By Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn
Lest anyone think, even for a moment, that there is even the slightest link between Islamic terror against Jews in Paris and Islamic terror against Jews in Jerusalem, the New York Times has rushed in to disabuse us of that notion.
The Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, authored a half-page article on January 10 mocking the idea of such linkage. The editors helpfully added a huge color photograph of a scowling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The image of the mean, angry Netanyahu is important to trying to discredit any sympathy for his arguments.
Actually, when it comes to Netanyahu, his points do not count as “arguments.” Rather, Rudoren–writing what was ostensibly a news article– derided Netanyahu’s statements as “a lengthy diatribe.” By contrast, “Palestinian leaders responded quickly” to the Paris attacks.
Next Rudoren employed an old journalistic tactic for making a point if you don’t have an actual person to make it: employ anonymous sources.
Here’s how Rudoren did it–she wrote: “Even those [Palestinians] who renounce violence generally see Israeli policies, rather than the ‘clash of civilizations’ Mr. Netanyahu talks about, as the context for last summer’s rocket fire from Gaza or last fall’s vehicular, knife and shooting attacks.”
So, “Israeli policies” are “the context” –meaning, the cause– of Palestinian violence against Israelis. How so? Rudoren doesn’t say. She just makes the accusation and then quickly moves on to her next jab.
A reader who pauses to think about Rudoren’s allegation might be puzzled. After all, Israel unilaterally withdrew all its soldiers, and evicted all Israeli civilians, from the Gaza Strip way back in 2005. What Israeli “policy” since then could conceivably be regarded as provoking “last summer’s rocket fire from Gaza” ? Israel’s refusal to permit Hamas to import tanks?
And what Israeli “policies” can be blamed for the “vehicular, knife and shooting attacks” by Palestinians against Jews in Jerusalem? Was there a policy that caused a Palestinian terrorist to drive his car into a crowd at a train station, murdering a three month old infant? Was there a policy that caused Palestinian killers to massacre rabbis at prayer in a synagogue?
Rudoren wrapped things up with a grotesque quotation from an Israeli pundit, Eitan Haber, who commented that “the terrorists in Europe are doing a very good job for Netanyahu.” Of course, for a shallow-minded cynic whose main concern is not the loss of innocent lives but the possible loss of votes for his party in the upcoming Israeli elections, the attack boils down to terrorists “doing a very good job” for his opponent.
Instead of acknowledging that Haber is a supporter of the Labor Party, which opposes Netanyahu, Rudoren drapes him with the mantle of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, for whom Haber worked. But even here Rudoren manages to get in one more dig. She characterizes Rabin as “the peace-seeking former Israeli prime minister,” as if to contrast him with the current prime minister.
Of course, so has every other Israeli prime minister. Menachem Begin surrendered the entire Sinai peninsula to Egypt to in order to reach a peace treaty. Ariel Sharon was so anxious for peace that he unilaterally withdrew all Israelis from the Gaza Strip, even though Israel received nothing in return. Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert each offered the Palestinian Authority an independent state, but the PA refused. Benjamin Netanyahu has offered them a state, unilaterally froze Jewish construction in the Judea-Samaria (West Bank) territories for ten months, and released numerous Palestinian terrorists from prison. The continued absence of peace is not due to any Israeli prime ministers failing to seek it.
But Jodi Rudoren and the New York Times wouldn’t want you to know that. It would interfere with their never-blame-the-Palestinians narrative.
The authors are president and chairman, respectively, of the Religious Zionists of America, Philadelphia, and candidates on the Religious Zionist slate (www.VoteTorah.org) in the World Zionist Congress elections.