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December 12, 2016 7:38 am

Even a New York Times Movie Review Is a Slam-Dunk Case of Anti-Israel Bias

avatar by Ira Stoll

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A marquis with the sign for the movie 'On the Map.' Photo: Facebook.

A marquee with the sign for the movie ‘On the Map.’ Photo: Facebook.

How ridiculously biased against Israel is the New York Times?

How about this for an answer: The newspaper manages to sneak some Israel-bashing into even a 250-word review of a movie about a 1977 Israeli basketball team.

The Times faults the movie, “On the Map,” for being too pro-Israel: “This is an almost relentlessly partisan portrait: Not one player or coach from a team that opposed the Maccabi is interviewed.”

If anyone is relentlessly partisan here, it is the New York Times, which can’t even manage to review a movie about an Israeli sports team without complaining that the other side doesn’t get a voice.

The review complains: “The movie makes no attempt to engage any current situation, basking instead in a one-dimensional nostalgia.”

That’s a silly complaint. It’s not a movie about the current situation; it’s a movie about the 1977 basketball team. And again, if anyone is being one-dimensional here, it is the New York Times, which seems to want to view nearly every piece of art that ever comes out of Israel through the New York Times obsession of the contemporary Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Other publications had a different view of it. The Wall Street Journal published a friendly feature about the film, without attacking it as one-sided and without any complaining that it failed to dwell sufficiently on Palestinian grievances against Israeli settlers. The Hollywood Reporter ran a review that called the movie “inspiring” and “compelling,” as well as “moving and amusing.” The Algemeiner had a friendly interview with the movie’s screenwriter and with an executive producer.

Only the New York Times manages somehow to detect, in an innocuous film about a basketball team, an Israeli stealth propaganda initiative worthy of vigorous denunciation.

As an example of press bias, this one is a slam dunk

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

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  • Howard Jaeckel

    I was so annoyed by this mean-spirited review that I wasted some time the other day trying to find an email address for its author, Glenn Kenny, to tell him what I thought. (I don’t write to the paper’s so-called “public editor” anymore, because that office stonewalls everything, and I don’t want to suggest that I think it has anything other than a Potemkin village, public relations function.

    In addition to the passages quoted by Mr. Stoll, here’s the opening of the review: “How much do you know about the European basketball league? How much do you want to know about the European basketball league? . . . How about the Israeli team in the European basketball league?”

    By the way, I saw the movie yesterday, and you should too. It’s great.

  • getjune

    It is pathetic, sad and “incitful”!