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Sundown: Israel Almost Apologized to Turkey

Plus, Oren urges Jewish unity, lessons from the ‘91 Crown Heights riots, and more

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Michael Oren in Washington on November 8, 2009. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

• An agreement was nearly reached between Turkey and Israel, in which Israel would apologize for “tactical mistakes” during the 2010 flotilla incident and Turkey wouldn’t seek further claims against Israel or the IDF, but Netanyahu reportedly backed out and the deal fell through. [JPost]

• Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., urged American Jews to come together as a unified, bipartisan body in anticipation of a September U.N. vote on Palestinian statehood. [JTA]

• Final authorization was given by the interior minister of Israel for 1,600 apartments to be built in east Jerusalem. More approvals—2,700, to be precise—are expected, in what is likely to present a setback for diplomatic efforts before September. [AP/NYT]

• Ari Goldman, who as a Times reporter covered the Crown Heights riots of August 1991, reflects candidly on where journalism went wrong—namely, treating the incident as a racial clash instead of an anti-Semitic pogrom, which was what it more closely resembled—and encourages today’s media to resist simplifying complex conflicts. [The Jewish Week]

• An insanity defense looks like a possibility for Levi Aron, who was found during preliminary examinations to have a psychiatric disorder. [NYT]

• Israel’s foreign ministry has advised Israelis traveling in Britain to avoid areas of unrest and groups of youths. [JTA]

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Hershel (Heshy) Ginsburg says:

Goldman’s revelations are yet another example of the NY Times’ long history of not letting any facts get in the way of its favored narrative or “frame” (what a great euphemism), to use Goldman’s term.

Previous examples include Walter Duranty’s obsequious reports (for which he won a Pulitzer) on how Stalin was transforming the Soviet Union into an agricultural powerhouse and socialist paradise; their policy of not reporting on the Holocaust or burying skimpy reports of it deep inside the paper; articles touting Obama’s superior economic knowledge & philosophy; their notorious caption of the front page photo describing a battered & bloody Tuvia Grossman as a Palestinian being beaten by an Israeli policeman at the outbreak of the Oslo Accord War; the Time’ non-publication (to date, I believe) of the ruling by a French court that the video depicting the Mohammed al Dura “shooting” was likely fabricated; their refusal to publish Richard Goldstone’s recanting of his blood libel against the IDF, and then burying on page 17 a subsequent story on his recantation after the Washington Post had the intellectual honesty to print the piece; Roger Cohen’s (a J Street favorite) reports on the wonderful life of Iranian Jewry; the Times failure to report the Israel and peace hostile statements and attitudes that pervaded the most recent al Fatah central committee meeting; etc. etc. etc.

It seems appropriate that the new Times editor in chief Jill Abramson referred to the Times as “Valhalla”; both are sources of great myths.

What is particularly troubling in this whole story is that the Times’ reports on Israel inform the opinions of many many many “progressives” and clearly contributes to their ubiquitous antipathy toward Israel.

The bottom line: Take any Times negative story about Israel with a grain of salt; make that a lump of salt; nah, make that the whole salt mine.

Shabbat Shalom,

Hershel Ginsburg
Efrata / Jerusalem

Moe Loubani says:

In a reply to Heshy’s post, I’d like to remind everyone that although some newspapers, journalists and media outlets in general do write things that are negative of Israel, the VAST majority of media outlets put Israel in a very favorable light. That’s in spite of Israel’s continued murder of thousands of Palestinian babies, that’s in spite of Israel’s continued nuclear weapons program, that’s in spite of Israel’s continued illegal assassinations and in spite of Israel’s continuous settlement building on land that isn’t theirs.

It’s almost laughable that someone would tell people to take any negative story about Israel with a grain of salt. If that’s the case, how much salt should they take when there is a positive story about Israel published? How many millions of ‘grains of salt’?

Israel is by far the one that has been instigating and fueling their ongoing conflict with the Palestinians. Nancy Kanwisher wrote a great article in the Huffington Post showing how Israel is the one that kills first when there are periods when no one is killed on either side.

Please don’t be silly, Hershy, although there are times when articles are biased on both sides, it is virtually always Israel that is presented as the good guy when in all reality it is virtually always Israel that is actually the bad guy.

Bernie says:

Turkey should be the one apologizing along with the rest of the world. One day they will understand you do not mess with the Apple of God’s Eye. Israel did nothing wrong other than NOT destroy every vessel that attempted to cross the block-aid. This is really getting old. People, pull your heads out of the sand or where you stuck them, it is obvious that you have gotten no oxygen, because the world out side of Israel cannot think to save their lives. Wake up people.


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Sundown: Israel Almost Apologized to Turkey

Plus, Oren urges Jewish unity, lessons from the ‘91 Crown Heights riots, and more

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