The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Deeply Sorry

Over the weekend, a story broke that tells us a lot about the Left, the media, and one of their favorite pastimes. The International Edition of the New York Times published a clearly anti-Semitic, anti-Israel cartoon that contains all the tropes that would usually be characterized (had it been, say, an anti-Muslim cartoon) as an "abomination," "an offense to humanity" and an indication that its perpetrators were "bigots and xenophobes."

But the purported newspaper of record couldn't possibly be any of those things. As the voice of the Left, the NYT is always on the side of virtue and justice, so the publication of the cartoon (which I am purposely NOT reproducing for this post) was according to the NYT, "an error in judgement."

No. It. Wasn't.

It was a reflection of a clear anti-Israel, anti-Semitic bias of the Left. A bias so prevalent that I suspect the NYT editor who approved publication of the cartoon saw nothing wrong with it because it demonized Israel, Bibi Netanyahu (a favorite target of the past Democrat president) and Donald Trump—three baddies in the warped universe of the leftists.

Like all leftist media sources, the NYT is among the first to label its ideological opponents as "racists," "bigots," "xenophobes" or more recently, "white supremacists." They give no quarter when someone misspeaks or expresses a thought clumsily. That's why the NYT was among the many left-wing media who perpetuated the flat-out lie that Donald Trump had called neo-Nazi white supremacists "fine people." After all, what's a little dishonesty and character assassination when you're on the side of virtue and justice?

A fire storm erupted on social media as soon as the cartoon was discovered, and many avid NYT readers decided that its publication was the last straw. They began to #Walkaway.


At first, the NYT decided to try to tough it out (story here) but as cancelled subscriptions began to pile up and criticism became intense, the times offered an apology.
"We are deeply sorry for the publication of an anti-Semitic political cartoon last Thursday in the print edition of The New York Times that circulates outside of the United States, and we are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again."
The Leftist media led by the NYT is always the first to suggest falsely and without evidence that Donald Trump's presidency is the catalyst for bigotry and racism around the world. As I recall, it was Barack Obama who treated Bibi Netanyahu shabbily throughout his presidency, and who was, shall we say, less than friendly to Israel. As a postscript to their apology, I wonder if the editors of the NYT will suggest that it was Barack Obama who was the catalyst for increased anti-Israel, anti-Semitic sentiment among the Left? Sentiment that may have led to the publication of the cartoon. After all, if that argument is true for Trump, it's equally true for Obama.


The NYT cartoon debacle couldn't have occurred at a worse time (for the NYT). A deranged anti-Semite shooter killed on congregant and injured others in a synagogue in Poway, CA. Liz Shield pulls no punches when she writes:
Oh by the way, we had another synagogue shooting this weekend on the last day of Passover. I must have missed all the calls from the cultural vanguard that "we" need to tone down the rhetoric, rhetoric like the smack talk coming from sitting members of congress and left-wing movement groups.

Anti-Semitism is excused and normalized by the media and the Democrats when they fail to critically cover people like Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and groups like the Women's March and Black Lives Matter who are aligned with the anti-Semitic BDS movement. The Democrats in congress were unable to pass one of their stupid resolutions that would condemn anti-Semitism. These are not serious folks. Sadly, the Poway synagogue shooting will disappear as fast as the Sri Lanka "Easter worship" slaughter because it's inconvenient to the left's narrative: the Poway gun man was a Trump-hater.


The NYT's blatant bias in the case of the cartoon has caused more than a few people to take the gloves off. Here's Dominic Green on the topic:
What the Times should have said was:
‘We ran a blatantly anti-Semitic cartoon. At a time when anti-Jewish violence and incitement is at levels not seen since 1945, we chose to place gutter racism on our pages. We did this because plenty of our editors share the prejudice of this cartoon; if in doubt, look at our unsigned editorials.

‘We’re so soaked in this that none of us thought that it might be an error to publish a cartoon with clear precursors in fascist, communist, Arab nationalist and Islamist propaganda. Rather than explain this away in the passive tense, we’re going to name the editors who signed off on this cartoon, and fire them.’
Of course, the Times will do none of this. There won’t be a comparative demonstration of why this kind of imagery is so obnoxious, because the Times is histrionically sensitive to giving offense to any group except the groups that it identifies as objects of contempt: Republicans, white Southerners, Easter worshippers, people who like Brexit, and ‘Zionists’, a euphemism which one recent survey counted as 92 percent of American Jews.

Nor will there be any kind of acknowledgment that the publication of this cartoon reflects the unexamined moral rot of the left in Europe and the United States, in which anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, whether about Jews or Russian ‘collusion’, play so central a role.
"Moral rot" is harsh, but absolutely correct. Just this week, hard-core leftist groups at UC-Berkeley (where else?) held a meeting in which they shouted "f*ck Zionists" and then reportedly claimed that Israel's IDF was training American police forces to kill people of color. Anti-semitism? Nah, it just that they care so, so much about the oppressed.

UPDATE-3 (4-30-2019):

The NYT and the other leftist media regularly publish anti-Israel articles and cartoons and then make the outrageous claim that their advocacy of policies that would cripple the Israeli economy (e.g., BDS) or better, dissolve the Jewish state entirely (absurd "peace proposals) are anti-Semitic, only anti-Zionist. There are certainly anti-Semiotes on the right—lots of them—but their despicable world view isn't cloaked in fauz virtue and justice. The Left's anti-Semitism is different ... and growing ... rapidly.

Professor Alan Dershowitz comments:
I am a strong believer in freedom of speech and the New York Times has a right to continue its biased reporting and editorializing. But despite my support for freedom of speech, I am attending a protest in front of the New York Times this afternoon to express my freedom of speech against how the New York Times has chosen to exercise its. There is no inconsistency in defending the right to express bigotry and at the same time protesting that bigotry. When I defended the rights of Communists and Nazis to express their venomous philosophies, I also insisted on expressing my contempt for their philosophy. I did the same when I defended the rights of Palestinian students to fly the Palestinian flag in commemoration of the death of Arafat. I went out of my way to defend the right of students to express their support of this mass murder. But I also went out of my way to condemn Arafat and those who support him and praise his memory. I do not believe in free speech for me, but not for thee. But I do believe in condemning those who hide behind the First Amendment to express anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, homophobic, sexist or racist views.

Nor is the publication of this anti-Semitic cartoon a one-off. For years now, the New York Times op-ed pages have been one-sidedly anti-Israel. Its reporting has often been provably false, and all the errors tend to favor Israel's enemies. Most recently, the New York Times published an op-ed declaring, on Easter Sunday, that the crucified Jesus was probably a Palestinian. How absurd. How preposterous. How predictable.

In recent years, it has become more and more difficult to distinguish between the reporting of the New York Times and their editorializing. Sometimes its editors hide behind the euphemism "news analysis," when allowing personal opinions to be published on the front page. More recently, they haven't even bothered to offer any cover. The reporting itself, as repeatedly demonstrated by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), has been filled with anti-Israel errors.
There has been widespread condemnation of the NYT cartoon, but the media's typical "go-to" voices among the Democrats and the Left have been notably silent or surprisingly muted. What exactly, are the positions of Ilhan Omar (D-MN), or Rashida Talib (D-MI) or Alexandria Ocasio Cortex (D-NY) or for that matter, half of the Democratic field for president? They may have, in fact, parroted the usual generic "hate has no place ..." bullshit, but what exactly is their position on anti-Zionism?

The vast majority of American Jews continue to support the Democratic party, and many would characterize themselves as left of center. To them, I say, absorb this recent NYT cartoon incident, merge it with literally hundreds of other anti-Semitic words, speeches, policies, and actions coming out of the Left, and then decide if the Democrats and the Left are truly your friends. #Walkaway.

A FINAL THOUGHT (4/30/2019):

Richard Fernandez ("@WretchardtheCat) is one of the best thinkers on the Web. He tweets in response to the NYT cartoon debacle and why it is that a non-trivial portion of the liberal intellectual class (I use the word 'intellectual' loosely) is caught up in Jew-Hatred masked as anti-Zionism:

The "intellectual class" fervently wants to believe that it's only violent white supremacists who lurk in the dark just beyond what we can see. White supremacists, intellectuals argue, are the true anti-Semites and only they represent a threat. But the dark is limitless and it envelops others, some obvious, others slightly less so.

In the dark, we find Islamists and their Muslim and non-Muslim supporters, whose virulent anti-Semitism would give any white supremacist a run for his money. But even further in the swirling mists, we have the relative newcomers—members of the group that is represented by their media source of record, The New York Times. Leftist "intellectuals" think they have defined the sole perpetrators of anti-Semitism, but what they fail to realize is that they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.