Monday, April 04, 2016

  • Monday, April 04, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Daniel Patrick Moynihan is famous for saying "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts."

This goes doubly so for New York Times op-eds.

Today's case in point is an op-ed written by Omar Zahzah, "a Ph.D. student in comparative literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is on Twitter." (It is part of an online debate about whether anti-Zionism is antisemitism, which really is not the question.)


The NYT doesn't bother to mention that Zahzah is also a former president of the Students for Justice in Palestine UCLA. His activism on behalf of an organization that is dedicated to destroying the Jewish state may be more relevant.

Now, what does this graduate student have to say that is so critical for NYT readers to know?

It is a collection of straw men, half-truths and lies.

When the University of California Regents recently passed a statement condemning “anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism,” it avoided a broader proposal to equate anti-Zionism with bigotry. But this and similar efforts around the country to condemn anti-Zionism are part of a well documented, politically motivated national campaign to shut down speech critical of Israeli policies and deny the experiences of more than 750,000 Palestinians who were made refugees by ethnic cleansing at the creation of Israel.
His links to "prove" a "well documented, politically motivated national campaign" to shut down free speech come from ridiculusly biased sources. Of course no one is trying to stifle legitimate criticism of Israel - they are against the absurd, one-sided demonization and de-legitimization of Israel that applies rules to the Jewish state that to no other country on Earth has to live up to.

The New York Times allows the use of the phrase "ethnic cleansing" to describe the flight of Arabs from a war zone, the vast majority of whom were not forced out of their homes.

My relatives were among the Palestinians displaced. They did not deserve to be expelled from their homes, nor do any of the Palestinians who are still being uprooted because of Israeli government policies.
Without knowing where his relatives were from, we cannot know if they were "expelled." Chances are pretty slight. And to say that people who build illegal houses or raise terrorists do not deserve to have their homes taken away from them is hardly a true statement.
Anti-Zionism is a principled anti-racist position.
Actually, it is always a bigoted position meant to deny the Jewish people, alone among all peoples, the right to self-determination. (And when called on it, they deny that the Jewish people exist - which is antisemitism, too.)
The notion that there should be freedom and self-determination for Palestinians leads me to call on Israel to respect the United Nations mandated right of return for forcibly displaced refugees and their families.
Here he links to UN resolution 194 which is not law, nor is it a "mandate," nor is it a "right" - even according to its own language.
It is my conviction of equality that compels me to speak out against Israeli apartheid, with over 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel and render them second-class citizens.

Clearly Zahzah has no "conviction of equality" because he says that the Palestinian Arabs, who have only been recognized as a people in the past fifty years (and even that is debatable), have the right to self-determination - but the Jewish people do not.

Who is the racist?

Worse, the NYT allows the use of the false term "apartheid" as if it is fact. And the "50 discriminatory laws" is another false canard.

By allowing these statements to be included in an op-ed, the New York Times is complicit in spreading lies. In a way it is more insidious, because the incidental mention of these false anti-Israel talking points like "ethnic cleansing," "apartheid" and "right of return" gives the casual reader the impression that these statements must be true since the NYT allowed them to be published.

Fact checking should be at least as important in op-eds as in news articles. And the NYT has failed yet again.


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