The New York Times, flagship of the liberal American media, has never been a friend of the Jewish state. But the newspaper’s aversion to Israel turned to open hostility this month when its top editors ambushed and tore into an unsuspecting senior official from the Israeli Consulate in New York City.
The Israeli official was invited by the Times editors, among them rabid columnist Thomas Friedman, to meet with them at their office. Being a veteran at dealing with the American media, the official assumed the invitation was for a friendly discussion and perhaps an interview regarding the peace process and other matters of importance to Israel.
The Israeli had no idea he was being invited for what he described as a lynch.
As the meeting started, the Times editors - most of them Jews, and one of them a former Israeli - began to attack the Israeli diplomat, and refused to give him even a moment to respond.
They blamed Israel for everything, the diplomat told Israel Today.
The Times editors insisted the breakdown of the peace process was Israel’s fault, that the lack of peace was Israel’s fault, and were adamant that Israel had given nothing to the Palestinians. They accused Israel of being an extremist and racist state, and blasted the diplomat for Israel’s “ill-treatment” of President Barack Obama.
In short, the Times staff informed the Israeli in no uncertain terms that they were sick of his country.
The diplomat told us he was shocked by the attack. He tried to respond, but the Times editors were not interested in hearing his arguments.
“I asked them,” said the diplomat, “We haven’t given the Palestinians anything? How can you say that? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke with his party platform and implemented a 10-month Jewish building freeze, and what did we get in return? More Palestinian refusal to negotiate.”
According to the Israeli, the Times editors responded: “Yes, yes. Of course you are going to start telling us about how Israel’s security needs are not being met. You just don’t get it that we are sick of hearing about that.”
There is little doubt that this ambush was led by Friedman, whose hostility toward Israel in his recent columns has surprised even his liberal friends in the Jewish state.
In recent articles, Friedman has accused Israel of being a spoiled child, crazy and extremist. He insisted that the US stop being Israel’s “enabler,” and pointed out that the rest of the world is fully on the side of the Palestinians, so why not America?
Wrote Friedman in one of his columns: “Israel, when America - which has given you billions over the past 50 years and defended you in the international arena - asks you to stop building settlements for three months in order to jump start peace talks, there is only one correct answer, and that is ‘yes, whatever you say.’”