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November 22, 2015 7:44 am

Which ‘Times’ Should You Read?

avatar by Jerold Auerbach

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

The New York Times building. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Last week, two young Americans were murdered in terrorist attacks, one in Israel and the other in France.

Ezra Schwartz, an 18-year-old from Sharon, Mass., was spending his gap year as a yeshiva student and volunteer in Bet Shemesh. He was killed near Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem, where he had just finished delivering food parcels to soldiers and visiting a memorial to three Israeli children who were kidnapped and murdered nearby last summer. In an article (November 20) devoted to five murders by Palestinian “assailants,” New York Times reporter Isabel Kershner devoted one paragraph (with fewer than 100 words) to the American Jewish victim.

Nohemi Gonzalez, a 23-year-old California college student who was spending a semester at a design school in Paris, was the only American to die in the recent ISIS terrorist assault that claimed 129 lives. She was described in the Times (November 20) by reporter Dan Bilefsky as “emblematic of dozens of other victims: Young. Ambitious. Chasing dreams. And eager to absorb the sophisticated swagger of a city rich in history and culture.”

She was, Bilefsky continued, “representative of the packs of cheerful, starry-eyed foreigners studying abroad for a semester” who, in their spare time, “are a gregarious, sometimes loud and giggling, presence in the cafes and bistros where Parisians also live out their lives.” Her life ended in the attack that killed nineteen customers at “a lively bistro.” In his five-column article about the “bubbly and determined first-generation Mexican-American” woman, accompanied by a photograph of Ms. Gonzales, he quoted extensively from her own “brand reflecting who she was,” emphasizing “her Mexican-American heritage, her drive and her independence.” Testimonials by a spokeswoman from her university and her boyfriend accompanied descriptions of her imaginative designs and her own explanation of her design philosophy. It was a worthy tribute to an admirable and talented young American whose vibrant life was cruelly ended by a terrorist’s bullet.

The sharply contrasting Times coverage of the two American terror victims was as jarring as it was offensive. It glaringly exposed the evident – and disgraceful — Times conviction that American Jewish victims of terrorist attacks in Israel are of little consequence amid “all the news that’s fit to print,” the preening motto that adorns Page 1 of every issue.

Who, then, was Ezra Schwartz? According to The Times The Times of Israel, that is (November 20) – he was a “compassionate and tough” graduate of the Orthodox Maimonides School in Brookline. Friends remembered him as “a highly driven young man, known for telling food jokes and helping bring others out of their shells.” He was, his “inseparable” girl friend recalled, “the kind of friend who urged others to conquer their fears and experience as much of life as possible.” Israel, she knew, “was his primary passion in life.”

Ezra was murdered by a Palestinian armed with an Uzi. Behind the terrorist attacks in Israel and France, Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted, “stands radical Islam, which seeks to destroy us.” He continued: “Whoever condemned the attacks in France must condemn the attacks in Israel. It’s the same terrorism.”

But that is a lesson that The New York Times has yet to learn. The familiar Biblical adage “May you live until 120” (Genesis 6:3) may apply. It has been exactly that long since Adolph S. Ochs purchased the newspaper, paving the way through marriage for the Sulzberger family dynasty that succeeded him. Its hostility to Zionism, indifference to the Holocaust and uneasiness (to say the least) over the reality of Jewish statehood is well known.

Anyone who wants to encounter American Jewish discomfort with Israel should read The New York Times even though – or perhaps especially because — its current Sulzberger publisher is now Episcopalian by conversion. To be sure, anyone who wants to learn about Israel should also read The Times – just not The New York Times but The Times of Israel.

Jerold S. Auerbach is a frequent contributor to The Algemeiner.

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  • I’m hoping someone at the Columbia School of Journalism puts together a course called, “Headline Writing: How to Break All the Rules and Get Away With It.”

    The course would focus on recent NY Times headline writing for articles on Israel. Anyone who knows the rudiments of journalism can immediately see that these NYT headlines would get a high school journalism student a lot of red lines by the teacher. They very creatively manage to blur and blunt who did what to whom.

    Israeli Woman and 3 Palestinian Attackers Killed in West Bank
    Surge in Israeli-Palestinian Violence Ahead of Kerry Visit
    Violent Loop Engulfs Youths in Jerusalem
    Patriots Hold Moment of Silence for Fan Killed in West Bank
    Palestinian Dies as Undercover Israelis Raid a Hospital
    Violence Returns to Jerusalem After 2-Week Lull
    Stabbing Assault Wounds 4 Israelis
    2 Palestinians Shot After Stabbing
    Palestinian Man Fatally Shot in Confrontation with Israeli
    Attacks by Palestinians Kill 3 Israelis
    Palestinian Attacks in Tel Aviv, West Bank Leave 5 Dead

    I’m happy to say my Web filter is set to deny access to the NYT, so all I can see is their headlines.

  • Eric R.

    If Israel wants to take this Israel/Jew-hating incitement seriously, it will have to throw out the “reporters” from the leftist hate sites that incite this hatred – the NYT, NPR, WaPo, and virtually every Western European media outlet, plus of course the Arab ones.

    That would leave Fox News and Asian media outlets, but who the f**k cares if the leftist propagandists scream and howl about censorship – that is what they do every day.

  • Israel Liberated Judea and Samaria – Just like U.S. and its allies liberated Kuwait
    Iraq conquered and occupied Kuwait a sovereign Nation and was liberated by the U.S. and its allies.
    Israel without outside help liberated Judea and Samaria after it was attacked by Jordan and removed Jordanian occupation, just like the allies liberated Kuwait. It also had a war with Egypt and Syria at the same time – June 5-10, 1967.
    Historically Gaza was a Jewish City and the Golan Heights was always Jewish territory.
    YJ Draiman

  • I know I should read the blasted NYT, but I do not have the stomach for it (one can only take so much of subterfuge). I read the ‘Times of Israel’, though, every day.

  • brenrod

    “all the news that’s fit to print,”
    when I took journalism class in the 9th grade in the bronx at herman ridder junior high school in the 1950’s I beleived that rubbish. facts over the years prove that the rep is a lie. Its a dying newspaper and it should die, because it is a hive of lies,.. good riddance, so long… i havent read it in decades and miss it not…. a piece of lying toilet paper that long ago should have taken its owners into poverty. there is no real reason to discuss it, anyone who can read knows it is part of the big lie.

  • steven L

    NYT has become for awhile main stream antisemitic.

  • Gail Abramson

    About time. We need to constantly explore this issue. NYT is a propaganda sheet.

  • Ian Schorr

    We need MORE of Jerold Auerbach, namelt, factual and not emotional!!!

    • Ian Schorr



  • When the Great Day of Judgment [Yom HaDin] comes, the enemies of the Jewish People will be severely punished, including the writers and the editors of the Israel-bashing New York Times.

    Their accomplices will also be severely punished.

    Who are the accomplices of Israel-bashing New York Times?

    Their accomplices will be: those who purchased the NYT at the newsstands, and the people who subscribed to the NYT, and the people who advertised in the NYT.

    PS: * * * *

  • Perry J. Greenbaum

    Well written; if anything the NYT has been consistent. Here is a book review article written by Prof. George Jochnowitz:

    • Stewart Schwartz

      Good one, Perry. Thanks.