JPost Apologizes for NIF Op-ed

Don't take the left's aggression lying down. Fight back, protest, complain - you can make a difference.

Rochel Sylvetsky,

Rochel Sylvetsky
Rochel Sylvetsky
Rochel Sylvetsky

Friday’s JPost  included a shocking and insulting op-ed penned by the New Israel Fund's vice president in charge of public relations.  It was written in response to an article in that paper by Mr. Ronn Torossian, public relations CEO and a frequent Arutz Sheva op-ed writer.

In his article, Torossian had publicized the fact that the New Israel Fund supports boycotts of Israel and that prominent American Jews continue to donate significant sums to it - information that is available to the public and that Arutz Sheva has given prominent exposure. 

In the NIF response, incredibly called "Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel," Torossian was termed "disreputable", and Jeffrey Goldberg's description of what he considers "the lunatic fringe" was applied to him, among other insults and inaccuracies.

Naturally, Torossian's lawyers contacted the JPost immediately.

Upon reading the article on Friday, we immediately sent the following letter to the JPost editor as well as the paper's op-ed editor:

Are you actually giving in to NIF bullies, like the Rototom Festival did to BDS? NIF's Naomi Paiss' article against Ronn Torossian was laced with untruths, personally insulting and a surprising low for your paper.

NIF is everything Torossian says and more. He is far from disreputable. He heads one of the top 25 PR agencies in the USA.

He is, however, an unabashed right wing (perish the thought) Zionist, pro-Jabotinsky and was a member of Betar (not the sports club) and a supporter of Benny Elon. To Jeffrey G., Obama's sycophant, that is the "lunatic fringe."

NIF is a fund that supports organizations. As such, it supports BDS supporters and anti-Zionist organizations such as Adalah. Semantics don't help.

The factually inaccurate, defamatory NIF piece has now been removed from the JPost archives and online edition – and the paper issued an apology.

The apology, sent to our email address and posted on their site, says: “On Friday, August 21, The Jerusalem Post published an op-ed by the New Israel Fund which was factually inaccurate and slanderous. The said article has been removed from our archives. We apologize to Ronn Torossian for the multiple factual errors, as well as for the hurtful tone.  As published, the New Israel Fund remains a proponent of a boycott of Israel. The Jerusalem Post apologizes to our readers.”

Those who provide a forum to boycotters should be aware of the recent Israeli Supreme Court decision which upheld civil lawsuits against those who urge boycotts against Israeli individuals, companies, and institutions. Most of the Law Preventing Harm to the State of Israel by Means of Boycott was sustained – and that law naturally includes all of the State of Israel, including Judea and Samaria.

As Justice Hanan Meltzer declared, “Calling for boycotts and participating in it, therefore, can sometimes be considered ‘political terror.'” Prominent civil rights attorney, Alyza Lewin, President of the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists said, “An overwhelming majority of the Israeli Supreme Court relied on American constitutional principles that give wide protection to free speech to uphold an Israeli law that wisely protects the Israeli economy against calls for destructive commercial boycotts.”

The New Israel Fund openly advocates and financially supports a boycott of Israel.

In nuanced English, their op-ed noted that NIF will “not deny funding to organizations that call for a boycott of settlement products…” In  plain English, $30 Million Dollars a year is raised from American Jews to boycott post-1967 Israel – including the Western Wall, Ma’aleh Adumim, Shiloh and other Israeli cities.  The NIF supports a boycott of Israel.

This is the situation facing Israel and the Jewish people in August 2015:  The President of UJA-Federation is a donor to NIF, an organization that boycotts Israel, A Jewish singer isn’t permitted to perform at a jazz festival unless he agrees to making an anti-Israel pledge until an outcry gets him re-invited, an Israeli prize-winning film about special education is banned from a European festival and a world-famous Israeli model is asked to not attend a fashion show because of her nationality. 

Israel – and those who stand with her – increasingly stand alone. 

Don't let that go uncontested.

And - Steve Linde, the executive editor of the Jerusalem Post should be contacted at steve@jpost.com, commended for his quick about-face and urged to never again provide a forum for Israel boycotters.


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