NYT May 27, 2014 “For Middle East, Region of Religious Conflict, Pope Suggests a Respite in Prayer”
Jodi Rudoren penned a piece in a “Memo from Jerusalem”, freeing her from the invisible constraints of reporting news “truthfully”, and shared her personal observations about the pope and the Middle East conflict. Her bias towards the Palestinian narrative remains clear.
- Her opening sentence states that Pope Francis came back from the “Holy Land with the typical bag of ceremonial gifts, including, from the children of Bethlehem’s refugee camps, a mock-up of an identification card in the name of Jesus that lists family members as Mohandas K. Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Yasir Arafat and Martin Luther King Jr.” Wow.
- I’ve been to Israel 30+ times. I’ve been to Jerusalem, Jericho and Bethlehem. I never once came back with a propaganda ID card. Does she really think that it’s “typical”?
- Jodi has often written about the Vatican and the UN now referring to the “State of Palestine”. You cannot have a refugee camp of Palestinians in a “State of Palestine”. You cannot claim to have a state and be a refugee of that state while living in such state.
- It is quite impressive to list a terrorist like Yasir Arafat with Gandhi and MLK. I would have hoped Jodi would have continued to detail the outrageousness of the comparison, but alas, I believe she thinks it fine to equate a civil rights leader with the man who brought the world airplane hijackings. Here are two quotes: one from Arafat and one from Gandhi. See if you can guess who said which:
i. “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”
ii. “We will not bend or fail until the blood of every last Jew from the youngest child to the oldest elder is spilled to redeem our land!”
- The article compliments the pope navigating his trip “without seeming to offend” any of the parties. A strange comment considering over the prior three days Jodi pointed out the anger of the Palestinians for the pope’s laying a wreath at Herzl’s grave and of the Israelis anger for the pope stopping at the security barrier near a sign that labeled it an “Apartheid Wall”.
- Jodi goes on to compare the pope’s stopping at the security barrier, with a wall commemorating Israeli victims of terror. In a “normal” world, these two visits would be THE SAME prayer to stop violence, as the security barrier was built during the Second Intifada specifically to stop terrorism. However, Jodi’s remarks make clear that the stop at the barrier was not just the pope connecting with Palestinians and Israelis, but was meant to “shame” the Israelis. How can a parallel be drawn between a security mechanism and a memorial to innocent victims?
- She dismissed the prospects of the “peace prayer” at the Vatican “particularly” because Israeli President Peres role is “ceremonial” and he is set to leave the post in July.
- NYT again blames Israel for any path forward.
- Ignores the fact that Palestinian President Abbas’s term in office expired in 2009 – over four years ago.
- Jodi chose to liken the parties stating that “extremists on both sides have exploited religion to block resolution”. That statement is not an over-simplification, it is dishonest:
- Hamas won the last elections the Palestinians held, winning 58% of the vote back in 2006. Kahane’s party has been banned in Israel for decades.
- Hamas controls Gaza and 1.7 million people. Jewish “extremists” are individuals who do not control land or a population.
- The “right-wing” (NYT terminology) Likud and The Jewish Home parties have no disparaging comments about Christians or Muslims. However, the Hamas governing charter is a rant of anti-Semitism. A few quotes here:
i. Article 20: [the Jews are] “a vicious, Nazi-like enemy, who does not differentiate between man and woman, elder and young…The Nazism of the Jews does not skip women and children, it scares everyone.”
ii. Article 22: “[Jews] have been scheming for a long time,… they took over control of the world media such as news agencies, the press, publication houses, broadcasting and the like. … They stood behind the French and the Communist Revolutions and behind most of the revolutions”
iii. Article 7: “The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”
- Notable for its absence over a week of reporting on the pope visiting the Holy Land, and again in this article dedicated to religion and prayer, was the current status of Christianity in the region.
- Israel has freedom of religion for all; all churches are open and people are free to pray in the manner of their choosing. That is not true in most of the Middle East
- Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian population is growing
- Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the number of Christian tourists surpasses any other religion, including Jews.
- Israel is the only country in the region which is the target of BDS by some Christian groups
- Also absent from the articles was Abbas’s comment to the pope that “Israel is systematically acting to change [Jerusalem’s] identity and character, and strangling the Palestinians, both Christians and Muslims, with the aim of pushing them out”. No comment from the NYT about the religiously charged lie:
- The Christian population in Jerusalem has increased since Israel re-unified the city in 1967. The only time that the Christian population declined over the past 100 years was during Jordanian rule 1949-67
- The Muslim population in Jerusalem never increased more over the past 150 years than it has under Israeli rule
- From 1967-2011, Muslim population in Jerusalem increased 4.4x, compared to 2.5x for Jews
- Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority since 1870. How has the “identity and character” changed in Abbas’s mind? Oh, Jews are once again living in the Old City, now that the 1949 Jordanian expulsion of the Jews and 19-year ban is over.