…that are fit to print.
Michael Oren: …I talk about an incident that occurred in May of 2010 with the New York Times when Mahmoud Abbas published an op-ed in the New York Times in which he alleged that he insinuated that the Arabs accepted the U.N. partition resolution of 1947, and the Jews rejected it. And I called up the editor of the New York Times, and I said wait a minute, this is exactly the opposite. Don’t you check facts? We [Israel] accepted it. The Arabs rejected it, and went to war against it. That was the war of independence. And the Arabs rejected the first two-state solution. And he says well, that’s your interpretation. Now wait a minute, there are certain in-controversial historical facts, uncontestable facts. I mean, did the Allies land, or did they not land on Normandy Beach in June, 1944? And the editor’s response was [analogous to] well, some people think so.
That’s an interesting aside in an interview that focuses on the Times’ recent publication of a tract by the convicted terrorist Marwan Barghouti, whom the Times described as “a Palestinian leader and Parliamentarian.”
[ADDENDUM: Well, it’s even worse than I thought at the Times, and I’ve long thought it’s very very bad.
That Normandy quote wasn’t just Oren making an analogy; it was apparently what the Times editor actually said. I interpreted the Oren quote in the Hugh Hewitt interview as being somewhat ambiguous and thought it was most likely an analogy rather than a direct quote, although it’s clear to me (and has been for a long time) that the Times regularly lies about Israel. I’m not defending the Times editors; I’m accusing them.
I’ve finally found this article from two years ago, in which the matter is clarified:
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.”
So Oren has been telling this story for a while and it’s not an analogy. In his book he named the editor—Rosenthal—and the quote is a bit different, but just as bad or worse. So I stand corrected. I was being a bit too kind to the Times, something I’ve not usually been accused of.
I wonder whether Rosenthal believes the moon landing occurred, or whether “some might say so.” Did any historical event actually occur, according to Rosenthal?]