John Kerry’s speech was widely criticized by Democrats and Republicans, and even the prime minister of the UK, for being one-sided and blaming only Israel for the problems in the region.
But the only op-ed that it published on the speech as from Rashid Khalidi, who whines that Kerry wasn’t anti-Israel enough.
Also in today’s paper, Peter Baker writes about how Israelis are divided and read news sources from their own viewpoints:
The two front-page headlines told very different stories about Secretary of State John Kerry’s lengthy address about Middle East peace.
In the view of the right-of-center Jerusalem Post: “Kerry exits locked into failed assumptions.”
For the left-of-center Haaretz: “A very Zionist, pro-Israel speech.”
As it turns out, the choose-your-news phenomenon is not unique to the United States.
While this is hardly news, what the article doesn’t note is that the huge “center” in Israel would be considered right wing by the NYT: They wouldn’t support a return to 1967 lines, they wouldn’t compromise on Jerusalem, and they wouldn’t approve either Kerry’s speech or the UN resolution.
Describing ultra-Left Haaretz as if it is just “left of center” is deceptive, and using the English headlines of Israeli papers instead of looking at how the mainstream Hebrew media reported – or didn’t report – on the Kerry speech is dishonest. Haaretz has merely 4% of the news market in Israel, and the reason has a lot to do with them saying idiotic things like the Kerry speech is Zionist.
In fact, this result from a survey of Israeli and American Jews by Pew this year pretty much destroys the thesis of this article:
The percentage of Israeli Jews who identify as Left is tiny compared to Center and Right. Which means that the article that implies that Israelis are divided down the middle the way Americans are is simply false.
Moreover, the NYT tweet on the article oozes it condescending attitude:
Many Israelis cling to their own facts, turn to their own media outlets & talk with people who think like they do. https://t.co/60xIAPlaaC
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) December 30, 2016
I don’t live in Israel but my impression is that Israelis are far more exposed to the viewpoints of those they disagree with than Americans are.
Here’s another case of bias in today’s paper, one that most would miss:
For Rabbi Gerald Sussman of Temple Emanu-El on Staten Island, the Obama administration’s recent confrontation with Israel was a stunning turn for a president who had enjoyed support from many members of his congregation. “The word ‘betrayed’ would not be too strong a word,” he said.
But in Los Angeles, Rabbi John L. Rosove of Temple Israel of Hollywood, who is the chairman of the Association of Reform Zionists of America, felt differently. He applauded the speech delivered on Wednesday by Secretary of State John Kerry explaining the decision by the United States not to block a United Nations Security Council resolution that condemned the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Rabbi Rosove also suggested that many American Jews were broadly supportive of the Obama administration.
“I felt Kerry was exactly right,” he said. “The people who will criticize him will take a leap and say he’s anti-Israeli, just as some American Jews are saying Obama is an anti-Semite. This is ridiculous. They recognize and cherish the state of Israel.”
How did the NYT reporters find Rabbi Rosrove? Did they randomly look up rabbis in the phone book to see what they would say, and quoted the ones who were pro-Obama?
Of course not. They first called up J-Street or went on their website, asked what rabbis support their position, got the name of Rabbi Rosove who is a national co-chair of J-Street’s Rabbinic Cabinet – a fact that should have been mentioned instead of giving the impression that he’s just a representative of American rabbis.
The article goes on to quote a rabbi whose affiliation they do mention:
“There’s a very clear values clash going on,” said Rabbi Jill Jacobs, the executive director of T’ruah, a rabbinical human rights organization. “On the one hand, we have a small but vocal minority of American Jews who believe that supporting Israel means supporting the right-wing agenda, the current government. And on the other, there is a larger percentage of American Jews who are committed to Israel and committed to democracy and want to see it as a safe place that reflects our values.”
Of course, this goes unchallenged. Even J-Street polls show that far more American Jews support Netanyahu than oppose him.
All of this is bias – and it is all against Israel.
All in today’s paper.
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