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Monday, April 14, 2014

Frank Bruni, "The Oldest Hatred, Forever Young": Have a Look at Your Own Newspaper!

In response to the shootings in Kansas at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement home over the weekend, Frank Bruni writes in his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Oldest Hatred, Forever Young" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/15/opinion/the-oldest-hatred-forever-young.html?ref=opinion):

"Our country has come so far from the anti-Semitism of decades ago that we tend to overlook the anti-Semitism that endures. We’ve moved on to fresher discussions, newer fears.

Following 9/11, there was enormous concern that all Muslims would be stereotyped and scapegoated, and this heightened sensitivity lingers. It partly explains what just happened at Brandeis University. The school had invited Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a celebrated advocate for Muslim women, to receive an honorary degree. But when some professors and students complained, citing statements of hers that seemed broadly derisive of Islam, the invitation was withdrawn. Clearly, university officials didn’t want their campus seen as a cradle or theater of Islamophobia.

But other college campuses in recent years have been theaters of anti-Israel discussions that occasionally veer toward, or bleed into, condemnations of Jews. And while we don’t have the anti-Semitism in our politics that some European countries do, there’s still bigotry under the surface. There are still caricatures that won’t die."

I am deeply appreciative of Bruni's honesty, but shouldn't he also be looking at The New York Times?

Read what Jonathan Tobin of Commentary has just written in an opinion piece entitled "Why Smear Israel and Whitewash Iran?" (http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/04/13/why-smear-israel-and-whitewash-iran-new-york-times/):

"But those determined to push the dubious theory that the election of Hassan Rouhani in Iran’s faux presidential election last year indicates a shift to moderation are undaunted. The New York Times has been a notable advocate for this position on both its editorial and news pages, but it surpassed itself today with the publication of a remarkable piece by two scholars alleging that not only is the Islamist regime changing but that Iran and Israel are like two ships passing in the night as the Jewish state becomes an extremist theocracy. That its thesis is an absurd libel of Israel and a whitewash of Iran is so obvious it is barely worth the effort to refute it. In short, Israel is a pluralist democracy where the rule of law prevails despite the ongoing war being waged against its existence by most of the Arab and Muslim world. Iran is a theocratic tyranny where free expression and freedom of religion are forbidden and women, gays, and minorities are brutally oppressed. Iran is also the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and its foreign policy is aimed at propping up one of the world’s worst tyrants in Syria’s Bashar Assad as well as Hezbollah and other terrorists seeking to destabilize the Middle East.

So while the argument that the Times featured today is so risible as to merit satire rather than a lengthy response, it is worth asking why the newspaper gives space to such laughable arguments."

Worth asking? Absolutely! And I have an answer. Compare Israel with a country that stones to death women for alleged adultery, hangs homosexuals and executes poets for enmity to God? Insane, but the publication of such garbage on the eve of Passover is in keeping with this newspaper's persistent need to smear the Jewish state and an unremitting tolerance of anti-Semitic declarations from two of its op-ed writers (see, for example: http://jsantisemitism.org/essays/GrossmanJSA210(4).pdf, http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2013/01/nicholas-kristof-retweets-obama-told-2.html and http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2013/11/thomas-friedman-what-about-us-is-thomas.html).

Anti-Semitism in America? Bruni need look no further than his own newspaper.

The response to the tragedy in Kansas of President Obama, whose spiritual leader for 20 years was the anti-Semitic pastor, Jeremiah Wright:

"While we do not know all of the details surrounding today’s shooting, the initial reports are heartbreaking. I want to offer my condolences to all the families trying to make sense of this difficult situation and pledge the full support from the federal government as we heal and cope during this trying time."

Mr. President, we never know all of the details, but the shooting plainly involved anti-Semitism, and your less than forthright response is inadequate.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this excellent post.

    ReplyDelete