News flash for the New York Times: You are not the arbiter of pain

While Arabs slaughter Arabs region-wide, the New York Times says shame on Israelis for trying to live normal lives. Photo: AP

ISRAEL, August 30, 2013 ­— The New York Times, with its outrageously off-the-mark reporting, leaves one to wonder if their reporters simply close their eyes, plug their ears and pound the keyboard until their half-brained nonsense appears on the page.

These grossly inaccurate stories have a nasty habit of replicating whenever Israel is in the news.

The latest culprit of the anti-Israel NYT brigade is Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren. Reading her most recent article, one would have no idea she was stationed in the Holy Land. In her article about Israel’s reaction to all the Middle Eastern tumult, “Amid Chaos, Israelis Take a Stoic View,” Rudoren does her fellow Times-mates proud by once again distorting the reality on the ground.

Rudoren opens, “To them, the chemical attacks to the north in Syria and the military crackdown against Islamists to the south in Egypt are almost comforting, a confirmation of a common Israeli view that their Arab neighbors are unready for democracy, while also offering a diversion from their own conflict with the Palestinians.”

Reporting on the feelings of a miniscule number of liberal friends does not a good reporter make. The vast majority of Israelis are horrified by the blood being shed in Syria while also concerned for their own safety and the safety of their friends and families. Rudoren’s readers have the advantage of sitting back, relaxing and being pleased that their government will attack the evil Syrian dictator, Bashar Assad, with the blowback falling squarely on Israel, not their own homeland.

No Israeli feels comforted by the slaughter going on to their north.

SEE RELATED: While Egypt and Syria burn, Obama is Arsonist in Chief

Rudoren is spot on, however, when she asserts that Israel’s Arab neighbors are not ready for democracy. Egypt just saw its first-ever democratically-elected leader toppled and the streets of Cairo have run red with blood for over three years now. The rebels in Syria have not demonstrated that they have any ability or desire to live in a democratically run country if they should supplant Assad.

However, she is incorrect in asserting that Israel has been diverted from the Palestinian conflict by the chaos that surrounds them.

Israelis do not need the burning Middle East to help them disregard the current peace talks between their government and the Palestinian Authority. The PA, as a shock to no one, has yet again walked away from the table. In a masterful distortion of reality worthy of a New York Times op-ed, the PA has put the talks on hold due to the deaths of three Palestinians in Kalandiya after a scuffle with the IDF.

What the PA is not saying however, and what YouTube videos in every language show, is that these “protestors” were hurling anything and everything heavy that they could find at an IDF vehicle and throwing Molotov cocktails and bricks at IDF soldiers who were in Kalandiya to apprehend a terrorist.

It is not shocking, however, that Rudoren did not discuss this either. She works for a newspaper that ran a story a few weeks ago justifying Palestinian stone-throwing attacks, many of which have taken the lives of innocent Israeli men, women and children.

In this masterfully subversive paragraph, Ruderon writes, “The Israeli public remained preoccupied with the start of school on Tuesday morning, the finale of the show ‘Big Brother’ on Tuesday night and preparations for the Jewish New Year next week. Recent rocket attacks from the Sinai Desert and from Lebanon were like background noise after so many years of the same. Though Israelis have ‘the best seats in the house’ on the current chaos, as the satirist Lior Schleien put it in an interview, there is relief that for now, the problems are other people’s.”

There is enough anti-Israeli propaganda in those three sentences to make Noam Chomsky’s head spin.

She first echoes the oft-mentioned idea that Israelis should be ashamed of the normalcy they have achieved in a region ravaged by war and devastation. It is not wrong for Israel to want an ordinary life and it is not their job to punish themselves because their neighbors can’t get along with each other. The Assad regime is executing rebels and the rebels are executing Assad loyalists, so the eight-year-old Israeli shouldn’t get ready for the start of school?

The Egyptian military is cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood and the Brotherhood is blowing up Egyptian soldiers, so the Orthodox Jew living in Jerusalem shouldn’t prepare for Rosh Hashana? Never mind the fact that the well-known and well-respected Rabbi Yuval Cherlow penned a prayer for the people of Syria on Thursday.

Also, recent rocket attacks are far from “background noise” to Israelis. A blaring air-raid siren and the subsequent — if they are lucky — deafening boom of the Iron Dome shooting down an incoming rocket have given post-traumatic stress to a good percentage of Israeli society.

Rudoren does mention the hundreds of Israelis lined up to get gas masks but comments “even many of those lining up to collect the kits sounded more stoic than scared.” The Israeli Post Office has extended its hours and nearly every person in the Jewish State has been in a panicked scramble to get their emergency kit. This is not a matter Israelis are taking casually.

Shame on Israel, the New York Times decides, for not feeling bad enough for the Syrians. Shame on Israel, the NYT exclaims, for living a life of normalcy. Ruderon’s article demonstrated yet again that the New York Times sees itself the arbiter of suffering and it is a story that is getting very old, very fast.


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Doni Kandel

Doni Kandel has been writing about Israel and Jewish issues since the age of 13. Originally from Los Angeles, he is now living in central Israel, studying for his M.A. in Counter-Terrorisms and Homeland Security at the IDC Herzliya. His work can also be found at, where he is the editor-in-chief, as well as on his blog for the Jerusalem Post, E-TONE


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