ADL Condemns Time's Anti-Israel Cover Story

Published: September 17th 2010
in News » Israel

Time Magazine cover

According to a statement released by the Anti Defamation League (ADL) last Thursday, Time Magazine’s most recent cover story serves to rehash the anti-Semitic falsehood that Israel cares more for its economy than it does for striking peace with Palestine.


The ADL’s response came after Time Magazine’s cover story was revealed, in which various prominent Israeli figures are quoted as stating that Israelis don't consider Palestinians a threat to their existence, but rather a hindrance to their economy.


"The truth is Israelis are no more preoccupied with the matter [peace]," the article states, adding that Israelis were "otherwise engaged, they're making money, they are enjoying rays of the late summer."


"A watching world may still see their country being defined by the blood feud with the Arabs......, but Israelis say they have moved on. Now observing two and a half years without a single suicide bombing on their territory, with the economy robust and with the souls a trifle weary of having to handle a big elemental thoughts, the Israeli public prefers to explore such satisfactions as might be available from the private sphere," the Times article added.


The article also focuses on Israel’s growing real estate market and night life.


Abraham H. Foxman, the ADL’s chief, wrote a letter to Time’s Managing Editor Richard Stengel, calling on the magazine’s editors to release an apology to its readers both for the timing of the article, and for rehashing old anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money.


“The insidious subtext of Israeli Jews being obsessed with money echoes the age-old anti-Semitic falsehood that Jews care about money above any other interest, in this case achieving piece with the Palestinians,” Foxman wrote.


“At the same time, Time ignores the very real sacrifices made by Israel and its people in the pursuit of peace and the efforts by successive Israeli governments of reconciliation," said the ADL.


“One can only be cynical about the timing of the article, appearing as Israelis and Palestinians engage in direct negotiations and Jews the world over pray on the High Holidays for a New Year that will bring peace,” Foxman added in his letter.


For the Jerusalem Post, however, the claim that Israelis are more interested in making money than peace is not actually anti-Semitic at all.


According to Jpost writer Larry Derfner, materialism is the new Israeli ideology; indeed, he wrote an article addressing this very claim in 1994. In response to Time’s current cover story, he argues that every country’s political system is based on money, not just Israel’s, so drawing attention to this is merely stating the obvious.


He argues that Israel is essentially like everybody else in this way, and thus, to suggest that the Time article is rooted in anti-Semitism is logically flawed.


Actor Jon Voight has also recently decried the Time article as anti-Semitic, supporting the claims of the ADL, and even calling for the boycott of the magazine.


“If Israel falls, we all fall,” Voight said. “This is anti-Semitism. Who are the anti-Semites who are running Time?”


Like most things, then, it appears as though it will be up to the reader to decide what to make of Time’s most recent cover story. Also like most things, knowing the facts is probably a pre-requisite as well.

Related articles: (Time Magazine, anti-Semitic, anti defamation league, adl)
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