Are The United Nations and the NY Times Guilty of Incitement to Genocide? Should they be held in any way accountable for the incitement against Jews and Israel that is erupting globally?
I am asking this question seriously. Yes, I know, the media has a First Amendment right in our country, but at what point must exercising that right be weighed against the harm it is causing to a long-maligned and vulnerable population? Surely, it is time to ask this question.
Thanks to Professor Laurel Leff, the author of Buried By The Times, we now know that the New York Times most shamefully minimized, dismissed, and simply failed to cover the ongoing European Holocaust in the 1930’s and 1940’s. And no, their owners and major journalists neither acknowledged this nor apologized for it. In fact, they reviewed Leff’s book in their pages and while granting her some points, accused her of missing “context.”
The twenty-first century coverage of Israel and Zionism in the paper of record far exceeds its twentieth century pattern of mere dismissal. In the last fourteen years–in the last year– in article after article, photograph after photograph, and especially when Israel has been under attack, this paper has systematically put forth an Islamist and pro-Hamas agenda with malice aforethought. If not “malice,” then the level of willful journalistic ignorance and blindness is hard to believe. The Public Editor has been forced to respond to a “deluge” of letters pointing this out. The Times does not usually publish all these letters.
This steady diet of Pravda-like propaganda, may, in part, account for the ever-wilder pogroms against Jews in Europe and the pogrom-like demonstrations in North America–street and campus demonstrations which I long ago dubbed “Gaza on the Hudson” or “Gaza on the Pacific.” “Death to the Jews” is once again resounding in the streets of Paris, just as it did when Dreyfus was falsely accused of treason. The assimilated Viennese journalist, Theodore Herzl, was so shaken by this visceral hatred that it led to his vision and activism on behalf of a Jewish State.
The existence of that very state is now the reason given for the vilification of and the most menacing mob-surges against Jews who are being individually blamed for the false allegations against Israel. What my colleagues Richard Landes and Nidra Poller have described as the “lethal narrative” or the Blood Libels against the Jewish state have finally borne their poisoned fruit. I wrote about this in my 2003 book The New Anti-Semitism.
All across Europe, Muslim/leftist mobs are calling for Jewish blood, screaming that Jews should go back to the gas chambers. The educated classes are more “genteel.” They call for “proportionality,” by which they must mean that more Jews have to die before they will exercise the slightest compassion, if even then.
Large numbers of people actually believe that Israelis are a Nazi, apartheid, colonialist, racist Monster regime– when, heartbreakingly, quite the opposite is true. Even as Hamas rockets are falling on them, Israeli doctors are operating on wounded and innocent Palestinian civilians–who have often been wounded by Hamas rockets or by Hamas’s decision to use their own people as human shields.
But those who read the New York Times as if it is their Bible and those who drink at similarly poisoned media wells, have been fatally indoctrinated and will not listen to facts, and spurn reason, context, and the truth.
The New York Times and all media that have been slanting the truth against Israel stand accused. I believe that their legal exercising of their First Amendment rights nevertheless has been inciting the masses to a slow motion Second Holocaust, a new genocide.
Individual university professors who knowingly teach hate, falsehood, Blood Libels, have also played a role. But their work has been made immeasurably easier by the mainstream media–and by the authority granted to one particular international body.
As to the United Nations: Their main and perhaps sole accomplishment has, in my view, been the legalization of Jew hatred and the isolation of the Jewish state. Their endless resolutions condemning Israel might indeed empower mobs to attack individual Jews all across Europe with impunity and might embolden Israel’s terrorist enemies to pursue their target relentlessly.
In the past, I and others have argued for the United States to withhold funds from the UN, to leave it entirely, or to form a new global entity consisting only of Western-style democracies. Of course, both India and Israel would qualify as would Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, and a number of other countries.
I have written about this many times before. This time, I will refer to Anne Bayefsky’s most excellent coverage of the outrages, hot hatred, hypocrisy, perhaps madness, that dominates how the United Nations handles Israel even as it fails to deal with serious atrocities elsewhere, everywhere. Eleanor Roosevelt must be turning in her grave given the rather high hopes she had for her vision of Nations United.
Ambassador John Bolton has critiqued and condemned the United Nations for a long time. He was refreshingly cogent on the issue. No one took him seriously, least of all men like President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry who all worship the UN for it’s hard line, Euro-style anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism and for its deference to the Organization of Islamic States.
I have been covering the war against the Jews for more than forty-four years; some would say for sixty-six years, since I joined Hashomer Hatzair, (The Young Guard or Watchers), in Borough Park, Brooklyn, in 1948.
I believe the time is right for such questions to be posed and for lawyers to begin thinking about whether the poisoned propaganda being purveyed and unleashed by both the United Nations and the New York Times rises to the level of a civil or criminal lawsuit. If lawyers emerge to take this on, I will do all that I can to assist them.