t separate your average Israeli citizen from the occupation. . . . I don’t want to talk to them.” After participating in a Palestinian protest at the Qalandia checkpoint she stated: ”Did my objectivity get thrown out the window? Yes, because I had an Israeli gun pointing at me, not a Palestinian one.”

With Diaa Hadid joining Jodi Rudoren, one might say that the Times has finally achieved the balanced journalism it sought: two women, one Arab and one Jewish, united in their relentless criticism of Israel.

Jerold S. Auerbach, a frequent contributor, is author of Hebron Jews: Memory and Conflict in The Land of Israel (Roman & Littlefield, 2009).

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  • Mike

    Unfortunately, too many liberal Jews read and believe the New York Times.

  • Hebron: what happened there
    Abraham bought the Field of Machpelah as a burial plot for his family. Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah are all buried there
    David was anointed at Hebron as King of Israel. It was his capital for the first seven years of his reign
    Joab killed Abner here, and Absalom raised the banner of revolt against his father David
    King Herod built a lavish tomb over the Cave of Machpelah.
    The Tomb of Abraham and Sarah
    According to the Bible, Hebron is the burial place of Abraham and Sarah. Genesis 23:17-21 tells the story of Abraham’s purchase of a cave, the Cave of Machpelah, for a tomb in which he and his descendents could be buried. He paid an exorbitant amount, so that his descendants would have the right of burial there forever. And indeed Abraham, Isaac andJacob were laid there to rest; so were the matriarch Rebecca and Jacob’s wife Leah.
    Hebron: Painting of the burial of Sarah
    The Burial of Sarah
    Recent excavations have uncovered a 9ft-thick city wall and fortified tower that dates to the Middle Bronze period, circa 1700 BC. Scholars say this is about the time when, according to the biblical story, Abraham came to the city.
    Between the tower and the city wall, archaeologists have unearthed two stone-walled rooms that they believe date back to the period of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whose 12 sons became the founders of the 12 tribes of ancient Israel. Artifacts found in the rooms include silver jewelry, bronze axe heads, two scarabs and the handle of a dagger.
    David’s Capital
    Hebron: 1937 photograph of the Upper Pool of David at Hebron
    The Upper Pool of David, from a 1937 photograph. This may be the site of
    the ‘pool of Hebron’ over which David hanged the assassins of Ishbosheth
    Hebron was King David’s first capital city of Judah – see David’s story at Bible People: David. It was also the site of David’s anointing as King of all Israel (11 Samuel 5:1-3). The city reached its zenith in the early part of David’s reign, serving as his capital for the first seven and a half years of his rule over Judea (II Samuel 2:1-4).
    But some years after he came to power he established his new capital at Jerusalem, which was more centrally located and easier to defend. But Hebron was still important. It was stillregarded as a political and religious centre throughout the period of the monarchy. It became a Levitical city, that is a city for priests and Levites, as well as a haven of refuge.
    It was at Hebron that the fearsome army general Joab killed Abner ben-Ner, and Absalom raised the banner of revolt against his father (11 Sam. 15:7-10). Rehoboam fortified Hebron, as well as many other places in the Judean mountains (II Ch. I I :10). It also served as an important administrative centre in the later period of the monarchy. Seals bearing the inscription ImIk hbrn (to the king of Hebron) have been found stamped on jars in many sites in Judah.

  • if dont like what israel is doing go back to the arab and we will see how happy you are goodbye.

  • mervyn

    Abram was born in Chaldea with the rulers plotting to murder the first born, so Abram and his father fled to Jerusalem where Abraham was initiated into the mysteries of Eugenic occultism by Melchizedek.The prophet tradition in Israel started when Melchizedek blessed Abraham, transmitting to him that faculty which later was handed down through the whole history of Israel, either by blessing or by anointing. Eugenic occultism has the mission of establishing a correct relationship between the spiritual forces and mankind, – ie. of regulating his karma by means of birth and death, Eugenic occultism has as its its particular theme Humanitie’s relation to the tasks set us by the superhuman Spiritual world, that is, by our destiny.

  • Fred

    The Soviets were masters in distorting history & the Bible. The Philistine Arab squatters are emulating , Abass & Erakat can trace their ancestry back 8000years before the bronze age. Taqui’a is a powerful weapon, lie, lie & lie. Arabs do not rely in truth, fact or evidence. Rudoren of the New York Sturmer has as her idol & hero Julius Streicher who was the chief editor of Hitler Der Sturmer. I think Rudoren is a worse treacherous being then her Arab masters. Apparently one learns a most important subject how to fabricate & lie , the disguise it as journalism.

    • JR McDonald

      They are not Philistines. The Philistines died out about 1500 years ago.

  • dante

    the nyt is an aggressive and relentless purveyor of slanders against Israel. its employees in Israel are not “reporters”; their role is not to report. their role is to vilify Israel.

    given that the govt of Israel accredits the nyt employees as reporters or journalists and given that they are not that, they should be deprived of their press credentials.

    they should be given 24 hrs to leave or be deported. they work, officially or unofficially, for Israel’s enemies.

    • Greg

      Completely agree

  • Annie Wise

    I bet the Jewish woman is either undercover Arabic, or is desperate to make a name and money. The third gues is she is a self hated Jew. Neither is complimentary. But she is certainly in a minority , and she is used to make it look that there are Jews who hate Israel, or disaproove what Israel does. Let her be, she does not influence Jewish opinion. It is her problem, not Israel’s.

  • steven L

    NYT belongs to the Goebbels Media Circus just like Guardian, BBC, LAT and many others. Antisemitism is a second nature that is on the path to become their “1st nature”. Hate based on jealousy is limitless.

  • enufzenuf

    Ms. Hadid’s objectivity isn’t the only thing which should be thrown out of a window.

  • Der Sturmer…that is the actual name of the paper both women work for.

  • Ilya

    Well said. I wonder if the author attempted to send it to the Times