‘NYT’ and ‘Newsweek’ need to fact-check their propagandists

US Politics
on 21 Comments

Rightwing rabbi Shmuley Boteach recently published a full-page ad in the New York Times accusing John Kerry of anti-Semitism. As you can see below, the ad begins with these words:

For the last few weeks, Palestinian terrorists have slashed, stoned, shot and rammed to death scores of innocent Jews on the streets of Israel.

That’s false. You cannot speak of scores dead when the number of Israelis killed was 15 at the time, according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (It is now 22; a little over one score.) I thought the New York Times did not publish ads that were so patently false, or asked for revisions. BTW, scores of Palestinians have been killed.

Boteach's ad accusing John Kerry of anti-Semitism

Boteach’s ad accusing John Kerry of anti-Semitism

Two days ago, Newsweek ran a Tel Aviv diary by a pro-Israel writer, Marc Schulman. He wrote of the recent attacks on Israelis:

Without question, Israeli history is full of tragedies that are worse than the events of the past two months, such as wars that claimed thousands of lives and a second intifada during which busses blew up daily and took dozens of lives with them.

This is what Huck Finn called a stretcher. Buses didn’t blow up daily. Wikipedia’s list of Israeli civilian casualties of the Second Intifada says 887 were killed and lists many bus bombings over five years. They plainly did not occur daily. The toll in these terror attacks were, at the highest, 15, 19, 16, and 23, by my count. Yes, certainly dozens killed over five years, but Schulman is purposely exaggerating the truth.

This is not to diminish the slaughter of the Second Intifada on the Israeli side. But facts are facts; journalistic publications become reliable or not based on whether their facts are right. And if a speaker is misstating such basic information, why should you trust their judgment?

P.S. You can see that Boteach is proud of the fact that he has lately been called Ted Cruz’s rabbi in the press, a vital link for the rightwing Texas senator so as to apply for Sheldon Adelson’s millions. Remember that just two years ago Boteach was Ambassador Samantha Power’s rabbi to the Israel lobby; so that she could get a seal of good housekeeping so as to obtain her job. There is no more stark proof of the power of the Israel lobby in our politics than the manner in which the services of this intolerant man are sought out by right and left. And not because they like him. Because he’s necessary.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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21 Responses

  1. lyn117
    November 29, 2015, 12:15 pm

    “For the last few weeks, Palestinian terrorists have slashed, stoned, shot and rammed to death scores of innocent Jews on the streets of Israel.”

    Maybe a score if you count “attempts” to stone or slash. “To death” might be taken as a dangling modifier. However, virtually none of this occurred on the streets of Israel, and most weren’t innocent Jews, but ones guilty of directly aiding and abetting their government’s illegal settlement enterprise, i.e., settlers. Maybe 2 victims were in Israel.

  2. lyn117
    November 29, 2015, 12:46 pm

    The Newsweek comment section is horrible, with people on both sides making genocidal statements.

    • Krauss
      November 29, 2015, 7:03 pm

      Comments on the internet only really work on niche blogs like these – and even then it’s a hassle. We’ve had our fair share of cranks through the years, including those who blantantly denied the Shoah of ever taking place to those who trafficked in 9/11 da jooz dun did it conspiracy theories.

      They got banned, of course, but it just goes to show how easily comments spiral out of control unless it’s a very specific audience and a very well-kept blog – and even then there are no guarantees. A general website like Newsweek isn’t a good indication. If you want to lose faith in humanity, read the comments in those big yahoo news stories whenever there is something about Islam or muslims. It’s pure genocidal filth.

      That’s why I’m fairly creeped out by someone like Trump, not because the man himself is impressive, he isn’t, but because his candidacy has exposed a deep strain of fascism in American life.

  3. John O
    November 29, 2015, 2:17 pm

    A picture worth a thousand words – just look at his body language.

    • JLewisDickerson
      November 29, 2015, 11:40 pm

      FROM MERRIAM-WEBSTER.COM:
      ■ haughty
      adjective haugh·ty \ˈhȯ-tē, ˈhä-\
      : having or showing the insulting attitude of people who think that they are better, smarter, or more important than other people

    • Citizen
      November 29, 2015, 11:50 pm

      Arrogance personified.

  4. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    November 29, 2015, 2:41 pm

    “as wars that claimed thousands of lives”

    Here’s a wild thought: If Israelis dont’ want their citizens to die in wars (we know they don’t care about non-Israelis) how about they stop fighting those wars?

    Every single one of Israel’s wars has been of its own choosing.

    • inbound39
      November 29, 2015, 4:22 pm

      Yes Maximus,Israel’s violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention was entirely its choice as was expanding beyond its declared borders. What on earth did Israel expect would happen? Did they expect the Palestinians would stand outside their homes and gladly and willingly hand over the keys and title deeds to their property? Did Israel think the Palestinians would line up dutifully in open streets so the IOF could efficiently gun them down and thus make Israel’s land theft easy? Israel looks more and more ridiculous by the day and its assertions less legitimate with every statement and yet America stands biddably alongside Israel in its “Special Relationship.”

  5. JWalters
    November 29, 2015, 8:14 pm

    The Zionist arguments always begin with the presumption that Israel has the moral high ground. They never engage in any discussion of this presumption. They cannot afford to have a discussion of this, with actual evidence presented. They count on the fact that Zionist money controls the mainstream media, and all the reporters, anchors, and pundits will lick the sh*t from the soles of their boots. Many of these people, being educated and informed, are probably retching in private at being coerced into betraying America’s core ideals of universal human rights and freedom of speech.

    Boteach is natural front man for the criminals who pay his expenses, being a lying con artist and a bully. More evidence in the article and comments here.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2015/09/debacle-boteach-netanyahu

    • Kathleen
      November 30, 2015, 12:15 pm

      Kerry has called this “presumption that Israel has the moral high ground” out publicly. No way to put these much needed public challenges back in the bottle no matter how hard the gatekeepers try.

  6. Citizen
    November 29, 2015, 11:55 pm

    Boteach, America’s self-proclaimed All-Purpose Rabbi, is a perfect target for that classic juvenile label, as in; “He’s a reeeaaaaaaal PRICK!”

  7. Marnie
    November 30, 2015, 12:33 am

    News
    ›UK
    ›Home News
    .
    Shmuley Boteach: Leading rabbi says ‘UK is known as a country that is hostile to Israel’

    Hostility to Israel in the UK had got ‘much worse, he warns
    Ian Burrell Media Editor |
    @iburrell |
    Saturday 28 November 2015|

    Shmuley Boteach claims British academics are ‘virulently anti-Israel’ Charlie Forgham-Bailey

    A US rabbi has accused British academia of betraying the nation’s traditions of free speech by encouraging “no platform” policies for speakers who voice support for Israel.

    Shmuley Boteach, one of America’s most high-profile Jewish figures, said the UK is known as a country where most of the population is opposed to Israel. Rabbi Boteach, who served as rabbi at Oxford University for 11 years, said hostility to Israel in the UK had got “much worse”.

    “British academics are arguably the most virulently anti-Israel group in Europe today. It’s quite widespread throughout British academia. They come out constantly with these boycotts,” he said, asking why the same academics did not support economic blockades of China over its human rights violations.

    The rabbi said a “no platform” policy in campuses was damaging Britain’s heritage of open debate and preventing the Middle East being properly discussed.

    He cited the disruption of a 2012 Edinburgh University talk by Daniel Taub, Israeli ambassador, and the 2010 visit to the Oxford Union of Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who was interrupted by shouts of “Slaughter the Jews” in Arabic.

    “One of the problems that pro-Israel speakers face, on UK campuses in particular, is they are jeered and shouted down by Israel opponents who don’t even have to [debate],” said Rabbi Boteach, 49.

    “Britain has distinguished itself for rigorous and robust parliamentary debates. This betrays that tradition. Britain has things like Speakers’ Corner that they don’t have in other countries.”

    The Orthodox rabbi addressed the Oxford Union this week on gay marriage. Rabbi Boteach, who has nine children, believes faith and marriage should not be connected, backing “civil unions for all and marriage for none”. His brother is a gay Orthodox Jew who he describes as “a far better human than me”.

    Is the UK so “hostile” to Israel that this American man would refuse a speaking engagement there? He has a lot of nerve calling the UK hostile, especially in the obvious disdain he has for his surroundings in the above picture, and the photo with this article shows his contemptuous self loud and clear. I’d label the above photo as “Defender of Zion, with Charlize on my mind……”

  8. Marnie
    November 30, 2015, 6:04 am

    “One of the problems that pro-Israel speakers face, on UK campuses in particular, is they are jeered and shouted down by Israel opponents who don’t even have to [debate],” said Rabbi Boteach, 49.” Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Cry into another bottle of He-Brew, The Chosen Beer.

    Now for some reality regarding jeers and being shouted down:

    Court shuts down left-wing lecture following threats of violence
    972mag.com/court-shuts-down-left-wing…/114216/

    +972 Magazine

    5 days ago – ‘Breaking the Silence’ planned to hold a speaking event at a local pub in Be’er Sheva. The police shut it down after it could not ensure the safety of the participants.
    John Brown

    A Be’er Sheva court barred a local pub from hosting an event put on by “Breaking the Silence” following threats by right-wing activists.

    The Be’er Sheva Magistrate’s Court issued the order barring the event, which was supposed to take place Tuesday night at the Ashan Hazman pub, following a request by the police, which arrested a resident of the city on suspicion of threatening the pub owner earlier this week.

    Breaking the Silence is an Israeli NGO comprised of former combat soldiers who try to expose the Israeli public to the realities of the occupation through discussions of their military service as well as tours to the West Bank.

    In court, the police prosecutor argued that “according to our intelligence, extreme rightists called on other right wingers to come to the pub and torpedo the event. Our intelligence included remarks that were grave bordering on dangerous.” The judge accepted the appeal and barred the event from taking place at the pub. According to the judge, “the intelligence shows that there are those who wish to disrupt the gathering… and that they are willing to use violence to do so.”

    According to the state representative, the request for a restraining order came too late — only four hours before the event was scheduled to take place — and that they only heard of the event the day before the hearing. This is a strange claim, when considering that the police arrested a right-wing activist suspected of threatening the event organizer two days on Sunday.

    The request for a restraining order also came after the organization complied with a police request to compile and hand over a list of attendees. According to Breaking the Silence, the police also requested the owner take responsibility over what happens in the area surrounding the pub during the event, meaning he is responsible for protecting patrons from right-wing violence. The owner refused this request, leading the police to appeal to the court.

    It is worth noting that the pub is not a publicly-funded institution, and that the Breaking the Silence event was cancelled because the police were unable to protect attendees.

    Breaking the Silence responded to the court’s decision:

    Be’er Sheva Police has awarded right-wing terror a prize instead of doing its job and maintaining public order. It’s capitulation to right-wing terror does not happen in a vacuum, this is the spirit of the law that comes from above — from the prime minister, education minister, justice minister and their friends — who constantly incite against social activists and human rights activists. Neither their campaign of hatred and incitement nor will right-wing terror stop us — we will continue to meet today and in the future, with everyone who cares about the future of the state and Israeli society. They will not silence us.

    Breaking the Silence eventually held the event in a number of private apartments in Be’er Sheva.

    And, lest we forget, there’s this, from Mondoweiss

  9. Kathleen
    November 30, 2015, 11:26 am

    Think the MW team might be interested in what Joe Scarborough had to say about Palestinians this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe in the segment with Trump going off

    Joe at 2:50 (having to do with9/11): “Almost every Muslim government around the world except Palestinians were holding candle light vigils other than Palestinians were holding candle light vigils and holding prayer services for us”

    Then Israeli minister of education Netali Bennett goes on about IDF entering the Gaza and West Bank he suggest that 50-60,000 troops need to be on the ground. He is questioned by Richard Haas and Willie Geist whether he is indicating that those troops need to be American boots. Bennett goes on to say that “he is not in the business of telling the U.S. what to do”

    Worth the watch and listen

    Morning Joe 11/30/15

    Israeli Minister: ISIS can be defeated quickly

    Israeli Minister of Education Naftali Bennett explains how ISIS can be defeated through a concerted effort of 50,000 – 60,000 soldiers on the ground.

    Later Natali brings up how Israel has dealt with their terrorist he references Gaza. Not one of the host brings up how Israel slaughtered several thousand Palestinians in the Gaza…not a whisper.

  10. Kathleen
    November 30, 2015, 12:11 pm

    Newweek owned by Israeli agent former Congress person Jane “waddling over to interfere in Aipac espionage investigation” Harman. No surprises there

  11. lysias
    November 30, 2015, 5:33 pm

    OT, but I thought I had to report this someplace. It’s starting to look like July 1914.

    Russian Ships Waiting for Hours to Cross Bosphorus :

    Vessels sailing under the flag of Russia are now facing challenges while passing the Bosphorus Strait that connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara.

    Kyiv-based Center for Transport Strategies reported it with reference to data of an online vessel tracking system atmarinetraffic.com.

    As reported, on Sunday Russian vessels were moving on a zig-zag and curved course, waiting for hours for permission to cross the Strait.

    Movements of vessels from other countries were without a delay on that day. Russian vessels entered the Bosphorus late in the evening of November 29.

    Wouldn’t that be a violation of the Montreux Convention?

  12. light2014
    November 30, 2015, 7:44 pm

    From Indonesia, a Muslim Challenge to the Ideology of the Islamic State

    JAKARTA, Indonesia — The scene is horrifyingly familiar. Islamic State soldiers march a line of prisoners to a riverbank, shoot them one by one and dump their bodies over a blood-soaked dock into the water.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/27/world/asia/indonesia-islam-nahdlatul-ulama.html?_r=0
    The scene is horrifyingly familiar. Islamic State soldiers march a line of prisoners to a riverbank, shoot them one by one and dump their bodies over a blood-soaked dock into the water.
    But instead of the celebratory music and words of praise expected in a jihadi video, the soundtrack features the former Indonesian president, Abdurrahman Wahid, singing a Javanese mystical poem: “Many who memorize the Quran and Hadith love to condemn others as infidels while ignoring their own infidelity to God, their hearts and minds still mired in filth.”
    A. Wahid also visited the SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER to speak out against Holocaust denial. And he has encouraged the Muslim world to improve its relations with Israel.

    • Marnie
      December 1, 2015, 12:27 am

      “A. Wahid also visited the SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER to speak out against Holocaust denial. And he has encouraged the Muslim world to improve its relations with Israel.”

      How? The zionist state has made it crystal clear they have no interests in any kind of relation with Muslims other than the Master/Slave or Guard/Prisoner, or the Baby Got Bank relationship with the Saudis.

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