The New York Times editorial board recently took the opportunity to attack Israel’s incoming government. What is the basis for this unique action, given the numerous nations around the world that the Times left unscathed?
The Times editorial board clearly does not like Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu or that he made his comeback with a coalition that is right-of-center. Keep in mind, however, that this so-called “right-wing” government will have at most a bare majority in the Knesset. By no means did it receive an overwhelming mandate. Whatever happens, Israel will continue to maintain a vibrant, active, well-funded opposition of left-wing parties that are within a few seats of a majority.
Apparently, democracy is not good enough for the Times. Editors of the “uptown Daily Worker,” as my father used to call the Times, demand an Israeli government to their liking.
Of course, this is not the first time The New York Times has trashed Israel, Jews and the Jewish people. During the Holocaust, the paper deliberately back-paged stories about the genocide. It has also vociferously advocated yet another terrorist state within the very guts of Israel. This proto-state, currently headed by Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, is already a dictatorship that generates plenty of terror.
The P.A. is a willing partner with the Hamas terrorists of the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah in Lebanon and, of course, the rogue regimes in Iran, Syria and other places around the world.
Why exactly do organizations like the Times support a terrorist state in Judea and Samaria? That area was illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 until 1967. In 1967, it was liberated from Jordan by the Israelis. The newspaper never griped about Jordan’s illegal occupation.
Why would the Times attack a democratically-elected Israeli government that has a strong and healthy opposition? The reason is that, to the Times, Israel is a whipping post—a stand-in for the conservatives and Republicans they hate. Somehow, the current Israeli government has been conflated with an American political party the Times considers unworthy of existence.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Israeli politics are just as complex and diverse as America’s. Netanyahu’s government may be more conservative than the opposition, but it is neither the Republican nor the Democratic Party.
But there is another constituency The New York Times is talking to. American Jews, at least since the Roosevelt era, have voted predominantly Democrat. The Times is a Democratic propaganda outlet, devoted to supporting its party. When it condemns Israel, the Times is speaking to and admonishing American Jewish Democrats, while ignoring a growing and strong minority of the Jewish community that does not walk in lockstep with the left.
As for Israelis, what are they reacting to in electing parties that are right-of-center?
They are responding essentially to two things. First, the United Nations, which is nothing more than a combination of Third World, mostly Muslim, countries devoted to the destruction of Israel. They have no respect for democracy, or much of anything else besides condemning the only democratic state in the Middle East. This makes Israelis angry, as it should.
The other issue is American politicians, mostly those on the left, telling Israelis what to do, how to live and how to survive in a very bad neighborhood.
What does a Democratic senator from New York or California know about preventing rocket attacks from Gaza, killer drones built in Iran and flown from Syria or terrorists from the Palestinian Authority who willingly strap explosives to their chests so they can target and kill civilians?
Israelis rightfully resent the American left, which boycotts and demonizes Israel while making Apple one of the wealthiest companies in the world as a result of its connections to China. It is difficult for Israelis to stomach the blatant hypocrisy that flows from the American left and propaganda organs like The New York Times on a daily basis.
When former President Barack Obama shamelessly attempted to influence Israeli elections by spending American taxpayer money on efforts to defeat Netanyahu, Israelis came out and voted for the prime minister. Even Israelis on the center or the left were so repulsed by Western intervention in its political system and the United Nations’ attempts to destroy Israel that they wound up voting more right-wing than they otherwise would have.
The truth is that the trash expectorated by The New York Times and some American Democrats is the best friend the Israeli right could have. The new Israeli government will prioritize security, Jewish values and the Jews’ right to live in the Jewish state and the region in general. It is unlikely that the average Israeli is going to march to the drum beaten loudly and relentlessly by the Times and its sycophants.
Cliff Rieders is a board-certified trial advocate, former president of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association and a former member of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. None of the opinions expressed above necessarily represent the views of these organizations.
Be a part of our community
JNS serves as the central hub for a thriving community of readers who appreciate the invaluable context our coverage offers on Israel and their Jewish world.
Please join our community and help support our unique brand of Jewish journalism that makes sense.