Day after day I make it a point never to read The New Yorker, a magazine that used to publish writers like J.D. Salinger. It topped the field in fiction and literary journalism until…until David Remnick took over as editor, turning it into tabloid smut whose main business is to resist Donald Trump.
Reading The New Yorker was like being in a place where good people relaxed and reasoned together. That was before.
These days only radical leftists need apply for positions as writers or readers and this reader finally had enough. I said so when the abuse against Trump began to feel like abuse against me. Smear tactics do that – everybody gets splattered with mud. So I quit the reading as often as messages came in urging me to read the latest, which comes in Daily and sent directly to Trash.
Plus I operated on the assumption that people who detest Trump also detest Israel. Back and forth, it is a mutual loathing society. Don’t ask me why.
But then came a piece titled, “Israel at Seventy. Is The Right Winning the Culture War?” I swam right in. Perhaps Remnick had a change of heart.
He is Jewish after all. In all of us, we are told, there is a pintele yid, a spark of Jewishness. No chance, not with Jews who have turned so far Left.
Take it from me, a hand in several newsrooms, that you can take any story and twist it into any shape. You can take any hero and turn him into a villain.
It’s how you slant it from the start, how you bury the lead (or lede), how you call a person a terrorist instead of an activist, or name someone a settler rather than a patriot.
More on all that in the newsroom thriller, “The Bathsheba Deadline.”
Or you can take any country and decide to go bright or dark. On Israel at its Birthday, The New Yorker chose the dark side, naturally; it’s as reflexive as a yawn.
You can also choose the spokesperson for your article. In Israel, there are millions who would gladly speak of Israel’s wonders; the miracles in medicine, agriculture and technology Israel shares with the world along with its standing as a beacon of Sanity and Liberty in a region adrift in chaos.
Instead, Remnick chose Nitzan Waisberg. She is an Israeli but not a happy camper. They searched and they found precisely their type, a native Israeli who had been around the world and returned to Tel Aviv only to find herself dissatisfied with some changes, namely that the Left was in retreat. She also happens to be a niece of
Serious question before going on – do talkative Israelis, Left or Right, know they are being used?
Do they know that the media always look for the disgruntled customer? The New Yorker and The New York Times are expert at this and for The New Yorker Waisberg was a lucky find.
We cannot imagine that this Sabra meant to do harm. But she did, going on with one gripe after another, amounting to a kvetch-athon top to bottom. Gevalt – the rabbis are coming!
Did she have nothing good to say? Probably, but editing can be so very selective.
Really a nauseating read when from the start we learn that Waisberg was horrified when one of her children was asked in class, at a secular school in Tel Aviv, to taste honey and chocolate in order to appreciate the sweetness of Torah. Can anything be wrong with this? Yes – if you consider Torah values obsolete and old-fashioned, far beneath European Enlightenment.
Waisberg, according to the magazine, wants Israel to be like any other country – nothing special, certainly nothing too Jewish, if Jewish at all.
From the days of the pioneers, Israel was doing just fine until the Jews with their Torah came along and ruined everything. She is quoted as saying, “I came back to a country my grandparents founded, to raise my children. I didn’t recognize the place.” Waisberg had other ideas, far more Progressive.
Writes the magazine – “Leaving behind a teaching appointment at Stanford University…Waisberg was determined to bring Bay Area optimism and Silicon Valley problem-solving… to what she knew was a changing public life in Israel.” Telling that to the world’s top start-up nation.
In other words, we are now going to teach Heifetz how to fiddle.
About “a changing public life in Israel.” This is true.
From all accounts, Religious Zionism is gaining real traction, a trend that gratifies lovers of Zion but terrifies Leftists who view it as encroachment.
Waisberg is quoted throughout as despairing at this pattern of events.
Or isn’t it really The New Yorker that’s doing all the kvetching?
New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.
He is the author of the international book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal” and most recently the two journalism thrillers “The Bathsheba Deadline” and “News Anchor Sweetheart, Hollywood Edition.” Engelhard is the recipient of the Ben Hecht Award for Literary Excellence. Website: www.jackengelhard.com