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May 26, 2022 4:39 pm
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New York Times Serves as Stenographer for Bernie Sanders Attack on AIPAC

avatar by Ira Stoll

Opinion

Democratic US presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during the 11th Democratic candidates debate of the 2020 US presidential campaign, held in CNN’s Washington studios without an audience because of the global coronavirus pandemic, in Washington, DC, March 15, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Kevin Lamarque.

Left-wing Democratic politicians are buying into the old Soviet “Zionism is racism” lie. They are siding with Palestinians who want to wipe Israel off the map. And they are backing the brutal Iranian theocracy that wants hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief for its fossil-fuel industry in exchange for unverifiable temporary promises to slow progress toward nuclear weapons.

Rather than skeptically challenging those politicians on any of that, the New York Times is serving as an uncritical mouthpiece for these far-left socialists, who are faulting the American Jewish community for being politically active to defend Israel.

A Times news article is headlined, “Bernie Sanders Prepares for ‘War’ With Aipac and Its Super PAC.” The article reads like a press release from the Sanders campaign, or from PLO headquarters (or dictated by the Kremlin to PLO headquarters).

The Times quotes Sanders as saying of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, “They are doing everything they can to destroy the progressive movement in this country.” This is just a flat-out lie. But the Times doesn’t call out the baseless claim or fact-check it; the newspaper just mindlessly parrots it, like stenographers instead of news reporters. Actually, AIPAC members like nothing better than to support pro-Israel progressives — candidates like Ritchie Torres and Hakeem Jeffries in New York, Nancy Pelosi in California, and the late John Lewis of Georgia.

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A good story would be: who is behind this coordinated campaign against AIPAC? Who set the Sanders strategy of trying to fight, rather than on the Israel- and Iran-related questions, on domestic economic issues? The Times quotes Sanders as saying of AIPAC, “In my view, their goal is to create a two-party system, Democrats and Republicans, in which both parties are responsive to the needs of corporate America and the billionaire class.” This is so outlandish as to be comical, yet the Times lets it slide basically unchallenged. Why doesn’t the Times ask Sanders what his goal is — to create a system where both parties see corporate America and the billionaire class as targets to be punished or taxed out of existence? Or why doesn’t the Times push Sanders on why so many of the losing candidates he has endorsed have been taking an obsolete, Soviet-style, oppositional approach to both capitalism and Israel?

The Times article describes congressional candidate Summer Lee as “a liberal state legislator.” The paper presents no challenge to her on why she likened Israel defending itself to American police killing black men — inserting the Arab-Israeli conflict into an American racial context that is foreign to it. To read the Times, you’d think AIPAC members backed her opponent merely because Lee is “liberal.” Perhaps the Times definition of “liberal” isn’t so liberal after all. As usual with the Times, the bias bleeds through in the descriptions, the framing, and the double standards.

Ira Stoll was managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of The Jerusalem Post. His 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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