The past several days have left many Jews in the United States feeling shell-shocked. Attacks against them seem to be coming from all quarters.
First, on Thursday, the New York Times’ International Edition published a stunningly antisemitic cartoon on its op-ed page. It portrayed a blind President Donald Trump wearing the garb of an ultra-Orthodox Jew, replete with a black suit and a black yarmulke, with the blackened sunglasses of a blind man being led by a seeing-eye dog with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s face.
If the message – that Jewish dogs are leading the blind American by the nose — wasn’t clear enough, the Netanyahu dog was wearing a collar with a Star of David medallion, just to make the point unmistakable.
Under a torrent of criticism, after first refusing to apologize for the cartoon, which it removed from its online edition, the Times issued an acknowledment on Sunday, but has taken no action against the editors responsible.
Two days after the Times published its hateful cartoon, Jews at the Chabad House synagogue in Poway, outside San Diego, were attacked by a rifle-bearing white supremacist as they prayed.
John Earnest, the gunman, murdered 60-year-old Lori Glibert Kaye and wounded Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein; nine-year-old Noya Dahan; and her uncle, Almog Peretz.
On the face of things, there is no meaningful connection between the Times’ cartoon and the Poway attack. In his online manifesto, Earnest presented himself as a Nazi in the mold of Robert Bowers, the white supremacist who massacred 11 Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue last October.
The New York Times, on the other hand, is outspoken in its hatred of white supremacists whom it associates with President Donald Trump, the paper’s archenemy.
On the surface, the two schools of Jew hatred share no common ground.
But a serious consideration of the Times’ anti-Jewish propaganda leads to the opposite conclusion.
The New York Times — as an institution that propagates anti-Jewish messages, narratives, and demonizations — is deeply tied to the rise in white supremacist violence against Jews. This is the case for several reasons.
First, as Seth Franzman of the Jerusalem Post pointed out, Bowers and Earnest share two hatreds – for Jews and for Trump.
Both men hate Trump, whom they view as a friend of the Jews. Earnest referred to Trump as “That Zionist, Jew-loving, anti-White, traitorous c**ks****er.” Bowers wrote that he opposed Trump because he is supposedly surrounded by Jews, whom Bowers called an “infestation” in the White House.
The New York Times also hates Trump. And like Bowers and Earnest, it promotes the notion in both news stories and editorials that Trump’s support for Israel harms U.S. interests to benefit avaricious Jews.
In 2017, just as the Russia collusion narrative was taking hold, Politico spun an antisemitic conspiracy theory that placed Chabad at the center of the nefarious scheme in which Russian President Vladimir Putin connived with Trump to steal the election from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The obscene story referred to Chabad as “an international Hasidic movement most people have never heard of.” In truth, Chabad is one of the largest Jewish religious movements in the world and the fastest-growing Jewish religious movement in the United States.
The story, titled “The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group that Connects Trump and Putin,” claimed that Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, who is Chabad’s senior representative there, served as an intermediary between Putin and Trum-p. He did this, Politico alleged, through his close ties to Chabad rabbis in the United States who have longstanding ties to Trump.
Following the article’s publication, the New York Times‘ star reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted, “We wrote a few weeks ago about “Putin’s Rabbi” Berel Lazar reaching out to a Trump aide.”
The Times’ story alleged that there were across-the-board ties between senior Trump campaign aides and Russian officials. Among the many ties discussed was a meeting that Trump’s advisor Jason Greenblatt held with Lazar. In other words, the antisemitic Chabad conspiracy theory laid out by Politico, which slanderously placed Chabad at the center of a nefarious plot to steal the U.S. presidency for Trump, was first proposed by the New York Times.
The Times is well known for its hostility towards Israel. But that hostility is never limited to Israel itself. It also encompasses Jewish Americans who support Israel. For instance, in a 11,000 word “analysis” of the antisemitic “boycott, divestment, sanctions” (BDS) movement published in late March, the Times effectively delegitimized all Jewish support for Israel.
The article, by Nathan Thrush. purported to be an objective analysis of BDS, which calls for Israel to be destroyed and uses forms of social, economic and political warfare against Jews who support Israel to render continued support for Israel beyond the Pale.
Rather than objectively analyzing BDS, Thrall’s article promoted it — and, through it, the article delegitimized American Jewish support for Israel.
The article began with a description of the discussions on Israel conducted by the Democratic Party’s platform committee ahead of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. The committee was comprised of representatives of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and representatives of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The representatives chosen by Sanders…were all minorities, including James Zogby, the head of the Arab American Institute and a former senior official on Jesse Jackson’s 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns; the Native American activist Deborah Parker; and Cornel West, the African-American professor and author then teaching at Union Theological Seminary.
The representatives selected by Clinton and the D.N.C. who spoke on the issue were all Jewish and included the retired congressman Howard Berman, who is now a lobbyist; Wendy Sherman, a former under secretary of state for political affairs; and Bonnie Schaefer, a Florida philanthropist and Democratic donor, who had made contributions to Clinton.
In other words, the anti-Israel representatives were all civil rights activists and members of legitimate victim groups. The pro-Israel representatives were all there because of their money.
And of course, because they are all-powerful, the Jews won.
The New York Times’ promotion of anti-Jewish libels in relation to Israel and more generally is all-encompassing. The Times reacted, for example, to Trump’s designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization by suggesting that he move could lead the U.S. to designate Israeli intelligence agencies as terrorist organizations.
Why? Well, because they are Israeli. And Israelis are terrorists.
The Times used the recent death of an Israeli spymaster to regurgitate a long discredited accusation that Israel stole enriched uranium from the United States. As is its wont, the Times libeled Israel in bold and then published a correction in fine print.
In addition, as part of its longstanding war against Israel’s Orthodox religious authorities, Times columnist Bari Weiss alleged falsely that Israel’s rabbinate controls circumcision, suggesting that the voluntary practice is compulsory.
Last week the Times erroneously claimed that Jesus was a Palestinian. The falsehood was picked up by antisemitic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). The Times waited a week to issue a correction.
As to Ilhan Omar, the Times falsely claimed that the only congressional Democrats who condemned her anti-Semitic tweets were Jews — when in fact the Democratic Congressional leadership, which is not comprised of Jews, condemned her anti-Jewish posts.
The paper’s hostility towards Jews is so intense and pervasive that despite the increased public attention to the paper’s hostility to Jews that its anti-Jewish cartoon of blind Trump and dog Netanyahu generated, on Sunday the Times published a feature on bat mitzvahs that portrayed the religious rite of passage for 12 year old girls as a materialist party geared entirely toward social climbing. That is, the Judaism the Times portrayed was denuded of all intrinsic meaning. Bat mitzvahs were presented as a flashy way that materialistic, vapid Jews promote their equally vapid, materialistic daughters.
All this, then, brings us to the synagogue shooting on Saturday and the larger phenomenon of growing antisemitism in America, which while relegated to the margins of the political right is now becoming a dominant force in the Democratic Party specifically and the political left more generally.
In an op-ed following the cartoon’s publication, the Times’ in-house NeverTrump pro-Israel columnist Bret Stephens at once condemned the cartoon and the paper’s easy-breezy relationship with antisemitism, and minimized the role that antisemitism plays at the New York Times. Stephens attributed the decision to publish the cartoon in the New York Times international edition to the small staff in the paper’s Paris office and insisted that “the charge that the institution [i.e., the Times] is in any way antisemitic is a calumny.”
But of course, it is not a calumny. It is a statement of fact, laid bare by the paper’s decision to publish a cartoon that could easily have been published in a Nazi publication.
And this brings us back to the issue of the Times’ responsibility for rising antisemitism in the United States.
Stephens tried to minimize the Times’ power to influence the public discourse in the U.S. by placing its antisemitic reporting in the context of a larger phenomenon. But the fact is that while the New York Times has long since ceased serving as the “paper of record” for anyone not on the political left in America, it is still the most powerful news organization in the United States, and arguably in the world.
The Times has the power to set the terms of the discourse on every subject it touches. Politico felt it was reasonable to allege a Jewish world conspiracy run by Chabad that linked Putin with Trump because, as Haberman suggested, the Times had invented the preposterous, bigoted theory three weeks earlier. New York University felt comfortable giving a prestigious award to the Hamas-linked antisemitic group Students for Justice in Palestine last week because the Times promotes its harassment campaign against Jewish students.
The Times’ active propagation of anti-Jewish sentiment is not the only way the paper promotes Jew-hatred. It has co-opted of the discourse on antisemitism in a manner that sanitizes the paper and its followers from allegations of being part of the problem. It has led the charge in reducing the acceptable discourse on antisemitism to a discussion of right wing antisemitism. Led by reporter Jonathan Weisman, with able assists from Weiss and Stephens, the Times has pushed the view that the most dangerous antisemites in America are Trump supporters. The basis of this slander is the false claim that Trump referred to the neo-Nazis who protested in Charlottesville in August 2017 as “very fine people.” As Breitbart’s Joel Pollak noted, Trump specifically singled out the neo-Nazis for condemnation and said merely that the protesters at the scene who simply wanted the statue of Robert E. Lee preserved (and those who peacefully opposed them) were decent people.
The Times has used this falsehood as a means to project the view that hatred of Jews begins with Trump – arguably the most pro-Jewish president in U.S. history, goes through the Republican Party, which has actively defended Jews in the face of Democratic bigotry, and ends with his supporters.
By attributing an imaginary hostility against Jews to Trump, Republicans, and Trump supporters, the Times has effectively given carte blanche to itself, the Democrats, and its fellow Trump-hating antisemites to promote Jew-hatred.
John Earnest and Robert Bowers were not ordered to enter synagogues and massacre Jews by the editors of the New York Times. But their decisions to do so was made in an environment of hatred for Jews that the Times promotes every day.
Following the Bowers massacre of Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the New York Times and its Trump-hating columnists blamed Trump for Bowers’s action. Not only was this a slander. It was also pure projection.
Caroline Glick is a world-renowned journalist and commentator on the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy, and the author of The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East. Read more at www.CarolineGlick.com.