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).
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 Mondoweiss.net on March 24.
Neither Mondoweiss.net nor Mr. North has received a response to Mr. North’s article. I appeal to you to take this serious matter into consideration.