Alan Newman

Little news that’s fit to print

Painting by Israeli artist Leah Raab
Painting by Israeli artist Leah Raab (used with permission)

Walking out of our local supermarket we glanced at the Sunday edition of the New York Times. The upper right headline blared, Smoldering Gaza Becomes a Graveyard for Children. It was an article written by Raja Abdulrahim and it was flanked by a photo taken last month of a distraught Palestinian boy Kahled Joudeh, aged 9, reaching for his dead sister.

The lengthy article included vignettes of the family’s life in Gaza before and after October 7. The author focused on the United Nations and medical officials reported the death and casualty toll from war’s mayhem. She added painful detail about the number of bombs dropped on Gaza and the number of children affected. There was a small reference to Israel’s claim to adhere to international warfare law including goals to minimize collateral damage. Abdulrahim, in one paragraph, wrote that Israel made claims of Hamas’s atrocities. She didn’t include information about Hamas’s human shield strategy, tunnels, or the ongoing rocket assault on Israel.

The young Kahled was no doubt terrified and traumatized, and his life will never be the same. It is fair to ponder if the Joudeh family, maybe the father or grandfather, voted for Hamas leadership after Israel, in 2005, turned over full control of Gaza. Was the Joudeh family aware of the bloodthirsty charter of Hamas? Did they witness Hamas’s selfish redirection of American, UN and EU resources sent into Gaza for schools and hospitals but instead used for tunnels and rockets? Did the Joudeh family try to supplement education that was riddled with the same anti-Israel, Jew-hating dogma as offered by the Palestinian Authority?

The author, Ms. Abdulrahim, joined the New York Times staff about two years ago and was quickly identified by Algermeiner as someone lacking objectivity. Raja had stated a piece in a college publication in 2002 that essentially blamed the victim, “Palestinians driven to bombing.” Shortly after the 2001 attacks, Raja posited that it would be incorrect to refer to Hamas and Hezbollah as “fundamentalist” or “terror organizations.” She has had the opportunity to refute these contentious statements but has, despite her platform, chosen not to do so.

She is right at home at the New York Times. The bias of the New York Times against Israel and Jews is anything but news and is just another example countering the founder Adolph S. Ochs’s 1897 declaration of unbiased reporting of “All the news that’s fit to print.” Laurel Leff documented in her critically acclaimed book “Buried by the Times” their abhorrent reporting on the Holocaust. Bari Weiss’s more recent and justified exodus from the New York Times adds credence to the case.

Too many Jews settle down into their comfy chair on Sunday morning with their thick Times only to have their “two state solution” and criticism of Israel validated by the biased reporting. Is Smoldering Gaza Becomes a Graveyard for Children as dangerous as the recent Chinese owned TikTok message sharing Osama bin Laden’s “Letter To America” that was supplemented with the America-hating, sympathetic influencer narrative? It is likely the late-night comics will not add important historical context to the complex “Middle east” issues they like to skewer, and while our youth will be entertained, they will not be educated.

The media’s irresponsible bias fuels the outrage we see as the hundreds of thousands protest in the streets. The mob is fed by a progressive, intersectional agenda attracting the support of many misinformed constituencies. Academia’s pro-Palestinian sympathy was nurtured for decades and was funded by Arab monies. All the pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel storylines infuse energy and add credence to the “movement.” Altogether, and with the underlying and familiar antisemitism kindling, the rioters and haters resonate with flawed reporting like Raja’s.

Like barnacles on a ship’s hull, the damage from Raja’s Smoldering Gaza Becomes a Graveyard for Children adds to the hate for Jews and the Jewish State. The little lies become part of the big deceit, truth is trashed, wrongs dilute the right, and what is important is discarded for what is simply repeated.

About the Author
Alan Newman is a life-long supporter of the Jewish community and Israel. His commitment is evident with his hands-on approach and leadership positions at AIPAC, StandWithUs, Ben-Gurion University, Ethiopian National Project and Federation’s JCRC. He has traveled to Israel almost two dozen times and is an enthusiastic supporter of pro-Israel Christians including critical organizations like CUFI, ICEJ, USIEA and Genesis 123 Foundation. Alan’s compelling novel, GOOD HEART, published by Gefen Publishing House, is a multi-generational story about a Christian and Jewish family. He was a senior executive at Citigroup and holds two US Patents. He lives with his wife in West Palm Beach and enjoys time with his two sons and their families.
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