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May 30, 2016 7:03 am

The New York Times Wistfully Mourns an Anti-Israel Activist

avatar by Ira Stoll

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Anti-Israel Jewish activist Hedy Epstein. Photo: Wikipedia.

Anti-Israel Jewish activist Hedy Epstein. Photo: Wikipedia.

A virulently anti-Israel (Jewish) activist named Hedy Epstein gets a long and respectful obituary in the Sunday New York Times.

The Times reports that in 2011, she “was aboard the ship the Audacity of Hope in a flotilla attempting to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.”

The phrase “the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip” is classic anti-Israel Times nonsense. Go look at a map of Gaza. It has a border with a country other than Israel — namely, Egypt. The Egyptian government doesn’t want its country flooded by a bunch of violent terrorist fanatics, either. But somehow the Times obituary language is about the Israeli “blockade” of the Gaza Strip, not the Egyptian blockade.

Both “blockades,” by the way, were sufficiently porous for Hamas — the terrorist group that controls Gaza — to have adequate supplies with which to launch murderous attacks on the civilian population in neighboring Israel, through concrete-walled tunnels equipped with wi-fi networks, electric lighting and air conditioning. Those tunnels were to be used by the Hamas terrorists to burrow under the border into Israel for attacks.

The Times recounts Epstein’s inspiration as follows:

After the massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982, Ms. Epstein channeled her energies into the Palestinian cause. She helped found the St. Louis chapters of the Palestine Solidarity Committee and Jewish Voice for Peace.

The Times doesn’t describe what Jewish Voice for Peace is, but, just for the record, notwithstanding its name, it is a boycott, divestment and sanctions group dedicated to policies that would eradicate Israel as a Jewish state.

The headline on the Times article describes Epstein as a “rights activist.” Whatever “rights” the Times thinks she was active on behalf of, they apparently did not include the right of Israeli Jews to live in peace and security in a Jewish state.

Finally, given the narrative of Epstein emerging as an anti-Israel activist “after” the Sabra and Shatila massacre, a young Times reader unfamiliar with the event might imagine that it had been committed by Israel. In fact, the massacre was perpetrated by a Lebanese Christian militia, and the victims included not only Palestinian Arabs but also Lebanese, Pakistanis, Iranians, Syrians and Algerians. The logic of someone emerging as an anti-Israel activist following it is only just marginally more than someone deciding to take up against Israel after the Boston, My Lai or Tiananmen Square massacres.

More of Ira Stoll’s media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

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  • walt kovacs

    on regards to her claims of being a survivor, both the united states holocaust museum and the kinderstransport org have defined survivor as “any persons, Jewish or non-Jewish, who were displaced, persecuted, or discriminated against due to the racial, religious, ethnic, social, and political policies of the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945… includ[ing], among others, people who were refugees or were in hiding.”

    the definition is problematic, but it does include hedy, who spent the war in england.

    does not excuse what she did during the latter part of her life.

  • Miriam Klein

    She was just one of many self hating Jews like Bernie Sanders good redemce

  • It’s not racist when a Palestinian murders a pregnant Jewish mother in front of her children. It’s only racist when the Jews shoot back.

  • walt kovacs

    baruch dayan emes
    i cannot hate a jew, no matter what they do. i can only hate their actions. and hedy did a lot of things i hated
    i can only hope she did teshuva before she died

  • Robby

    She lied about her past. She was NOT a Holocaust survivor, as she claimed to be. She was a totally evil character…a Kapo.

  • Ben

    You didn’t mention she was also a holocaust survivor…perhaps this would have made it harder for you to demonize and slander her?

  • Joe in Australia

    I believe that we should only say good about the dead.

    Epstein described herself as a Jew but associated with the most virulent antisemites. She described herself as a Holocaust survivor although she left Germany in 1939 – two years before the Holocaust started. There was no lie she would not repeat, no position that was too extreme, as long as it won her acclaim and plaudits from the Jew-haters.

    Hedy Epstein is dead. Good.

  • Yaakov

    The only people who are upset by this are those who maintain an ethnic definition of a Jew. They see it as a threat to self-validation. When you regard Jews as a people who have chosen to follow a certain faith and way of life, then the doings of those who are merely of Jewish ancestry won’t bother you a bit.

  • Francis Figliola

    The very reason I dumped the NYTimes for the WSJ. The NYTimes is an in house organ of the Democratic Party. Since they can have no effect on those voters on the right who will never change their minds, it is up to the NYTimes to keep their readers of the left well UN-informed so as not to have them ask too many questions, shake them loose and lose them to the right.

  • Larry

    I had the misfortune of meeting Hedy Epstein 20 years ago. It’s not so much that she was anti-israel, she is against any form of Jewish identity. She retained the name Epstein to let people know she was Jewish. She then went about being an anti-semite. She championed Palestinian causes not so much that she cared for Palestinians but it was an avenue to keep her name in the media. It comes as no surprise that an anti-Israel publication as the New York Times would devote so much obituary space to this “Jewish woman”. I doubt if any Palestinian cares about her passing. Most Jews won’t.