Thursday, March 1, 2018

Who Would've Thought? NY Times Editor Says Article by Israeli Prompted ‘Big Argument’ Inside - by Ira Stoll

...At least, to Bennet’s credit, and to look at the bright side, the settler spokesman’s piece was published. He only has seven more articles yet to go before he reaches parity with Zarif.

Ira Stoll..
28 February '18..

A New York Times op-ed piece by a spokesman for the Jewish community of Hebron was published over the objections of some Times staffers who thought it qualified as “hate speech” for “denying personhood to the Palestinians.”

That’s according to a leaked transcript of a meeting the editor of the Times editorial page, James Bennet, had with Times employees.

In the transcript, published by the Huffington Post, Bennet was asked about matters “that shouldn’t even be debated.” The question came from a Times employee whose name wasn’t disclosed in the transcript, and who cited “climate change” as an example.

Bennet somehow pivoted from climate change to Israelis living in Hebron.

He said:

we had a big argument over a piece by a settler. And you know, pick your issue. For some people it’s climate change, for some people it’s trans rights, for others it’s a two-state solution and the fate of the Palestinians. In this case, it was the settler saying, look, the two-state solution is dead and [it’s] time to face reality, and here’s some alternative paths for what the future would look like. And we had a real debate about whether this piece was crossing a line, because was it denying personhood to the Palestinians? Was it an act of, kind of, hate speech in a sense?

I felt strongly that we should publish the piece and we did, as did others. Because this particular viewpoint is hugely consequential. It actually is creating reality on the ground. To pretend that somehow we would be — either to think that we were legitimating that point of view by having it in our pages or to tell ourselves that we were somehow changing the reality by not allowing it into our pages seems to me to be deluded a little bit. And our readers need to hear it, like, unmediated, I think. They need to confront these arguments. And we published that piece, and we faced that.

The article, by Yishai Fleisher, the international spokesman of the Jewish Community of Hebron, appeared in the February 15, 2017 Times under the headline “A Settler’s View of Israel’s Future.”

It was greeted with derision by the Times’ army of anti-Israel readers and commenters.

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