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New York Times Imposes Its Own Anti-Israel Tilt on Pope’s Easter Message

Pope Francis waves from a balcony, on the day he delivers his “Urbi et Orbi” (To the city and the world) message at St. Peter’s Square, on Easter Sunday, at the Vatican, March 31, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Pope Francis on Sunday delivered his Easter message. He talked about abortion. He talked about migrants of the sort that are crossing the southern border into America and making their way into cities like New York. He talked about the need to free the Israeli hostages seized on Oct. 7. He talked about conflicts in at least 12 different places, including Ukraine, the Western Balkans, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Haiti, Myanmar, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mozambique.

So what was the New York Times‘ headline about the pope’s speech? The online headline was, “Amid Health Concerns, Pope Delivers Strong Easter Message Calling for Gaza Cease-Fire.” The print headline was, “As Health Concerns Loom, Pope Calls for Gaza Cease-Fire in Easter Message.”

The Times news article also ended by emphasizing Gaza: “And in Gaza, he said the eyes of suffering children ask: ‘Why? Why all this death?’” Yet if one read the pope’s text carefully and in context, it seemed clear that the “eyes of the children” comment applied not restrictively to Gaza, but generally, to conflicts worldwide, including the one in Ukraine, where the pope also called for peace.

The Vatican’s paragraph with the “eyes of the children” comment did not include the word “Gaza.” The full passage said, “How much suffering we see in the eyes of the children: the children in those lands at war have forgotten how to smile! With those eyes, they ask us: Why? Why all this death? Why all this destruction?  War is always an absurdity, war is always a defeat! Let us not allow the strengthening winds of war to blow on Europe and the Mediterranean. Let us not yield to the logic of weapons and rearming. Peace is never made with arms, but with outstretched hands and open hearts.”

The fact that the word “lands” was plural, not singular, coupled with the inclusion of “Europe” along with the Mediterranean appears to indicate that the pope was making a general statement, not accusing Israel alone of imposing misery on children, which would be quite an Easter message to come from the Catholic Church.

The Times news article omitted the pope’s claim that “peace is never made with arms,” which runs counter to the historical experience of the “peace through strength” approach that won America a Cold War victory, as well as the Allied military victory that brought World War II to an eventual peaceful conclusion.

The Times account omitted entirely the pope’s reference to abortion. “Yet how much the precious gift of life is despised! How many children cannot even be born?” the pope said. Maybe Times editors felt that including it might damage, for left-leaning Times online readers, the appeal of the pope’s call for a Gaza ceasefire?

The headline encapsulated the tilt that has characterized the Times coverage of Israel generally. There’s been a Times-driven disproportionate emphasis on the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza over anything else. And even when a newsmaker has called for the release of the hostages who were seized by terrorists on Oct. 7, that’s been downplayed in favor of a headline about “cease-fire” and an image of the eyes of Gazan children that wasn’t even present with specificity in the pope’s speech.

Say what you will about Pope Francis — he’s been reasonably sensitive to the problem of post-Oct. 7 Jew-hate. Unfortunately, the Times itself hasn’t entirely lived up to Francis’ standard. In a Feb. 2 letter to “my Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel,” the pope wrote, “The path that the Church has walked with you, the ancient people of the covenant, rejects every form of anti-Judaism and antisemitism, unequivocally condemning manifestations of hatred towards Jews and Judaism as a sin against God. Together with you, we, Catholics, are very concerned about the terrible increase in attacks against Jews around the world. We had hoped that ‘never again’ would be a refrain heard by the new generations, yet now we see that the path ahead requires ever closer collaboration to eradicate these phenomena.” As far as I can tell from an archive search, the New York Times failed even to cover that letter.

When the pope calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, the Times is all over it. When the pope condemns antisemitism, the Times ignores it. The Times coverage is less illuminating for what it says about the pope, and more illuminating for what it discloses about the Times.

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.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

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