Israel’s former ambassador to the United States says there wasn’t enough time in the day to debunk all the anti-Israel “lunacy” published in The New York Times — so he just stopped trying.
Michael Oren, the widely respected historian who served as Israeli ambassador to the U.S. from 2009 to 2012, blasts The New York Times in his soon-to-be released book, “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide.”
“Most malicious was the op-ed page of The New York Times, once revered as an interface of ideas, now sadly reduced to a sounding board for only one, which often excluded Israel’s legitimacy,” he writes. “The page’s contributors accused Israel of ethnic cleansing, brutal militarism, racism of several stripes, and even ‘pinkwashing’ — exploiting its liberal policy toward lesbians and gays to cover up its oppression of Palestinians.”
“After a while, I simply gave up trying to debunk such lunacy,” he added.
Oren, who was recently elected to Israel’s Knesset, goes on to recount a bizarre exchange he had with New York Times op-ed editor Andrew Rosenthal after Oren felt “compelled” to respond to an erroneous retelling of history that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas published in the New York Times in 2011. In his New York Times op-ed, Oren writes, Abbas implied “the Arabs had accepted the UN’s Partition Plan in 1947 while Israel rejected it,” which is the exact opposite of what actually occurred.
Oren’s recreation of the phone exchange between him and Rosenthal suggests that the New York Times editor is unable to distinguish the difference between fact and opinion:
“When I write for the Times, fact checkers examine every word I write,” I began. “Did anybody check whether Abbas has his facts exactly backwards?”
“That’s your opinion,” Rosenthal replied.
“I’m an historian, Andy, and there are opinions and there are facts. That the Arabs rejected partition and the Jews accepted it is an irrefutable fact.”
“In your view.”
“Tell me, on June 6, 1944, did Allied forces land or did they not land on Normandy Beach.”
Rosenthal, the son of a Pulitzer Prize-winning Times reporter and famed executive editor, replied, “Some might say so.”
Neither The New York Times press office nor Rosenthal immediately returned a Daily Caller request for comment.