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August 15, 2016

New York Times Casts Olympians' Anti-Israel Hostility As Mutual Animosity

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In a sports story on the Egyptian judoka who refused to shake hands with his Israeli opponent, The New York Times misleadingly depicts a pattern of anti-Israel hostility on the part of Muslim and Arab Olympians as "animosity between Israeli and other Middle Eastern athletes," as if the two sides are equally engaged in hostile acts directed against the other side. In his Aug. 13 article about Islam El Shehaby's snub of Or Sasson ("Egyptian Refuses Handshake After Losing to Israeli"), Victor Mather writes:

There is a history of animosity between Israeli and other Middle Eastern athletes at the Olympics, including in judo.

Mather helpfully goes on to cite examples, all of which tellingly point to one directional hostility: Arab and Muslim athletes snubbing Israeli competitors. First, he cites last week's incident in a Lebanese team prevented an Israeli team for boarding a bus. Then, he notes that last Tuesday, a Saudi judo player forfeited a match, reportedly to avoid competing against an Israeli. Finally, The Times' Mather cites a 2004 incident in which Iranian judoka Arash Miresmaeili apparently binged in order to be disqualified so as to not to face off against an Israeli.

Indeed, Israeli Olympians are consistently on the receiving end of Arab and Muslim animosity so why misleadingly characterize the hostility as "animosity between Israeli and other Middle Eastern athletes"?

See also "AFP Headlines Conceal Egyptian, Lebanese Bad Sportsmanship at Olympics"

Posted by TS at August 15, 2016 02:52 PM


May I suggest you check an article that appeared in the NY Times today re an Arab Moslem boy who was born with heart issues and was helped by an Israeli team of surgeons, etc. in an Israeli hospital. The article was written by Diaa Hadid and right in the middle of it she maligned Israel. It was jarring and totally off topic. I don't understand how it passed the editor and I'm not certain of the veracity of her comments regarding the lack of medical care in Gaza and blaming it on Israel. I know this is off topic but did not know any way to reach CAMERA directly. She also quoted someone named Tony Laurence the head of a group called Mefical Aid for Palestine. It was calculated to keep animosity growing, not objective journalism.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 15, 2016 09:33 PM

Unfortunately, in modern journalism, editors are allowed to edit their reporters' articles without any mention in the 'Byline'. For all one knows, it was the editor that inserted that line that unnecessarily maligned Israel. That is one reason that organizations like CAMERA criticize the paper as a whole rather than the reporter.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 16, 2016 10:24 PM


Posted by: RAD at August 17, 2016 12:27 AM

Your distorted and untruthful characterization that Jews and Palestinian /Muslim olympians are equally hostel to one another is yet another example of your pro Palestinian /Arab bias.

Shame on you.

H. Alan Young
Alexandria , VA

Posted by: h. Alan Young at August 18, 2016 03:28 PM

To the anonymous tipster who noted the error about medicines and medical equipment entering Gaza: CAMERA has secured a correction on this point. See

Posted by: TS at August 30, 2016 06:26 AM

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