New columnist for New York Times is anti-Israel conspiracist

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
Font Size:

In addition to your daily dose of liberal invective, you will now get a monthly infusion of anti-Israel conspiracy on the New York Times opinion page.

Earlier this month, the New York Times announced that it had hired Egyptian novelist Alaa Al-Aswany to write a monthly column for the paper. But according to Egypt scholar Eric Trager of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Al-Aswany buys into the conspiratorial notion that a cabal of Jews controls American leaders.

Writing in the New Republic, Trager explains that Al-Aswany has been able to cultivate an image of himself in the West as an enlightened liberal who ardently opposed the dictatorial regime of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. But his more nefarious views have largely been hidden from the West’s view because Al-Aswany most often expresses them in Arabic, says Trager.

For instance, notes Trager, Al-Aswany declared earlier this year on Egyptian television that President Obama is prevented from “go[ing] against Israel’s desire” by a “massive Zionist organization” that “rules America.”

Al-Aswany also holds the bizarre conspiratorial view that the United States supported the virulently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in order to help Israel.

“[T]he United States supports the Muslim Brotherhood to reassure Israel,” Al-Aswany said on Egyptian television earlier this year, Trager reports.

“The Zionist John McCain, one of the biggest defenders of Israel, threatens Egypt if it does not release [Brotherhood leader] Shater immediately. The only explanation is that Brotherhood rule is in the interest of Israel,” Al-Aswany tweeted, according to Trager’s translation.

Though Al-Aswany himself supported Muslim Brotherhood-backed candidate Mohammed Morsi in the 2012 Egyptian presidential election, he has become a vocal supporter of the military-backed regime that took power as result of last summer’s coup.

Follow Jamie on Twitter

Jamie Weinstein