According to the New York Times, rocks now throw themselves. Or at least that’s what The Scrapbook was forced to conclude upon reading the paper’s curious headline: “Jewish Man Dies as Rocks Pelt His Car in West Bank.” The Times eventually “corrected” this headline, but only after it appeared in print. It now reads “Jewish Man Dies as Rocks Pelt His Car in East Jerusalem.” So the Times obviously gave this some thought. The editors realized they had gotten the location wrong, but remained untroubled by the notion of self-propelled rocks.
The body of the article didn’t do a lot to clarify what happened, either. The article began, “A Jewish man died early Monday morning after attackers pelted the road he was driving on with rocks.” We fail to see how pelting the road killed the driver, and the article’s slouching toward literacy did not much improve thereafter. At National Review, Kevin Williamson went so far as to “copy edit” the entire embarrassing piece, an exercise that amply demonstrated that the article was written with the intention of avoiding at all costs the primary fact that the attackers were Palestinians out for blood and that a “Jewish man was murdered for the crime of driving while Jewish.”
Even acknowledging that the Times has set a low bar for itself with its shoddy Israel coverage, this article is particularly inexcusable. As the website Israellycool notes, it was written by Diaa Hadid, who has been reporting for the Times since March and has racked up no shortage of well-justified complaints of anti-Israel bias. Hadid’s pre-Times résumé includes a number of articles written for Electronic Intifada (EI), a publication “aimed at combating . . . pro-Israeli, pro-American spin,” according to the Jerusalem Post.
That’s fine and dandy, except for the fact that Electronic Intifada’s idea of combating pro-Israeli spin means publicly supporting the terrorist organization Hamas. NGO Monitor notes that EI “frequently compares Israeli policies with those of the Nazi regime.” But that’s not all. Hadid was also, per her bio, a “public advocacy officer at LAW—the Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment.” As Israellycool reminds us, this group was a major player in the conception of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement aimed at discrediting Israel. (And speaking of divestment, the Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment no longer exists, thanks to embezzlement by its former executive director.)
We’d suggest complaining to the paper’s public editor, Margaret Sullivan, about the Times’s appalling hiring decision. However, it turns out that Sullivan may be part of the problem, albeit somewhat inadvertently. Last fall, she addressed complaints about the paper’s Israel coverage. She noted that pro-Israel readers were unhappy with the paper’s coverage, yet for some reason also highlighted the discreditable opinions of “pro-Palestinian websites like The Electronic Intifada [that] have detailed the ways in which, as they see it, Times coverage fails to do justice to an outcast people.” Sullivan suggested the paper’s Jerusalem desk address the fact that the “Times has no native Arabic speakers in its bureau.”
That’s a sensible complaint in the abstract, but professionalism and objectivity require more—matter more, in fact—than language skills. The Times now has an Arabic-speaking reporter in its bureau, and it seems its coverage is worse than ever.
Barack Obama is personally hurt when people call him an anti-Semite, the president said in an interview with the Jewish newspaper the Forward. Obama says "there not a smidgen of evidence for" the accusation.
Although neither the White House nor the State Department released statements or posted greetings on the 67th Independence Day of the nation of Israel last Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden did attend the annual Israeli Independence Day Celebration at the Andrew W.
This morning at 10:00 a.m., in Israel, all activity came to a halt as sirens sounded, and Israelis stood for two minutes with heads bowed in memory of the 6 million Jews, one third of the Jewish people, who perished in the Holocaust. Yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at Yad Vashem in recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Here are excerpts from his remarks:
As America prepares to mark the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death on April 15, fresh insight into the events that occurred a century and a half ago can be gleaned by seeing that entire week through the eyes of America’s Jews, and especially of those Jews who attended America’s oldest and most historically distinguished congregation.
Mark Strand died today at the age of 80. The Montreal-born writer, who served as U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1990-1991, was also a brilliant translator. When I was a junior editor at Ecco Press in the late 80s, Strand used to visit the editor in chief, also an excellent poet, Daniel Halpern, to work on a number of projects translating and promoting international poets, especially from Latin America and Central Europe.
Here, in the parlance of the times, is a “pro-tip.” When attempting to rebut the notion that anti-Semitism in Europe is largely a problem caused by young Muslim men, don’t cite two horrific anti-Semitic atrocities perpetrated by . . . young Muslim men.
Our friends at the admirable Italian newspaper, il Foglio, have announced a rally in front of their headquarters in Rome Wednesday night. The rally has two goals: First, to support the right of Israel to defend itself -- something that will be a useful challenge and rebuke to the anti-Israel rallies elsewhere in Europe. And second, to increase awareness of the persecution of Christians in Iraq and beyond. As a friend involved in organizing the rally put it in his email, "both the threats to Israel and to the Christians come from the same radical ideology."