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New York Times Airs a Grievance Against the Passover Seder

A taxi passes by in front of The New York Times head office, Feb. 7, 2013. Photo: Reuters / Carlo Allegri / File.

Of all the many strange and egregious things the New York Times has done since October 7, 2023—rehiring an openly Hitler-praising Gaza stringer, misquoting Israel’s defense minister and prime minister in a way that falsely portrayed their intentions, falsely claiming the war is the deadliest in 40 years, advising the president of the United States to “lose it” with Prime Minister Netanyahu—one of the oddest of all is attacking the Passover Seder.

A Times magazine article falsely claiming the old Black-Jewish alliance for Civil Rights has transformed into one against Israel includes about 1,400 words about a single far-left activist named Nicole Carty. It included this paragraph:

“I’ve been to a lot of Passover celebrations,” she added, “and it’s so weird that the story is only of Jewish subjugation, even though subjugation is still so present for other people.” She went on: “Black people still haven’t had their histories honored. We are still gaslit about the impact of slavery and the continued impacts of white supremacy.”

The passage was widely mocked on social media. “The author complains that Passover is too Jewish centric!” one commenter marveled.

Sure, there’s a distinction, as there often is, between the New York Times endorsing this attack on the particularism of Passover and merely reporting on it as newsworthy. The overall framing by the Times, though, is not as an example of black antisemitism or individual silliness, but as a description of a kind of rational and inexorable demographic and historical response to Israeli actions. The Times is perfectly capable, in other contexts, of investigating extremist ideologies while carefully signaling to readers that those ideologies are extreme or not supported by evidence. Not so here.

Carty’s claim is so inaccurate in so many ways that it’s hard to know where to begin. One place might simply be with the characterization of the Passover seder. To begin with, Passover is not the story “only of Jewish subjugation,” it is the story of liberation, of freedom, of God’s bringing the Jewish people out of Egypt to the promised land. Many modern Passover seders do universalize the story some by incorporating references to other liberation stories. In fact, at least one Passover haggadah that is widely used by American Jews, A Different Night, includes the African-American spiritual “Let My People Go,” a discussion of “Black Moses” Harriet Tubman, a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and the Civil Rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.” Maybe Carty’s been going to Passover with the wrong crowd.

Nor is it accurate that Black people “haven’t had their histories honored.” The United States has two federal holidays, Martin Luther King Day and Juneteenth, honoring Black history. In contrast, there are zero federal holidays honoring Jewish history. Maybe you can make a case for Saturday’s inclusion as part of the weekend, but that’s more Jewish religion or civilization than history.

The inaccuracy extends not only to the specific claims about Passover but to the entire premise of the Times article, which is that the “Black-Jewish alliance within the civil rights movement” frayed and has now been replaced: “a new bond between Black and Jewish activists has emerged, catalyzed, in part, by the confluence of civil rights protests and attention to the Palestinian plight.”

That’s false, too. First, the “Black-Jewish alliance within the civil rights movement,” in its best days, while significant, powerful, and praiseworthy, was never universal. There were some Jews in both the North and the South who were reluctant to push for integration, especially if it involved their own neighborhood or schools. And there were some Blacks who were antisemites. The Times article misses that nuance, instead establishing a straw man.

Second, there’s a lot of black-Jewish cooperation happening—largely unreported by the New York Times—in defending Israel and American Jews after the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack. Democratic congressman Hakeem Jeffries spoke strongly in support of Israel and against Jew-hate at the pro-Israel rally in Washington DC on November 14. So did Van Jones. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina has been a stalwart, as has the lieutenant governor of Virginia, Winsome Earle-Sears. The Yeshiva University, University of Notre Dame, and Brandeis “We Stand Together With Israel Against Hamas” statement was also signed by the United Negro College Fund and many historically Black colleges and universities.

Finally, plenty of young Jews are pro-Israel. A lot of them were at that November 14 rally in Washington. The Times prefers to focus on the young Jews who abhor Israel or who are activists for Palestinian causes, but that tells much more about the Times and its readership than it does about the reality of the American Jewish community.

To sum up: what’s really happening, big picture, is that lots of blacks and Jews, including young ones, are supporting Israel against Hamas. The Times chooses to ignore that news and focus instead on that there are some blacks and Jews who don’t like Israel and have minor differences among each other.

The online version of the Times article now carries a single small correction: “A correction was made on Jan. 23, 2024. An earlier version of this article misstated the number of people killed in Gaza as of mid-October. It was around 3,500, not many thousands.” If the Times had any integrity, it would correct the entire story: “This entire article was based on a false premise generalized wildly from a few unrepresentative anecdotes.”

Ira Stoll was managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of The Jerusalem Post. His media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

The post New York Times Airs a Grievance Against the Passover Seder first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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IDF Announces Major Eyal Shuminov Killed by Anti-Tank Missile in Gaza

Eyal Shuminov. Photo: IDF Spokesperson

 

i24 NewsDuring a raid on Gaza’s Zeytun neighborhood, Major Eyal Shuminov of the Givati Brigade was tragically killed by an anti-tank missile.

The incident occurred when IDF forces identified a Hamas terrorist on the roof of a building and subsequently eliminated him.

Major Shuminov, a company commander in the Shaked Battalion (424) of the Givati Brigade, hailed from Karmiel and was just 24 years old at the time of his death. The IDF announced that he fell in battle on the 24th of Adar HaSphad (February 24, 2024).

His death marks the loss of 238 IDF soldiers since the start of the ground invasion in Gaza.

Following his death, Major Shuminov was posthumously promoted from the rank of captain to the rank of major. The IDF has extended its condolences to Major Shuminov’s family and pledged to continue supporting them during this difficult time.

The post IDF Announces Major Eyal Shuminov Killed by Anti-Tank Missile in Gaza first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Netanyahu: Cabinet Will Vote on Rafah Operation Next Week

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, Oct. 28, 2023. Photo: ABIR SULTAN POOL/Pool via REUTERS

i24 NewsPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has revealed plans for a cabinet meeting next week to finalize the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) strategy for an operation in Rafah, including the evacuation of civilians from the area.

The decision comes amid ongoing negotiations with Hamas regarding the release of hostages held by the militant group.

In a statement posted on social media platform X on Saturday, Netanyahu emphasized the importance of reaching a new framework for the release of hostages and the completion of the elimination of Hamas battalions in Rafah. He underscored the necessity of a combination of military pressure and diplomatic negotiations to achieve these objectives.

“We are working to obtain another outline for the release of our hostages, as well as the completion of the elimination of the Hamas battalions in Rafah. That is why I sent a delegation to Paris, and tonight, we will discuss the next steps in the negotiations,” Netanyahu stated in his post.

אנו פועלים להשיג מתווה נוסף לשחרור חטופינו, וכן את השלמת חיסול גדודי החמאס ברפיח.

לכן שלחתי משלחת לפריז ונדון הערב בצעדים הבאים במו״מ,

ולכן בתחילת השבוע אכנס את הקבינט לאישור התוכניות המבצעיות לפעולה ברפיח, כולל פינוי האוכלוסייה האזרחית משם.

רק שילוב של לחץ צבאי ומשא ומתן תקיף…

— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) February 24, 2024

The prime minister’s announcement signals a significant escalation in Israel’s approach to the ongoing conflict, with plans for a potential military operation in Rafah gaining momentum.

Netanyahu concluded his statement by reaffirming the government’s determination to achieve its goals in the war, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive strategy that combines military action with diplomatic efforts.

The post Netanyahu: Cabinet Will Vote on Rafah Operation Next Week first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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IDF Chief of Staff: Fighting is Key for Negotiating Hostages’ Release

IDF Chief of Staff. Photo: IDF Spokesperson

i24 NewsIn a recent assessment of the situation in the northern Gaza Strip, the Chief of Staff, alongside other military commanders, emphasized the crucial role of the ongoing fighting effort in negotiations for the release of abducted individuals.

During the assessment, which took place on Saturday, the Chief of Staff, accompanied by Major General Yaron Finkelman, commander of the Southern Command, and Lieutenant Colonel Itzik Cohen, commander of Division 162, discussed the progress and strategy in the conflict zone.

The Chief of Staff’s remarks shed light on the multifaceted approach being taken to deepen military achievements in the region. He highlighted the importance of returning to areas with improved intelligence to make more significant advancements, both tactically and strategically.

These efforts, he noted, not only target enemy combatants but also aim to dismantle infrastructure and clear territories to enhance operational effectiveness.

Addressing the ongoing negotiations for the release of abductees, the Chief of Staff emphasized the interconnectedness between military achievements and diplomatic endeavors. He underscored the pivotal role of the fighting effort in exerting pressure on Hamas, thereby potentially facilitating the release of kidnapped individuals.

“The fighting effort is the most effective action that helps those who carry and give in all kinds of places for the release of the kidnapped,” stated the Chief of Staff. “This is the lever we are taking down on Hamas, and you are taking it down very well.”

The Chief of Staff’s remarks underscore the complex interplay between military operations and diplomatic negotiations in conflict zones. While the focus remains on achieving military objectives, there is also a recognition of the broader strategic goals, including the safe return of abducted individuals.

The post IDF Chief of Staff: Fighting is Key for Negotiating Hostages’ Release first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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