In “A Conflict of Faith: Devoted to Jewish Observance, but at Odds With Israel,” the New York Times wants to disabuse readers of the notion that observant Jews are all pro-Israel. So they highlight four who oppose not only Israel’s policies, but even favor the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
Of course, the article does reference the fact that their views are at odds with family and friends. But it begs the question: Why would the New York Times publish a feature piece — in the “beliefs” section no less — about people whose views are in an extreme minority?
For balance, the article could have also ran quotes from observant Jews who feel that their faith compels them to support Israel.
But no, each person interviewed echoes the same sentiment. Take this quotation for example:
“My parents were very sensitive to the issues of Palestinians,” Professor Krieger said. “My mom had a book called ‘They Are Human Too,’ and my memory is she would take it off the bookshelf, as if this was some sort of scandalous tract she was showing me, and show me pictures of Palestinians in refugee camps.”
Or this one:
“As a religious Jew,” he (Professor Manekin) said, “I am especially disturbed by the daily injustices perpetrated against the Palestinians.”
The claim is that while these views may be in the minority, they are — and have always been – the ethically correct ones. One could easily think it is only these lone voices who understand that Palestinians are also “human.” The complex context of the refugee issue is quickly dispatched with a single line that does more to confuse than clarify the issue.
But religious faith and attitudes towards Israel are much more complicated than that.
How about Palestinian Muslims who disagree with the Palestinian Authority? Both inside Israel and out, there are many, many Palestinians who are fed up with the corruption and anti-Israel incitement that characterizes the PA. There are even Palestinian journalists who are outspoken in their opposition to the PA. Khaled Abu Toameh has been writing for years for the Jerusalem Post and other publications. He says that the majority of Palestinians oppose the PA but are afraid to do so publicly. Yet there are very happy to speak anonymously to journalists.
Wouldn’t such an article be more informative than what the Times published?
Apparently providing balanced, objective coverage is not the top priority for the Times. One would have hoped that the “beliefs” section would not carry the same bias as the rest of the paper.
Sadly, that does not appear to be the case.