B’nai B’rith sent the following letter to the editor of the New York Times regarding a recent piece it ran about Miam Bialik:
To the editor,
The New York Times never misses an opportunity to let its anti-Israel bias show.
How ironic that it published a “journalism” piece condemning a Jeopardy host for a lack of neutrality. (Mayim Bialik Wants the ‘Jeopardy!’ Job. Is She ‘Neutral’ Enough? by Julia Jacobs).
What a lack of self-awareness. Though “neutrality” is likely not on the job description for a game show host, it certainly is (or should be) at the top of the list of job prerequisites for a reporter.
There are three references in the piece involving Bialik as a proud, pro-Israel Jew. That's who Bialik is.
Yes, Bialik is outspoken on many topics, including the safety and security of Israel. But is that relevant for a Jeopardy host?
Mayim Bialik is a game show host and actor. Not a trained journalist employed by the self-described “paper of record.”
Daniel S. Mariaschin
B’nai B’rith International CEO
The Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) quoted B'nai B'rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin and President Charles O. Kaufman on the appearance of an anti-Semitic cartoon in The New York Times.
Jewish and pro-Israel groups have condemned The New York Times for publishing anti-Semitic cartoons in its international edition on April 25 and over the weekend.
Thursday’s cartoon featured U.S. President Donald Trump wearing a yarmulke, sporting dark-tinted glasses and being led by a dog with the face of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a large blue Star of David hanging from its collar.
The weekend image by Norwegian cartoonist Roar Hagen depicts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with sinister eyes taking a picture of himself with a selfie-stick, carrying in what appears to be an empty desert with a tablet featuring the Israeli flag painted on it.
“Untimely bad move by the The New York Times showing an ominous-looking cartoon featuring the Star of David and Israel’s prime minister again, right after apologizing for the first cartoon and promising to prevent similar cases of anti-Semitism in the future,” StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein told JNS. “All of us must hold them accountable to their promises. Enough is enough.”
“The anti-Semitic editorial cartoon in Thursday’s international edition of The New York Times was an outrage. Drawn with great technical skill and conceived with great ignorance, if not hate, this piece was simply a reflection of the Times’ long-standing bias against Israel. The symbolism used was vintage Nazi Germany,”said B’nai B’rith International president Charles Kaufman and CEO Daniel Mariaschin in a statement.
“This cartoon punctuated yet another shocking weekend of hatred toward Jews. How anti-Semitic commentary has made it into the mainstream of public opinion is beyond comprehension in modern times,” they continued. “In this case, this incident is the exclamation point about media today. Editors have virtually disappeared as the marketplace of ideas flourishes with unchecked sources and little, if any, corroboration of information. What seems to matter most is being first to market with a thought rather than exercising discretion, a penchant for accuracy and news judgment.”
The Times apologized on Sunday, and said that “investigated how this happened and learned that, because of a faulty process, a single editor working without adequate oversight downloaded the syndicated cartoon and made the decision to include it on the Opinion page. The matter remains under review, and we are evaluating our internal processes and training. We anticipate significant changes.”
Kaufman and Mariaschin said that “while we acknowledge that the Times has issued apologies for the cartoon, merely apologizing is not enough.”
“We call on the paper to review and revise its editorial processes so that blatantly anti-Semitic and racist content will not be given a platform by one of the most widely read newspapers in the world,” they continued. “The artist who created the cartoon and the editors who approved its publication must be held accountable.”
B’nai B’rith International did not make Mariaschin available to comment on the weekend cartoon.
“Whatever your interpretation of this particular image, we can only conclude that The New York Times is deliberately giving the Jewish community the proverbial finger even while it apologizes for its other cartoon,” tweeted HonestReporting, a non-governmental organization that monitors anti-Israel media bias, regarding the weekend cartoon.
Sarah Stern, founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, told JNS that “sometimes, a perfunctory ‘apology’ does not really cut it.”
“Obviously, the ‘apology’ for last Thursday’s deeply offensive cartoon, did not penetrate with the editors of The New York Times enough to prevent them from printing yet another, equally vile anti-Semitic cartoon in [the weekend] edition,” she said.
“One must ask why they are so obsessed with Israel and with Prime Minister Netanyahu? The problem is that anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and anti-Netanyahu statements have become so acceptable in today’s society that the ‘respectable’ editors of The New York Times do not recognize that they, themselves are guilty of committing, over and over again, classic anti-Semitic stereotypes and offenses.”
Andrea Levin, president and executive director of CAMERA, told JNS that is “striking” that the Times would publish another cartoon that denigrates Netanyahu just days after the latest firestorm.
“In the midst of a firestorm of criticism about the Times publishing an antisemitic cartoon on April 25, it’s striking that three days later editors choose to publish yet another image that caricatures and denigrates Israel’s prime minister and links the message to Judaism [italics intended],” she said.
“The second cartoon may not sink to the same level of Der Stürmer-like bigotry as the first but its publication points to the Times’ obsession with smearing Israel and, in particular, to its continuous expressions of contempt for the nation’s elected leader. It also points to the contempt of the media giant toward public concerns regarding biased depictions of Israel and Jewish issues.”
“At a moment when readers might expect greater sensitivity in coverage of these issues, the message appears to be more in the vein of a crude expletive than a reassurance,” said Levin.
B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin and Director of U.N. and Intercommunal Affairs David J. Michaels penned an op-ed that appeared in the New York Times on Aug. 27.
The piece urged the United Nations to place Yom Kippur, the most sacred day of the Jewish year, on the list of officially recognized holidays. A committee will convene on the matter next month.
Read the op-ed in its entirety, below:
THE emblem of the United Nations shows the planet brought together in the embrace of two olive branches. Its charter affirms the “equal rights” of “nations large and small.” But in the “family of nations,” some members are more equal than others. No example of this inequity is starker than that of Israel.
The State of Israel was created, in the Jewish ancestral homeland, as a result of a United Nations resolution. Its 1948 proclamation of independence refers to the United Nations seven times. Israel tries to contribute to international peace in every area in which it can help, from disaster relief to medical innovation to agricultural technology. Jewish hope in the organization — created in the aftermath of the Holocaust — can be discerned in the words from Isaiah inscribed beside the Sharansky Steps, which face the United Nations headquarters in New York City: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
But over time, Israel has been a target for exceptional mistreatment at the United Nations. A pluralistic democracy facing extremists sworn to its destruction, Israel is routinely condemned by the body’s Human Rights Council, more than any other member state. Israel’s assailants at the United Nations often assert that they respect Jews and Judaism — and reserve their shrill disdain only for Israeli policies and Zionism. But the demonization of Israel calls their motives into question.
The United Nations is headquartered in the United States, the country with the most Jews outside Israel, and in New York City, which has the single largest Jewish population in the Diaspora. Judaism, of course, is an ancient, biblical religion — a precursor of the two dominant world faiths — and Jewish communities can be found in at least 120 member states.
In 1997, the General Assembly added two Muslim holidays (Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr) to the official calendar of the United Nations headquarters. Two of the 10 holidays are Christian (Good Friday and Christmas) and the other six are American federal holidays. None is Jewish.
Important United Nations events — even, sometimes, meetings related to Israel — have repeatedly been scheduled on major Jewish holidays, forcing Jewish diplomats and representatives of civil society to choose between their professional duties and their faith and families.
Yom Kippur, the most sacred day of the Jewish year, unites Jews of all nationalities, political orientations and degrees of observance. The Day of Atonement, as it is known — traditionally spent in fasting, prayer and introspection — represents the universal aspiration to self-improvement and to making amends. Last month, 32 nations — including Argentina, Canada, Israel, Nigeria and the United States — declared their support for adding Yom Kippur (Oct. 3-4 this year) to the United Nations calendar. Next month, a committee will take up the matter.
In 1999, Secretary General Kofi Annan acknowledged that, to observers, “it has sometimes seemed as if the United Nations serves all the world’s peoples but one: the Jews.” In 2006, his successor, Ban Ki-moon, told our organization, B’nai B’rith, that the United Nations should always be “a place where Jews and the State of Israel can feel at home.” Recently, Mr. Ban felt compelled to condemn an “upsurge in anti-Semitic attacks.”
One way to combat bigotry is by demonstrating respect. The Yom Kippur proposal is a nonpolitical one — unrelated to Israel’s recent hostilities with Hamas — and a test of inclusiveness. All 193 United Nations members, including the 56 in the Muslim bloc, should support it.
Letter To The Editor: 'Tensions Escalate Between Israel And A Second Party in Gaza: The United Nations'
Fifty-six of the U.N.’s members belong to the Muslim bloc and 21 to the Arab League; nine of 12 major oil-exporting states are among these. Accordingly, Israel, a democracy facing terrorists sworn to its eradication, is routinely condemned more than all other countries combined. Israel alone is excluded from its regional group at the U.N.
Only the Palestinian nationalist movement enjoys a U.N. day of solidarity, a separate refugee agency operating under politicized terms, a human rights “special rapporteur,” a General Assembly non-member seat, and multiple bodies dedicated to promoting its political narrative and goals.
Last month’s Human Rights Council session on Gaza neglected in its adopted resolution to even mention Hamas. Those prompting the session included an array of serial rights violators, none of which have ever been the subject of a special session. No such sessions are ever convened before Israel reacts to years of grave violence.
Despite having made peace with every willing neighbor, Israel is subjected to scrutiny at the council under an agenda item separate from one addressing all other countries. No matter that more people have been killed in three years in Syria than in some 70 years of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Here, partiality is a fact, not an allegation.
Daniel S. Mariaschin, Executive Vice President AND
David J. Michaels, Director of U.N. and Intercommunal Affairs
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