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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is refusing to pen an op-ed piece for The New York Times, signaling the degree to which he is fed up with the influential newspaper’s editorial policy on Israel.
In a letter to the Times obtained by The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, Netanyahu’s senior adviser Ron Dermer – in response to the paper’s request that Netanyahu write an op-ed – wrote that the prime minister would “respectfully decline.”
Dermer made clear that this had much to do with the fact that 19 of the paper’s 20 op-ed pieces on Israel since September were negative.
Ironically, the one positive piece was written by Richard Goldstone – chairman of the UN’s Goldstone Commission Report – defending Israel against charges of apartheid.
“We wouldn’t want to be seen as ‘Bibiwashing’ the op-ed page of The New York Times,” Dermer said, in reference to a piece called “Israel and Pinkwashing” from November. In that piece, a City University of New York humanities professor lambasted Israel for, as Dermer wrote, “having the temerity to champion its record on gay rights.”
That piece, he wrote, “set a new bar that will be hard for you to lower in the future.”
Dermer’s letter came a day after NYT columnist Thomas Friedman wrote that the resounding ovation Netanyahu received in Congress when he spoke there in May had been “bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.”
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