Cal Thomas: Rising anti-Semitism and the nation’s paper of record

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Thursday, May 2nd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Cal Thomas on rising anti-Semitism and how he says The New York Times is complicit.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: It took a few days, but The New York Times finally got around to apologizing for publishing an anti-Semitic cartoon in its international edition. The drawing grossly depicted a blind President Trump wearing a yarmulke and being led by a dog resembling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The dog wore a Star of David around its neck.

At first, The Times blamed a single editor and poor oversight. But on Sunday, the newspaper issued a formal apology.

That might be acceptable were the incident an aberration. But it’s not—as Times columnist Bret Stephens noted in a scathing column for his own newspaper: “The Times has a longstanding Jewish problem, dating back to World War II, when it mostly buried news about the Holocaust, and continuing into the present day in the form of intensely adversarial coverage of Israel. The criticism goes double when it comes to the editorial pages, whose overall approach toward the Jewish state tends to range, with some notable exceptions, from tut-tutting disappointment to thunderous condemnation.”

Defenders of The Times claim a difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, but this is like saying “I don’t hate black people, I am just opposed to recognizing their civil rights.”

The Times’ coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is clearly pro-Palestinian. In its news stories, editorials, and columns, the paper often portrays Israel as the obstacle to peace because it won’t surrender to all Palestinian demands.

Here are a few specific examples:

In 2015, The Times published a chart labeling Democratic lawmakers opposed to the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran as “Jewish?” or not. Editors removed the chart from its online version after an outcry.

In 2013, The Times published the obituary of a woman whose three sons died in attacks against Israel. The headline read, “Mariam Farhat, 64, the ‘Mother of Martyrs.’” The word ‘terrorism’ didn’t even appear.

In 2012, The Times’ East Africa reporter worked in a swipe at Israel in a story about the genocide in Rwanda. Jeffrey Gettleman wrote, “Like Israel, Rwanda has succeeded in leveraging the guilt that other countries feel for not intervening in its genocide.”

In 2011, Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote about the favorable response members of Congress gave to visiting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—quote—“I sure hope [he]… understands that the standing ovation he got… was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.” End quote.

The recent cartoon merely adds to a long, ugly list.

By demonizing and dehumanizing Jews, The Times has contributed to the rise of anti-Semitism worldwide. This scourge has led to recent synagogue shootings, the defacing of Jewish cemeteries, the return of Nazi symbols, and the proliferation of white supremacist web pages.

Denunciations are not enough. The Times might consider contributing to solutions, rather than adding to the problem.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas.

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)

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