Burdened By The Times?

by Lawrence Reisman

I must confess that I read The New York Times regularly. Outside of the Middle East, I find the coverage to be fairly complete, in line with my biases, and even willing to contradict my preconceived notions now and then. More often than its detractors give it credit for, it will report when the liberal platitudes are simply not working. But enough of defending The Times. When it comes to Israel and the Mideast, I find its biases annoying. Mostly though, I live with them. I can see through what they’re saying, and I have no trouble finding alternative sources of information. So, most of the time, I live with it.

There comes a time when the biases of The Times are too much, even for me. In a recent review of Lawrence Wright’s Thirteen Days in September (about the 1979 Camp David accords), the reviewer started off with the following:

On March 11, 1978, 11 Palestinian militants came ashore in Zodiac boats north of Tel Aviv and set about murdering as many Israelis as they could with guns and grenades. They hijacked a taxi and two buses; 38 were killed, including 13 children. The massacre was intended as a provocation; a disproportionate Israeli response was assumed.

Please notice how those who “set about murdering as many Israelis as they could,” are referred to as “militants.” All right, it’s not politically correct to use the word “terrorist” anymore, or maybe it is? Further on in the article, praising the author for showing Menachem Begin in a less negative light than he would like, the reviewer refers to Begin as a “former terrorist.” So an Israeli leader, about to abandon his vow never to give up the Sinai and make peace with Egypt is a “former terrorist,” while those who massacred (The Times’s word) 38 Israelis are only militants? The obvious and unabashed double standard is too much for even me.

I have written The New York Times Book Review calling attention to this linguistic imbalance. I would appreciate it if others would as well.

Lawrence M. Reisman is a certified public accountant and attorney working in New York City. His articles on Jewish subjects have been published in the New York Jewish Week, the Long Island Jewish World, The Jerusalem Report, and The Jewish Observer.

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2 Responses

  1. Raymond says:

    I do not understand why any Jew proud of his or her heritage, would pay even one dime to read such anti-Israel newspapers as the New York Times. I am perfectly content with getting my news about Israel from pro-Israel sources I can trust, such as Arutz Sheva.

    Furthermore, to call Menachem Begin a terrorist is simply maddening. It was the British who were so cruelly blocking Jews who were fleeing the Holocaust, from entering Israel. Menachem Begin was trying to put a stop to that. His efforts led directly to the British quitting Israel, and handing to the Jews the small portion of Israel that was still left for the Jews, after the British had given most of it away to our enemies that surround Israel. Menachem Begin thus was even more of a liberator for Israel, than George Washington was for the United States.

  2. yoni kunstlinger says:

    It always amazes me when people like Mr Reisman and Rabbi Shafran who harshly and justifiably criticize the Times for its radical leftist and distorted Israel coverage but somehow don’t see the same bias and dishonesty in its coverage of domestic issues .

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