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May 06, 2015

Anti-Israel Bias Oozes into USA Today Column, Again

When it comes to Israel, veteran USA Today columnist DeWayne Wickham apparently cannot help himself—if he sees an opportunity to disparage the Jewish state, or imagines he does, he takes it.

In “Israel Seems to Irritate USA Today Columnist, Repeatedly” (March 5, 2015) CAMERA spotlighted Wickham’s compulsion—unsupported by evidence—to force the disagreement between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama over Iran’s nuclear program through the irrelevant prism of American race relations.

Five years earlier, Wickham seized on an erroneous post by an anti-Israel blogger (“Anatomy of a False Allegation: The Petraeus Controversy,” April 26, 2010, CAMERA) to insinuate that Israel might be ungrateful for U.S. support.

Now, criticizing U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for opposing the Obama administration’s delisting Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, Wickham manages a whopper of a gratuitous anti-Israel dig. According to the columnist, “it is doublespeak for Rubio to say Cuba’s designation should be maintained when, in 2010, he argued against the U.S. allowing the U.N. to discredit Israel. At the time, the U.N. was conducting an investigation of Israel’s deadly effort to stop Turkish ships from breaking its embargo of the Gaza Strip.”

Hard to pack more non-sequiturs, irrelevancies and innuendo into two sentences. Does Wickham mean to imply:

That Israel was, like Cuba, a sponsor of terrorism?

That the United States should have allowed the United Nations to “discredit” Israel? For what, maintaining an embargo the United Nations itself later would confirm was legitimate? (See “U.N. Palmer Report Affirms Legality of Israeli Naval Blockade of Gaza,” Sept. 2, 2011, CAMERA ).

That because enforcing the legitimate embargo turned deadly only when an Israeli boarding party was attacked, Israel nevertheless was at fault?

That it wasn’t worth mentioning the connection between the Turkish charity that helped organize the attempted blockade running and Hamas, the rulers of the Gaza Strip?

The United States wrongly lists Hamas—which uses Gaza as a base for anti-Israel attacks, hence the embargo—as a terrorist organization?

Wickham not only occupies space on USA Today's Op-Ed page. He's also dean of Morgan State University’s School of Global Journalism and Communications. But credentials don't immunize against pretzel logic. Wickham's implied equivalence between a Cuba that supported terrorism and an Israel attempting to protect itself from terrorists has little to do with informed commentary. At best it’s sloppy journalism, at worst, an example of obsessive bias.

Posted by ER at May 6, 2015 12:24 PM

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