The New York Times Is No Friend to Victims of Iranian Terror
As the father of a victim of Iranian-sponsored terrorism, it’s hard to understand what drives the New York Times to take inconsistent positions on the same issue. After reading Ira Stoll’s recent column in The Algemeiner — New York Times Refuses Ad Opposing Iran Nuclear Deal, Demanding Changes: ‘We Can’t Accept Paragraph Two — one has to wonder who’s making these decisions.
Stoll reported that “The New York Times is refusing to publish a full-page advertisement advocating against a new Iran nuclear deal unless the advertiser changes it to remove references to Iran murdering Americans.” The ad as submitted by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach was rejected because, as he was told: “You are accusing a country … you can’t say it directly.”
In the version of the ad that eventually received a green light from the Times, Boteach’s initial assertion — that “the Iranian regime and the terrorists of the IRGC have caused rivers of American blood to flow, all while promising that Israel would be exterminated” — was nowhere to be found.
It’s puzzling — precisely because the Times itself has reported on Iran’s involvement as a state-sponsor of terrorism for more than 20 years.
After the April 1995 murder of my daughter Alisa while she was a student in Israel, I sued the Islamic Republic of Iran using the provision of a new United States law, for providing financing to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group that carried out the attack. Judge Royce Lamberth of the US District Court in Washington, DC, agreed with me, awarding our family nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in damages.
Over three stories between 1997 and 1999, the Times covered our initiation of the lawsuit, the judgement we won, and a review of what drove me to compel Iran to answer for its crime.
So, as Boteach and Ira Stoll wonder: what drove the paper’s decision to screen the rabbi’s ad?
I have come to accept the fact that the Times is no friend of those who have lost loved ones to Iranian terror. Despite court rulings establishing Iranian guilt, Tehran’s sponsorship of terror is always qualified as “alleged.” Nor is the paper unbiased when it reports on flareups between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, or on Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis.
Somehow, the Times‘ attempt to downplay Iran’s role as a sponsor of terrorism and as a country seeking to obtain nuclear weapons while it announces that it intends to obliterate Israel still surprises us. We should stop being surprised.
Stephen M. Flatow is an attorney in New Jersey and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is the author of A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror.