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September 9, 2018 3:50 pm

Lauder Clarifies New York Times Op-Ed That Caused ‘Unintended Pain’

avatar by Ira Stoll

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World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder. Photo: Michael Thaidigsmann via Wikimedia Commons.

The president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, is issuing a Rosh Hashana-eve clarification of his August New York Times op-ed that was critical of Israeli government actions.

“In August, I published an op-ed about my deeply held views regarding Israel’s Nation-State law. In it, there were words about the Orthodox community that created unintended pain,” Lauder wrote in a full page advertisement in the Sunday, September 9 New York Times. “So now, let me be equally unequivocal and as clear as the Shofar: Orthodox Judaism must be respected and supported, and its success is vital to the future of the Jewish People. I have always believed this, and continue to do so strongly today.”

The August article by Lauder published in the Times was the subject of a critical column in the Algemeiner back when it was originally published.

The period from Rosh Hashana to Yom Kippur is traditionally a time for Jews to repent their sins from the previous year and try to correct them by apologizing to those who were wronged. Lauder doesn’t use the word “sorry” or “apologize” in the advertisement, but the ad seems to be in the spirit of the Jewish holidays.

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It is interesting that though he addresses “the Orthodox community,” he does not address Prime Minister Netanyahu or the members of the Israeli parliament who voted for the nation-state law. They were also targeted by the August op-ed. Though the print ad in the front section of the Sunday Times is hard to miss, it will likely reach just a fraction of those who saw Lauder’s original op-ed, which was widely shared online and in social media and was heavily promoted on the Times website.

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

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