ADL condemns New York Times article on Israel

ADL CEO condemns New York Times article which said Israeli Defense Ministry is helping save lives instead of killing people.

Ben Ariel ,

New York Times
New York Times

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Sunday condemned the New York Times following its article about the Israeli Defense Ministry’s work during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a tweet promoting the article, the newspaper wrote, "The Israeli Defense Ministry’s research-and-development arm is best known for pioneering cutting-edge ways to kill people and blow things up. Now it is turning to saving lives".

The article itself said, "The Israeli Defense Ministry’s research-and-development arm is best known for pioneering cutting-edge ways to kill people and blow things up with stealth tanks and sniper drones among its more lethal recent projects. But its latest mission is lifesaving. Since March, it has been spearheading a sprawling, high-speed effort to unleash some of the country’s most advanced technologies against an enemy of another kind: Covid-19".

On Sunday, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt wrote a protest letter to the New York Times in which he wrote that the paper used “sensationalist, degrading and demonizing language” in the article.

“It’s really unfortunate that your otherwise legitimate and important story about how Israel’s military is developing innovative responses to the Covid-19 pandemic starts out with language accusing the Defense Ministry of being ‘best known for pioneering cutting-edge ways to kill people and blow things up,’” wrote Greenblatt.

“Wow. That’s sensationalist, degrading and demonizing language. Would The Times use the same verbiage to describe the U.S. Department of Defense?” he continued.

Greenblatt pointed out, “The Israeli Defense Ministry’s research and defense arm is in fact critical to Israel’s defense and security. In the face of murderous regimes like the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, and a reign of terrorism from Palestinian suicide bombers, tunnels and homemade rockets targeting civilians, Israel’s military has unfortunately had no choice but to innovate again and again over the years to protect its people from harm.”

“This gratuitous opener not only diverts attention from this unique story, but also seems to call into question Israel’s legitimate defense needs. The Times can do better,” he concluded.

The article was condemned on Friday by Israel's Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, who said, "The New York Times, which buried the Holocaust, is best known for pioneering ways to libel and demonize the Jewish State. Now it is doing the same."

The New York Times is known for past anti-Israel content. Last year, the newspaper published a cartoon in which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is shown as a guide dog for a blind US President Donald Trump.

The cartoon was widely condemned, leading the New York Times to publish an apology on its Twitter account and to later discipline the editor who permitted the cartoon to be published.

In 2017, the New York Times published an opinion piece by Fatah terrorist Marwan Barghouti, who is serving time in an Israeli prison after being convicted of planning multiple terrorist attacks against Israelis.

The newspaper initially published the piece with no reference to Barghouti’s crimes or his membership in a terrorist organization, describing him instead as “a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian”.

Following criticism, the New York Times merely added an Editors’ Note acknowledging that no mention had been made of Barghouti’s conviction.