To: Opinion Editor, New York Times, Managing Editor, New York Times, and Public Editor, New York Times

NYT: Don’t Help Iran Deal Critics Swiftboat J Street

New York Times editors should insist that criticism of J Street in the op-eds they publish is explained and substantiated.

Why is this important?

On July 23, the New York Times published an op-ed by Shmuel Rosner, political editor at The Jewish Journal and a senior fellow at The Jewish People Policy Institute, which claimed that “There are American organizations (such as J Street) that support goals that barely any Israeli agrees with, that nevertheless flaunt the pro-Israel label.” [1] No explanation was given of what these goals are, nor was any evidence given that “barely any Israeli” agrees with these goals. The New York Times fact-checks its op-eds; indeed, they fact-check letters to the editor. People are not allowed to say whatever they want in the New York Times, even in an opinion piece.

If Rosner was talking about J Street’s support for the Iran nuclear deal, which seems like the most plausible explanation given the context, his claim was both outrageous on its face and deeply misleading. Senior members of Israel’s national security establishment have spoken in favor of the deal. [2] Moreover, the majority of American Jews back the deal. [3] So if Rosner’s standard for “pro-Israel” is opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, then according to Rosner’s standard, the majority of American Jews would not be “pro-Israel,” which shows that this standard would be absurd.

Urge the New York Times editors to examine why this unsubstantiated and misleading attack on J Street was allowed, and to pledge not to allow such unsubstantiated and misleading attacks on J Street in the future, by signing our petition.