The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) on Monday called on The New York Times to issue a retraction after it published a defamatory article last week that unjustly vilified the Israeli army.
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".
“The New York Times has sunk to a new low by printing an article that defamed the Israeli army and inevitably engendered anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment by virtue of its callous hatchet job,” said NCYI President Farley Weiss in a statement on Monday.
“Rather than focusing solely on the innovation and ingenuity that is the basis for a noble collaborative effort put forth by Israel’s high tech-sector to address the global threat posed by COVID-19, David Halbfinger instead crafted a lede that besmirches the Israeli army, which, contrary to his assertion, expends a tremendous amount of effort and energy to actually save lives, not end them,” continued Weiss.
“In light of the falsities contained in the story and the malicious demonization of Israel’s Defense Ministry, The New York Times must issue an immediate retraction and make a public apology. No one deserves a free pass for denigrating Israel, and The New York Times has a journalistic duty to set the record straight and recant this unprovoked attack on the state of Israel,” he concluded.
The New York Times is known for publishing anti-Israel content in the past. 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.
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 Timesmerely added an Editors’ Note acknowledging that no mention had been made of Barghouti’s conviction.