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Middle East Issues





Updated: Once Again, Antisemitic Comment Appears as "Times Pick"


See Update Appended Dec. 11: New York Times Pulls Antisemitic Comment
 
For the second time in four months, a blatantly antisemitic comment appears as a "Times Pick" in The New York Times comments section.
 
The latest case involves a comment which appears in response to Mark Landler's Dec. 6, 2017 article entitled "Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's Capital and Orders U.S. Embassy to Move." "James" of DC wrote on Dec. 6:
This announcement is going to isolate the United States and place its citizens at risk of terrorism and violence, both at home and when traveling abroad. All for what? A couple of super-rich individuals of Jewish descent who buy our politicians? (Emphasis added.)

Accusing "super-rich Jews" of controlling the government by buying off politicians is a classic antisemitic trope. According to the State Department's definition of antisemitism, contemporary examples of antisemitism include:
Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective—especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
How did this antisemitic comment warrant a Times Pick as opposed to automatic deletion for perpetuating centuries-old hatred?
 
In August, the last time another antisemitic comment appeared as a coveted "Times Pick," The Times informed CAMERA that the matter was a question of human error, that "it was posted by mistake, that we would we never approve, let alone highlight that type of content." In response to communication from CAMERA, editors removed that comment, which was in the same vein as James' antisemitic outburst last week about super-rich Jews buying off politicians. The deleted comment from last summer was: 
That, along with the 4 billion every year from US taxpayers!
netanyahu likes to influence our elections and he likes to control the US Congress through AIPAC. And he always, ALWAYS has his hand out for another 40 billion or so from his fifth column of followers in the US!
He's a parasitic thug!
CAMERA has once again contacted The Times to request the removal of the latest antisemitic "Times Pick" and to inquire regarding the introduction of new safeguards to ensure that the problem does not recur.
 
Dec. 11: New York Times Pulls Antisemitic Comment
 
In response to communication from CAMERA's Israel office, The New York Times has pulled the antisemitic comment charging "super-rich individuals of Jewish descent" of "buy[ing] our politicians." The Times praised its "excellent moderation team" but acknowledged that "it was a mistake to highlight this comment." An editor added that given the volume of submissions, "errors in judgement are almost inevitable," but that the staff's "large investment in comments spaces offers our readers a uniquely safe space to engage in robust debate."
 
In the meantime, a reader at The Forward has approvingly reposted James' antisemitic comment on The Forward's web site. CAMERA has contacted The Forward. Stay tuned for an update.
 

 
Dec. 13 Update: Forward Removes Comment, Blocks User
 
Yesterday The Forward informed CAMERA that it has removed the comment from its page and blocked the user.
 


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