Friday, January 16th, 2009
James Besser in Washington
For pro-Israel groups that have been fighting the PR wars since the latest Gaza conflict began in December, the polling news has been mostly good, with indications Americans to blame the Palestinians for the current violence much more than they blame Israel.
What is unclear: just how high a priority the issue is with a populace that has its mind on other things, starting with their disappearing 401Ks an disappearing jobs.
I’ve long defended the New York Times against critics who insist the paper has an inherent bias in its coverage of the Middle East and the Jewish community. But an item in today’s City Room column in the New York section made me a bit queasy.
It started, of course, with Mideast coverage, which was upsetting enough. But now The New York Times bias in its reporting has gone too far. For those who have not yet participated in protests and boycotts, this is the time to act, before it spreads even further.
The frightening fact is that subjective words and phrases have now reached the most widely read spot of the world’s most famous newspaper: yes, the Weather Report in the top right-hand corner of Page 1, every day of the year.
Friday, May 30th, 2008
AIPAC’s ability to lure top politicians to its annual policy conference is widely accepted as a measure of the group’s undiminished clout. By that standard, this week’s conference of the pro-Israel lobby giant — which begins today - suggests that the federal prosecution of two former employees and continuing attacks from the Walt-Mearsheimer axis were mere blips, not major crises.
The New York Times reports this week on the depth of anti-Jewish hatred within Hamas was well documented and important for the world to see, but it gave something of a free pass to Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah and the Palestinian Authority.
The thorough reporting job on the front page of the New York Times today (April 1) describing the depth of anti-Semitism of Hamas, in its sermons and broadcasts, should be commended by pro-Israel readers, particularly those who have complained about the coverage by the newspaper’s Jerusalem bureau chief Steven Erlanger as biased in favor of the Palestinians.
But I’m not holding my breath. In fact, pro-Israel critics no doubt will respond to today’s story by exclaiming,” what took so long?”