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This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire
. The author of this post is Ashe Schow
The New York Times has again fallen for anti-Israel propaganda, this time uncritically reporting that a Palestinian professor "calmly teaches Israeli poetry."
The original article claimed that professor Refaat Alareer had his class at Islamic University in Gaza City read a poem about someone wistfully looking into Jerusalem from the outside. Alareer reportedly asked his students who wrote it and the class agreed that only a Palestinian could have written such a piece, since they have been taught from birth that Israelis are oppressors and they are the oppressed. Alareer reportedly told them the "beautiful"
poem was written by an Israeli.
The scene was witnessed by a Times reporter who wrote movingly of the episode, later contending that Alareer usually "writes furious barrages that describe Israel as a source of evil, posts that led to the suspension of his Twitter account."
But, the Times insisted, Alareer does not bring this hatred into his classroom.
It turns out, however, the Times was again fooled, as evidence by the lengthy Editor's Note now attached at the top of the story, though the headline has not been changed and the article has not been redacted (emphasis original):
Editors' Note, Dec. 13, 2021:
After publication of this article, Times editors reviewed additional information that is at odds with the article's portrayal of Refaat Alareer, a literature professor at Islamic University in Gaza, who was described as presenting Israeli poems in a positive light to his Palestinian students.
In the class witnessed by a Times reporter, Mr. Alareer taught a poem by the Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai, which he called "beautiful," saying it underscored the "shared humanity" of Israelis and Palestinians. He said he admired how it showed that Jerusalem is a place "where we all come together, regardless of religion and faith."
However, in a video of a class from 2019, he called the same poem "horrible" and "dangerous," saying that although it was aesthetically beautiful, it "brainwashes" readers by presenting the Israelis "as innocent." He also discussed a second Israeli poem, by Tuvya Ruebner, which he called "dangerous," adding "this kind of poetry is in part to blame for the ethnic cleansing and destruction of Palestine."
When The Times asked Mr. Alareer about the discrepancy, he denied that there was a "substantial change" in his teaching and said that showing parallels between Palestinians and Jews was his "ultimate goal." But he said that Israel used literature as "a tool of colonialism and oppression" and that this raised "legitimate questions" about Mr. Amichai's poem.
In light of this additional information, editors have concluded that the article did not accurately reflect Mr. Alareer's views on Israeli poetry or how he teaches it. Had The Times done more extensive reporting on Mr. Alareer, the article would have presented a more complete picture.
The author of the Times article, Jerusalem bureau chief Patrick Kingsley, was recently mocked for a previous article in which he depicted Israelis as a sad people, leading to the pro-Israel Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) starting a social media campaign titled "Sad Sad Israel,"
which went viral.
"The Times's article seemed to be asking for ridicule,"
CAMERA analyst Gilead Ini said. "After ten days of traveling throughout the country, Kingsley somehow only stumbled upon Israelis who viewed their country as a land of 'tensions,' 'inequities,' 'divisions,' 'unrest,' 'fury,' 'ambivalence,' 'illegitimacy,' 'alienation,' 'injustice,' 'discrimination,' 'bias,' and 'abuse,' with 'shabby,' 'tired,' and 'garish' towns-and hardly a bright spot to be found. It's actually pretty hilarious."
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