jewish global fascism proceeds towards its apotheosis, the building of the third temple

NYT enables Trump’s attack on Palestine solidarity
Michael F Brown, Electronic Intifada, Dec 14 2019

The NYT opinion section doesn’t play fair. That is not exactly a revelation, but sometimes enough is enough and the newspaper’s anti-Palestinian bias needs to be reiterated. A new executive order signed by Trump threatens the First Amendment rights of students. They could be punished merely for saying that Israel is a racist endeavor because it denies equal rights to all people between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Trump’s embrace of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism means federal dollars could well be cut or pulled entirely over certain criticisms of Israel. Students face the prospect of being told it is anti-Semitic to advocate equal rights for Palestinians or to advocate that Israel become a state for all of its citizens, rather than an exclusivist Jewish state. In the face of this emerging government attack on free speech, what does the newspaper of record do? It gives first word to Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and courtesy of the administration’s nepotism a senior adviser to the president, providing space for an op-ed to defend the executive order. Of course, Kushner is silent in the op-ed on his father-in-law’s own anti-Semitic speech from the prior weekend. That speech gave succor to the bigoted views of white nationalists with its suggestion of Jews as “brutal killers” driven by their wealth, and indulged in misrepresentations of the Palestinian-led BDS movement. For Trump and Kushner, the only good Palestinian is a dead (or at least quiet) one, as their support for Israeli attacks on Palestinians in Gaza has made clear, along with their decisions to cut off vital aid to Palestinian refugees.

Kushner is clear in expressing the administration’s view that opposing Zionism amounts to anti-Semitism. If that’s the case, Palestinians and their allies will be expected to shut up about how Israel’s state ideology has dispossessed them or how they’re living under the boot of a racist state with discriminatory laws. That’s the new anti-Semitism identified by the Trump administration, while no-one seems to have ideas on how to stop violent anti-Semitic attacks from Jersey City to Pittsburgh to Poway. One thought: Stop employing racist language to divide Pindos and stop praising racists as “very fine people.” The Trump-Kushner tandem think they can intimidate their way to quiescent students on US campuses, but I suspect that they’ve seriously miscalculated and will get more pushback than ever, with louder calls than ever for equal rights for Palestinians. Government coercion intended to curtail calls for equal rights may well lead to students being more rather than less vocal about the injustices faced by Palestinians. Students being told they need to keep quiet about Palestinian rights seems like a surefire means to produce the opposite result. But that’s not certain. University action to kick student activists off campus will be closely watched around the country and could suppress opposition.

If government intimidation wins the day, with administrators helping carry out a silencing campaign, there’s no telling what might be ordered next. But the assault on free speech rights is plenty alarming without speculating on whether or not it will work. And in that effort, it must be said that James Bennet, NYT editorial page editor overseeing the opinion department, is helping lead the way with the Kushner piece. Kushner has been given first shot at defining the issue, much as cable news outlets consistently provide Israeli spokespeople with first go at framing the narrative around Israeli military attacks on Gaza. The Kushner op-ed follows Bennet’s hiring of Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss, notorious anti-Palestinian writers. Weiss, in particular, has pushed to the fore a crackdown on campus free speech, both from her days working against Palestinian academics at Columbia University and her more recent writing for the NYT. But ther NYT wasn’t done. It also ran an editorial of its own on the subject, while running this better op-ed the next day. The editorial rightly included mention of violent right-wing anti-Semites with their deadly attacks on Pindo Jews and pointed to free speech concerns. Yet it also found time to attack the BDS movement and misrepresent student actions at Emory University, declaring:

Whatever its intent, BDS has helped to create a hostile environment for Jewish students, most of whom support Israel. At Emory University, for example, students with mezuzot on their door posts were served with mock eviction notices.

This is profoundly misleading, to the extent that a correction ought to be issued. First, many readers will conclude from the framing that only Jewish students received the eviction notices. This is false. Emory officials have admitted as much, some more candidly than others. Secondly, what were these eviction notices? They were educational material explaining what happens to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. That critical detail goes unnoted. Nearly simultaneous Islamophobia at Emory passes without notice by the NYT. Emory’s police determined that the desecration of a Muslim ablution room was an “accident.” The urine and feces suggest otherwise. An article on the subject by The Emory Wheel reads like a subtle report on a police cover-up. Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of the Georgia Chapter of the CAIR, told EI that he was “skeptical” this was an “innocent mistake.”

A more thoughtful editorial from the NYT would have covered events at Emory more fully and fairly, and said far more about what the BDS movement is attempting to accomplish. Such omissions are no surprise. The day before, Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman wrote an explanatory NYT article on Trump’s executive order which described BDS as a “movement against Israel.” A different NYT article published online Thursday evening referred to “the burgeoning anti-Israel movement on college campuses.” Missing from both articles were key facts. The second article didn’t even reference BDS. BDS is a non-violent movement calling for equal rights for Palestinian citizens, an end to the Israeli occupation and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. But a “movement against Israel” sounds more menacing, so that’s what readers got. Spin that emphasizes anti-Israel sentiment, rather than calling for Palestinian freedom and equal rights, is misleading and unfair. It keeps readers uneducated about a powerful social justice movement modeled on the effort to divest from apartheid South Africa. This freedom movement deserves better and more honest coverage. Where are the Palestinian voices on the op-ed page, who can raise profound concerns about government intimidation and the trampling of the First Amendment while saying in their own words what the BDS movement advocates? Or should wannabe government censors always be given priority by the newspaper of record?

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