Daily Israel Report

NYT Journalist: Israelis dislike Obama due to Racism

Online reports reveal virulently anti-Israel views held by staff at the New Israel Fund and the New York Times. Activism can help.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/17/2010, 10:04 PM / Last Update: 4/17/2010, 11:25 PM

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The pro-Israel website Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) are combatting the virulently anti-Israel views that they revealed are held by staff members of  the New Israel Fund and the New York Times.

CAMERA drew attention to an interview given by Eitan (Ethan) Bronner, the New York Times's bureau chief in Jerusalem. In an interview with the American television station MSNBC, Bronner suggested that Israelis dislike United States President Barack Obama because Obama is black.

Bronner told interviewer Chris Matthews that Israelis prefer other senior US officials, such as Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to Obama. According to Bronner, one reason for this is that “there is some level of prejudice about the fact that [Obama] had some Islamic background through his father.”

Obama's policy of putting distance between the US and Israel in order to draw closer to the Muslim world is another factor in Israelis' dislike of the president, Bronner said.

A third factor is “some degree of racism, to be perfectly honest,” he added.

Matthews seemed to support Bronner's claim, saying, “Yes. They – because they see it as a black man, you know...”

Bronner recently aroused anger by comparing the Palestinian Authority's decision to name streets after terrorists to Israel's use of the names of past political leaders such as former Prime Minister Menachem Begin on streets. The PA named streets and public buildings after terrorists such as Yahya Ayash and Dalal Mughrabi, each of whom was responsible for the murder of dozens of civilians; Bronner implied that the gesture was similar to the use of the name 'Begin' in Israel. Begin served as head of the Etzel underground group in pre state Israel that fought to free the country from British rule.

CAMERA asked for protest letters to be sent to the New York Times.

NIF Staffer: Israel Guilty of Terrorism
JIDF revealed that a blogger who accused Israel of state terrorism is apparently a staffer for the New Israel Fund (NIF). The blogger, who goes by the name “kung fu jew,” wrote that Israel is “just at fault as Hamas” for the deaths of Gaza civilians used by terrorists as human shields.

"Israel never has the moral high ground when it uses civilian suffering as a tool of statecraft. It's stooping to moral terrorism,” the writer accused. He also slammed analysts who use the term “global Jihad,” saying, “Spreading belief in a 'global jihad' is the same as spreading belief in the Elders of Zion.”

According to JIDF, the writer's handle is identical to a handle used by NIF staffer Ben Murane.

The sentences were deleted from the blog after the Five Towns Jewish Newspaper in New York publicized the blog's contents and the name and position of the staffer they claimed is the writer.

The NIF has come under fire recently in Israel for taking money from foreign governments and giving funds to radical anti-Zionist organizations. Several of the organizations funded by the NIF, among them Adalah and B'Tzelem, gave testimony to the United Nations-backed Goldstone team that led the team to accuse Israel of war crimes.