In April in Teaneck, New Jersey, outside one of the town’s largest synagogues, approximately 100 “pro-Palestinian” protesters, many of whom had been bused in for the occasion, attempted to disrupt an event honoring ZAKA volunteers. ZAKA is an Israeli humanitarian search-and-rescue organization that ensures proper burial for Jews, including the victims of terrorist attacks. Several volunteers had traveled to Teaneck to share their firsthand accounts of what they saw in Israel after the barbaric attacks by Hamas on October 7.

Outside, an angry mob waved posters falsely accusing Israel of genocide and, as footage showed, chanted, “Allahu Akbar!” and “Intifada Revolution!” By contrast, a large pro-Israel crowd that had gathered to prevent the protesters from disrupting the event played Israeli music and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” One month earlier, nearly 800 protesters attempted to disrupt another synagogue event in Teaneck, again calling for intifada, hurling anti-Semitic insults, and spitting on and physically threatening Jews trying to get to the synagogue. Multiple law-enforcement agencies had to respond to quell the “pro-Palestinian” mob.

If you read or listened only to mainstream media, you might not have known about either of these events. What little coverage the first Teaneck demonstration received from the New York Times did not bother to mention the anti-Semitic rhetoric or threats made by the “pro-Palestinians.” Instead, it described the angry mob as having “traded profanities and taunts with a much smaller group of pro-Israel counter-demonstrators.” In the Times’ rendering, calling for the elimination of the Jewish people and their nation and physically attacking Jews for being Jews are little more than an exchange of playground insults.

Nor have you seen much if any mention in mainstream-media reports of the abuse hurled at 89-year-old Holocaust survivor Susanne DeWitt, who was surrounded by a group of protesters and heckled as she made the case for a Holocaust Remembrance Day before the Berkeley, California, city council in March. During the meeting, as the Jerusalem Post reported, a man in a keffiyeh hurled abuse at several Jewish speakers, yelling, “How much money did these assholes give you?. . . You money suckers.” Another was recorded saying, “Get the f—k out of here, you Zionist pig.”

Nor did the mainstream media spend much time parsing the meaning of the words of those who spoke at a “pro-Palestinian” rally in Dearborn, Michigan, celebrating “International Al-Quds Day.” On that April day, speakers chanted “Death to America!” and called Israel a “cancer” on the world while praising the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini (who orchestrated the taking of 53 American hostages in Tehran in 1979).

When the New York Times did get around to reporting on some of these incidents, the article’s focus was not on the thuggish rhetoric and behavior of Palestinian activists toward Jews, but rather on how such behavior was affecting Democratic politicians’ holiday parties and fundraisers. “Protests over the Biden administration’s handling of the war are disrupting the activities of Democratic officials from city halls to Congress to the White House, complicating their ability to campaign—and, at times, govern—during a pivotal election year,” the story noted.

What the paper of record failed to mention, but is easily visible across social media on a regular basis, is that these protests are promoting and normalizing anti-Semitism, not taking a principled stand on behalf of the Palestinians (a majority of whom approved of Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7, according to polling data). In New York in late March, for example, outside a fundraiser for President Biden, a male protester was captured on video following a young woman who was trying to get into the building. He screamed at her, “F—ing murderous kike. F—ing die. Keep it moving, bitch.”

Why aren’t these anti-Semitic attacks front-page stories? Why aren’t they given the kind of relentless scrutiny that anti-Semitism on the right has properly received in these same outlets? The Times has published countless stories about the rhetoric of participants in the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Where are the big-think pieces and deeply reported stories about the organizations and funders behind the anti-Jewish groups staging protests outside synagogues and other Jewish institutions?

It’s not as if their readers and viewers are unaware of the problem. According to Pew Research, the percentage of Americans who say Jews face discrimination has doubled from 20 percent in 2021 to 40 percent in 2024. And yet, for some reason, mainstream-media outlets seem to be the only ones who haven’t drilled down on the issue.

In fact, the decision to downplay the anti-Semitic threat from the left is deliberate. Left-leaning media do not like to cover the behavior of their own, as the inconsistent coverage of the Jew-baiting members of the Democratic Party’s “Squad” during the past several years attests. Mainstream reporters at outlets like the New York Times take great pains to provide context and explanations for Representative Ilhan Omar’s blatant anti-Semitism, for example. A 2019 piece gave Omar and her defenders ample space to claim she was being unfairly targeted for criticism because she was a progressive Muslim woman while glossing over the fact that she had repeatedly accused Jews of having dual loyalties.

Amid the current conflict, it’s evident there is tacit agreement among most in the mainstream media that because Israel is defending itself by trying to root out Hamas in Gaza, the behavior of protesters is somehow justifiable and acceptable—but only because it involves Israel and the Jews.

This goes well beyond the deliberately misleading stories and factual errors about the war that have appeared in outlets such as the Washington Post. As Zach Kessel and Ari Blaff outlined in National Review, in a deep dive of the Post’s coverage of the Israel–Hamas war, the newspaper “has been a case study in moral confusion and anti-Israel bias” and has “violated traditional journalistic principles that have shaped coverage of foreign conflicts by American newsrooms for decades.”

Similarly, a recent story in the Free Press by Uri Berliner, a long-time editor and reporter at National Public Radio, described how NPR “approached the Israel-Hamas war and its spillover onto streets and campuses through the ‘intersectional’ lens that has jumped from the faculty lounge to newsrooms,” which meant “highlighting the suffering of Palestinians at almost every turn while downplaying the atrocities of October 7, overlooking how Hamas intentionally puts Palestinian civilians in peril, and giving little weight to the explosion of antisemitic hate around the world.”

By contrast, imagine if an elderly African-American civil-rights activist were being heckled and bullied with racist taunts while trying to speak before a red-state city-council meeting about the need to properly recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Every major newspaper, magazine, and television and cable network would air nonstop coverage of the event.

The double standard at work in mainstream media has become impossible to ignore and is a sign of a deep moral failing in the profession of journalism: When it comes to threats and attacks against Jews, integrity is sacrificed on the altar of ideological conformity. Thus the self-proclaimed seekers of truth became handmaidens to barbarity and the world’s oldest and most destructive hatred.

Photo: AP Photo/Paul Sancya

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