Whose Opinion Matters? A Look at the New York Times

Style Points

It’s not just the raw numbers that paint an anti-Israel picture. Since these are, by definition, subjective articles, the language is usually much more exaggerated. One op-ed (Seven Lean Years of Peacemaking) states:

..the years from 2005 to 2012 have been seven decidedly lean ones for peacemaking and withdrawal and seven gluttonously fat ones for entrenching Israel’s occupation and settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

An editorial (Israel and Iran) against military options on Iran says:

Israeli leaders are again talking about possible military action against Iran. This is, at best, mischievous and, at worst, irresponsible, especially when diplomacy has time to run.

An op-ed (The Two-State Solution on the Line) in favor of the Palestinians’ (successful) bid to be elevated to a non-voting state in the United Nations warned that:

If this resolution fails, it will probably mark the death of the two-state solution and move us even closer to a one-state outcome, with uncertain and potentially catastrophic consequences for both Israelis and Palestinians.

If readers are being flooded with articles that combine conclusions and style in a sharply critical anti-Israel thrust, there is no question that they will walk away with a warped view of the conflict.

For example, when thinking about the pros and cons of an Israeli military strike on Iran, the Times reader will have been exposed to a large variety of dissenting voices while only a single piece in the whole year made a solid case for a strike. Likewise on the issue of settlements, it is unlikely that a reader would even know that there are actually conflicting opinions on the legality of settlements. After a continuous trickle of articles that reflect negatively on Israel’s government, is the Times informing the public of the obvious differences between Israel’s democracy and the Palestinian Authority’s autocratic rule?

We do not call for the New York Times to refrain from publishing opinion articles critical of Israel. But we do call for them to recognize their journalistic obligations and provide readers with legitimate views from all sides, including those that support Israeli policies.

Contact the Times and ask where are the editorials, columns and op-eds that express Israel’s perspectives.  You can write to them by clicking here.

Keep an eye out for the second part of this series where we will be reviewing opinion pieces published in the Washington Post.

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