Trending Topics:

NY Times should apologize for publishing Palestinians ‘have avowed as their goal the killing of all Jews’

on 33 Comments
New York Times headquarters. (Photo: Wikipedia)

New York Times headquarters. (Photo: Wikipedia)

I have sent the “open letter” below to Margaret Sullivan, the Public Editor of The New York Times.  It supports James North’s contention (as stated in this post) that The New York Times must apologize for printing the following statement in a letter from Walter Schimmerling.

The ‘conflict’ exists because, by word and deed, Palestinian Arabs have avowed as their goal the killing of all Jews.

I request that Mondoweiss readers and others, join me in writing Sullivan and requesting that she and The New York Times respond to North’s request for an apology in print.

The slanderous proposition that Palestinians are intent on murdering Israeli Jews is a meme that has increasingly become part of pro-Israeli talking points.  The commenter “Peter in SF” attributes the false charge to Michael Oren.  I hear the echo of a recent speech by Israeli Economy Minister, Naftali Bennett. I wrote about that speech here.

By publishing the libelous statement by Schimmerling and then refusing to apologize, The Times,  which has an important role in defining the parameters of what is acceptable in the debate, at least among liberal Zionists, helps ensure that we will be reading and hearing this racist statement in the future.  That serves neither Palestinians nor those who aspire to peace.

See The New York Times page here for instructions on writing the Public Editor.

Update, March 30:  For all those who want to write the NYTimes about this issue, please address your comments to the Book Review Editor, Pamela Paul, via the Public Editor (see above).


To the Public Editor,

Article Headline:  “Letters, Genesis” written by Walter Schimmerling concerning “Where It Began:  ‘Genesis,’ by John B. Judis,” which appeared in Sunday Book Review, March 5, 2014.

Date Letter Was Published: March 19

Web or Print:  Both the review and the letter appeared in both print and Internet editions.

The following sentence appeared in a letter to The New York Times Book Review: “The ‘conflict’ exists because, by word and deed, Palestinian Arabs have avowed as their goal the killing of all Jews.”

By any standard this statement is racist, patently false and has no place in The New York Times.

I concur with the journalist James North who wrote that because your newspaper allowed this sentence to be published that “The Times must apologize to all its readers, especially to those who are ‘Palestinian Arabs,’ and the newspaper should also reprimand the editor who allowed this libel to get into print.”  His opinion was published at on March 24.

Neither nor Mr. North has received a response to Mr. North’s article.  I appeal to you to take this serious matter into consideration.

Ira Glunts
Madison, NY

Ira Glunts

Ira Glunts is a retired college librarian who lives in Madison, NY. His twitter handle is @abushalom

Other posts by .

Posted In:

33 Responses

  1. Talkback on March 27, 2014, 9:48 am

    Don’t waste your time with the New York Stuermer.

    • Ira Glunts on March 27, 2014, 10:13 am
      • Talkback on March 27, 2014, 10:32 am

        That’s up to you, Ira. I only recommended that you (or anybody else) shouldn’t. If you feel that it wasn’t a waste of time, then good for you.

      • Justpassingby on March 27, 2014, 10:59 am


        I see what you are mean, msm is trash, but your view is also flawed imo. You know the reason why they can write this slanderous stuff is because no one is protesting (some do as Ira is doing now, which is great).

      • bilal a on March 27, 2014, 11:07 am

        bravo. But if a non Hebrew speaking American wrote to the NYT, would they publish the letter?

        This is the American occupation.

  2. Citizen on March 27, 2014, 10:25 am

    Yep. We will see what the NYT does with this. I imagine it will not bring honesty to the subject. That’s its pattern. The pricks.

  3. seafoid on March 27, 2014, 11:16 am

    “An Israeli army soldier admitted to police that he was not stabbed by a group of young Arabs on Thursday in Jerusalem, but instead fell, contrary to his first version of events.
    Earlier it was reported that the soldier’s alleged Arab assailants fled the scene in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev after stabbing him in the leg and lightly wounding him.
    Police believed the attack was nationalistically motivated and launched a search for the attackers. But around noon the soldier told interrogators that he made the story up.”

    • Kay24 on March 28, 2014, 10:49 am

      Lying is in their psyche. It seems the IDF finds it very, very easy, to blame Palestinians, in fact they are so good at it, they are able to kill a Jordanian Judge, call him a terrorist, accuse HIM of attacking armed soldiers, and then when Jordan was outraged, Bibi had to give them the usual half hearted story of “regretting” the incidence. So who believes them, anyway? It makes me wonder how many innocent Palestinian civilians, including little kids, have been killed, and then blamed for their own deaths. Too many I expect.

  4. Rusty Pipes on March 27, 2014, 11:34 am

    Would the NYT have printed a letter about the Civil Rights movement, “The ‘conflict’ exists because, by word and deed, Blacks have avowed as their goal the killing of all Whites”? Would the NYT print a letter claiming the reverse, “The ‘conflict’ exists because, by word and deed, Jews have avowed as their goal the killing of all Palestinian Arabs”? Does the NYT have a policy about hate speech in its letters to the editor?

    • ritzl on March 27, 2014, 1:06 pm

      @Rusty- It apparently does have a policy on hate speech. It’s OK.

  5. seafoid on March 27, 2014, 12:05 pm

    Palestinian students visit Auschwitz for the first time to understand the Israeli viewpoint

    When is the first busload of Jewish students due to visit Gaza to see what the IDF has done there ?

    • ritzl on March 27, 2014, 12:47 pm

      Aw hell. Does empathy mean, Hitler killed millions of you so here is the key to my home? …My family and I will just move out. Help yourselves, there’s food in the fridge and blankets by the beds. …

      It’s hard to conceive how Palestinians could have any more empathy than they’ve already been forced to have? Decades worth of it. And now they’re going non-violent which is the ultimate empathy in the face of all they endure.

      And yeah, when will those busloads of Jewish-Israeli students head to Gaza for a week or so? Heck, those big red signs say it’s illegal for Jewish-Israelis to even venture into the WB. Talk about enforced non-empathy. Maybe tearing those signs down would be a big first step toward making the empathy mutual.

      The disconnect in this, “We took your homes but you must love us, or else.” mentality is so tiresome. But that well is deep.

      Sorry, I’m so tired of the one-sidedness of this. Progress is being made on this issue, but there’s such a long way to go yet.

      • seafoid on March 27, 2014, 1:13 pm

        Look at Auschwitz. This is why you have no rights.
        It’s as ludicrous as Arbeit macht Frei.

    • Shuki on March 27, 2014, 5:46 pm

      A completely laughable comparison… we’d expect nothing less from a delusional bigot.

      • seafoid on March 28, 2014, 8:04 am


        Justify collective punishment in Gaza
        Is that really Judaism ?

      • Eva Smagacz on March 28, 2014, 8:53 am


        Is suffering of an individual Palestinian completely laughable in comparison to a suffering of an individual Jew? Because I am not sure what you are finding laughable in the suffering of either.

      • talknic on March 28, 2014, 9:17 am

        @ Shuki “.. we’d expect nothing less from a delusional bigot”

        Coming from a delusional bigot who purposefully lower cases ‘a’rab 75% of the time, is what’s laughable pal.

        Search for “Arab” result 2
        Search for “arab” result 8

  6. K Renner on March 27, 2014, 12:38 pm

    I think responding to this is a good idea because, regardless of it being the opinion of one letter-writing jackass– one Walter Schimmerling– as opposed to the paper’s stance or something (and of course not saying that the NYT has some stellar coverage, but admittedly better then some other American publications), this is a patently delusional and dangerous statement, especially if official organs of the Israeli state take it up as part of their reasons for “we can’t have peace with the Palestinians”.

    Anyone who’s studied the history of the situation in general and the Palestinian cause in general will know that it’s not about “slaughtering all the Jews” as some of the more obnoxious idiots like to screamingly allege.

  7. Donald on March 27, 2014, 1:00 pm

    There’s a bright side to all this, though I don’t think the NYT policy is based on what I’m about to say. I’ve always thought that the most devastating criticisms of the pro-Israel position come inadvertently from the people trying to defend it. In printing this letter the NYT is showing the moral bankruptcy of the people defending Israel.

    In a way it’s unfair to the pro-Israel side that the NYT doesn’t print letters from anti-semites, while they do print the anti-Palestinian garbage. I’m glad they don’t publish the anti-semitic letters–they might very well pick out the worst letters they get from the David Duke types and print them, giving the impression that this is what most critics of Israel look like.

  8. DICKERSON3870 on March 27, 2014, 1:39 pm

    RE: “The slanderous proposition that Palestinians are intent on murdering Israeli Jews is a meme that has increasingly become part of pro-Israeli talking points… I hear the echo of a recent speech by Israeli Economy Minister, Naftali Bennett.” ~ Ira Glunts

    SEE – “Israel’s Wildcard: The Man Who Could Stop The Peace Process”, By Julia Amalia Heyer in Tel Aviv,, 3/26/14

    [EXCERPT] . . . Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, 42, is keen to show that he doesn’t hold much regard for the daily grind of political life and that if it weren’t for the azure silhouette of his great aunt Zila embroidered in yarn, he might instead still be enjoying his success as an entrepreneur in the coastal city of Raanana. His mother’s cousin was Russian and shared the fate of most members of Bennett’s family — who were murdered by Stalin’s henchmen because of their Jewish heritage. Her embroidered likeness hanging behind his desk is a daily reminder and incentive for Bennett to make sure it is a fate that his own children never share.
    Great Aunt Zila is also part of the reason Bennett, who sees himself as a businessman through and through, has now become a politician. A booming software business in Israel and the United States no longer contented him after a life-changing deployment in the 2006 Lebanon war. At the time, he had just become a first-time father and asked himself, “What is it that these Hezbollah guys actually want?” In Lebanon, he says he learned “they all still have a single goal in mind — to kills us.” . . .


    • seafoid on March 27, 2014, 3:36 pm

      In Lebanon, he says he learned “they all still have a single goal in mind — to kills (sic) us.”

      Such a pity they can’t separate the failed war of aggression from the religion of the soldiers.

  9. James Canning on March 27, 2014, 2:27 pm

    I do not see a problem with the NYT’s printing of the letter by the apparently fanatically anti-Palestinian reader in Washington. A letter ripping into the nonsense put out in it, would be welcome (in NYT books).

  10. James North on March 27, 2014, 5:44 pm

    Thanks to Ira Glunts for keeping the pressure on. The test for Times Book Review editors is to ask themselves whether they would have allowed letter writers to tell similar sweeping lies about any other group of people anywhere. Would the editors, to take just one example, permit a letter from India to state that “Pakistanis have avowed as their goal the killing of all Indians.”??
    Why did the editors of a prestigious book review print the kind of disgusting racism that you might expect to find confined to certain barrooms after 11 p.m.?

    • Sumud on March 27, 2014, 9:49 pm

      Would they publish a letter from a Palestinian claiming that “Israelis have avowed as their goal the killing of all Palestinians?”

      I doubt it, but in a country with Israel’s history, and the popularity of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef – 850,000 in attendance for his funeral – there’s a fairly solid case to be made that there is genocidal intent among the Israeli jewish population:

      It was his comments about non-Jews that were the ugliest. In 2010 he said of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the people he leads that “all these evil people should perish from this world. God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.”

      On Arabs in general, he said in 2001, “It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable.” In 2009 he said of Muslims “their religion is as ugly as they are.”

      CS Monitor: Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, in his own words

      Of course Walter Schimmerling does not make a fact-based argument in his letter, not that the NYT has any particular attachment to facts when it comes to Israel.

      • Kay24 on March 28, 2014, 11:00 am

        Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, was an ugly man himself, inside and out. It seems he thought he was entitled to show his bigotry, and curse others like a drunken sailor. Had an Arab leader said: “It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send rockets to them an annihilate them. They are evil and damnable”, he said of Jews “their religion is as ugly as they are”.

        We could have heard the uproar, outrage, and cries of anti-semitism, up to the moon. The US media would have pounced on it, and it would have made news in all the controlled publications, that seems to have ignored this show of bigotry and ignorance.
        The large crowd that attended his funeral is indicative of large numbers agreeing with his bigotry.

      • hophmi on March 28, 2014, 12:09 pm

        “Had an Arab leader said: “It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send rockets to them an annihilate them. They are evil and damnable”, he said of Jews “their religion is as ugly as they are”.

        We could have heard the uproar, outrage, and cries of anti-semitism, up to the moon. The US media would have pounced on it, and it would have made news in all the controlled publications, that seems to have ignored this show of bigotry and ignorance.”

        Oh yeah? Go to Do a search for Palestinian and Arab clergy, see how many times they’ve said something nasty about Jews. Then, cross-reference those instances with the NY Times and other MSM publications, and tell me how many times these instances were reported upon.

        I think you’ll find that most of them were not.

      • Citizen on March 28, 2014, 12:49 pm

        @ Kay24
        A Jewish newspaper is currently publishing a series of articles on American Jewish charities; in the first article, they show that said “Americans” give billions of dollars yearly to Israel and write it off on their IRS 1040s; this is additional to Goy taxpayers who give over $3 B yearly in direct aid to Israel.
        It’s a clear example of how the Goys pay for Israeli crimes–and don’t even know it.

      • James Canning on March 28, 2014, 7:18 pm

        Some “charities” facilitate the growth of illegal colonies of Jews in the West Bank, so I understand.

  11. seafoid on March 28, 2014, 2:22 am

    Zionism is vile. They run a sick Jim Crow system and tell the world that the people they oppress are uncivilised.

    “She stood in the middle of Eilat Airport’s small departures hall, and her eyes said it all. An impressive, well-dressed woman with an assertive face, only her burning eyes betrayed the insult she felt. “I’m so ashamed,” she said, and the tears began to fall. But shame is the last thing Ezies Elias Shehadeh should be feeling. The shame is ours, all Jews who live in Israel and who allow the kind of situation that Shehadeh experienced to take place.

    Shehadeh, a Christian Arab (Palestinian) who was born in Safed and has taught tourism at a Jewish high school in Tirat Carmel for 19 years, was returning from a school trip to Eilat with her students.

    As soon as she reached the security screening station, she was separated from her students and treated like an arch-terrorist.

    At Ben-Gurion International Airport, before the flight to Eilat, she was singled out for special attention from security but not to the same extent as in Eilat for the return flight. Shehadeh relates that she flashed her teachers’ union membership card, the inspectors recognized that she was Arab(Palestinian) but gave her a boarding pass without any problem — or so she thought. A few minutes later, she was called back to the screening station. Her purse and suitcase were emptied out, she was instructed to remove her shoes and her rings, and her cellphone was whisked away for inspection.

    Nobody else on the flight was treated that way, she says. She remained quiet while her purse was emptied. She knows that as soon as the name on her identity card is read, she will be treated as if she were a ticking time bomb.

    But at Eilat Airport, before the return flight, someone decided that she needed to be searched more thoroughly. She was taken aside to a small room where, she says, she was strip-searched. A security officer was stationed outside the room, while inside, a woman inspector wearing gloves began probing all through her carefully-styled hair. “They touched me all over my body. They even asked me about my bones. They asked me to take off my slacks, my bra. I remained in my underpants,” she says, as the tears come back. “When I complained, they asked me: ‘Do you want to do this the easy way, or stay here?’ I went through close to an hour of humiliation that way.”

    It was not the first time, of course. Once when Shehadeh traveled abroad with her family, when they gave their last name as Elias, when airport screeners asked them for their name, they were ushered to an express line. But then the inspectors saw an additional name, Shehadeh, on their passports, and transferred them to a long line where even the children’s baby food was opened for inspection. In other instances, Shehadeh and her husband were asked to produce their marriage certificate, and on another trip they were asked to point out their destination on a map. Every time they traveled, the harassment increased. ”

    Iman Chahadeh is fighting for all the Shehadahs .

  12. Cina on March 28, 2014, 12:07 pm

    I had written to the Times about it many days ago but no answer.

    Btw I am surprised Mondo has not covered the fact the the States Department refused to allow a visa waiver for Israelis precisely because of the treatment of Palestinian Americans traveling to Israel. That is big news, no?

    • Ira Glunts on March 28, 2014, 1:29 pm

      @Cina Thanks for writing. I think it helped. The New York Times has informed me that the editors at the Sunday Book Review were reviewing the matter yesterday.

      I will post more when we learn more.

      • Cina on March 28, 2014, 2:17 pm

        Wonderful. Let’s hope they make the right decision. Thanks for the update Ira.

Leave a Reply