Ron Dermer: New York Times Editorials Against Antisemitism Have No Credibility

Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington, DC on March 4, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

The New York Times‘ “attempts to demonize Israel” have amplified antisemitism, said Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., in an interview published last Tuesday on Mark Levin’s eponymous radio show.

Dermer characterized the New York Times‘ ostensible opposition to antisemitism as lacking credibility given the news media outlet’s hostility towards Jewish independence via statehood in Israel.

Dermer said:

The New York Times will sometimes write against — they’ll do an editorial — against antisemitism. As if, if you’re going to demonize the one and only Jewish state week after week, month after month, year after year, and not expect that to lead to an increase in antisemitism, they’re kidding themselves.

The New York Times is a paper that calls on political leaders to not contribute to a climate of hate. What have they done for Israel? I don’t think that they have fully come to grips with how they have contributed so much to the problem.

They have a very problematic history when it comes to covering Jewish issues. There’s a big story there, people know — some people don’t, maybe your listeners know — how the Times buried the Holocaust. So this is not something new for the Times. I think it has gotten to, it’s become more and more extreme.

“[The New York Times] attempts to demonize Israel week after week after week after week,” added Dermer. “It’s not something that’s new. It didn’t start today. It didn’t start with President Trump, or even President Obama. It’s been going on for a long time with the Times‘s coverage of Israel, and its attempt to demonize Israel.”

Dermer continued:

I think what you’re seeing happen today is a resurgence and really a return of antisemitism. … Sometimes it’s masked as hatred of Israel, but it’s definitely there. The attempt to demonize Israel and to disproportionately cast it as a force for evil, that is simply an old antisemitism with a brand new face. it once was singling out the Jewish people, accusing them of all sorts of wild things, constantly trying to demonize them, to hold the Jews out as a force of evil, and now what you’re seeing is an attempt to do this to the one and only Jewish state in the world.

Hostility towards Jews and Israel is linked to left-wing political paradigms of power analysis, estimated Dermer. Israel’s power — real or imagined — relative to its adversaries amounts to evidence of its inferior moral status, he said.

Rejection of “might makes right” must be matched by a rejection of “might makes wrong,” determined Dermer, explaining left-wing animosity towards Jews and Israel as rooted in a perception of Jews as oppressors of “Palestinians” and others.

In a May-published column, the New York Times Magazine describes antisemitism among Muslims as a social pathology originating in Europe. In a May-published letter to the editor, a New York Times reader links antisemitism in Germany and broader Europe to “politicians … like Donald Trump” without mentioning Islam or Muslims.

“Anti-Semitism [in Europe] is nevertheless primarily still perpetrated by the white, far right,” alleges the New York Times in an April-published article. Highlighting antisemitism as a cultural, political, religious, or social pathology among Muslims diminishes the reality of antisemitism, according to an “expert on Islam” quoted by the New York Times: “It cheapens the very right struggle against anti-Semitism for Islamophobic bigots to weaponize it in their campaigns.”

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.

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