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February 08, 2018

NY Times: "Hard-Line" Jews Support Recognition of Jerusalem as Capital


A New York Times news story about this morning's National Prayer Breakfast broad-brushes American Jews who back recognition of Israel's capital in Jerusalem as hard-liners. In the article, White House correspondent Mark Lander asserts:

Mr. Trump’s remarks were most notable for what he did not say. He made no mention of his recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a landmark shift in American policy that was extremely popular with evangelical voters and a segment of hard-line pro-Israel American Jews.

Evangelical support for the decision could conceivably be based on polling data. But unlike with evangelicals, there's no defined subgroup of "hard-line" American Jews, and such a characterization wouldn't appear in polling crosstabs. On what, then, does the reporter base his characterization?

On his opinion, it would seem – his feeling about who would support recognition of Israel's capital, notwithstanding that this group includes overwhelming, bipartisan congressional majorities in 1995 and 2017, President Obama's ambassador to Israel, and mainstream groups like AIPAC, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the American Jewish Committee, Hadassah and the Jewish Federations of North America.

At any rate, opinions belong in the Opinion pages, not the news section.

The newspaper's characterization of Jewish supporters of U.S. policy toward Jerusalem as "hard-line" is particularly striking coming days after one of its reporters yet again downplayed the radicalism of the so-called BDS Movement, a group of anti-Israel activists that calls for boycotting of the Jewish state and, sometimes, non-Israeli Jews.

BDS, the newspaper insisted last week, acts "primarily in protest against [Israel's] settlement and security practices in the West Bank." But BDS is clear that its central tenets go well beyond opposition to "settlement and security practices in the West Bank," something its leaders have taken pains to note. BDS founder Omar Barghouti, for example, noted in a recent Times letter to the editor that "the goal of the global Palestinian-led B.D.S. movement (boycott, divestment and sanctions) is not only to end the 'occupation of the West Bank'."

Even J Street and Americans for Peace Now, groups that normally reserve their criticism for Israel, have slammed BDS for being opposed to Israel's very existence. But the New York Times doesn't characterize BDS activists as hard-liners. It minimizes their extremism, and instead casts American Jews who support U.S. policy on Israel as hard-liners.


(For more on New York Times coverage of Jerusalem, see here, here, here, here, and here.)

Posted by GI at February 8, 2018 03:05 PM


Jerusalem has had a Jewish population majority since the late 1850s - that's 130 years already, before 'Palestinianism' was invented:

Jerusalem was never in history the capitol of any Arab country. Jerusalem has been only the Capitol of Israel.

Posted by: Skyer194 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2018 01:41 AM

I wonder if the NY Times thinks French people who support Paris as their Capitol are hardliners, or British people who support London as their Capitol are hardliners.

Posted by: Ken Kelso [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 14, 2018 03:36 AM

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