NYT Likens Orthodox Jews to the Devil

Leo Rennert
In its Sunday, Oct. 27, edition, the Times runs an opinion piece by Shmuel Rosner about political battles in Israel over daylight saving time. Secular Israelis favor a lengthier DST period. Ultra-religious Jews favor a shorter DST period that ends before Yom Kippur. Otherwise, it means an extra hour of fasting ("Israel Salutes the Sun" page 11, Sunday Review)

So far, so good, although Rosner makes clear which side he favors -- the secular one obviously. But it's an opinion piece; so he's entitled to his opinion.

What he's not entitled to but what evidently reflects a deep-seated bias of Times editors is the last paragraph of his piece that celebrates the current extension of DST beyond Yom Kippur -- a victory for the secular side.

"But at least one prayer had been answered," Rosner writes. "Israelis had proved once and for all that Yom Kippur is no excuse for turning the lights too early in the fall, and that the country's majority -- which often bickers about ultra-Orthodox power and influence -- can win the battles they choose, and in this case, unchain themselves from the forces of darkness."

It's one thing to disagree with the political influence of the ultra-Orthodox. But it's beyond the pale to call ultra-Orthodox Jews "forces of darkness." In employing such a diabolical term, Rosner demonstrates as much intolerance as some ultra-Orthodox Jews do in their tussles with secular Jews. The fact that Times editors would allow Rosner's poisonous smear to appear in their paper tells worlds about their own bile against observant Jews.

For shame.

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers

In its Sunday, Oct. 27, edition, the Times runs an opinion piece by Shmuel Rosner about political battles in Israel over daylight saving time. Secular Israelis favor a lengthier DST period. Ultra-religious Jews favor a shorter DST period that ends before Yom Kippur. Otherwise, it means an extra hour of fasting ("Israel Salutes the Sun" page 11, Sunday Review)

So far, so good, although Rosner makes clear which side he favors -- the secular one obviously. But it's an opinion piece; so he's entitled to his opinion.

What he's not entitled to but what evidently reflects a deep-seated bias of Times editors is the last paragraph of his piece that celebrates the current extension of DST beyond Yom Kippur -- a victory for the secular side.

"But at least one prayer had been answered," Rosner writes. "Israelis had proved once and for all that Yom Kippur is no excuse for turning the lights too early in the fall, and that the country's majority -- which often bickers about ultra-Orthodox power and influence -- can win the battles they choose, and in this case, unchain themselves from the forces of darkness."

It's one thing to disagree with the political influence of the ultra-Orthodox. But it's beyond the pale to call ultra-Orthodox Jews "forces of darkness." In employing such a diabolical term, Rosner demonstrates as much intolerance as some ultra-Orthodox Jews do in their tussles with secular Jews. The fact that Times editors would allow Rosner's poisonous smear to appear in their paper tells worlds about their own bile against observant Jews.

For shame.

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers