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March 24, 2017 6:57 am

New York Times Falsely Suggests Israelis Want War With Jordan

avatar by Ira Stoll

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Arava-Aquaba checkpoint along the Jordan-Israel border. Photo: wiki commons.

A New York Times news article falsely suggests that Israelis oppose peace with Jordan.

The article, about Jordan’s decision to release from prison the person convicted of murdering seven Israeli schoolchildren, reports:

The Israeli-Jordanian peace has proved firm and lasting, but it still exists mainly at the government level and has not been popularly embraced.

There’s little evidence that the Israeli-Jordanian peace “has not been popularly embraced” by Israelis. If there is any such proof, the Times doesn’t offer it in its story.

Some 100,000 Israeli tourists reportedly visit Jordan each year; in some years, there have been as many as 200,000. There’s no significant political movement in Israel that calls for scrapping the peace treaty with Jordan, and I’ve yet to meet an Israeli who says, “Gee, I really wish we were at war with Jordan.”

It is true that there are some Jordanians who, like a variety of other Muslims and Arabs, haven’t yet accepted the idea that Israel will continue to exist as a Jewish state. They reject the idea of peace with Israel. But there’s no similarly widespread feeling in Israel.

Perhaps the Times didn’t mean to make this accusation against Israelis and simply was less than careful in crafting the sentence.

It might seem like a small point. But the effect is to portray the people of Israel as hostile to peace — as warmongers. That fits a whole elaborately constructed narrative. In that false narrative, the conflict in the Middle East is not the result of Arab or Muslim refusal to accept the existence of a Jewish state, but rather is the result of the Israeli public’s refusal to embrace peace.

In a way, it’s a blood libel, because it makes all the bloodshed of the Arab-Israel conflict, all the misery of the Palestinian Arabs, the fault of the Jews. Or at least places on the Jews an equal share of the blame.

It’s in sentences like that — unattributed context, written in the all-knowing, confident voice of Times authority — that bias creeps in to news coverage.

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

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Eliot Schickler

    Anyone buys the NY Times should be ashamed of himself-herself! Boycott the NY Times!

  • Michael Garfinkel

    Anti-Jewish, anti-Zionist bias doesn’t “creep” into the New York Times news coverage – it gallops!

  • D4x

    Good point!


  • victoryman

    I lined my birdcage with the editorial page from the New York Times…… bird bit me.

  • Anyone who bothers to read the NYT deserves to be misled.

  • Yale David Rodman

    NY Times on Israel/Jordan/War

    Ira Stoll’s article on the NY Times’ bias regarding Israel and it’s alleged opposition to peace is interesting to me. He discusses the people of Israel as hostile to peace—as “warmongers”. they refuse to embrace their Arab neighbors.

    I suspect that there is much anti-Israel bias at the Times. Liberal wisdom doggedly sees the Palestinians, who comprise a large part of Jordan’s population, as the “oppressed” minority. The internal unrest between Jordanians and Palestinians, who fought a civil war, is seldom discussed. The former King Hussein killed thousands of Palestinians.

    The problem is the Jews. Actually, I suspect that the real problem is the editorial staff of the NY Times. More specifically, the problem is editorial chief Dean Bacquet. He appears to have serious issues with Israel and with Jews. Why is there no discussion of his terribly negative editorial perspective? Has anyone examined and written about his apparent bias that constantly infects the entire position of the NY Times toward everything Israel, everything politically Jewish?
    It’s time!!!

    Yale Rodman

  • Hard Little Machine

    The NYT is proudly slightly more antisemitic than the Iranian government.

    • victoryman

      You are on target once again, LHM.