With its unceasing attacks on Israel, the New York Times, among others, has contributed to the toxic anti-Semitism that brought the deranged killer to Chabad.
Honest to G-d, I don’t know which is more disheartening. Is it the shooting at the Chabad House in Poway, one more instance of Jews dying for the sin of being Jewish, or is it the publication in the New York Times International edition of a cartoon that depicted a blind Donald Trump wearing a kippah being led by a guide dog meant to look like Benjamin Netanyahu?
In the first case, a member of our community became one more casualty in the never-ending war on Jews, a war being fought by those who claim to be ‘only’ anti-Israel. Let’s not be misled by euphemisms: we are living in an age where blaming Jews for society’s failings and actively seeking to harm Jews is back in vogue.
As for the New York Times, they saw nothing wrong with publishing a cartoon that would have made Herman Goebbels smile. To compound this inexplicable lapse in judgment, they published yet another cartoon this past weekend showing Netanyahu in Moses-like robes, taking a selfie while holding a tablet marked with a Star of David.
How did we get to this point? How could America’s preeminent newspaper see nothing wrong with publishing two rabidly anti-Semitic cartoons days apart? With 200-odd countries in the world and literally thousands of geographical disputes and tribal clashes and human rights violations occurring daily, how is it that only Israel seems worthy of the attention of the Times and so much of the media?
The New York Times has for many years been consistently and unashamedly anti-Israel in its editorial perspective. To the Times, there’s no such thing as terrorism aimed at Israelis; that’s just a sadly predictable lashing-out of the oppressed Palestinians. It is exceedingly rare to read a condemnation, or even a criticism, of the Palestinians rewarding terrorists who manage to slaughter innocent Israelis; that’s a subject the Times evidently deems unworthy of examination. There is never an admission that Israel has no serious Palestinian partner in the putative peace process or that the Palestinians ensure the never-ending cycle of nihilism and anti-Semitism through their immersing their children in a culture of virulent Jew-hatred and martyrdom.
There’s also no position that is too extreme or divorced from reality for the Times’ Op-ed pages. It seems that every week brings another column from an Arabist or one of their western enablers denying Israel’s historical connection to the lands comprising modern Israel or trumpeting the Palestinians’ frustration at Israel’s unwillingness to negotiate a peace agreement or talking about Israel’s apartheid regime.
The New York Times is not responsible for the lunatic acts of that young man in Poway, but the Times is very much a contributor to an environment that makes Jews feel under siege. The Times’ unceasing attacks on Israel gives encouragement and a veneer of respectability to those mouthing the most venal attacks on Jews and Israel.
It would be interesting to know if the editorial board and the management at the Times are spending any time questioning the work environment they’ve created that would lead its employees to believe that even the most vulgar and most hate-filled speech directed at Israel is not only acceptable but sanctioned. Nothing the New York Times has said or done over the past decade would lead one to conclude that careful and self-critical introspection or maintaining uniform and consistent standards are vital components of their mission.
Let us all mourn Lori Gilbert Kaye and thank G-d that there weren’t more of our fellow Jews lost in Poway, but let us also remember that many people and institutions who should know better contributed in some small but measureable way to the toxic anti-Semitism that brought the deranged killer to Chabad.
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