By Ira Glunts
I have sent an ‘open letter’ to Margaret Sullivan, the Public Editor of The New York Times, requesting that her newspaper issue an apology in print to its readers, especially its Palestinian readers for publishing the following sentence which was contained in a letter to The Sunday Book Review: “The ‘conflict’ exists because, by word and deed, Palestinian Arabs have avowed as their goal the killing of all Jews.” (‘Letters: Genesis,’ March 19, 2014)
This slanderous statement is racist, patently false and thus should have no place in The New York Times.
As the journalist James North pointed out, the test for the Sunday Book Review editors “is to ask themselves whether they would have allowed [other] 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?’”
Erroneous and salacious statements which falsely characterize Palestinians as wanting to kill all Jews are ever more becoming part of the pro-Israel message. Sheldon Adelson said it at on a stage at Yeshiva University last October. The right-wing Israeli political leader Naftali Bennett, said it from a stage in Tel Aviv during the Institute for National Security Studies annual conference this January.
By publishing the libelous statement and then refusing to apologize, The New York Times, which has an important role in defining the parameters of what is acceptable in the Palestinian/Israeli 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.
If you would like to write the editors at The New York Times about this matter, please address your thoughts to the Sunday Book Review Editor and send email or letter to be forwarded via the New York Times Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan. (For instructions for contacting Margaret Sullivan, click here.)
I have been told by an editor at the newspaper that the editorial staff at the Sunday Book Review is currently discussing how to respond to this call for an apology.
– Ira Glunts is a retired college librarian who lives in Madison, NY. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.